Should I install Leopard on a refurbished iBook G4 I got off of eBay (first Apple)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by AppleStart2013, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. AppleStart2013 macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2013
    Hey guys, I got a refurbished iBook g4 with a 1.07 Ghz PowerPC processor and 768 Mb of RAM yesterday for sale for only about $60 so I figured that I would buy it to try out Apple for the first time to see if I like it (so far all my desktop computers have run Windows). So, if I like it, I can save up for better Intel Macbooks down the road.

    I also bought a 1 gb PC2100 333 mhz memory stick from eBay that I plan to upgrade the iBook with once it arrives (so now the 1.07 Ghz G4 iBook A1054 machine will have ~1.25 Gb of RAM).

    Is it worth getting Leopard on this machine?

    It comes preinstalled with a crappy old Panther OS.
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    It's worth it if you max the ram as you seem to be doing.

    Keep in mind that this is not an Intel Mac. You can't ask of it what you would expect from a modern Intel Mac or even a PC. Flash for instance, modern apps (development has long stopped), etcetera.

    If you use your iBook with moderate expectations you'll be pleased. But the newest PowerPC Macs are now hitting 7 years old. The OS is not modern. You aren't going to get iCloud and Gatekeeper and Notification Center and so on and on.

    On the other hand, the experience is likely to make you appreciate what these machines can do given their specs and the community that still supports them. Stick with it and you will also come to appreciate the build quality of these machines. Compared to the Intel Macs, IMO it's just superior.
  3. AppleStart2013 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2013
    As long as sites like Youtube or Facebook loads up okay and I can type lecture notes on it it'll be good with me (will be primarily using this for school).
  4. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    It's going to choke on Youtube. YT tends to have a lot of Flash video. The last version of Flash for PowerPC Mac was 10.x something. You'll need to find a version that tricks sites into thinking you have Flash 11 if you are going to need that. There are links to that kind here in this forum. But even high end G5s are now struggling with YouTube. An iBook G4 of your processor speed will show jerky video and your CPU will be pegged at 100% with the fans running very quickly, even with max ram.

    Facebook will be considerably slow because of all the javascript. The last Firefox browser is 3.6 something. We have workarounds. TenFourFox and Aurorafox and a Webkit browser for Safari. You can use Fluid 0.9.6 to make a browser for Facebook as well. If you need Java, the highest you can go is Java 6 I think.

    For Youtube there is Mactubes and YouView and TenFourFox has a plugin that will load YT HTML 5 video in the Quicktime player outside of the browser.

    TextEdit for notes can write Word files though and it's pretty fast, but if you're used to Word the interface will be quite different. The latest version of Office for PowerPC Mac is Office 2008. That loads considerably slower than Office 2004.

    There are things you can do to mitigate some issues and workarounds (such as what I've mentioned), but this is exactly what I was meaning when I was talking about the limitations of PowerPC Mac.
  5. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    Yes it is because Leopard is way better than either Panther or Tiger. That being said, clone the Panther OS before you install Leopard(unless of course you also got the original installation discs to go with it).
  6. Goftrey macrumors 68000


    May 20, 2011
    Wales, UK
    Personally I wouldn't run Leopard on any single G4 (bar a higher end PBG4 w/ 9600 or a 1.25 MDD w/ a decent GPU) unless you really need to. I feel you will have a much, MUCH smoother experience while under the Tiger UI. If you need better app support then there's no harm in installing Leopard... As long as you have a way to install it. Please do not go out & buy a retail 10.5 disc as they are extremely overpriced, and if you decide to find another, certain method (wink, wink) of installing Leopard make sure you have a dual layer burner & disc.

    Tiger discs can be bought relatively cheaply now, or, if you choose that, other method (wink, wink), then it can be installed using a standard burner & DVD. Tiger is an absolutely incredible OS, leaps & bounds ahead of Panther, and is a pleasure to use on any G3 or G4.

    Hope this helps you out - enjoy the iBook!
  7. skateny macrumors 6502


    Jul 19, 2012
    New York, NY
    I've been using Macs since the '90s. I got my current iBook about three years ago, and immediately began optimizing it as per the appropriate threads on this forum. For my money, Leopard is the best OS for PowerPCs that can handle it -- and your iBook can handle it.

    You'll find everything you need in these threads to maximize efficiency for your iBook.

    As was suggested, MacTubes for YouTube with player set at QuickTime. You can also download from MacTubes. Also VLC/MPlayer OS X Extended for watching videos, AuroraFox/Camino for browsing, Any Video Converter for video conversion, and Bean (or other PowerPC optimized word processors).

    Xslimmer will get rid of unnecessary Intel code, Onyx for maintenance, and Fluid to convert individual Web sites to smoother running apps. Fluid also works with iCloud, but not perfectly.

    It's true that there's some work to be done to get PowerPC Macs running at their best, but it's always worth the effort.
  8. G4TheWin macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2012
    A ditch somewhere
    What he said. I personally use Leopard Webkit for my browsing. It's Safari 5.0.6 with the latest security fixes and Webkit engine. Glimmer Blocker is a good lightweight ad blocker, and ClickToPlugin lets you watch videos in Safari with Quicktime or the Safari HTML5 player. You can find Leopard Webkit here:[, Glimmer Blocker here: and ClickToPlugin here: Read the page for configuration options.
  9. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000


    Nov 15, 2012
  10. seveej macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2009
    Helsinki, Finland
    Have to agree here. My rule of thumb usually is 10.4 for G4; 10.5 for G5 (and 10.6 for intel). Naturally there are exceptions (I'm running one myself), like for instance wanting to use Time Machine, but a G4 iBook usually takes a performance hit from leopard...

  11. AlbertEinstein macrumors regular


    Jan 3, 2013
    I suggest running Tiger as it is very lightweight and not very resource-intensive. The only real reason to upgrade to Leopard is the software support (but that is slowly fading away).

    As for Youtube; one should use MacTubes. It's a program that converts the video to the lighter Quicktime format (as the G4 has a tendency to choke on Flash).

    For other web-browsing; one should load the mobile websites as these are lighter and less JavaScript heavy.

    Enjoy your iBook!:apple:
  12. ResPublica macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2011
    I can recommend this as well; by using mobile sites and apps like MacTubes I can accomplish everything I want on my G4 without it being unbearably slow.

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