View Full Version : What Mac OS can I run on a ibook G3?

November 10th, 2006, 09:17 PM
I recently received a broken Ibook G3, and it has no hard drive. I was going to replace the hard drive, but I don't know what Mac Os runs on it. I was wondering if anyone can give me any ideas to as exactly what mac os i can boot on the hard drive. Thanks!

November 10th, 2006, 09:20 PM
Here are the requirements for 10.4:

PowerPC G5, G4 or G3 processor
Built-in FireWire
DVD drive is required for installation
At least 256MB of physical RAM


Supported Computers - Power Mac G3, G4, G5, iMac, eMac, PowerBook G3 (bronze keyboard models only) or G4, or iBook G3 or G4
RAM required - 128 megabytes
Hard Drive Space - 1.5 gigabytes

November 10th, 2006, 10:33 PM
Yeah, you can run Tiger. But it will be slow and painful. Try Jaguar or Panther.

Lt Major Burns
November 11th, 2006, 05:22 AM
is it a colourful clamshell ibook or a white iBook?

i have a 700hmz G3 iBook that runs 10.4 Tiger very, very well. it's got 640mb of ram, which helps a lot with any version of OS X, to be honest.

November 11th, 2006, 06:13 AM
Tiger would not be officially supported on the oldest models, but I think it would run if you managed to install it (which could be difficult since Tiger comes on DVD, not CDs). The very first iBooks officially support any OS from 8.6 to 10.3.9. All other G3 models support OS 9 to 10.4.

IMO, Panther (10.3.x) is the best version of OS X for older machines like your iBook.

November 11th, 2006, 09:12 AM
Tiger would be fast if you had enough RAM (at least 512), but Panther will be cheaper, use less RAM, and you don't need a DVD drive.

November 11th, 2006, 11:48 AM
these are the specs of my laptop:

iBook (14.1 LCD 16 VRAM)
700MHz PowerPC G3
512K at 700MHz
30GB Ultra ATA
14. Inch lcdATI
Mobility Radeon with 16MB VRAM
1 firewire port
2 usb ports

would it be advisable to install Mac OSX 10.4.6?

November 11th, 2006, 12:55 PM
Get an extra 512 on ram and it will run 10.4.8 just fine. I have the same one only with 640mb of ram and it runs 10.4.8 just fine.

November 11th, 2006, 04:18 PM
The memory for that system is fairly cheap, so I'd go to your local computer store and get a 512 stick of memory. If you do that, 10.4 will be good. Otherwise, stick with 10.3.

November 12th, 2006, 05:09 AM
Even with 10.3, more RAM would be good. But 10.3 is usable with 256MB, whereas I would say 10.4 is not.

Timothy Gerges
November 13th, 2006, 01:05 PM
Sorry to swing the topic my way, but i thought it would be better than starting a new thread..
I have a G4 Powerpc, 350 with 215 ram.. I am currently running 10.3, and i find it nausiatingly slow. It takes like 1 minute to load up, and completing simple operations like opening open office waists another minute of 2.
I was thinking about getting tiger, but maybe thats not such a good idea?

Lt Major Burns
November 13th, 2006, 01:26 PM
no. the problem you are experiencing is lack of ram. stick as much ram as you can in there, and it will be fast again. you can stick up to 1gb in a Power Mac G4 350mhz, which is plenty, it's really nice using panther with 1gb ram, no matter what the processor is.

OSX lives and dies on RAM.

www.crucial.com does very good ram, and it's very simple to navigate their site, too.

November 13th, 2006, 02:21 PM
With that G4 system, the main limiting factors are RAM, processor, and video card, in that order. RAM is the most important and easiest to upgrade. Upgrading to Tiger would not speed things up, and would most likely make things slower, since Tiger wants even more RAM than Panther.

November 13th, 2006, 07:08 PM
If you fill up your G4 with about a gig of RAM, you should be fine to run basic things. Video card/processor upgrades are also available, but not economical (new intel minis start at ~ $519).

When you don't have enough RAM, OS X is constantly writing excess memory to the hard drive, and when you need to access that memory again, it's slow.

Lt Major Burns
November 13th, 2006, 08:11 PM
i would say interface-wise, anything more than ~600mb of ram, and tiger's fine, no matter what the processor. in fact, because the code is better optimised with ever point release, it actually runs some stuff faster (window resizing etc).

the things where you notice the processor's lag are in video encoding/decoding, image encoding (saving stuff in photoshop, adding filters etc) and games. then to a lesser extent, scrolling through compelx webpages, word documents etc.

i would definetly reccomend you fill that machine up with ram, put tiger on there and reassess your situation. you may find yourself very happy.

November 13th, 2006, 08:15 PM
Keep in mind, you can only do so much with a 350 MHz G4 processor. It's great for internet, email, and word processing, but you'll have trouble with iLife type things, especially video. Even Office is a somewhat bloated application, so it may be slower. RAM will help, though. It just can't work miracles.

Timothy Gerges
November 14th, 2006, 04:53 AM
can i add normal windows ram. That is extremely accesible, but will it work? Also, is it worth upgrading the CPU? i Have a 128mb graphics card, so i'm happy with that. (especially because i dont use the computer for games). I work alot with RAW files, which is a really really big problem with panther. I know i wont be able to run aperture, but adobe has a really awsome programme called photoshop lightroom, its still in beta phase, so i need a computer that will handle that without putting me to sleep. It worked on a g4 imac with 512 ram, but there is a major difference between 700 and 350mhz

Lt Major Burns
November 14th, 2006, 05:30 AM
yes, unfortunately. it's not that panther's not good with RAW files, it's more that a 350MHz proccessor just won't be able to cut it. it will do it, but it will be an excercise in stamina and patience.

i would seriously think about dropping 400 on a new mac mini. 1.83ghz Dual Core.

also, windows Ram is mac Ram is just ram. just make sure you get the right type of ram for your system.

crucial.com will help there. pick apple from the pull down menu and you're away

Timothy Gerges
November 14th, 2006, 05:58 AM
Panther doesn't support RAW files..
Will i be able to take out some of the memory from my p4 and put it in the powermac?
The powermac has 2x256 sticks PC100, i have a pc133 256 and a pc100 256?

Lt Major Burns
November 14th, 2006, 06:14 AM
yeah they'll work, i think, but the PC133 will run at 100mhz, not 133, i think.

give it a try. if you experience problems, take out the 133, and try again.

Timothy Gerges
November 14th, 2006, 06:22 AM
I know with windows, the memory always takes the lower speed, anyway, hope it will work, would love to see. Will give it a shot.

Timothy Gerges
November 14th, 2006, 07:12 AM
turns out they dont even fit physically, i have ddr, maybe thats why.

Lt Major Burns
November 14th, 2006, 07:26 AM
Power Mac G4 (Yikes!/PCI Graphics) uses up to 1gb of PC100, non-parity, 168pin SD-RAM.

November 15th, 2006, 08:12 AM
Yeah, you can run Tiger. But it will be slow and painful. Try Jaguar or Panther.

I have 900mhz G3, maxed out RAM, and latest OS. No major painful slow downs. Of course its not running it as smooth as G4 or Core Duo, but thats expected.

Timothy Gerges
November 21st, 2006, 06:35 AM
whats the highest capacity i can put in. At the moment its got 2*256, but i can get another 512mb stick will it work?

Lt Major Burns
November 21st, 2006, 08:00 AM
640mb. that's 128mb and a 512mb stick.