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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > Snow Leopard and the PPC iMac

Snow Leopard and the PPC iMac
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Will
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Oct 24, 2008, 07:16 PM
 
After reading great reviews and recommendations on the internet, I cleverly bought one of the last iMac PowerPC 2.1 GHz G 5 less than a month before the Intel iMac came out.

I have now read on the internet that Snow Leopard will not work on PowerPC's. I had not plan on going to it right away like I did when Leopard came out. (I had small but annoying problems with that for several months.)

Will Apple continue to support Leopard with updates, etc.?

If not, should I think about using Linux as on my PC?
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Amorya
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Oct 24, 2008, 07:39 PM
 
I bought one of the last PowerMac G5s, which was released after intel iMacs came out. I love it to bits and it's still going strong.

If Snow Leopard doesn't support PowerPC, I'll use Leopard until I feel a new computer is needed. I don't feel that it is yet, but as soon as I do (and can afford it) I'll get a Mac Pro. Until then, Leopard will serve me well.

Amorya
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Art Vandelay
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Oct 24, 2008, 07:54 PM
 
Apple continues to issue security updates to Tiger. There's no reason to assume they won't continue to do the same with Leopard once Snow Leopard is out.
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Big Mac
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Oct 24, 2008, 08:27 PM
 
There's still a slim chance the final release may be PPC compatible. Slim, very unlikely, 5% chance at most, but there is a chance. Aside from that, Leopard will still receive security updates. Plus, the fact that they decided to call this release Snow Leopard, as if it's a Leopard derivative, implies that even if there were a PPC compatible version it wouldn't differ much at all with Leopard. Many of the new features in SL take advantage of the things Apple is just starting to build into its computers, notably the dual GPUs found in the MBP (and presumably soon to be in the iMac). No Power Mac will benefit from those Snow Leopard exclusives. So even if we can't run it, we probably won't be missing too much. That's my take it.

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Oct 24, 2008, 09:27 PM
 
Why would you go to Linux because of Snow Leopard? It's just speed boosts for Intel. No new features.
     
Will  (op)
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Oct 24, 2008, 11:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Why would you go to Linux because of Snow Leopard? It's just speed boosts for Intel. No new features.
Number one - it is not Microsoft!

Number two - I thought Leopard was going to become obsolete like Windows 98, etc.

Based on the responses, it looks like Apple will continue to support/update Leopard so there won't be any need to put Linux on my iMac.
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Oct 25, 2008, 12:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Why would you go to Linux because of Snow Leopard? It's just speed boosts for Intel. No new features.

Correction. No more bright and shiny user features. There will be plenty of new features to Snow Leopard.
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Oct 25, 2008, 03:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
No Power Mac will benefit from those Snow Leopard exclusives. So even if we can't run it, we probably won't be missing too much. That's my take it.
What? A huge part of Snow Leopard is abstraction of multiple processors/cores so as to allow developers to take advantage of them with ease. Dual-CPU PowerMacs ought to see some benefit here -- obviously not as much as their Intel cousins, but enough.
     
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Oct 25, 2008, 04:33 AM
 
@OP
Why do you think you would have to run Linux on your computer once Snow Leopard is released? If the treatment of Tiger is any indication, you will be supplied with updates until 10.7 is released -- which may be in two years or so! If you run Leopard and you're happy with it, I don't see any reason why you should change OS.
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Oct 25, 2008, 04:21 PM
 
He, I'm still running Tiger on my DP G5 and it works great! But it would be nice to have SL's optimized code on a G5, wouldn't it though?
     
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Oct 25, 2008, 05:35 PM
 
So you were the guy who bought a PPC Mac after Jobs announced the Intel transition... nice to meet you.
     
Will  (op)
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Oct 25, 2008, 08:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
So you were the guy who bought a PPC Mac after Jobs announced the Intel transition... nice to meet you.
Not that dumb. Just unlucky.http://forums.macnn.com/images/smilies/hmmm.gif I bought it maybe a week before the announcement.
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Will  (op)
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Oct 25, 2008, 09:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
@OP
Why do you think you would have to run Linux on your computer once Snow Leopard is released? If the treatment of Tiger is any indication, you will be supplied with updates until 10.7 is released -- which may be in two years or so! If you run Leopard and you're happy with it, I don't see any reason why you should change OS.
No reason at least not maybe two years or so!

I just was concerned my iMac might be obsolete like my old Windoze PC became. I would rather change OS than this computer.
( Last edited by Will; Oct 25, 2008 at 09:16 PM. Reason: incorrect grammar)
Will
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Big Mac
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Oct 25, 2008, 09:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Tomchu View Post
What? A huge part of Snow Leopard is abstraction of multiple processors/cores so as to allow developers to take advantage of them with ease. Dual-CPU PowerMacs ought to see some benefit here -- obviously not as much as their Intel cousins, but enough.
You were responding specifically to my statement that, "no Power Mac will benefit from those Snow Leopard exclusives." The exclusives to which I referred were those features designed to utilize multiple graphics processors like the new MBP has. I did not mean that all the features would be of no benefit.
I just was concerned my iMac might be obsolete like my old Windoze PC became. I would rather change OS than this computer.
The extent to which your iMac might be obsolete will be dictated by how fast you judge your Mac to be (versus how fast you'd prefer it to be for what you do) and how many applications and OS features you'll be missing out on by not having an Intel-based system. If you're happy with the speed and software that's available today for Power Macs, then you'll continue to be satisfied for years to come. I'm satisfied with the speed of my G5 and the amount of software that's available for it. In all honesty you'll probably see a sharp decrease in third-party support for Macs once the OS goes Intel Mac only, but the degree to which your Mac is obsolete will be determined by your own subjective view.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Oct 25, 2008 at 10:10 PM. )

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Oct 25, 2008, 09:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
So you were the guy who bought a PPC Mac after Jobs announced the Intel transition... nice to meet you.
So you think nobody bought a Mac for half a year?
Chuck
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Oct 25, 2008, 10:08 PM
 
In my experience, it's pretty easy to survive on an older MacOS. Honestly, I used 10.3 for my college-level word processing and programming for a few months last year before I moved to a G4 powermac with 10.4 which I still have and serves as a media center. I still get security updates for it and it runs all of the programs that would run decently on the hardware (so the limit is the hardware no the OS).
     
goMac
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Oct 25, 2008, 10:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Will View Post
I have now read on the internet that Snow Leopard will not work on PowerPC's. I had not plan on going to it right away like I did when Leopard came out. (I had small but annoying problems with that for several months.)

Will Apple continue to support Leopard with updates, etc.?
You'll probably be supported until 10.7.

Your computer is almost 4 years old. It wouldn't exactly be unusual to buy a new one at this point or a year from now.

(Oh, less than a month before the Intels came out. Puts you at about 3 years. Not quite as bad. But still your getting close to new computer time.)
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Oct 26, 2008, 04:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Will View Post
I just was concerned my iMac might be obsolete like my old Windoze PC became. I would rather change OS than this computer.
Your computer will become eventually obsolete -- that's an eternal truth
A computer lasts somewhere between 3 and 4 years, 5 if you push it. So in two, three years, it's time to replace your iMac G5 anyway … so why worry about this?
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Big Mac
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Oct 26, 2008, 04:56 AM
 
Of course, that varies from person to person. I held on to my 8600 for 7 years until I was desperate to upgrade. I plan on keeping my G5 as my main workstation for at least 10.

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analogika
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Oct 26, 2008, 05:08 AM
 
The second 10.6 is released, all 10.5 systems will be obsolete. This will be reflected in the fact that they will suddenly become uncool, slow, buggy, and constantly make lewd comments about your children.

I recommend selling your computer NOW before it stops running.

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Chuckit
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Oct 26, 2008, 12:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
The second 10.6 is released, all 10.5 systems will be obsolete.
Closer to the truth than you think. I already find a lot of software that might be useful at work that I can't use because freakin' everything is 10.5-only these days. I understand why — 10.5 has a lot of niceties that make it better to code for — but understanding doesn't make my computer less obsolete.
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Big Mac
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Oct 26, 2008, 12:53 PM
 
Most software I see requires 10.4 or later. It will be a long while before most requires 10.6, IMO.

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analogika
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Oct 26, 2008, 02:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Closer to the truth than you think. I already find a lot of software that might be useful at work that I can't use because freakin' everything is 10.5-only these days. I understand why — 10.5 has a lot of niceties that make it better to code for — but understanding doesn't make my computer less obsolete.
Even if that happens (which it won't for a while for the mainstream user), then the old machine STILL won't suddenly cease doing all the things it was doing wonderfully the past three years.

In fact, it will still be the exact same machine, and still perform admirably all those wonderful things it's been performing admirably since day one.
     
Chuckit
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Oct 26, 2008, 03:05 PM
 
There is no single set of tasks that my computer has done wonderfully for the past three years. When I first got it, it couldn't do much at all. Then I installed software on it and it could do more. More software brought more possibilities. Newer versions of the software brought even more possibilities. Unless you've never installed any software, please stop talking as though it's not something a reasonable person would want to do.
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analogika
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Oct 26, 2008, 04:16 PM
 
Most people I know (customers) actually never bother to install anything that they didn't get right when they bought the machine, unless they have a specific problem - like, say, a new website they've heard of that won't work until someone points them to the appropriate video codec or so.

This is because most users (not you, obviously) seem to have fairly limited needs, and their computer fills a pretty clearly delineated niche in their lives, and usage is unlikely to grow beyond those needs.

Many people are quite worried about future compatibility, but those are generally the people who have been hooked by PC marketing droids for too long, and buying big, ugly boxes with useless upgrade options that they will never use, or whose standards are so obsolete by the time an actual need to upgrade arises that it makes more sense to buy a whole new machine, just like they did last time.

In a nutshell: normal, mainstream iMac and MacBook customers.
     
Chuckit
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Oct 26, 2008, 05:42 PM
 
I don't see how what you said is germane to anything. Yes, there are some people who don't install software on their computers. So what?

Bob: "I'm unable to buy new versions of apps without a new version of the OS that I can't use without getting a new computer. That kind of sucks."

Jack: "Don't worry. If you were somebody else, that wouldn't be a problem!"
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mduell
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Oct 26, 2008, 08:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Will View Post
After reading great reviews and recommendations on the internet, I cleverly bought one of the last iMac PowerPC 2.1 GHz G 5 less than a month before the Intel iMac came out.
Originally Posted by Will View Post
Not that dumb. Just unlucky.http://forums.macnn.com/images/smilies/hmmm.gif I bought it maybe a week before the announcement.
The switch was announced about half a year before the Intel iMac came out.

Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
So you think nobody bought a Mac for half a year?
No, but for a quarter... that was the one quarter in the last 15 where Macs didn't outgrow the PC market.
     
webraider
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Oct 28, 2008, 05:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by Will View Post
Number one - it is not Microsoft!

Number two - I thought Leopard was going to become obsolete like Windows 98, etc.

Based on the responses, it looks like Apple will continue to support/update Leopard so there won't be any need to put Linux on my iMac.
Leopard will not become "obsolete". I can still use OS 10.4 without using Leopard if I want to. What will not help however, is the remaining software that will not support PPC macs. Most of the big titles will, but what encouraged me to upgrade was the shift towards Intel Macs. There is still a part of me that would have loved for Apple to be able to stick with PPC Macs and developed them but that didn't happen. However.. I don't plan on upgrading to "Snow Leopard" until it has been released for a good 6 months. That's usually my standing philosophy on Operating System Upgrades. It just takes that long for drivers to be written or updated, and Software conflicts to be addressed. Leopard will not be obsolete however I would be more concerned about PowerPC becoming Obsolete. I would give Pro-Apps about 2 years before the stop making PowerPC versions.
     
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Oct 28, 2008, 09:51 AM
 
I'm still using my 6+ year old Power Mac with Tiger, and while it's slow, it is functional for surfing, music and many other basic tasks (granted, it's showing the years). I still receive updates to Tiger... so I feel Apple has done a great job at keeping my system up-to-date for all these years (it shipped with OS 9 pre-installed!!!).

The people that always need to have the latest/greatest are the people that usually complain about new OS requirements. I was once like that... but now I'm under the "well, as long as my computer keeps working and has basic updates, I'm happy" camp.
     
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Oct 28, 2008, 10:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Will View Post
If not, should I think about using Linux as on my PC?
OH ABSOLUTELY.. Please switch to Linux right away.. cause Snow Leopard will make all past computers to want to die of shame.. please, save your iMac and switch now before it learns of the future that it cannot handle..

     
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Oct 28, 2008, 12:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Of course, that varies from person to person. I held on to my 8600 for 7 years until I was desperate to upgrade.
I used an Apple IIgs as my main computer for 9 years, from 1987 to 1996, when I got a 7600. That one lasted 6 years, with a QuickSilver G4 purchase in 2002. That one only went for two years before I got a "can't pass this up" good deal on a refurbished original dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5 in 2004.

I plan on keeping my G5 as my main workstation for at least 10.
Looks like the G5 will take me to at least mid-2009 as my main machine, when it will be repurposed as a server for the multiple Macs/PCs in my house. At that point, it will probably be used as a media server for my HTPC hooked up to my TV, my MacBook Pro, whatever Mac Pro replaces the G5, and my Dell that I bought when I started at work.

My iMac from work will probably go to my brother when I'm done with it (as all my computers have done... the chain is generally me-->my brother-->our parents. The exceptions have been my brother's purchase of a MacBook, and our purchasing an Intel Mac mini for our parents... who jumped from a 60 MHz 6100 to a 1.6 GHz Core Solo).

I know you'll be getting a MacBook Pro eventually (despite your never forgiving Apple for the switch to Intel processors), but that doesn't mean I can't relate to how you feel on some level. Just like you're a die hard PPC fan I'm a die hard Apple II fan and I've never forgiven Apple for discontinuing the Apple II line. The IIgs still has a prominent place in my computer room and I'm sure I could easily last a month or so in a "retro computing challenge" were it not for my need to use the iMac at work.
     
lysolman
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Oct 28, 2008, 11:47 PM
 
Call me crazy, but did we figure out yet whether Will bought the iMac G5 a week before the announcement or before the release?

If it was a week before the release, you should have taken it back.

If it was a week before the announcement, you should have taken it back.

Apple probably would have taken it even if you were beyond the return policy. (Pretty lenient from 14-45 days)

I feel sorry for the PMac G5 guys if Snow Leopard isn't Intel/PPC, but I'm ready. I think it's finally time to upgrade the ol' PowerMac G4.
     
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Oct 29, 2008, 03:52 PM
 
There is a time when you look to your Mac and say: - it was a pleasure to have worked with you. But for some Macs that moment seams that will never come. A G5 it's a very advanced system. The only way Apple / Intel make a faster machine was putting a faster clock and faster hard drive. G5 Dual is better than Core 2 Duo at the same clock speed. The community will keep Leopard and Tiger supplyed becouse there are a lot of G5 owners, using it to work! Apple cannot change that. This year was released a new driver for my Epson printer that I bought 8 year ago! Why? Because people keep using it.

Long life to G5! And G4, well, it still will be usefull for web, mail, server, the kids...
     
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Oct 29, 2008, 04:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by gustavopi View Post
There is a time when you look to your Mac and say: - it was a pleasure to have worked with you. But for some Macs that moment seams that will never come. A G5 it's a very advanced system. The only way Apple / Intel make a faster machine was putting a faster clock and faster hard drive. G5 Dual is better than Core 2 Duo at the same clock speed. The community will keep Leopard and Tiger supplyed becouse there are a lot of G5 owners, using it to work! Apple cannot change that. This year was released a new driver for my Epson printer that I bought 8 year ago! Why? Because people keep using it.

Long life to G5! And G4, well, it still will be usefull for web, mail, server, the kids...
The problem with the G5 isn't the clockspeeds... It's the GPU and the number of cores.

Honestly, I think most of Snow Leopard enhancements would be lost on the G5 because the vast majority of G5's are single or dual core. Snow Leopard is about bringing a lot of speed to quad or eight core machines, or even the sixteen core machines that may show up next year.

Compared to those machines, a single or dual core G5 is nothing.
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Oct 29, 2008, 04:15 PM
 
So you're saying most of the SL performance improvements will be lost on almost all of the computers Apple currently sells?

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Oct 30, 2008, 02:51 AM
 
Err, I don't think Apple sells many non-dual core CPU systems... The AppleTV? The MacMini? Hardly "most".
     
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Oct 30, 2008, 03:45 AM
 
Gomac's assertion was that Snow Leopard is of little benefit to "single or dual core" machines, which do indeed make up almost all of Apple's current lineup. Quad-core iMacs and MacBooks aren't expected until partway through next year — though that would coincidentally be right around the same time Snow Leopard is expected.
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Oct 30, 2008, 05:16 AM
 
Snow Leopard will only lay the foundation for future advances and since we don't know exactly what else Snow Leopard does, I think it's a little premature to judge that it's not useful. One thing some Mac users will benefit from is 64 bit support (because of support for more than 4 GB RAM per app, not because 64 bit is `faster' than 32 bit). That's something some users can directly benefit from (Lightroom, for example, is a 64 bit app).

Another benefit for all computers is the alleged smaller memory footprint of the apps.

Although all Macs (with the exception of Apple TV which is not a standalone computer) have at least two cores, Snow Leopard's Grand Central will probably make sense on computer with four or more cores.

However, quad-core mobile cpus will arrive in time for Snow Leopard …
I know it's a bit premature, but Snow Leopard makes me look forward to 10.7 already where the improved foundation is hopefully put to good use.
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Oct 30, 2008, 06:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
So you're saying most of the SL performance improvements will be lost on almost all of the computers Apple currently sells?
Probably many rather than most, but what is objectionable about this? OS X is not going to be 'cutting-edge' forever and Apple needs to lay early foundations for what supersedes it. 10.6 and, to an extent, 10.5 are those foundations. Better for them to be ready for the multi-processor behemoths of tomorrow before they come into existence than to be playing catch-up afterwards, don't you think? The only question is, will 10.6 be a compelling upgrade for any of us with the Macs of today? Possibly not unless Apple prices it right.
     
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Oct 30, 2008, 07:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by lysolman View Post
Call me crazy, but did we figure out yet whether Will bought the iMac G5 a week before the announcement or before the release?

If it was a week before the release, you should have taken it back.

If it was a week before the announcement, you should have taken it back.

Apple probably would have taken it even if you were beyond the return policy. (Pretty lenient from 14-45 days)

I feel sorry for the PMac G5 guys if Snow Leopard isn't Intel/PPC, but I'm ready. I think it's finally time to upgrade the ol' PowerMac G4.
Why, if the OP (or anyone else) purchased the G5 and it fulfilled a need there was little need to return it. I know people who still use G5s (iMac and Mac Pro) to this day and they're quite happy with them. Heck, I know people use G3s and are content as the computer does everything the user wants. If SL doesn't support the PPC platform then those folks won't upgrade to it. won't be the first time that some users choose not to upgrade. I'll bet you now that there's plenty of people still on Tiger.
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Oct 30, 2008, 12:04 PM
 
Agreed, but the OP sounded like he kind of made a goof. That's why I wanted to know.

If he was outside of that period, then he's still got a great computer, but if he was close, there is no reason why he should have kept the iMac G5.

Unless of course someone can give me a reason to keep the G5 over a newly released Intel iMac.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Oct 30, 2008, 03:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by lysolman View Post
Unless of course someone can give me a reason to keep the G5 over a newly released Intel iMac.
Classic.
     
CatOne
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Oct 31, 2008, 11:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Classic.
Classic doesn't run on Leopard. So the whole Leopard/SnowLeopard on a G5 question is fairly moot, given Classic is already dead.
     
Veltliner
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Nov 1, 2008, 04:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Closer to the truth than you think. I already find a lot of software that might be useful at work that I can't use because freakin' everything is 10.5-only these days. I understand why — 10.5 has a lot of niceties that make it better to code for — but understanding doesn't make my computer less obsolete.
Same experience here.

Capture One Pro only runs on Leopard.

Still using Tiger, will skip Leopard, but will get Snow Leopard with the next computer upgrade.
     
Veltliner
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Nov 1, 2008, 04:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by CatOne View Post
Classic doesn't run on Leopard. So the whole Leopard/SnowLeopard on a G5 question is fairly moot, given Classic is already dead.
Should call it "antique" instead of "classic".
     
Spheric Harlot
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Nov 1, 2008, 05:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by CatOne View Post
Classic doesn't run on Leopard. So the whole Leopard/SnowLeopard on a G5 question is fairly moot, given Classic is already dead.
The question was "give me a reason to keep the G5 over a newly released Intel iMac", given that he could have returned it AT THE TIME.

However, AT THE TIME the new Intel iMacs were released, Classic was very much alive, and I know a *lot* of customers ran out and got one of the last G5 iMacs just because of this.
     
   
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