OS X PPC Stability.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by tevion5, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    #1
    I have a number of Mac's, all listed in my signature.

    Recently I've been playin with my Power Macintosh 8600 and find MAC OS 9 to be a horrible thing with random crashes just because I requested an application to do something minor. Boom. I need to restart the whole computer. (Mind you, after turning off virtual memory, I've noticed an increase in system stability)

    My main system is a 2011 MacBook Pro that came with Snow Leapard, which is currently running Mavericks. It is infinitely more reliable than Mac OS 9, but it does hang from time to time, which seems ridiculous with a dual core i5 and 8GB ram.

    My most realible and steady system of all my computers, is oddly, my Power Mac G5 running Leopard. OSX on PPC is just insanely stable! It never hangs for at all, always responds and it actually FASTER than my MBP at doing basic tasks such as opening system preferences and opening programs. It has a geekbench score around 1/5 of the MBP and roughly 1/4 as much ram, and yet seems to be way more reliable.

    My music teacher at school has a ton of new sandy bridge workstations for recording music with Pro Tools, but when we have a live event on and he needs record a whole session on the fly, what does he use? His Power Mac G5 running 10.5.8. In 2014. He doesn't trust he modern windows workstations over the old trusty G5.

    Am I wrong here or is here something oddly stable about these machines and their software?
     
  2. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    #2
    I agree that it is pretty stable! And nice when a app crashes for the most part it goes away unlike my intel macs that beachball for several minutes. One computer I own that wasn't very stable was my B&W. Mounted a fan to the heatsink, and the kernel panics stopped!
     
  3. tevion5 thread starter macrumors 68000

    tevion5

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    #3
    Exactly! This feeling of powerlessness if dreadful. I know when I want a large application to properly close!

    At least the intel macs beat windows though, with about 5 dialog boxes of "are you sure", "checking for solution", "are you really really sure", "definite yeah?". Just end when I tell you!
     
  4. Nameci, Feb 19, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014

    Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    The Philippines...
    #4
    The unstable powermacs that I have are my powermac G4's, one is running Leopard and the others are running Tiger. The usual suspect, the add in USB 2.0 card. It would KP from time to time, reseat the card and it will be fine again. Danm those cards!

    All of my powerpc macs running leopard (except for the G4's I have mentioned) are running stably that sometimes it feels boring.

    I am all ppc mac right now, and bad thing is that I forgot that I have an intel macbook that I have stored away sleeping and now its battery is fully drained and would not come back to life again. The two intel macs I have on my signature are in storage.
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #5
    In comparison, Panther and Leopard are the two most stable versions of OS X in my experience. Tiger is a nightmare on a mixed PC/Mac network with a Windows server. Just a complete mess - for me anyway.

    Didn't use Jaguar for very long so can't say too much to it's stability.

    Leopard will give you the option to disconnect from the server and will stay running. Tiger will drop you and freeze the Finder. In most cases you have to restart. Panther just stayed connected.

    Mavericks…well, it acts like Leopard in the sense that it will give you the option to disconnect, but if you do not TAKE the option then you get Tiger's beachball tendencies with a restart!

    All the way around Leopard's been the best as far as network integration (and features) for me.
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #6
    8600's can get really fussy over their ram. Mine loves to crash and get unstable unless I move it's memory modules around before I start it. I suggest reseating the ram. After doing that, mine is stable until it's off for about a week, then it starts to complain again. I've also found the Tiger and Leopard on it are both much more stable than OS 9.2.2, with OS 9.1 being the worst.
     
  7. JaguarGod macrumors 6502

    JaguarGod

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    #7
    My G5 Quads have been the best computers I have ever owned. All of my intel machines and even my older G3's and G4's crash more frequently than the G5's. Though the Macs still crash less than most people would think.

    My Quads crash so infrequently that it I forget when they actually do. I don't even remember the last time. The G5 with Leopard is very stable. It is an all around great experience to run my Quads with Leopard and the Mountain Leopard theme.
     
  8. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #8
    I recall working in OS 8 and 9 on PowerMac G4s that any time an app bombed it usually brought down the whole system.

    Sometimes you could work around it, but by the second or third time it became a complete system freeze.

    QuarkXPress 4.x was a particular offender. And don't EVEN get me started on ATM (Adobe Type Manager)! GD, worthless POS, pretend to be font management app, garbage that Adobe foisted on everyone!
     
  9. JaguarGod macrumors 6502

    JaguarGod

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    #9
    Yeah, my G3's and G4's running anything earlier than 9.2 had freezing issues quite regularly. I will say that for me, 9.2 was and still is in my opinion, a good OS and seemed better for my Macs. But nothing like what I get with Leopard on my Quads. Crashing is simply something I do not think about with them.
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #10
    Totally agree except that not thinking about crashes completely applies to all my G4 PowerMacs and PowerBooks. The G5 I have is here at work again and except for the fact that it and the MP I use HAVE to connect to the server there would be no crashes there. Any of those crashes are a direct result of our server/network being a real PITA and causing problems. No fault of the OS. Well, except maybe Mavericks on the MP, but anyway…
     
  11. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    #11
    The fact you bring up ram brings up 2 issues wih my B&W and my G5. 2 of the 4 slots in the G5 will not see any ram, and the b&w I get the same issue you have with your 9600.
     
  12. tevion5 thread starter macrumors 68000

    tevion5

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    #12
    I might give that a go! Right now I'm using 9.2.2 installed with the helper thing. I need classic on it to talk make 800k disks for my 512Ke. It's useful to me because it has USB and an Internet connection, while still having 800K disk support. Also, I got it "not working with missing hard drive" on eBay for $20...expect it did actually have a HDD and was totally working... :p
     
  13. seveej macrumors 6502a

    seveej

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    #13
    I agree with the OP, that OSX is able to be very stable on some PPC hardwares - but not all.
    All in all, there seem to be marked differences, and not even only from model to model, but even from computer to computer.

    Most PMG5's are rock solid on tiger and leopard, as long as the hardware does not go kaput.
    A formel colleague just reported on FB, that he recently checked the uptime on his iMacG5 (don't know the exact model, but I think it has iSight) and got a number in excess of 2 years.
    My father's been using his venerable 1 Ghz 17" PBG4 (tiger) without a single hang or crash for three years - Even though he never closes a document and has a measly 1 Gig of RAM (Last weekend I again "cleaned" some of his documents away - 55 windows open and OpenOffice was crawling, but no crashes...). OTOH, I've hard from many, that this very type of Powebook had "mixed blessings".
    I had some initial crashes with my PMG4's (QS, MDD and MDD2003), but all were identified as related to dodgy ram. Mostly rock solid on 10.4 and 10.5...

    Sadly, the PPC-era machine I love the most - the PBG4 12" - is (IMX) failure prone. I've had three or four, and they've all been less than perfectly stable (on both Tiger and Leopard). Some have speculated that especially the final model (1,5 Ghz) may have some problem with "timings", and that the earlier versions would be more solid, but I can neither verify nor discount that.

    At the same time I have to note, that OS X seems generally to be stable on Any 'compatible' hardware. I have very little bad things to say about Intel Macs, especially when running 10.6. Lion was a pain (stability and otherwise), ML I skipped. My "office" MBA running mavericks has only been with me for two months (which is too short a period).
    Personally I think even 10.4 on Intel was mainly stable, and whatever beachballs were encountered were mainly due to Rosetta and PPC software...

    RGDS,
     
  14. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #14
    The G5 may have the G5 ram solder joint problem. As for the B&W G3, the Grackle memory controller can be problematic for some boards. I myself haven't had such problems, then again my long term experiences with that particular machine are limited.
     
  15. WMD macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #15
    OS 9 had no memory protection and no pre-emptive multitasking, so it was extremely crash-happy. An app could "forget" (i.e., crash) to give control of the system back to the OS for use in another app, so the whole thing would lock up. And then of course, there's writing into outside memory locations, the cause of many system bombs. However, the classic Mac OS was often so cute and charming, that we forgave its misgivings. Or I did, anyway. :D

    I've found Tiger on PPC on my PowerBook G4 to be slightly more stable than Snow Leopard on my MacBook Pro. The MBP crashes on sleep every so often, something I don't recall the PB ever doing. In fact, I can only recall about two PB crashes the entire time I used it. This, I suppose, says a lot about driver quality; Apple has never worked all the bugs out of their Intel hardware, compared to PPC. It could be that with Intel, they use more off-the-shelf components, for which they don't have to write the drivers; I bet for PPC they had to write everything themselves, since they were the only ones using it.
     
  16. AmestrisXServe macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    #16
    Which of the sockets don't register anything; 3 and 4?

    How much memory does your system register?

    You could be looking at a reflow job there, or you could simply have bad RAM, or a minor problem. I have seen G5s where the solder joints on the DIMM sockets break, so it isn't unprecedented.

    The Dual-G5 is my personal favourite, daily-working system: I'm staring at a row of three directly across my my present, seated position, at my graphics workstation. The Quad-G5 can be a bit of a pain, as the switch from air to liquid cooling opens up a large window for nightmarish problems.
     
  17. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #17
    I never had any issues with stability in terms of my PPC Macs. The worst was a MDD which hangs but it is because some incoherent repair man tried to install RAM too forcefully and flexed the Logic Board. It will run but freezes randomly.
     
  18. AmestrisXServe macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    #18
    If it is only damage to solder joints, and not to traces, that's rather an easy reflow. The G5 is a bloody pain, due to how tedious it is to R&R the CPU modules, but G4 systems are quite straightforward to repair.

    If you have a hot air station, or know someone who does, reflow the solder joints on the RAM banks, and the area surrounding them, the northbridge, and any small resistor packs, caps, and so forth, for good measure.

    There's no sense in having it as a doorstop. :D
     
  19. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #19
    I have been planning to do the work on the board. I just haven't had a use for the G4 yet as I have a G5, PowerBook G4, and a MacBook Pro.
     
  20. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    I concur OP. My G4 running Tiger has never crashed. Still going strong today. Still great for working on. The only downer is the lack of support off Apple.
     
  21. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    #21
    Those two! With 2 matched pairs OS X will boot and upon looking at system profiler it doesn't see that any ram is in those 2 slots.

    I love mine! Only bummer is the back leg is falling off so I want to find a new case for it or either get a G5 Quad!
     
  22. AmestrisXServe macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    #22
    Do we honestly care about 'support' from Apple? What would you even expect, or want in that area?

    I couldn't care at all if Apple wants me using 10. or 10.5 or MacOS 6.0.8... What I think is the greatest drawback is the lack of modern browser plugins and video codecs.

    Being stuck with VLC 0.6.8, and not being able to use Netflix, or JAVA-RE embedded video, is the biggest drawback. VLC is still good at handling video, but some video that is encoded with h.264, is unplayable on 0.8.6, and requires the horribly buggy VLC 0.9.x.

    (I am a bit shocked that there hasn't been a port of a later version.)

    Not that this is due to system age: These problems plagued us when the systems were new, as most video codecs, and software-support plugins, were designed for the Intel architecture, and it is only that shift in platforms that opened these up to MacOS at all, at all.

    I find PPC MacOS a fantastic platform for graphic/print design, and for literary work, although Framemaker for MacOS is still stuck at v7, requiring Classic/Sheepshaver, and thus can't use long filenames, and has clipboard problems.

    Office 2004 for OSX is probably the best version of Office, or at least Word and Excel, that has ever been put to market.
     
  23. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #23
    Office 2008. :p

    :D:D:D
     
  24. AmestrisXServe macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    #24
    Isn't Word 2008 the version on which MS removed half of the displays, formatting bars/panels, and HUD for styleguides; chopped up the menus, and removed status display on the document windows?

    Word for OSX 2000->2004 has a feature that its counterpart on Windows lacks: A continual word count, and other status displays at the bottom of each document window, which is a fantastic feature for my use of the programme.

    I tried to use a later version, couldn't find all of my tools, had things work differently, and was missing some key features that I rely upon; or was hiding them somewhere. I couldn't understand why MS butchered it so badly...

    The newer versions are even worse, and seem to have been designed for people that don't understand how to use a word processor. I still run Office 2004 (PPC), using Rosetta, on my Intel systems. :/
     
  25. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #25
    Put it this way: I've had my eMac running Tiger since April of 2009. I've had my MacBook running Snow Leopard since April of 2013.

    Guess which one has already far surpassed the other in terms of crashes and hang-ups? ;)
     

Share This Page