Do later versions of OSX use more power?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by *old-guy*, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. *old-guy* macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #1
    Hi all,
    My Pismo ain't got a great deal of power (400MHz) and so it runs slowly. This isn't really a big problem for me because most of the stuff I do is surfing and e-mail. Just sometimes though, a tad more Umpffffff would be handy.
    I am currently running Tiger and I got to wondering if maybe changing the OS to 10.3 would make things run better.
    I don't think I explained that very well but what I mean is that if 10.3 uses less of the Pismo's power just to run than 10.4 uses, maybe more power will be left over for other stuff to run better/faster.
    Can you tell yet that I don't really know how computers work? :)
     
  2. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #2
    That is a really hard question to answer with a black and white answer really. Each new rewrite of the OS does tend to put more demands on the processor due to additional features and "eye candy" that it adds and Tiger was no exception to that.

    That is primarily why, with Leopard, Apple introduced a system requirement of a minimum 867Mhz processor- not so much that it would not run on a slower processor (as various utilities to allow installing on slower machines have shown) but that it would not really be running at a "satisfactory" speed (whatever that really is! ;)).

    So, the simple answer is your machine very well might more responsive with a 10.3 installation in place of the 10.4 installation- but the hard thing for anyone to tell you is just how much of an improvement it would show in percentages or anything. Oftentimes just reinstalling a fresh copy of the current OS leads to speed improvements too since any minor corruption and unneeded additions get cleaned off.

    If by chance you have a compatible external drive, installing a test installation of 10.3 on it and booting from it would probably give you a more definitive answer.
     
  3. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #3
    **Roots around in box of computer stuff**

    Mmmmm, I've found a USB hard drive enclosure that may work.
    Something else to try later.
    Ta muchly.
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    Yes, the complexity is that each new revision has more stuff going on, but also does existing things more efficiently.

    You might try disabling Dashboard and Spotlight completely. My experience is that Tiger is actually somewhat faster without a significant RAM overhead if you do both of these things.

    Tiger with those two taken out will have a lot better compatibility with applications and things than Panther, too. :)
     
  5. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #5
    From my experience with older Macs (400 MHz) is that more RAM makes a world of difference. And for computer users that are more on the novice side the upgrading of RAM almost always goes ignored. Between spending money on OS X 10.3 and more RAM, I would choose RAM anyday.

    So I highly recommend that more RAM be installed into the machine. The installation of such an upgrade on a difficulty scale of 1 (easy) to 10 (hard) is around a 3. It's an accomplishing feeling too to upgrade the machine yourself and to see the results.

    Helpful links:
    Pismo RAM upgrade walkthrough:
    http://www.ehow.com/how_4480566_upgrade-mac-pismo.html

    Places to purchase more Pismo RAM:
    http://crucial.com/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=65A66C64A5CA7304
    (Note: that better prices can likely be found, but you can use this link as a reference to the exact specifications of the RAM needed for this machine)
     
  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #6
    dont think you will be able to boot from an USB external, FW yes though.

    and as mkrishnan said, disabling dashboard and spotlight will help. and if you can upgrade the ram that will give you a good boost too.
     
  7. hughvane macrumors 6502

    hughvane

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    #7
    Ah-ha! I've donked Dashboard, simple enough, but how to disable Spotlight? I've searched SysPrefs, where does one switch off S'light in Tiger? [I use Cmd-F as the search tool.]
     
  8. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #8
    Thanks for the replies.
    I have removed all the widgets and taken Dashboard out of the dock but has that disabled it? I also can't find out how to chuck Spotlight.
    As for the RAM, just yesterday I stuck another 512 meg chip in there but I'll get another if it will make a major difference.
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    Disabling Spotlight is discussed...

    Here: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20050504012104186
    and Here: http://www.crypticide.com/dropsafe/article/1564

    (I think you want to use the "better" way involving changing /etc/hostconfig).

    My experience regarding Tiger and RAM... admittedly on two computers faster than yours (by a little and by rather a lot, respectively)...

    On an iBook G4/800, upgrading from 640MB to 1.125GB was a significant improvement, even in running just 1-3 basic applications at a time.

    On an iMac G5/2.0, upgrading from 1.5GB to 2GB did nothing. :eek:

    The easiest way is to check how many page-outs you are accruing via the system monitor.
     
  10. hughvane macrumors 6502

    hughvane

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    #10
    No. Go to System Preferences > Dashboard&Expose > Dashboard, click the arrowheads to the right of it and select the - sign. Dashboard, whilst still on your hard drive/in the OS, will remain idle.

    Getting rid of Spotlight looks a tad daunting, but I shall don my bravery armour another day and try it.
     
  11. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #11
    Wow.... As a newbie Mac user, those instructions for removing Spotlight may just as well have been written in Serbo-Croat by a chap practicing his Hindi at the same time. Best left alone, methinks.
    As for disabling Dashboard, the instructions ^^^ up there don't match what I see on my screen. If I click on System Prefs and then on Dashboard and Expose, I see an image of a trackpad with 4 options as to what tapping a corner means. There are also 4 keyboard shortcut options.
    Unless I'm being more stupid than normal, there doesn't seem any way to alter anything related to the Dashboard from that page.
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #12
    Yeah, the method for disabling Spotlight requires a basic understanding of Unix, but on the other hand, you essentially open a terminal and type the commands as listed. It's not a "beginner" operation, but then beginners aren't expected to have a computer that's.... what, eight years old? :p

    As for Dashboard, this is the easiest way to disable it:

    http://www.natal.be/index.php/?p=6
     

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