Will Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) run on a G4?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bluetooth, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. bluetooth macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2007
    I am currently running OS 10.4 on my G4 Tower - 733 Mhz, 1.25 GB SDRAM, Graphics/ ATI Radeon 9000 Pro

    Will my current G4 support OS 10.5 (Leopard) or the now upgraded Snow Leopard?

    If so, I do realize that the performance won’t be as good on a G4 as on a Core 2 Duo - because it’s an older chip, 32-bit not 64-bit and also running at a slower Ghz clock rate. I would also assume that I won’t be able to use all the new features but I’m more concerned about experiencing freezes/hangs and the like….does anyone forsee any problems?

    I would like to upgrade but obviously not if it is going to make the OS performance slower then that of my current OS (Tiger) due to my somewhat dated hardware.

    Also, does anyone know if my ol' G4 will support a wireless internet card and if so, which brand(s)?

    Any insight, advice or experiences on these subjects is much appreciated.

    Thanks a lot...
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
  3. Guy Incognito macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2006
    10.5 (Leopard) will run; 10.6 (Snow Leopard) will not.
  4. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Leopard requires an 867mhz G4 to run. At least that's what Apple tells you.

    The truth is, and the reason that it's such a specific number is because the 867mhz G4 iMac (or PowerMac, I forget) was the first Mac to have a GPU powerful enough to run Leopards heavier-than-tiger graphics and animation found throughout the OS.

    There are several hacks around this, as I'm sure some other members will post links to. But once is running, other than perhaps features like Spaces, Expose and Stacks being very slow and choppy (as they are heavy on the GPU), the system itself for general tasks at least, will run fine.

    Snow Leopard will not run at all. Snow Leopard has dropped all PowerPC support and will only run on Intel based Macs.
  5. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Leopard officially requires an 867 MHz G4 or faster. It may run on a 733 but this is not a supported configuration.
  6. Morris macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2006
    London, Europe

    10.5 (Leopard) will run just fine on a G4. I've got a 1.5GHz G4 Powerbook 12" that runs Leopard and does it pretty well. I maxed out the memory to 1.25GB and replaced the HDD with a 7200RPM version and couldn't be happier. No, you can't expect it to run Final Cut Pro with ease but for most common things it works very satisfactory.

    10.6 (Snow Leopard) is a no go. Leopard was the last OS X to support PPC.
  7. UngratefulNinja macrumors 68000


    May 9, 2009
    Agreed. I put Leopard on my ibook g4 a couple months ago and it runs fine. I'm glad I finally made the upgrade :)
  8. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Feb 1, 2008
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    Snow Leopard will not run on PowerPC at all; Leopard will not install on a G4 with a CPU under 867 MHz. But there are ways to get around that install limitation, which can be found here:

    Unsupported Leopard Installation

    Once installed, Leopard would run without problems; the 867 MHz limitation is basically artificial since people have installed it on G4 systems with CPU speeds as low as 400 MHz.

    Also, I'm not sure if your Radeon 9000 Pro supports Core Graphics. If it doesn't you'll probably have problems running the Time Machine application as well as Front Row and DVD Player.

    I run Leopard on my PowerMac G4 Sawtooth with CPU upgraded to 1GHz and 1.3GB memory, with performance comparable to Tiger for the applications I use.

    As for wireless networking, I would look at something like this:

  9. bluetooth thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2007
    Hey, thanks a lot for the responses.

    So Snow is out, I figured that it would be.

    So running 10.5 on a 733 Mhz should not give me any problems as long as I do not use certain applications, correct? It will run just fine with all the apps I currently use in Tiger, correct?

    Also, does anyone think it is worth upgrading my 733 Mhz? I think it was a few hundred bucks but the guy at the store I was at advised against it and said I would not notice much difference for the money...if I upgraded, would it support 10.5 more readily and be able to include the apps that may give me issues if I were to install it at the current 733 Mhz?

    I geuss over and above all else, do you feel there is a big difference between Tiger and Leopard? Is it worth the purchase and the round about install or the upgrade processor install? Is it that much better then Tiger and will it help in the overall perfromance and speed of the OS on my ol' G4?

    EDIT: Nevermind on the upgraded processor I see that it does not matter Leopard will still not load on upgraded processors that came equipped below the 867 mhz cutoff, BUT this handy free dowload writes a script in your computer to fake a 933MHz G4 Processor, plus tweaks to the code for multi-processor systems. I think this is what I will try. http://www.mac.profusehost.net/leopardassist/download.html

    If anyone has used the above link download and installed 10.5 thereafter with no problems, please let me know how it turned out.

    Thanks again!
  10. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Feb 1, 2008
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    Yes. Well, that is unless you use some application that I'm not aware of. Classic mode is not available in Leopard though.

    I think your graphics card is more of an issue than the CPU as far as apps go - like Time Machine, which is one of the major advantages of Leopard. But if you got something like a dual 1.8GHz processor card I'm sure your system would be noticeably faster. Whether it would be worth all that money is something only you could decide. But I wouldn't do it.

    Like I said, performance seems about the same to me. Other people say that Leopard's performance is much worse than Tiger on G4. I suppose it depends on what you are running. If it weren't for Time Machine I would really consider going back to Tiger, because I really could use Classic mode. Aside from TM, I don't consider any of Leopard's bells and whistles to be essential. But again that's a personal opinion; you may find something that you really like about Leopard.

    I updated my PM G4 from 400 MHz to 1GHz with a Sonnet card, and with that I was able to install Leopard with no problem.
  11. Leolizm macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2010
    I dont think for 800mhz would be a problem

    i think it should work
  12. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2004
    Missouri, USA
    10.5 is a hog. I bought a dual 1.25 MDD and the guy had 10.5 running on it to show me everything checked out. I was replacing a 867 G4 and 10.4 booted quicker than 10.5. And was a lot quicker.

    I would stick with 10.4. Its a solid OS. I have no complaints other than some programs don't support 10.4 or PPC, their loss.

Share This Page