how is performance of 10.2.3 on 233/266/333 iMac?


I'm an IT consultant who speaks both Mac & M$ fluently. The office manager at one of my customers wants to replace her old iMacs with PC's; the 3 partners at the law firm are quite happy with their TiBooks, and of course with the fact that their IT support bills are so low. The office manager isn't comfortable on the Mac, but is not the final decisionmaker on how much money and what to buy.

I'm in the process of migrating the 3 partners to OSX. The least technically-trained of the 3 LOVES it, but he's using a 1GHZ mac with 1GB RAM. This week, the other 2 partners will also have 1GB RAM, but they're using 500 & 667 mhz G4's respectively.

Does anyone have any experience running OSX on a 1st generation iMac? They have 12 iMacs at or under 350mhz (as well as a 500mhz & a 700mhz and a couple of iBooks). They're also running a couple of UMAX clones which are slated for replacement this year. The last 3 computers they purchased were PC's, but as usual, there have been some setup issues; for instance, the other tech who set up the pc's retrograded XP boxen to 98 so he could use his old version of the over-rated MacLanPC instead of asking me to turn on Windows logins for AppleShare IP Server.

The office manager is on a 2 week vacation, during which time I'm preparing recommendations for upgrades and replacements. They're not planning to replace the old iMacs just yet; and their 2 servers (9600 & 8500 running a G4 and a G3, respectively) are holding up fine. However, if I can talk the partners into replacing their 2 servers with 1 OSX server box, I'll have much less competition for the service work (along with less billable maintenance hours than if they move to Windows .Net Server). The right hand giveth and the left taketh away...

Any comments or feedback is appreciated.


on my 333 some tasks take a while to complete, but it works nice... what comes up first is HD and RAM, they need to be boosted to max if possible...


Rosie Moderator
Staff member
Some thoughts:

Set up is a breeze. You will save time and $ with a Mac.

Low to No down time. Low to No virus infections or worms. Low to no security breaches.

The 333mhz computers should be upgraded to the max with 512Mb of Ram. OS X will run smoothly then.

No training when you give the people just what they are working on. You would need to if you switch over to the Windows machines. That's more $ and time lost. That verse giving the Office Manager a one on one training to work with a Mac.

And with a new server and all you need to do is upgrade the applications periodically, no need to upgrade the equipment for a long time.

You have more trouble when you get a new PC and install an old OS version just for convenience.

Use the past PC installation woes (with the time and dollars) against the Mac installation. Money talks.


Flaccid Member
I have all 3 versions and OSX 10.2.3 works fine on all (a little slow of course but worth the upgrade for stability alone). Be sure to run Software update before you upgrade though. I had alot of trouble with a DV iMac that I didn't update firmware for before the upgrade. A real mess.


web developer
You can put G4 upgrade cards in those iMacs. That will do wonders, I think :)


Flaccid Member
Yes I saw G4 upgrades at MacWorld SF 2003 for $150! You can't beat that. We ordered 2 of them but have yet to take the iMacs in. Soon!


I have 10.2.3 on an old 266 iMac. It's no screamer, to say the least, but it's usable. There's no way it's gonna ever do heavy multimedia, but it does ok with the usual suspects - email, web, irc, office apps. With an iMac of this vintage, processor upgrades are may not be terribly cost effective ($300-$400 to take it to G3/500/600 respectively), but adding memory (to the maximum spec) should be reasonable.

If you choose to upgrade memory, be careful about exceeding the maximum spec for the machine in question. Although it may be possible to stuff more in now (using 512MB SO-DIMMs, for instance), Jaguar has been noted to have issues with machines that have more than their maximum specified memory. This has been seen on the old Wallstreet powerbooks, but would probably apply to the older iMacs as well (they used the same memory).