iMac G4 with Leopard - weird graphic glitches

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Project Alice, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Project Alice macrumors 6502a

    Project Alice

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Post Falls, ID
    #1
    I recently picked up a 1GHz iMac G4 for 50$. I have to say this thing awesome, probably one of the best looking macs ever in my opinion. Anyhow, it had 512mb of ram originally and 10.3.9 installed. I upgraded it to 768mb, not great but it wouldn't accept any 1GB DDR stick I had, it just wouldn't recognize it. So 768mb it is until I can order known compatible ram. I installed leopard, updated to 10.5.8 which runs okay. I know it would be better with at least 1gb.

    I keep having weird issues with the graphics, geforce4 MX 64mb. If I have a folder in the dock it does not display properly, see the attachment. The dock is slow in general but I assume thats because its only got 768mb.
    The other graphics issue that caught my eye is that it does not handle games well. And I'm referring to games that shouldn't even use the GPU in this thing, such as age of empires 2, star wars galactic battlegrounds, or starcraft. Images look fine, but they are all very choppy. All of the movement is slow and choppy. I have a 400MHz iMac G3 set up directly next to this thing and it handles all of the games listed above perfectly and very smooth, as it should be. Its running 10.4.11, and the games are native OS X apps, not classic.

    My normal thought for this type of issue is drivers, but being as its an old PPC mac, I don't think there are any nvidia drivers available other than what is included in the OS.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. AphoticD, Mar 10, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018

    AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
    Interesting glitch on the dock. The only time I have seen this in Leopard is when my G5’s Radeon 9800 GPU overheated and began to fail. Does the glitch appear consistently?

    In terms of the game performance, can you try installing 10.4.11 on the G4 to make an equal comparison? There should be no reason for the 400Mhz G3 to outperform the 1Ghz G4 unless there is a hardware failure of some kind.

    If you take out the ram module you added, do the performance and glitches resolve?
     
  3. Dronecatcher, Mar 10, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018

    Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #3
    I suspect it's because your GPU isn't Core Image accelerated - I used to see similar errors when I put Leopard on my 667Mhz Powerbook, even my 1.42Ghz Dual G4 occasionally glitches when Leopard does some fancy transitions.
     
  4. Project Alice thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Project Alice

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Post Falls, ID
    #4
    I thought about trying 10.4, I'll target boot the G3 and see how that goes.
    The dock glitch is always there, even after being powered off for awhile. The ram stick I added is the internal one thats a pain to get to, so that was going to be my last resort.
     
  5. Project Alice thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Project Alice

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Post Falls, ID
    #5
    So, I ran a hardware test with the imac hardware test CD. Everything passed.

    I connected it to the iMac G3, put the G3 in target mode and turned on the G4 holding option. As long as the G3 is connected to it, it freezes. Even the hand stops moving on the wristwatch. It replicated that 3 times and on the 4th time I unplugged the G3 and option worked as normal. I'll try this again with my iBook G3 that also has tiger on it. But I thought this was relevant.
    Even though it passed, I won't hold my breath until I get new ram. I've had ram cause me so many problems and still register as being good.


    In regards to that, you might be correct but I also have an ibook G4, 12" 1.33ghz. It has 512mb and runs leopard without any graphic issues aside from being slow and out of ram. It's GPU is a Radeon 9550 with 32mb.
    Years ago, I had an identical iBook only it was a 1.2ghz and 1.25gb of ram. Always ran leopard without any issue. This was around 2011 and that thing was my daily driver. My point is that the GeForce4 in the iMac should actually have better performance than the iBooks do.
     
  6. Dronecatcher, Mar 11, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018

    Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #6
    I have the same model iBook and that GPU is Core Image supported. I'm not saying the issues are definitely Core Image related, just that I've had exactly the same issues running Leopard on "pre-Leopard" hardware.
     
  7. Project Alice thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Project Alice

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Post Falls, ID
    #7
    I just pulled mine out, you're right. I didn't realize the 9550 was actually more powerful, despite its lack of vram. It very well might be a core image issue.

    I did end up booting the iMac with tiger, to find that tiger sees my 512 stick as a 256. I opened age of empires 2, and it crashes as soon as it starts a game. I very well might have a ram issue.
     
  8. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #8
    Just to cover all bases

    when you opened the iMac up for the first time, did you put fresh paste on all the contact points? (when you open the dome even if you dont remove the heatsink from the CPU, theres still at least one point IIRC that you have to put fresh paste on)

    if this is not done its quite likely the iMac is overheating and glitching out/locking up from overheating.
     
  9. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #9
    It's likely lack of Core Image support. I get various UI glitches with the dock on an unsupported 667GHz TiBook running Leopard on an original Radeon GPU.
     
  10. Project Alice thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Project Alice

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Post Falls, ID
    #10
    No, I didn't even open it all the way. I just opened it enough to get to the ram stick. I didn't even disconnect the cables. There was plenty of room to change out the stick without. I was unaware of having to apply thermal paste when opening the dome, I just opened it up. It's not something I think about doing unless I remove a heatsink.
    It doesn't seem like its over heating though, it'll run all day and not have issues other than what I posted about. But when I have time I will apply new paste, I've been wanting to put a new hard drive in it anyways.

    I wish I had another old G4 to test, I've never used leopard without core image apparently. I had (have) a quicksilver G4, but its been broken for years. It had a Geforce 6200 in it when it did work though so it had full QE/CI too.
     

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9 March 9, 2018