Improving iBook G3 500 mhz Performance?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by E36 Pilot, May 22, 2007.

  1. E36 Pilot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    #1
    Hi guys,

    The performance of my 500 mhz iBook is really poor even after completely wiping the HD and reinstalling OS X. It has 256 MB RAM, but can't smoothly stream video from google, or smoothly play .avi files with the VLC player. Will more RAM make a big difference, or is the processor just too slow? More specific info is below if necessary.

    After years of use, the iBook was painfully slow to the point that I stopped using it at all. Reciently I decided I wanted to use it to play video and music through my TV. To prep it, I erased the HD and reinstalled OSX. The performance is much improved but full-screen .avi video played with VLC is choppy and streamed video is horrible.

    I just want to be able to watch downloaded video content and streaming video content like full screen episodes from ABC.com. What to do?

    Thanks.
     
  2. slooksterPSV macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Nowheresville
    #2
    What version of OS X are you using?
    I'd say RAM will help depending on what version of OS X you are using, I'm going to assume Panther? Panther alone takes 128MB of RAM + whatever else is running in the background. So RAM may help, but I wouldn't count on it 100%. My iBook G3 384MB RAM with Panther on it ran ok, wasn't the fastest, but it ran. I did play video's with VLC but not full screen so I can't help you compare with that. AVI files, those did run slow, I think cause AVI takes advantage of the Altivec processors on G4 and G5 processors.
    Can anyone verify this?
     
  3. KurtangleTN macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    #3
    I'm on a G3 (sig) and I have a bit of trouble playing flash videos.. a good tip is just to let it download and play it.. it seems the G3s just can't handle em both well.

    I don't really have any problems with videos that are on my computer with QT/VLC.. but streaming is iffy at times.. depending on the quality.

    I'm not sure what ram will do, it will help.. i'm just not sure how dramatically.
     
  4. Frankf300 macrumors regular

    Frankf300

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    #4
    My main computer is an iBook G3. Your RAM is definitely not going to help the situation. 256mb is not much at all. I'm maxed at 640mb on my 900mhz G3. It definitely made a big difference. Of course, a lot has to do with restrictions put out by the processor. You have to remember it is only a G3. I'm speaking from experience with my 900mhz iBook vs. your 500mhz. I would definitely reccomend maxing out the RAM on that. Especially if you happen to be running Tiger, 256mb is the bare bone minimum. Max the RAM. :D
     
  5. BoughtAAPL@4.00 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    #5
    You're hosed if you want to watch an iTunes episode full screen on a TV. The video RAM is going to be your limitation here. Tried this once with a G3 500 Firewire Powerbook. No joy.

    You can watch video successfully on the iBook, but you want to max the RAM first, and when you do the system install make sure you ditch as much useless stuff as you can (additional fonts, languages and the like) to keep the Finder's overhead down.

    To maximize performance, make sure you quit all other applications when you're watching the video, and that includes any Dashboard things you have running; use Activity Monitor to make sure you've got those shut off (they don't show up in the Force Quit menu).
     
  6. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #6
    I'll add my voice to the mix. I've got a 500 MHz iBook with 384 MB of RAM and it also isn't able to play YouTube videos smoothly at all. Most other things run pretty well, although browsing MacRumors on Safari with tabs can be a bit slow. I've stripped down the install to ~3 GB.

    I've thought about bumping the RAM to 640 MB, but I'm not sure it'll help all that much. It's just an old machine, and today's video requirements are too much for it.
     
  7. E36 Pilot thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    #7
    Thanks for the responses guys. I'm running 10.3.9. I was hoping some new RAM would help but it seems like it might not be worth the nearly $100 for a 512 stick.
     
  8. slooksterPSV macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Nowheresville
    #8
    My suggestion, save up some money and get a new mac, either a used new mac, or a brand new mac. Check out http://www.techrestore.com/ for mac laptops, and sign up for the weekly savings, I got my G3 iBook for $300 off that site. They have some newer ones for just a little bit more.

     
  9. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    I'd agree with that. It'd be like flogging a dead horse. If you're on a budget, I'd recommend trying to get enough money together for an iBook G4. I had an iBook G3 600Mhz but it was too slow to be of any real use to me (this was a year and a half ago or so). It was just painful at times even with extra RAM and I ended up carrying on using my Dell (which admitedly was a far newer and faster machine). Last Summer I got myself a 1Ghz G4 iBook and I got my girlfriend a 1.2Ghz G4 iBook. The Dell went out the window and we both love our 'books.
     
  10. Frankf300 macrumors regular

    Frankf300

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    #10
    Re-reading your original post, it seems to me like this was not a neccessity type machine, right? If all you wanted was something to play video and music through your TV, I don't think it would make sense to spend money on an iBook G4. I really think you'd be surprised what maxing the RAM on that iBook would do. Even running Panther, 256mb is not much RAM. If I remember correctly, you can pick up a 512mb stick from DMS for $79. Of course things like VRAM and the processor speed are going to be a factor, but I truly think that spending money on an iBook G4 just to play video through your TV is a little ridiculous. I think you'd be surprised what a 512mb stick could do. ;)
     
  11. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    On the moon.
    #11
    The 66 MHz bus and the 10-year old Rage graphics are just going to drag it down under OSX, no matter what you do.
     
  12. E36 Pilot thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    #12
    Thanks again for the responses guys.

    Frank is spot on. I had this computer sitting around gathering dust and I found a job I thought it could perform. As it stands now, it can't. I'm not really interested in purchasing another computer for this task. If I can't get it to work for less than a few bucks, then I'll just skip it and the ibook will go back in the closet. That said, $79 is worth a try. If the new RAM doesn't help, I'll just have to watch my downloaded content on my G5.

    Can someone point me to DMS?
     
  13. Frankf300 macrumors regular

    Frankf300

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    #13
    Never checked back on this thread after I posted lol. If you haven't found it already, this is what you need.

    http://www.datamemorysystems.com/memory_select_frame.asp_Q_C_E_1260-G3_500
     

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