OS-X: Why all the whining?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 3, 2002
Chicago, IL
For months I've been hearing how OS-X is so demanding and that you really need a G4 to run it properly. I owned a G4 tower, so I assumed the talk was correct.

Then my dad sent me an old Beige G3 233 for Christmas. I put in 512 MB of RAM, a SCSI card and an 18 gig Seagate drive and an ATI Radeon card ... then installed OS X.

You know what? It flies. It beats the crap out of my Pentium III 600 on Windows XP. I've ordered a G4-500 Sonnet upgrade, but I'm not in a hurry to receive it, this system does everything I need to do (including running MS Office v.X.)

My point: OS-X demands one thing, RAM. Feed it memory and it's happy. It doesn't hurt to have a fast HD and a top-notch video card, but that's true for any computer in any OS.


macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2002
I agree.

I've noticed that OS X runs very well on an old beige G3 266 and 300 that my family has. It almost runs too well. I actually wonder if OS X scales itself to the different systems out there. I have no other explanation for how well it runs on that old 266 my dad's got.

Don't get me wrong, there are some obviously slower operations (minimizing to the dock and window resizing come to mind). But overall OS X seems to run really well on some of the older G3's out there.

To those who have recently installed X on an old G3 I say, "Give it a chance!" OS X is an adjustment, but apparent slowness in the UI really aren't the timesinks you may think they are. I got used to them easily and for me it hasn't been settling: I prefer the gui for OS X!! It affords me much more flexibility and I can do everything I need to do in the time I want to do it. Its just different than OS 9, not necessarily worse.

Give it a chance.



macrumors regular
Jan 23, 2002
I'm going to load OSX into my imac DVSE (500 mhz G3, 1 GB RAM) and see how well it works. But I will NOT load it into my G4 until all of my audio and video apps come out with OSX versions. I've been holding off on even trying to use OSX on the imac, after everything I've read here (as you well know, most insist a G3 cannot and will never run OSX properly). Only one way to find out, I suppose ...


macrumors regular
Jan 17, 2002
I have OS X 10.2? (whatever the latest version is, I forget) running on my B&W 450 mhz G3 with something like 448 mb of RAM. It's a little too slow for my liking, although I have gotten used to it, and never boot up into OS 9 anymore. Although, when I do use 9.2, it feels like al ittle speed demon, it's just soo much more responsive on my machine. G4s make a HUGE difference because of the altivec engine, even if the clock speeds are similar. But I will agree with chicagdan that the 256 mb RAM upgrade made a big difference.


macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2002
Ha ha haaa!
Feed it RAM?

I fed it RAM. 1GB to be exact. 1024 megafrigginbytes. The max I can put on my G4 Yikes. And OS 9 is MUCH faster than X. Blah! :mad:


macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2002
What *exactly* is slow?

I don't mean to start any flame war over OS 9 vs. OSX. But what exactly do you find slower.

Here is my list of common tasks that are slower, faster and the same in OS X compared to OS 9. Remember that this is really unscientific with no evidence to back it up. Its just my observations. Also, I'm running a G4 400MHz, 384 MB RAM. I'd be interested to hear everyone else's opinion on these.

Key: L=little bit, A=a lot

Menus (L)
Window resizing (A)
Quicktime performance (L)
Finder performance (L)
Scrolling (L)
Application launching (A)

The Same:
Internet Browsing (in IE)
Startup Time (approximately)

General Networking (Copying over a network, downloads, etc) (L)
Copying/Duplicating (A)
Multitasking performance (A)
*using* the finder (finding files, etc.) (L)
Application switching (L),
Overall productivity (A)

I guess my overall opinion of OS X is that certain operations in the GUI are slower which gives the system the appearance of being slower, but eveything else in the OS is handled so much better that my overall productivity goes up. I can afford to lose a second everytime I resize a window. I more than make up that time when working over a network or when I'm crunching numbers by doing other operations.



macrumors newbie
Feb 1, 2002
OS X speed

I can't wait until Photoshop for OSX comes out! I can then wave bye-bye to OS 9 (and it works fine in Classic). X has really grown on me, and I use it plenty on my iMac 500 with 256 RAM and even my Pismo 400 Powerbook with 196 RAM. Sure, on the powerbook it can be a bit slow at times, but it starts up significantly faster in X than with OS 9 (and things are slow on that machine under 9 as well). I'll take the stability and just good looks of OSX any day. And I figure we might as well start getting use to it... Its here!

P.S. When I first saw OSX I thought it was ugly as can be. Too cute! But I shrunk down the dock and turned off the magnifying (that is too cutesy for me anyway). Plus, I love using the Omniweb browser with the Aqua style form buttons and spell check!


macrumors 68040
Feb 24, 2001
MacOS X seems to run great on my B&W 300. I have not had any reason to boot into OS9 except for Unreal which is carbon now so I probably wont boot into 9 anymore. The only thing that really slows down my system is moving a window, especially in QT.


macrumors 601
Jan 14, 2002
South Dakota, USA
I run 10.1.2 on both of my machines a G3 400Mhz and a G3 600Mhz. I am a little low on the RAM...well really low on the iMac...only 128MB but it runs fine...a little slow....but I think that is due more to the RAM then the processor. The iBook with 600Mhz and 256MB of RAM runs 10.1.2 awesome. I don't think you have to have a G4 to run OSX well...but I think you do needs lots of RAM and of course 200 more MHz is going to make it faster. As fast as a G4 heck no...but if your system is set up (better then my iMac) it will run it well.


macrumors member
Jan 24, 2002
central Cali.
I agree...

My ibook 500 runs 10.1.2 just fine! I don't use os9 at all. I have very few "speed" complaints... However, That may change when I get my G4 imac this week!


macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2002
the great ether
OSX on a G3

running X on a G3 350 and it works great dont know what everyone is complaining about?
Moving windows? as fast as I can movet he mouse!
What am I missing?
and best of all, it never crashes!
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