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Confused about OS-X variants

Last response: in Mac Os X
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June 17, 2010 4:01:27 PM

Ok, I’m very new to the Apple world. I had a G4 ibook a while back but didn’t do anything more than surf the net on it.

I picked up a B&W PowerMac G3 450MHz to tinker with.

I bumped it up to an 80gb 7200rpm hard drive and 1gb RAM. Also put a CDRW/DVD in it though I'm reading I need the decorder daughter board for my Rage 128 to watch DVDs.

I’ve read the newest I can install is 10.4 as 10.5 dropped support for the G3.

I’m looking at them on ebay but see many say ibook only or imac only. I can’t find one that says it’ll work with a PowerMac.

Am I not understanding something here?

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June 17, 2010 5:15:57 PM

When Apple moved over to Intel chips everything had to be reprogrammed to work on the new architecture. There was a transition period where Apple were putting in an extra software layer to emulate old PowerPC code to the new Intel CPUs, but a point will always come when you just complete that transition and stop supporting older tech.

I have an old G3 Ruby iMac that runs OSX 10.2 (Panther), a friend of mine has the same one in Graphite that runs 10.4 (Tiger). I THINK Tiger is the last version of OSX to support PowerPC-based hardware.

PowerMac is the name for the old PowerPC-based systems, but there's never been a version of OSX that's restricted to a specific type of Apple computer, like an iBook Edition.

Nonetheless I believe you're right in saying 10.4 is as recent as you can go.
June 17, 2010 5:22:48 PM

So -any- OSX 10.4 install disk will work? Even branded "ibook G4" or something like that?
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June 17, 2010 5:28:06 PM

As far as I know yeah - the branding on the disc is probably what came with the original computer.

Might be an idea to hop on to some proper Mac forums and ask them first though.
June 17, 2010 7:38:32 PM

The last version of OS X to support PPC was 10.5 (Leopard). The only version that doesn't support PPC machines is 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

This is not to say that all PPC machines will run Leopard, but some - such as my Mac Mini - certainly will. I'd say you need a minimum of 1GB RAM for Leopard. Tiger runs fine on 512MB.
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