Ultimate Tiger Speedup Guide for Single Processor G4s

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by gavinstubbs09, Feb 14, 2016.

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The first post in this thread is a WikiPost, and can be edited by anyone with the appropriate permissions.
  1. gavinstubbs09, Feb 14, 2016
    Last edited by gavinstubbs09: Feb 14, 2016

    gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816


    Feb 17, 2013
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    So I recently turned on my iMac G4 800MHz for the first time since August 2015, and it was ungodly slow. So I decided to fix that. Below are a few things I did to improve it.

    Software Update
    This is a huge roll in making sure you are running the latest, for performance and security. Go to the Apple Logo then “Check for Updates” and if any are available, install them!


    Also disable automatic update checks, and if you have iWork or iLife, be sure to check for updates manually.

    Software Update Pref.png

    Also to save a bit of time if you are starting with a fresh install of Tiger or running an earlier version of Tiger, download the 10.4.11 Combo Update (180.8MB) and keep it handy for future usage.

    Install TenFourFox
    This is important because the tweaks and extensions you can enable under TFF will make your life easier, especially with the big push to HTML5.
    Download TFF here. Be sure to select the correct processor!
    Install AdBlock. This will also make webpages load up faster. <--- I would suggest BluHell Firewall over AdBlock, AdBlock Plus or AdBlock Edge. The AdBlock addons have a serious memory leak and are big heavy CPU users.

    Picture 3.png


    If you have a frequent webpage that you visit and want to access it quickly while also having it load up quickly you can use TFFB to make an app of just that webpage.

    TFFB - GMaps.png

    Install TenFourFox Tweaks
    (by @eyoungren and @Altemose)
    I use this particular script on all my PPC machines as I notice a nice improvement in how pages load and every little bit helps. Take a look at the thread here.

    Disable Spotlight and Dashboard
    Both of these are great features I love to use on my G5, but they are so resource intensive the G4 can’t handle it all that well and disabling them will greatly help the machine performance.

    Disable Spotlight: Open terminal and paste:
    sudo launchctl unload -w
    sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.Spotlight.plist
    Disable Dashboard: Open terminal and paste:
    defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES; killall Dock
    Disable some effects in the UI
    This also taxes the systems resources so I would recommend turning them off.
    Disable Dock Magnification
    Set “Minimize using:” to Scale Effect
    Uncheck “Animate opening applications"

    ----- ADDED -----
    Install and use Onyx for Tiger. Use it to set display of sheets to Very Fast as well as to set other parameters you cannot ordinarily set via normal methods.

    Picture 2.png

    Remove Extra Languages and Intel Code
    Each application from the Tiger/Leopard era included code in “universal apps” which would work with both Intel and PPC and also extra languages. Removing this will reduce the size of the program and will also speed up the program as it is a smaller app.
    Run Monolingual 1.3.9 (download on the PPC Archive Utilities page) and click “Run”

    Picture 1.png

    So now my iMac G4 800MHz is a bit happier. I'm sure not all of these tweaks are needed on a dual processor G4 or any G5, but certainly something to consider if you have a single processor G4. Enjoy!


    This is a Wiki post so feel free to add anything you think would be fit :)
  2. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    And don't forget to disable automatic checks once you've installed them all!
    Software Update Pref.png
    (Remember to manually check after installing new iWork or iLife apps, as there may be updates for those.)
  3. spf2, Feb 14, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016

    spf2 macrumors regular


    Mar 3, 2015
    Not my original ideas but stuff I found on MR and on the internet. You can also reduce some eyecandy to help. You can reduce the resolution to thousands of colors and also install shadowkiller. Install Quicktime Enabler for youtube. Install Onyx which has more customisations. Just recently optimized an iBook and did all these. Great tips gavinstubbs09.

    Updated: Use QT 7.5.5
  4. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2013
  5. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    On last suggestion (I made two already since this is a Wiki)…

    Download the Combo installer from Apple's website and use it to install the updates. Generally, the Combo installers seem to be more complete/up to date then the combo installers provided via Software Update.

    And if you save the Combo Installer then it's much easier to apply then waiting for it to be downloaded.

    Lastly, repair permissions after each update/install. Something most people do not do, but it will improve performance.
  6. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    Stay away from the latest QuickTime unless you need it for something special.
    As noted in this thread (starting at post #42) Quicktime 7.5.5 seems to be the sweet spot, things take a noticeable hit with the newest version.
  7. spf2 macrumors regular


    Mar 3, 2015
    Thanks for the quick tip about QT. I was able to revert back to 7.5.5 using Pacifist.
  8. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
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