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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > 8.1 or 8.6 on a 5200

8.1 or 8.6 on a 5200
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Mac Enthusiast
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Jun 13, 2001, 10:55 AM
 
I'm going to be redoing around 30-40 Power mac 5200s this summer to get them ready for the next school year.

Do you think I should use 8.1 or 8.6 on them? Right now its fairly scattered which is used. (and some 7.6, 8.5, 8.0)

These have 40 megs of ram in them. What features were new in 8.6 that are worth using that aren't in 8.1? Is 8.1 faster?
     
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Jun 13, 2001, 12:34 PM
 
Mac OS 8.1 is better. If you use OS 8.6, you must add more RAM since OS 8.6 eats about 24MB RAM, but OS 8.1 eats only about 16MB. And OS 8.1 is a lot faster than OS 8.6 !
     
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Jun 13, 2001, 07:40 PM
 
8.6!!!

Seriously, 40 MB is enough to run it fine, (althoughy with today's RAM prices buying 64 more for each would be a cinch) but annyways, its far far far more stable that 8.1 although offers no vast improvements over 8.1...still they will crash alot less often, I garrantee you.
     
Clinically Insane
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Jun 14, 2001, 03:58 AM
 
8.6. Its the best MacOS next to 9.04. Its so much better than 8.1.
     
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Jun 14, 2001, 08:36 PM
 
For those machines, 8.6 is too much of a memory hog. OS 8.1 should be fine. That's what I have on all of my 6200 machines, and it works great.

Even if you max the RAM to 64 (which can be done quite cheaply now), 8.6 will be slower (on those machines) and will use too much overhead.
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Jun 14, 2001, 09:36 PM
 
Mac OS 8.6 does use more memory, but it has many improvements over Mac OS 8.1 that might be important in the school environment. Check out the Apple TIL articles.

Mac OS 8.6 http://til.info.apple.com/techinfo.nsf/artnum/n60230

Mac OS 8.1 http://til.info.apple.com/techinfo.nsf/artnum/n30345
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Jun 14, 2001, 11:18 PM
 
I use 8.6 on my old 6100 with 40 MB of RAM, and it works fine. It's kind of slow, but that's because it's an old computer, not because of the OS. I had 8.1 on it for a while, and there's no noticeable difference.
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Jun 16, 2001, 09:27 AM
 
8.6 - turn on VM is thats a worry.
Don't complain about "too slow", I ran my 5500 with OS 9 under 32 megs of physical RAM!
40 is plenty for 8.6, especially with VM. Give it about 100 VM - I set the 5500 to 250. It now has more real RAM though...
     
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Jun 16, 2001, 03:49 PM
 
Don't forget that 5200 uses ssssssllllooooowwww IDE hard disk. Your system will much slower if you turn VM on !

Slow is painful, I ran OS 8.1 on my 4400/200 last year which only had 16MB RAM, and the speed was not acceptable, my slow IDE hard disk always shouting &gt;_&lt;
     
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Jun 17, 2001, 04:52 AM
 
There seem to be enough opinions here, but 8.6 is a very stable compared to 8.1, more so than some will admit or say they have personally experienced. 8.1 really just touched on the surface of improvements that the OS 8 series was brining to the Mac desktop. 8.6 truly created stability that hasn't really been replicated by any other MacOS prior.

I run 8.6 at work on a WS 8150 with 48mb (stock factory hardware config) and it runs like a top (top - translated: stable, rock solid stable, run for months on end stable). I doubt that you will have any trouble with any ram issues. I would just be careful that each install is a bare bones straight up OS install that includes nothing but the OS. No internet software nothing from the 8.6 CD except the bare OS. That way the real ram allocation of the OS will hover around 20mb rather than the 30+ that some have quoted in this thread. Then you can install any applications, internet included that you want. Anyway, the internet applications and other added features on the 8.6 CD are way out of date by now.
     
jarends  (op)
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Jun 17, 2001, 10:27 PM
 
well it looks like im going to go with 8.6.

When I started the job most of the 5200s were a million different versions of the OS, but I made an 8.6 drive image with apple software restore with all the apps, and started redoing the machines.

8.6 seemed slow, but since these will be used for net access, I think I'll stay with 8.6 for some of the new features.

It was a good point about making bare bones installs. When we get new imacs, the very first thing I do is reformat the HD, and load 9.1, IE 5, office 2001, and appleworks 5.

The updated system has no fax software, or any of the other fancy stuff apple includes that we don't use. We also use appleworks 5 since appleworks 6 doesn't run well on 5200s and we need to standardize across the entire building.

Definately do specific installs to the computer you're setting up. When I set up PCs I do the same thing. I never trust a windows install other than my own.
     
   
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