Author Topic: Upgrading older G4's to Leopard  (Read 4851 times)

Offline iGuy

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Upgrading older G4's to Leopard
« on: October 26, 2009, 07:30:43 PM »
I have posted recently about a friend of mine who inherited a Mac Mini. He is interested in upgrading from system 10.3.9 to 10.5.  I didn't see why not but wanted to check in here at TS before I place the order.

Mac Mini Specs: 1.42GHz G4 with 1GB DDR SDRAM. Also, he says it reads DVD's.

I found what seems to be a good deal at Small Dog Electronics, http://www.smalldog.com/product/73153.

Another thing, my sister is in the same boat with her eMac G4 with system 10.3.9.  It has a 1 GHz G4 processor with 768 ram.  It also reads DVD's.

Will Leopard run well on these computers?  Anyone out there using similar setups?  

Ryan

Offline Paddy

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Upgrading older G4's to Leopard
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2009, 08:01:54 PM »
The Mac Mini should be fine. More RAM is always nice, but it will run.

The eMac will work too - but I'd strongly suggest more RAM if possible. While the minimum is officially 512MB, you really want a GB at least, IMHO. One GB is the eMac's limit, BTW.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3759

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Upgrading older G4's to Leopard
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2009, 08:03:02 PM »
The minimum requirements for Leopard include a G4 processor running at 867 MHz or faster and at least 512 MB RAM. Realistically, you really want 1 GB. In addition, you need enough space on the hard drive for the installation and headroom. The installation can take up to 5 GB (less if you opt out of unwanted languages and printer drivers) and you should leave a minimum of 5 GB free space (and preferably 10 GB) at all times.

It looks like you're OK for Leopard but your sister is not. She could, however, upgrade to Tiger. One place to look is at FastMac. Be sure to get a full retail, generic version (black label) and not a machine-specific version (gray label). Since she has 10.3.9 installed, she could also opt for the Upgrade version. This one requires that 10.3 be pre-installed. The downside is that, if she ever needs to reinstall Tiger, she won't be able to use Archive and Install. Instead, she'll have to wipe the drive, install 10.3 and then install 10.4.

Oops! I looked at your sister's RAM and read it, mistakenly, as processor speed. She should be able to successfully install Leopard.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2009, 08:04:56 PM by jchuzi »
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Offline iGuy

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Upgrading older G4's to Leopard
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2009, 09:03:46 PM »
Would they be better off going with Tiger?  I am sure Tiger would run better since the system requirements are lower but I am guessing Tiger is hard to find.  I would prefer the more recent Leopard OS but am thinking there would be a noticeable performance difference between Tiger and Leopard on these systems.


Offline krissel

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Upgrading older G4's to Leopard
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2009, 01:28:28 AM »
IMO the order of importance with Leopard on legacy machines is RAM, processor speed, MBs in video card.  In my upgraded G4 I transitioned to Leopard from Tiger and saw virtually no change in response time for most applications. The one thing I did see was that Leopard took a lot more RAM than Tiger for basic apps. Whether this is because of the way Leopard is configured I don't know. It may be that it tends to set aside more RAM for open apps than Tiger. But I only have 1.5G RAM and have never gone over about 1.1 in use even when having several programs going (including PhotoShop).

Anyway, if you are going to purchase an OS I would rather spend the money on a retail Leopard that can be used for some time to come especially since the eMac may not be long for this world. If you have Tiger on any other Mac in your family you can always go the clone route to put that OS on the eMac. Likewise with Leopard (though technically it is against Apple's ULEA).  smile.gif

I'm running a Leopard OS on my G4 that was cloned from an Intel MBP.  Can't get any more different than that, but it works just great.  smile.gif
« Last Edit: December 11, 2009, 03:18:06 PM by kbeartx »


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Offline sandbox

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Upgrading older G4's to Leopard
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2009, 02:19:21 AM »
QUOTE(krissel @ Oct 27 2009, 02:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm running a Leopard OS on my G4 that was cloned from an Intel MBP.  Can't get any more different than that, but it works just great.  smile.gif



Hum? how did you do that?

Offline iGuy

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Upgrading older G4's to Leopard
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2009, 05:46:07 AM »
I agree, krissel.  I would prefer Leopard.  They won't be running programs like photoshop.  Just basic use. I would like to see my sister max out her ram to 1 gig but she is tight on money and trying to get by cheap on this.

And no I don't have Tiger.  I am running Leopard on my 20" Intel iMac.


Offline gunug

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Upgrading older G4's to Leopard
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2009, 08:23:47 AM »
I have a friend who is running 10.5 on an eMAC G4 (800 MHz, 2 Gigs RAM) and he's reasonably happy with what he's running.  It's not a powerhouse but it is workable!
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Offline chriskleeman

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Upgrading older G4's to Leopard
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2009, 08:33:35 AM »
QUOTE(sandbox @ Oct 27 2009, 03:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(krissel @ Oct 27 2009, 02:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm running a Leopard OS on my G4 that was cloned from an Intel MBP.  Can't get any more different than that, but it works just great.  smile.gif



Hum? how did you do that?


Hey SB,

She has a MBP running Leopard, and simply cloned via SuperDuper to an external HD and then cloned back to the G4. Mind you, her G4 is heavily modified, running a 1.5 GHZ upgraded processor, a SATA controller card and SATA drives, so it's pretty speedy. I made the same modifications to my G4, which is almost identical to her machine, but am not having similar luck... so far, I can run Leopard fine, but there seems to be a problem possibly with one of the RAM sticks I brought over from an old iMac. The machine runs fine, but I can't let it sleep or it will freeze. Haven't had time to trouble-shoot it all the way yet. But, like Kris, I am able run Leopard at an acceptable speed on the G4 with that set-up.

So, Kris , correct me if I'm wrong, but that's what I remember from what you've posted and emails from each other...

And iGuy, I would agree that you should be able run Leopard on either machine, but I also agree that maxing out your RAM is important.

Chris K whistling.gif
« Last Edit: October 27, 2009, 08:35:35 AM by chriskleeman »
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Offline iGuy

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Upgrading older G4's to Leopard
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2009, 04:01:03 PM »
I just went to Small Dog to buy Leopard and they are sold out!  Unbelievable!  


Offline iGuy

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Upgrading older G4's to Leopard
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2009, 04:33:03 PM »
I just got off the phone with Small Dog.  They will not be replenishing stock on Leopard since Snow Leopard is availlable.  I really didn't want to buy from ebay.   wallbash.gif
« Last Edit: October 27, 2009, 04:34:49 PM by iGuy »

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Upgrading older G4's to Leopard
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2009, 04:42:57 PM »
QUOTE
Unbelievable!
Maybe not. Snow Leopard has been out for several weeks now. Many who had been holding off going to Leopard probably saw the "hand writing on the wall" and decided they had better make the just. I doubt if Apple made any discs since maybe Apr/May, so the 'pipeline' would have been pretty dry. Your best bet will probably eBay/other vendors/Craig's List, in that order. The same warning applies, of course, make absolutely sure the disk is a (black) Retail version not an upgrade one (grey).

<This site is local> and appears to have it still, the bonus is a DVD with all the Leopard updates on it. That DVD also has tons of shareware on it. We pay ten bucks at our MUG meetings, I think it is worth it, especially if you have to start from scratch again. You can certainly email but their phone # is toll free. dntknw.gif
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Offline iGuy

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Upgrading older G4's to Leopard
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2009, 07:49:20 PM »
I didn't mean Unbelievable literally, airbus.  Just one of those words I occasionally throw out when frustrated. I missed the "hand writing on the wall" and was frustrated at myself for it. Just last night Small Dog showed they were in stock.  I sit down this evening to place the order and their "We're Sorry" message appears. I called MacMall and a local Computers Plus, both are out of stock.

Anyway, if you were here I would give you a hug.  Well, a hand shake anyway.  I clicked your link and was able to purchase online.  Very good deal at $139 plus Super Sink DVD, and shipping added into cost of item.  Small Dog was selling Leopard alone for $129 plus shipping, which was also a good deal considering what they will be going for on ebay.

I can always count on TS.  thumbup.gif

Thanks!



Offline krissel

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Upgrading older G4's to Leopard
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2009, 11:23:51 PM »
Glad you found Leopard. smile.gif  That site really has a lot of old software.  


SB, Chris pretty well described what I did. Using SuperDuper made cloning the MBP Leopard a breeze to the external and then to the G4.  I haven't encountered anything that would indicate the Intel install was not able to run just fine on a PPC. All the updates since have been flawless.

Chris, do you still have the original video card in the DA?  If so, that may be why you have the sleep problem.  I put a Radeon 8500 in my DA. The only time I have any difficulties with sleep is when I forget to unmount my swim MP3 player or one of my flash drives from the 7 port hub I use with the DA. No problems with other externals.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2009, 11:24:51 PM by krissel »


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Upgrading older G4's to Leopard
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2009, 10:41:28 AM »
QUOTE
That site really has a lot of old software.
That's because their business is refurbing/restoring older Macs. They don't even have any to sell that will run Snow Leopard! wink.gif It is amazing the number of people/companies still running even Apple ][ machines to do tasks. Obviously getting harder to find but there are thousands more using PPC Macs. It's a Mom & Pop outfit and are usually extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Plus, they often donate items for our MUG meeting door prizes! wub.gif rofl.gif
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