Best OS for G4 iBook?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by PaulMoore, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. PaulMoore macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2007
    I have a 2004 G4 iBook with only a 40GB hard drive and a 933 PPC processor- and only 640MB memory. Would I be better with Tiger or Leopard?

    I rarely use it except when I want to escape from my desk, and even then it's only for surfing the net- so I have no plans to upgrade the hardware or replace it.
  2. dubhe macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Norwich, UK
    I run Tiger on my PowerBook G4 1GHz which seems faster than when I had Leopard on it. You can disable the dashboard too which makes it a bit quicker.
  3. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    Tiger for sure. While Leopard will run on that machine, you'll see better overall performance with 10.4, since the OS won't be using as many resources.
  4. igmolinav macrumors 65816

    Aug 15, 2005

    "Unfortunately" I had to upgrade to 10.5 because of an application I use with the iPhone called WeDict that I use very often. (WeDict is a dictionary and I need it a lot !!!). Otherwise, I was very happy with 10.4.something

    I hope it helps a bit, kind regards,

  5. PaulMoore thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2007
    Thanks for the suggestions- if anyone has any other tips for how best to install Tiger (so as to take up the minimum resources)... let me know
  6. dubhe macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Norwich, UK
    I found this a thread last year and copied it to a Stickie:
    It's code you write in Terminal

    To switch off Dashboard (and save memory)
    Terminal = #

    To turn Dashboard off:
    # defaults write mcx-disabled -boolean YES

    To turn Dashboard on:
    # defaults write mcx-disabled -boolean NO

    You have to restart the Dock after making either change for it to take effect:
    # killall Dock
  7. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2008
    I'd actually use Panther on that machine. I know, I know... you miss out on some new apps, but if you're just doing word processing, music, movies, and browsing, it'll work just great.

    Anyways, if you're heartset on Tiger:

    - disable Dashboard
    - disable Spotlight
    - don't run too many apps at once (swapping will suck royally, since the disk performance on the iBook G4 is pretty bad)
  8. JamesGorman macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    i agree with him, panther would be fine on this machine if all you were doing was simple tasks.
  9. iNash macrumors 6502


    Jan 18, 2009
    Hanslope, UK
    I used to have Leopard on the MacMini and the Macbook and Tiger on the iBook G4 (1.33Mhz / 512Mb RAM/40GB HDD) but I found I was getting really frustrated with the "missing features" in Tiger.

    It sounds silly but things like screen sharing/Quick Look etc are really missed when you don't have them to use.

    Anyway, I upgraded the G4 to Leopard and it was a little slow at times, but I have since stuck an extra 1GB of RAM and it is perfect now, it gets used as my "take-anywhere blog-anywhere videoedit-anywhere" machine and works a treat.
  10. PaulMoore thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2007
    Thanks for all the suggestions!

    I'm thinking of occasionally hooking it up to the TV as a poor man's media center (to run full screen web video etc)

    Any chance sites like Hulu etc won't be compatible with Panther (or Tiger for that matter)?
  11. countrykid333 macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2008
    yeah i agree with the other responses. for the 4 days in a year that i end up using my ibook (running 10.3.9(panther)) i find that it struggles with the os when i have a multiple applications open. i think leopard would be unbearably slow.
  12. SkippyThorson macrumors 65816


    Jul 22, 2007
    Utica, NY
    I use Tiger on my iBook and Leopard on my iMac, which has a slower processor. I think they both run about the same if you don't do anything too labor intensive.

    1.33ghz on the iBook, and 1.25ghz on the iMac, both G4s. If they were both the same, I'd say they would run the same.
  13. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2008
    The Flash plugin is certainly available for Panther, but I should warn you: Flash sucks mightily on anything that's not x86. I'd be willing to bet that your Flash video experience will be pretty poor on the iBook regardless of what OS you use.
  14. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    Hulu will work, but don't have any expectations of being able to run the 480p video feeds.

    Flash video is incredibly CPU intensive, and will choke out the 933mhz G4 pretty quickly. I know I had issues even with the 360p normal setting on my 800mhz G4 with 640MB RAM.
  15. Davy.Shalom macrumors 6502


    Dec 23, 2008
    10.4 period

    My advice is do not run leopard on a G4 that is not above 1.5 GHz. It is painfully slow.
  16. PolySciSurfer macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2009
    I can tell you from experience. DO NOT INSTALL LEOPARD! It will run a lot slower than TIGER. I am currently running Leopard, because I wanted the newest OS. And my computer is an iBook g4 1.33 with 768 mb ram. It can be painfully slow at times. Much slower than when I had TIGER.

    P.S. Does anyone want to buy me a new MACBOOK? :D J/K
  17. iNash macrumors 6502


    Jan 18, 2009
    Hanslope, UK
    I find it's not really any different?

    1.33GHz PowerPC
    1.5MB Ram and a 40GB HDD (with 10GB currently free) and Leopard doesn't run any slower than Tiger did (albiet this is my road laptop so just gets used for photo editing/movie editing (very basic) and blogging/work stuff).

    Anything heavy like full on editing/Photoshop stuff, you would notice a huge difference, but we were sat in the airport last night watching HD videos on it with no issues?

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