iMac G4 Very Slow Tips on speeding up?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Brando1696, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Brando1696 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #1
    Hello, i just recently bought a iMac G4 in good condition for $175 on Craigslist. I was on a budget so i couldn't afford to spend $1000 on a Macbook :( I'm not too familiar on Macs since its my first one. But it seems to be a PowerPC, It's running Tiger OS, and the base of the Mac looks like a lamp. I'm sure you guys know what a iMac G4 is :D . So are there any ways of speeding up this thing :confused: ? Is it slow because of its age? Because it seems to be in pretty good shape to me :rolleyes: . I did a restore on it and it was still slow. I just need help on improving the performance. Thanks guys. And if you guys do know where i can get a good Mac for under $400 Please tell me ;) . I hear the Unibody thing is the newest kind of Mac :p .
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Without existing specs it's impossible to offer advice.
     
  3. Brando1696 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #3
    Where can i find specs? On the Mac itself?
    Because it is a Generic G4 iMac.
     
  4. MacintoshMaster macrumors 6502

    MacintoshMaster

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Location:
    Britain
    #4


    We would need the processor speed and the RAM (Random Access Memory)

    To find these

    1. Click on the apple at the top left

    2. Click on "About this Mac"

    3. The specs should be there!

    Good Luck
     
  5. Brando1696 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #5
    Hardware Overview

    Machine Name: iMac

    Machine Model: PowerMac4,2

    CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (2.1)

    Number of CPUs: 1

    CPU Speed: 800 MHz

    L2 Cache (Per CPU): 256 KB

    Memory: 512 MB SDRAM

    Bus Speed: 100 MHz

    Boot ROM Version: 4.4.0f1

    Serial Number: I don't know if i should say

    OS 10.4.11 Tiger
     
  6. MacintoshMaster macrumors 6502

    MacintoshMaster

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Location:
    Britain
    #6


    If you find it is sluggish and may seize up, then I would recommend the maximum RAM. I don't know what the MAX RAM would be but I should think it should be 2GB (Not sure) The computer is a little slow anyway (Processor) but nothing Major!:D

    How big is your hard drive?

    There is something called over clocking on the CPU which makes it run faster, but I don't know how to do it and it wears the CPU processor out F.A.S.T!!! I have an eMac G4 1.2 GHz 2GB ram and it is great for iWork and internet (A little slow on yourtube!)


    Good luck!
    :apple:
     
  7. landscapeman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    SW Florida
    #7
    That model has two memory slots. It sounds like it ether has one 512MB or two 256MB. I would recommend upgrading the memory. 10.4.11 seems to be left behind for a lot of updates. It maybe time to looking at upgrading to 10.5.
     
  8. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #8
    The maximum amount of RAM that computer can take is 1GB.

    10.5 might actually make the computer a bit slower. I know that with my PowerBook G4 it ran faster on Tiger than Leopard.
     
  9. tayloralmond macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    #9
    I've posted some of these recommendations on other threads, but here you go:

    1) Disable "window shadows" with the application 'ShadowKiller'
    2) Disable Spotlight and the Dashboard with app "Disable Tiger Features"
    3) Change color scheme to "thousands of colors." (it's not even noticable on most tasks)
    4) Install "Camino" browser (and turn on the "flash blocker" built in the browser)
    5) Change the minimize effect to "Scaled Effect" instead of "Genie Effect"

    For other speed up tips, just get on Google and type in "optimize OS X tips" and you'll get a lot of helpful tutorials. If you have any questions on how to do this stuff, shoot a message back on here. Also, you need to max out your RAM. Your RAM types are:

    1- PC-133 (144-Pin DIMM) slot (Get a 512MB stick)
    and
    1- PC-133 (168-Pin SODIMM) slot (Get a 512MB stick)

    There are tutorials all over the place on how to install RAM in iMac G4's. You WILL need to go and buy a TORX screwdriver kit.

    Finally, you need to keep in mind that you don't have "USB 2.0" ports in that iMac. The iMac G4's didn't get USB 2.0 until 2003 and yours is the 2002 model. So copying files from a thumb drive or external hard drive is going to take a LOOOOOng time. If you need external storage, look into getting a "Firewire 400 External Hard Drive" that uses your iMac's Firewire 400 slot instead of the USB port. Then you'll have no issues. Best of luck with your iMac G4. I own one myself and I still love it.
     
  10. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

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    Jan 20, 2010
    Location:
    Terra
    #10
    It may be time to re-check the minimum requirements for 10.5 (and your grammar/spelling)... 10.5 requires a minimum processor speed of 867 MHz for G4s.
     
  11. tayloralmond macrumors 6502

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    Mar 26, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    #11
    That's not that much of an obstacle, but I'd still probably stick with 10.4. There may be a lot of support dwindling for Tiger, but it's still supported by many browsers and there is tons of software out there that's still 10.4 compatible. I have a 1.25GHz iMac G4 (which I added 2GB's of RAM) and it does just fine with Leopard, but I don't think that 800MHz is going to cut it.
     
  12. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #12
    I'd kick the RAM up to 1GB (almost double what you've got now). It should make things a bit snappier. Also, if your hard drive goes at 5400RPM, you might want to upgrade to 7200RPm if its still slow after the RAM upgrade?
     
  13. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #13
    Leopard needs 1.5 GB of RAM to function properly too, and its only upgradable to 1GB =(
     
  14. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

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    #14
    You mean exactly double...
     
  15. tayloralmond macrumors 6502

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    Mar 26, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    #15
    I've got my eMac (1GHz) running on 1GB of RAM and it's got 10.5.8. After some optimization (such as the things I mentioned above) it gets along just fine in my opinion.
     
  16. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #16
    Yeah but didn't he have 512MB of RAM, not 500MB?
     
  17. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #17
    1GB = 1024MB
     
  18. blunderboy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    #18
    I'd second the advice to get more RAM in there. I don't think it's possible to upgrade the CPU, so adding more RAM and making sure that you're using applications that are speedy would probably do best. For example, use Camino or an older version of Opera as your browser instead of Firefox or Safari. Try installing older versions of software like iWork, iLife and MS Office—they may not be the 'latest and greatest', but they'll work a lot faster on an 800MHz iMac than newer apps would.
     
  19. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

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    Jan 20, 2010
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    Terra
    #19
    What iBookG4user said. There's no such thing as a 500 MB stick, so when you put two 512 MB sticks together to make 1 GB, the extra 24 MB doesn't just disappear.

    1 GB = 1024 MB
    1 MB = 1024 KB

    Etc.
     
  20. drewdle macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC
    #20
    I have one of these machines in daily desktop use, except mine's even slower, the original 700Mhz variety. In order of effectiveness, here's what I did to hot-rod mine.

    1) Memory. As has been discussed, two 512Mb sticks of memory, one a PC133 DIMM and one a PC133 SO-DIMM. Neither are that difficult to install, but the internal one requires removing the base of the computer, which houses the logic board, and thus has many wires attached to it, so some care has to be taken in it's disassembly. 1Gb of memory will make Tiger scream (most machines that shipped with Tiger had 256 or 512Mb of memory standard).

    2) Hard drive. You haven't given us the spec, but let's just go on the assumption that it's the original. That would make it relatively small, but more importantly, it would make it a 5400rpm drive, which is much slower than a 7200rpm drive that is typically used in desktops nowadays. Get the biggest EIDE drive you can find and slam it in there. Again, this is not a complicated task, but you have to be delicate with the innards of the machine to get to the hard drive and get it back together without pinching any wires or breaking anything. Also, if it's the original drive, it's not to be considered reliable anymore, so you either need to replace it for the sake of preventing you losing your school work or back up to an external drive religiously until a failure happens. My system had a 120Gb drive, not original, but still dating back to 2003, and it kicked the can after I pulled it (went to install it in my B&W G3, and got all kinds of I/O issues). I replaced it with a 160Gb WD drive, because again I don't need much, but there's no limit size-wise to what you can put in there (get a 500Gb!).

    3) Choice of OS. As far as software and everything else is concerned, Tiger is the only way to go. You can install Leopard if you use a program called LeopardAssist to cheat the installer minimum requirements test, but I found that Leopard ate all of the performance difference I gained in upgrading my system, and thus made it just about as slow as Tiger was before the upgrades. For the record, Leopard runs (if that's what you want to call it) on 512Mb of memory, it's just not pretty. It ran far better on 1Gb, but the difference between Tiger and Leopard on 1Gb is night and day. This has to do, primarily, with the lack of CoreImage support on the older graphics cards in our old iMacs. Leopard makes heavy use of CoreImage to speed up UI, while Tiger depends primarily on the older QuartzExtreme, which our machines have no problem supporting.

    Good luck with the machine! I love mine, but I don't ask that much of it. :)
     

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