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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Best OS X version for iBook G3 700MHz?

Best OS X version for iBook G3 700MHz?
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powerbooks
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Aug 29, 2008, 08:19 PM
 
My old iBook G3 only has 640MB RAM (top) and 20GB HD. But System 9.2 runs so brisk that I can still use some old scientific programs (DNA analysis, etc.) with it. But the problem is that the OS X 10.1 that came with the iBook is very slow. Also, the airport card can not accept advanced encryption of my wireless router. So here is the question:

Based on the limited RAM and disck space, which version of Mac OS X is best for the old iBook? Is it Jaguar (10.2), Tiger (10.3) or Panther (10.4)? (I know I can not use Leopard 10.5).

Thanks for advice.
     
imitchellg5
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Aug 29, 2008, 08:28 PM
 
Well, Tiger would run decently on it. Based on the HD space, I'd use Panther though. Panther would also have the best performance.

BTW, Tiger is 10.4, Panther is 10.3.
     
powerbooks  (op)
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Aug 29, 2008, 08:59 PM
 
Sorry for the confusion. If 10.3 Panther seems to be the better choice, then the question is: does its Airport support WPA2 Personal encryption for wireless router, or is it the limitation of old Airport card not being the "extreme"? Thanks!
     
Big Mac
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Aug 29, 2008, 09:17 PM
 
Like you thought, it's a limitation of the first generation Airport card. The best OS for that iBook is probably Panther.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
chichow
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Aug 30, 2008, 12:12 AM
 
my friend runs tiger just fine on a g3 900Mhz with also the RAM limitation, but she has a larger hard drive.

but lots and lots of people swear by panther 10.3.9
it was fast and if you don't need the new features, i'd go with that
     
polendo
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Aug 30, 2008, 10:35 AM
 
I used to have Jag and then Tiger on a G3 700mhz 640MB RAM. I would stick with Tiger.. i had left 15GB after office and ilife installed, photos and some music. Ran fine and Tiger felt faster than Jag, but as a whole I always felt the iBook rather slow. Yes OS 9 felt so much faster than Tiger, Jag or whatever.

regards
     
amazing
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Aug 30, 2008, 02:24 PM
 
I run 10.4.11 on a 14" G3 800 iBook, works great. I did update the HD so that I could use it as an iTunes jukebox for my stereo. 640 MB RAM isn't as much of a handicap, provided you quit things not actively running. On broadband, it's surprisingly nimble.

Updating the HD was a cascading event: I bought a 250 GB WD2500BEVE (5400 rpm) from zipzoomfly.com (great price) and put that in my 12" 1.33 PB, where I had been yearning for more HD space. Then, I put the 60 GB HD (4200 rpm) from the 12" PB into the 14" iBook.

Installing the HD in the iBook is simple, provided you're handy with small screws and pay attention to details. You print out 2 copies of the instructions from ifixit.com and scotch tape the various screws to the appropriate location/picture on one of the copies. You use the 2nd copy to be sure you're following in the exact order. If the instructions say to use something like a dental pick to detach a small audio connector, then that's what you do: you don't pull on the wires because that's gonna damage the wires going into the connector and you'll end up without audio.

You can also buy a cheap fw400 case for the extra HD, which'll give you some extra storage.
     
dimmer
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Sep 1, 2008, 06:26 PM
 
I'd say go with 10.4 (Tiger) -- I run that on my Pismo and there's little performance difference between 10.4 and 10.3; and Apple is continuing to provide security updates for 10.4 which I'm not sure if they do for 10.3.
     
tooki
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Sep 1, 2008, 11:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by powerbooks View Post
Sorry for the confusion. If 10.3 Panther seems to be the better choice, then the question is: does its Airport support WPA2 Personal encryption for wireless router, or is it the limitation of old Airport card not being the "extreme"? Thanks!
The card supports it -- I use WPA2 on my 400MHz PowerBook G3 which predates your iBook by a few years. What I don't remember is which OS version added WPA2 support. It was either Panther or Tiger.
     
Eug
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Sep 2, 2008, 08:38 AM
 
I'd suggest Tiger 10.4. It's got very good software support and the speed is reasonable.

However, what I'd really suggest is selling the G3 iBook and buying a G4 iBook. It's way faster. The swap will probably cost you about $100-150, and you'd get a minimum of a 30 GB hard drive with it in the process, without having to take apart the machine. Plus, the G4 iBook would get you USB 2.0. I hate the USB 1.1 limitation of the older iBooks, because using USB pen drives and flash card readers are a royal pain with USB 1.1.
     
powerbooks  (op)
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Sep 4, 2008, 11:45 PM
 
Thanks for all the helps and suggestions!

I eventually installed 10.3 Panther. The iBook G3 runs okay, still very slow compared to OS 9, or Leopard on my MBP. Still it works fine with WPA wireless encryption which is what I need. I guess it would run another year before retiring.

I did consider iBook G4, but with the first generation MB price approaching similar range, I guess that the Intel upgrade may make better sense next year. Thanks again!
     
Eug
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Sep 5, 2008, 07:07 AM
 
MacBook prices around here are roughly 150-200% the price of G4 iBooks. In fact, I just bought a G4 800 iBook for CAD$300 with wireless and 1.12 GB RAM, and just sold a 1st gen MacBook for $750 with 2 GB RAM and a 100 GB hard drive.

Admittedly I got the G4 iBook cheap, but I sold the MacBook for about the average going rate around here.
     
ginoledesma
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Sep 6, 2008, 02:55 AM
 
Tiger (10.4) will at least get you Safari 2.0-3.0, which brings in vast performance improvements over Safari 1.1.3 on Panther (10.3). If you're using the iBook for web surfing mostly, you'll probably squeeze out more performance with Tiger.

Firefox 2/3 works similarly in both OSs, and with FlashBlock or some other similar plugin, you'll be able to surf most websites without Flash bogging it down too much.
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 6, 2008, 03:30 AM
 
I've used Tiger on a 800 MHz G3 iBook for a long time an was very happy with it.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
amazing
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Sep 6, 2008, 11:26 AM
 
Online with broadband, the main thing my iBook G3/800 has trouble with is watching movie trailers: very choppy and unwatchable.
     
Eug
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Sep 6, 2008, 11:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by amazing View Post
Online with broadband, the main thing my iBook G3/800 has trouble with is watching movie trailers: very choppy and unwatchable.
What format?

The G3 is painfully underpowered for H.264, and isn't very good for other formats either. Altivec on the G4 makes a humungous difference.


Originally Posted by ginoledesma View Post
Tiger (10.4) will at least get you Safari 2.0-3.0, which brings in vast performance improvements over Safari 1.1.3 on Panther (10.3).
Good point. Safari 2 is way faster than Safari 1. I do wonder how much of that improvement is dependent on Altivec though.
     
Andrew Stephens
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Sep 8, 2008, 01:28 PM
 
My dad runs 10.4.11 on his 640Mb G3 700 and it's fine. Things like skype are beginning to drop off the end of the pier though since it needs a faster proc than the machine has and this will only get worse for other apps.

Overall 10.3 is marginally faster but the benefits of 10.4, SAFA 2, better support etc more than outweigh that IMHO
     
   
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