Will Leopard like a G3 iBook?
August 22, 2006 1:58 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking at buying an old G3 iBook (900 Mhz), but I've heard some rumblings that Leopard might cut off G3s all together. How likely is it that this would happen with Leopard? How many more releases is it reasonable to assume this Notebook would be supported?
posted by northernsoul to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
IMHO I wouldn't buy anything with a G3 processor if I was interested in running Leopard. If I wanted to save money, I'd buy the G3 and stick with Tiger. If I wanted to run Leopard, I'd spend the money get at least a G4, if not Intel processor.

Even if Apple allows Leopard to run on a G3, I doubt you'd be happy with the performance. It's not profitable for Apple to spend the resources to make Leopard a speed demon on a G3.
posted by markmillard at 2:16 PM on August 22, 2006

The developer preview has minimum requirements of at least a PowerPC G4 processor, so it's probably a good bet that you won't have 10.5 booting up your iBook. But then again, if the current OS version works for you, why change and upgrade?
posted by jaimev at 2:17 PM on August 22, 2006

The answer is probably no. They removed a reference to G3s and apparently the developer preview doesn't run on them. But as always, you never no.
posted by cillit bang at 2:19 PM on August 22, 2006

I agree with the above posters: no matter how tempting that purchase may be, it is not worth it to purchase a G3-based machine at this point in time. This is coming from someone who bought his first G4 about a year and a half ago and still doesn't have a G5 or an Intel machine.

That said, there is an application called XPostFacto which is designed to allow you to run newer versions of OS X on older machines. I've used it with limited success to get Panther running on beige G3s and similar.

However, as cillit bang implies, Apple is or may be making changes to the OS in Leopard that would remove any actual ability to run on G3s. They do something like that at every update, as you seem to know, but while it's sometimes an easy-to-hack cosmetic "don't let the installer run on X hardware", there's nothing to say that the changes in Leopard won't be deeper than that.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 2:51 PM on August 22, 2006

Oh yea, and while they were on a serious "make it run faster on older hardware" kick a ways back, Apple has been recently adding features that will tend to kick the crap out of said older hardware. Spotlight, Dashboard, and the new Spaces, Time Machine, etc will just kill a G3 machine, especially a laptop with a slower-than-normal hard disk.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 2:53 PM on August 22, 2006

Don't a buy a G3 ibook. They had some issues with their video chipsets frying and Apple doesn't replace them for free anymore. Wait a little bit and get a G4 ibook.

That, and the video reed cable will probably get pinched and stop working too. It's just not worth it if you're paying over $100 or so for it.

I'm not just bullshitting here, I've had both of these issues happen and scores of others have as well.
posted by cellphone at 3:04 PM on August 22, 2006

If you do get one, stick with 10.2.
posted by cellphone at 3:04 PM on August 22, 2006

I mean 10.3...
posted by cellphone at 3:04 PM on August 22, 2006

cellphone - to be honest, the logic board issues were AFAIK only the 700MHz ones, so a 900MHz one could be exempt. However, you're spot on that the replacement plan for whichever specific models had the problems, is now 100% over and done with (so the next time my fiancee's dies...which would be the 4th time...it's officially dead for good).
posted by cyrusdogstar at 3:23 PM on August 22, 2006

Heck, in order for it to be marginally okay with Tiger, I disabled Dashboard and Spotlight on the machine.

Yeah, I never even upgraded beyond 10.3.9 and it wasn't so great. Seriously, get at least a G4 -- I just retired my G3 ibook a few days ago, and boy am I glad. Also, though I didn't have any problems, you may be interested to know that white G3 ibooks are basically the least reliable laptop apple has ever made. The 900mhz are better than some of the earlier ones, but still far worse than the G4s.
posted by advil at 6:22 PM on August 22, 2006

he, I just saw a G3 iBook running Leopard last weekend. It was done by installing Leopard while the harddisk was placed in a G4 iBook and then they just switched disks.

That said, don't count on using it for anything but nerdy fun projects. I gave my niece my Graphite SE for surfing in the living room, as her iMac is a bit too clumsy to carry around, and it is suitable for that. I think I left it at 10.3.9, but am not sure.

The problem may not only be the G3 processor, btw, but rather the video card.
posted by KimG at 7:22 AM on August 23, 2006

The problem may not only be the G3 processor, btw, but rather the video card.

To be sure! The other components also suck. The RAM will be at a lower clockspeed, the bus will be slower, the cache slower and less of it, the video card will probably not be capable of running the newer effects in Quartz Extreme (Dashboard, etc) and so forth.

The processor is just the primary bottleneck.

Please, please don't buy a G3, northernsoul!
posted by cyrusdogstar at 8:39 PM on August 24, 2006

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