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Which OS upgrade for iBook G4?
Asked by Leightonj
Posted Jul 16 2010 11:25 AM
I've inherited an old iBook G4 running the original Mac OS X op system. Safari crashes all the time, I'd like to use firefox or something like that but what version op system would I need to upgrade to? I think it would be tiger 10.4 but these seem to be 10.4.6 or 10.4.7, I am totally confused. I want to just run basic email, basic internet browsing and the occasional word doc or spreadsheet. and stores some pictures and use iTunes. No films or gaming.
Answered by bjepson
Posted Jul 18 2010 04:59 AM
Leopard is probably compatible with your iBook. See Mac OS X Leopard: Supported Machines.
If you are determined to keep this machine, I would suggest two upgrades for it: a new hard drive and as much memory as you can install into it. This is because newer applications demand more memory, more hard drive space, and run better with a faster hard drive.
I generally buy my upgrades at Other World Computing, since they specialize in Macs. However, newegg.com and Amazon have both been good sources of memory and hard drives for me in the past. The nice thing about Other World Computing is that it's easy to use their site to figure out which upgrades are compatible (see http://eshop.macsales.com/MyOWC/).
With sufficient memory and a speedy hard drive, this machine should run Leopard well, assuming everything else (the logic board, AirPort, etc.) is working correctly. Because this is an older Mac, and because you say Safari is crashing, I suggest you bring the computer in for diagnostics before you purchase Leopard or any memory or hard drive upgrades. You can either go to an Apple Genius Bar or an independent Apple authorized repair center, but be sure to find out if there is any charge for the diagnostics before you do that.
Both an Apple store or an independent repair center will be able to upgrade your hard drive or memory, but it will be more expensive than doing this yourself.
Comment by Leightonj : Jul 18 2010 11:14 AM
Thankyou, thats very helpful. I'll let you know how I get on.
Answered by palmettobug
Posted Jul 19 2010 06:19 PM
MacTracker http://mactracker.dreamhosters.com/ is a great resource to look up older machines and see what operating system they will handle as well as how much memory you can add. I use it all the time when working on people's machines.
An iBook G4 is still a great computer for the normal functions of web surfing, email, word processing and such. I totally agree that you should try to max out the memory and probably put a larger hard drive in it. But check first, because someone may have already done some of that.
My daughter (18) is actually using a very old iBook G3 right now for just basic writing and note taking. She loves it and if it crashes, gets stolen, or breaks, we are out almost nothing.
Answered by michaelruiz1
Posted Sep 27 2011 08:57 AM
All iBook G4s besides the 800MHz model support 10.5.x (10.5.8 was the last update for 10.5)
I would go with the latest OS X version you can because of greater compatibility and security updates.
If you look at the (Apple Menu>About this Mac>More Info... or Applications>Utilities>System Information) System Information>Hardware Overview you can see which model it is (6,3-6,7) then go here to check what sort of hardware you need if you decide to upgrade the RAM and HD.
I looked at the first iBook G4 6,3 and the last model 6,7 and they both had Ultra ATA/100 interfaces.Int. HD Interface:Ultra ATA/100
So you won't be able to use a SATA drive with these models.
Before you purchase anything I'd weigh the costs of the drive and RAM vs. purchasing a refurbished MacBook. I find Retrevo is a good source of finding MacBook refurbs at decent prices ($499 & $599 at the time of this writing):
"The two most common elements in the inverse are hydrogen and stupidity." -- Noivad
Answered by Alejandro Ramirez
Posted Sep 27 2011 10:07 AM
Tiger 10.4.x or Leopard 10.5.x should work just fine.
I used to be a tester for a Mac software development company and I ran tests on G4s using Leopard and Tiger with machines similar to yours.
Tiger on 800MHz machines runs much faster than Leopard (I used to test with an iMac swivel and 1GB or RAM), but there are ways to make your Leopard installation lighter (not adding all translations, not installing all pre-loaded printer drivers, no additional fonts), and then the machine will be decent.
Leopard will get you better support for newer browsers as compared to Tiger.
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