Help!! G4 powermac driving me crazy!!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by robert1x5, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. robert1x5 macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2009
    I Have a 500Mhz Powerpc G4 with 1Gb of SDRAM
    The Operating System is 10.3.9 (what it says on the "About This Mac" tab)

    I have had this computer for about 3 years now as it was givin to me by a friend whom works with graphic design and whatnot when they upgrded theri computers. At the time this machine was blazing. Over the years the mac has now started slowing down so much that all i can do is listen to music and surf the web without it lagging up terribly.

    I Ran Mac Janitor and Spring Cleanup and deleted all the excess files and moved my media files to an external hard drive and it is just as slow

    please keep in mind i am not super-computer savvy, buti learn fast

    i would love a new G5 but money is tight :(
  2. Lucibelle macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2009
    A few things that I would suggest:

    1, replace the RAM, especially if it has been in the machine for several years. RAM is hard to test from inside the machine. That Mac will also accept 2 GB of RAM. More RAM is always better than less. Also, try taking out 1 stick or RAM at a time and see it behaves better. This is backwards from the try-one-stick-at-a-time approach, which you could also do, but 250MB of good RAM will seem laggy compared to 1G, and it may actually be easier to isolate this way.

    2, replace the HD. Again, if the HD has been in their a long time, it could be on its way out.

    3, try installing OS4. I don't know where I heard this, might have been, but OS4 supposedly performs better on the old G4s. I was recently given a 400Mhz G4 with a measly 128MB of RAM in it. It had OS9 installed on it. I had an Ultra160 SCSI card and two U160 SCSI drives with OSX.4 already on them, and to my surprise the machine performs very well for its age and paltry amount of RAM.

    4, if you are interested, there are CPU upgrades available for your G4, up to 1.8G dual-processor. That particular one runs about $600, but you can get less powerful upgrades for hundreds less. If you are going to upgrade, definitely go with dual-processor. MUCH faster. There are many older Mac users that consider the boost of an upgrade far cheaper than getting a new Mac, having to buy new peripherals, additional RAM, etc.. If my MDD hadn't died, I would have most likely done a CPU upgrade.

    Lastly, go check out They have lots of info on older Macs and have forums of other G4 users that could help. That site is surprisingly active and is kept up to date. I found them very helpful when I needed info on a G4 400.

    Good luck! :)
  3. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004

    I've never heard of ram going bad or "getting slower" only going completely bad. Do you mean max out the ram?

    Yeah,max out the hard drive to top speed, cache and gigabytes.

    Max out the ram.

    Get the best video card available.

    Upgrade to Tiger and disable dashboard. doing this may even enable you to install Leopard with good results. Dashboard eats CPU power.

    I have owned many Macs over the last twentyyears and I have to say, the "slowness" boils down to the above factors and the sucky problem of Adobe Flash players online.

    I've never heard of ram going slow, though.
  4. Lucibelle macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2009
    No, I don't mean that the RAM itself will slow down, just that RAM can be faulty, yet still run in your system and even pass various RAM tests. But after thinking it over a bit more, you're is pretty unlikely that bad RAM would behave quite that way. :p However, my ultimate suggestion for increasing OP's performance was indeed to max out the RAM.

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