Mac OS X 10.4 on an iMac G3?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by thesdx, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. thesdx macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2007
    I've been thinking of getting my mom an old iMac G3 for her antique shop. The employees would only need a computer for browsing the web, and maybe emailing, so a G3 would be fine. I was looking at some cheap G3's on eBay, and many were loaded with 10.4, but with only around 128 MB RAM. It seems to me that Tiger running on a G3 would be insanely slow. Is that true? Not that the shop needs a supercomputer, but I'd like it to be somewhat decent. Would OS 8/9 be a better choice?
  2. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Here's some iMac G3 tips.

    1. Get at least a 500mhz machine. Better video card.
    2. Run Panther. They will run tiger, but you really need the full gig of memory and those old pc100/133 512mb ram chips are not cheap. You can get by with two 256mb chips on Panther.
    3. Make sure it has a dvd/cd drive. The old iMacs came only in three ways:
    cd rom, cd/dvd rom or cd rw burner ONLY (no dvd). My choice is the cd/dvd player on them. If you need to burn, you've got firewire and you can add a burner externally.

    I LOVE THESE MACHINES. TRUE WORKHORSES. You can even put an Airport card on them internally with an adapter -- but that is really gilding the lily.
  3. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    RAM for those is cheap so max the RAM and they will run Tiger fine, I have one running Panther with only 192MBs of RAM, and it is usable but slow. for Tiger at least 512 MBs, the minimum for running 10.4 is 256MBs.

    OS 9 or 8 are not good for web browsing any more since modern browsers no longer support them, but a G3 running 10.3 or 10.4 would be good, 10.3 is probably the fastest on those machines.
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    It's probably less the G3 than the 128MB that kills it. If you kill dashboard and spotlight, though, Tiger probably is faster overall than Panther or Jaguar on those computers.

    I'd think you might have compatibility issues even with basic stuff if you ran OS 9.

    One other option (with an iMac or not), might be to explore a very basic implementation of Linux, such as xubuntu 6.x... It's supposed to run reasonably well in that kind of memory footprint. And you can get modern browsing, etc, for it.
  5. thesdx thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2007
    Thanks! Luckily, I have a copy of Panther to run on it. Linux would be nice, but since almost all of the employees aren't good with computers, they'd probably freak. Let's hope I can convince everyone that Macs are easy to use. :)

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