Home > Mac OS X > Tiger Lives Up To Hype Tiger Lives Up To Hype Thom Holwerda 2005-07-10 Mac OS X 38 Comments Most reviews of Tiger were conducted on fairly new and fast Macs. This article, however, focuses on running it on a low-end Mac. And, to the reviewer’s surprise, it runs ok. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 38 Comments 2005-07-10 12:14 pm I was unimpressed with the Mac mini until I installed Tiger on it. And the mini was dramatically faster, smoother, and more reliable. Tiger is the first of the OS X line that I have felt really good about. It has been refined and it has important features — Spotlight, Dashboard. These two features are polished and nice to use. I am *very very very very* much looking forward to seeing Mac OS X on modern Intel architectures. It will be very easy to move to Mac, including all the data, and the speed upgrade of Intel vs. SlowerPC will be fabulous. 2005-07-10 12:18 pm Thom Holwerda You actually like dashboard? Well, to each his own, but to me it was a huge resource hog that I never even used anyway. I downloaded a small app that disables Dashboard alltogether, drastically freeing up memory. 2005-07-10 1:08 pm You are aware that it uses no resources until activated, right? Even then, if widget developers follow Apple’s guidelines, they only use resources when Dashboard is activated or when they are brought into focus. The only stock widget which seems contrary is the world clock, which still only uses resources while Dashboard is activated. If you never use the widgets anyway, the only thing that disabling Dashboard does is free up space on the dock. 2005-07-10 1:59 pm Thom Holwerda You are aware that it uses no resources until activated, right? […] If you never use the widgets anyway, the only thing that disabling Dashboard does is free up space on the dock. The problem is, as soon as you have activated Dashboard *once*, there is no way you can turn it off without the use of external scripts (or rebooting, which takes too long). And when Dashboard is running, visible or not, it eats resources as if it’s a bag of chips. And the more widgets you have activated, the more resources they obviously eat. Even when *not* visible, most widgets use a lot of memory. By using the blocker, Dashboard is truly and completely disabled, and I have no way in turning it on without re-enabling it in the blocker app. Apple should have provided that functionality out-of-the-box. 2005-07-10 5:48 pm get some more ram damn it 2005-07-11 7:36 am Apple rarely offers a “on/off” switch for annoying features, like dropshadows, zooming windows, genie-effects and all that eyecandy. 2005-07-10 1:57 pm kaiwai Well, I use it all the time, especially when converting currencies and measurements; the language translator works really well. So, it depends on what you need I suppose. 2005-07-10 1:05 pm Jedd … with Yellow Dog Linux =) Just kidding (actually it does fly with YDL), but I agree the mini is waaay faster with Tiger, especailly with dashboard disabled. 😀 2005-07-10 1:43 pm David Kuhn “This idea of an annual OS upgrade may seem foreign to Windows users, given that they have been using Windows XP since 2001 and the next version of Windows, codenamed Longhorn, will not ship until next year.” I recall many Mac VS Windows Arguments with peers about how you had to “update” Windows every few years for $99. Funny, no one has brought this up since Mac OS X came along. At $129.99, I hope it runs “ok” . I’d be good with “ok” if it was a free upgrade. “But I have to warn you, Tiger does not include most of the Apple iLife software: iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto, GarageBand. Only iTunes is included. Luckily, there’s a workaround, instead of doing a clean installation, you need to choose upgrade when you install Tiger. This way, you can still use your old iLife programs.” Eh? When does any clean install save your old apps? or did he not say iLife wouldn’t install with a clean install? 2005-07-10 2:25 pm Arcanum-XIII Well, with MacOS X update before Tiger you get the new version of Ilife. With Tiger it isn’t anymore the case, you have to buy your Ilife suite… or get back the old one. 2005-07-10 4:40 pm David Kuhn I see, I always thought iLife not included in any OS X release as a default. 2005-07-10 2:57 pm Panther didn’t come with iLife apps either. However, iLife apps were included with Jaguar – but that was before they were even known as iLife and sold commercially by Apple. 2005-07-10 3:15 pm well i have tiger on even older mac, a G3 imacDV 400mhz and 1Gb of ram and i can’t detect any slow down, compared to panther, dashboard isn’t fast niether is expose but it all runs ok. roger 2005-07-10 5:02 pm what slow down were you excpecting ? 2005-07-10 5:22 pm Sabon My guess is that you don’t have enough RAM to run Dashboard. You probably only have 256mb of RAM. Up it to at least 512 or better yet 1GB of RAM and then tell us that Dashboard slows down your Mac. 2005-07-10 5:30 pm Thom Holwerda I *have* 512 MB RAM ( http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/3607/shot2kb.png ). And yes, I’m still telling you that Dashboard *will* slow down your Mac. You might *accept* that slowdown because you find Dashboard *useful*, but seeing that I don’t find it useful, I’m not accepting that slowdown. Saying that Dashboard will not slowdown a Mac is flawed. There is *something* running and that requires memory (I’ve seen Dashboard eat mroe than 200MB of system memory here) and to a lesser extent processor power. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a sign of zealotry to say that Dashboard does *not* affect system performance *at all* on a 512MB Mac. 2005-07-11 12:16 pm You’ve answered your own question there…You’re saying that Dashboard doesn’t slow down your Mac, if you upgrade your RAM. Therefore you are saying that yes it does slow down your Mac, but you can circumvent this by upgrading the RAM. So Dashboard does slow down Macs. Luckily 10.4.2 contains many Dashboard improvements, one of which is memory management. Matt 2005-07-10 5:25 pm Sabon “Well, with MacOS X update before Tiger you get the new version of Ilife. With Tiger it isn’t anymore the case, you have to buy your Ilife suite… or get back the old one.” iLife NEVER came with Mac OS X. NEVER. There were a few apps that were free downloads but it never came with Mac OS X. 2005-07-10 7:36 pm David Kuhn That is what I thought, but I also don’t have an Apple. 2005-07-10 5:56 pm itinerant Funny, I installed a recent version of Tiger on my G3 Pismo this weekend, it was slow enough before that I’d left it languishing…Its quick enough to notice the difference (vs 10.3.9) 2005-07-10 6:07 pm Rodrigo Sorry if this is slightly OT, but I would like to know if it’s still worthy buying a Mac Mini now, despite the fact that Apple will abandond the PPC architecture in a year. I’ve been thinking about trying a Mac for a while, and the Mini seemed the perfect opportunity for it, but now I’m not so sure. If only the prices dropped due to the change.. 2005-07-10 6:22 pm Arcanum-XIII Get one The architecture change will take lot of time. You’re still gonna get PPC version of your apps in 2 year and more – of course it will not be cutting edge, but nice and cool. 2005-07-11 4:26 am henrikmk Waiting for the Mactels is no argument right now. Those are still so far away, it’s just not worth waiting a full 12-18 months for that hardware. I just bought a Mini and it’s bar none the coolest computer I’ve owned or used. 🙂 Contrary to my 2.6 Ghz Celeron PC next to it, the Mini is actually useful for video editing, plus the Mac runs circles around it, despite the much slower hardware. Tiger is amazingly fast, when you take in account how much work it does. It’s not lightweight, but a real testament to excellent programming. Get it with 1 GB RAM as minimum for the bext experience. 2005-07-10 7:58 pm I have the black Panther 10.3.0 install CDs. iPhoto, iMovie, etc are all part of the basic install. Somewhere around 10.3.5, Apple released iLife, and stopped bundling those applications with Panther. I don’t know what to tell you…they’re right there checked off in the Customize menu of the Panther installer. 2005-07-10 8:36 pm danny Controlling the dashboard. Sometimes you just don’t want it around. Make Dashboard go away defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES Make Dashboard come back defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean NO You have to restart the Dock to have this take effect killall Dock The terminal is your friend. -danny 2005-07-10 9:20 pm iLife comes with all Macs not OS X. If you need to reinstall it after a clean update it is as easy as chucking in the first restore CD and pressing install bundled apps, if you want even more control you can customise this or use a Pacifist – http://www.charlessoft.com/ Just don’t expect Apple to give you iLife 05 if you only have 04 etc. 2005-07-10 9:22 pm oops – when I say restore CD I mean the restore CD that came with your Mac originally not your copy of new copy of Tiger. 2005-07-10 10:08 pm Tyr. Yep, especially on the mini the Dash just takes up to much memory. For cli-jockies here’s the command to disable it without downloading a wimpy gui : $ defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES It disables Dashboard for the current user only. For detailed instructions on turning off spotlight go here : http://rixstep.com/2/20050528,00.html Aaah, lean and mean ! 2005-07-11 12:42 am Celerate Just curious, I saw the other question about whether it would be worthwhile to get a mini now or not, and I’m curious if 2 years is the longest one can safely assume the thing will still be able to run new software releases. With the fat binaries I was assuming that the PPC architecture was going to be supported for a long time yet, at least 5 years to be honest. I don’t think I could get a Mac for at least a month, but when I do I would like to make sure the investment will last a long time since its a big one considering my paycheck. I am wondering if in that case it wouldn’t be wiser to wait until the early Mactels are released. Does anyone know when the first ones are going to show up? Having heard some questionable information about Apple’s track record, would it be a good idea to be one of those early adopters of the first Mactel machines, or would I be better off getting a PCC based Mac or waiting and getting one of the later Mactel ones? Thanks. 2005-07-11 2:26 am kaiwai Well, the fact remains that the first Mactel minis wouldn’t probabkly arrive for another 1 1/2 years; the fact remains, coupled that with the fact that x86 native applications will take some time to appear on the shelves (online and at shops), I’d say its a safe beat to purchase a Mac now; with that being said, you’re better off purchasing a iMac or PowerMac, you’re simply wasting your time with a mini-Mac, the processor is too slow, the hard disk is sluggish, and the memory expandability makes me ROFL. In regards to a ‘shelf life’, for a mini-Mac, you’re looking at 2 years *MAX* before it becomes completely usless; spend the extra money now on a G5, and it will be secure for atleast 3-4 years, without any problems. 2005-07-11 2:48 am There’s lots of talk here about dashboard taking up reasources, but has anyone else noticed that Safari 2.0 has a HUGE memory leak. After a day of use it’s up to 500 megs. Hooray for Firefox! 2005-07-11 6:33 am I upgraded my Imac flat panel 800mhz from 256mb and OS 10.1 to 768mb and Tiger and let me tell you it was like a hardware upgrade. I had some misgivings about Tiger and Dashboard and everything I’d read, but damn it was worth the upgrade. 2005-07-11 7:30 am Rodrigo I upgraded my Imac flat panel 800mhz from 256mb and OS 10.1 to 768mb and Tiger and let me tell you it was like a hardware upgrade Well, it _was_ a hardware upgrade, right? If you really wanna know how much the improvemente was due to Tiger, you should have tried with the previous amount of RAM. I agree with the guy above too, 1 GB of RAM sounds insane for an “introductory” computer. 512MB maybe, but 1Gb? No way. 2005-07-11 9:01 am evangs 512 MB for an introductory computer was considered insane some time ago. Let’s face it, as technology progresses, the minimum requirements always go up. The Mac Mini will run fine with 512 MB of RAM. However, due to the way OS X uses RAM as a disk cache (see all the inactive, used memory), getting more RAM is always a good thing since the OS can use it to speed up the user experience. 2005-07-11 9:53 am henrikmk I agree with the guy above too, 1 GB of RAM sounds insane for an “introductory” computer. 512MB maybe, but 1Gb? No way. Well, 1 GB RAM isn’t necessary, but the way OSX works makes you want it anyway. It’s different from Windows where you might not experience any speed gains when going above 768 MB – 1 GB RAM. OSX caches everything so there will be differences between 512 MB RAM and 1 GB RAM, but also with 1 GB, 2 GB or 4 GB. It’ll simply keep speeding up. It’s even more dramatic if the harddisk is slow, like the 5400 RPM 2.5″ one in the Mini. There are pro and con arguments on getting that much RAM in it, but I noticed my work pattern changed a lot: – I hardly ever reboot – I can run 15-20 programs without experiencing swapping – If it’s asleep, it wakes faster than my CRT display does. – The machine feels like it’s just “there”. No need to wait for it booting, restarting, swapping, etc. I like working that way and I try to use my Windows box that way. It mostly works, except for the fun parts where it takes 15 minutes to wake from hibernation and it runs sour after about 8-10 days. The Mac doesn’t. 2005-07-11 6:58 am “Get it with 1 GB RAM as minimum for the bext experience.” This is the part that scares me. Why in the hell would anybody need that much RAM on a low end machine like the Mac Mini?? That makes no sense. I can’t believe how often I hear people doing this. I thought it was just because they could. It implies either that OS X is a major RAM hog or the hardware itself has to be compensated for with an $100 of RAM. Either way, it’s hardly impressive on the part of Apple. A Gig of RAM should only be necessary for workstations or the most demanding of computer games. 2005-07-11 7:42 am OS X actually IS a RAM hog and there’s nothing we can do about it but get more RAM. Don’t think too much about it, just get more RAM. 2005-07-18 2:38 pm I have just purchased a G5 with 512MB and have to say run safari mail and a couple of others slows my mac RIGHT DOWN. Just waiting for my 1gb stick from Crucial so hopefully the 1.5GB will give it a little kick!