Home > Apple > The Apple alternative; Panther Performance on G3s The Apple alternative; Panther Performance on G3s Eugenia Loli 2003-11-16 Apple 22 Comments Timesofoman site has an Apple article exploring its abilities as an alternative to Windows, while the MacNightOwl site has a report about how well Panther performs on G3s. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 22 Comments 2003-11-16 9:04 pm is how is user input responsiveness? on my 450MHz Cube (832 MB RAM), I tend to keep about 10 apps open pretty much all the time, and sometimes input response is just a total drag, like when changing focus to a new window, it has to redraw the border, all the widgets etc., which can take a noticeable amount of time (under a second, but still). I’m not even bothering to upgrade, I plan on getting a new 15″ PB for graduation so I might as well just wait. 2003-11-16 9:38 pm I do some Mac consulting work and also work on systems for friends. A friend has an iMac that had MacOS 8.5 on it. She wanted to explore the possibility of running MacOSX. I tell her no problem but it may not work and she may need a faster HD and more memory and it still may not work. She purchased a 256MB memory module of which only half that memory was recognized by the iMac. We removed on of her 32MB modules and added the 256MB which was now recognized at 128MB for a total of 160 MB of RAM. Her processor is a G3/333 with a 66MHZ system bus and 6MB of video RAM. Her main apps are AOL client, AOL, Yahoo and MS Messenger. She purchased and I did a custom install of Panther. The machine works well for Internet, chat and basic MS Word. Expose and dock animations all work fine. It is not the fastest thing on the block but it works fine for her purposes and she is very happy. Maybe Apple will make 10.4 run even better on G3s but I expect 10.5 to have little to no G3 optimizations. 2003-11-16 9:50 pm apple really should offer more options to deactivate os-x eye candy to get speedier workflow. would be useful for low-end macs and users who have seen enough of that eye-candy. 2003-11-16 10:04 pm eye-candy! I agree, when I run XP on my virtual PC turning off the eye candy makes it run much better. I used an amiga for years. What I liked about it was the thin gui. 2003-11-16 10:22 pm Being the owner of a 600 MHz G3 iMac, this does look promising. 2003-11-16 11:19 pm of my ibook 700/640mb ram with panther. In fact, I would say jaguar ran dog slow in comparison. Apps launch faster, less beachball, scrolling is better, I can compile programs while watching xvid movies behind a transparent terminal window (thats doing the compiling) while downloading via bit torrent without a noticible frame skip. hell, even I realize what im saying SOUNDS like bullshit, but it isnt. 2003-11-16 11:26 pm I upgraded my 466/320 MB iBook SE to Panther, and I feel that it got a new lease of life. Really. Exposé rocks, and as it was noted on Ars.technica. it is way faster than you expect from Apple Eye Candy, even on a non-Quartz-extreme-machine. You really feel the optimizations done. I have no problem recommending the upgrade to anyone with Panther-capable machines with a bit of RAM. 160 is on the low end, but I also just did an upgrade on an iMac ‘B’ with 160 MB, and it works reasonable. Panther is without doubt the fastest of the 10’s. 2003-11-16 11:58 pm panther is the fastest x, but more control over the gui-fx would be nice anyway. 2003-11-17 12:04 am one of the things about the “eye candy” is that it is part of the user experience, not in prettiness or whatever, but in system notation. It is visual feedback to the user interaction. Some older machines will not be able to handle it, that is the price of advancements – either deal with the less responsive hardare as is, upgrade as much as possible, or upgrade to a newer machine. Those are the choices. 2003-11-17 12:39 am I have two iMac DVs with 320 MB of RAM each and they both run extremly well under Panther. Panther is much faster and much more responsive than all previous version of OS X. Right now I’m running three Classic graphics apps, Safari, and iTunes while scanning in CD covers. I’m surprised at how responsive the system is. 2003-11-17 12:49 am My 1 month old 800mhz g3 ibook with 640mb of ram is pretty snappy! I never have problems with the genie effect running slow or anything. 2003-11-17 1:08 am yes it is lot more responsive i have 2 macs a old imac and the powerbook, the power book being new runs zippy as you’d expect but the imac isn’t so far beind, its lost its stuck in mud feeling it does have 1Gb of ram which does help as osx does like ram! 2003-11-17 1:55 am I installed Panther on my iMac G3 400 with 512MB of RAM. It now seems much faster than my PowerMac G4 400 with 1024MB of RAM. 2003-11-17 4:14 am I have an ibook g3 600 mhz rev 1.. the nice white ones, before they were equppied with more then 8mb of vram.. Panther is better then Laguar. Really spiffy, boot time owns. I have to say i am impressed, although hd thrashes like always, which blows. 2003-11-17 6:22 am Concerning the iMac 333 with the 256MB of RAM that’s only recognized as 128… if that’s the case, then it’s the wrong memory for this iMac or it’s defective. The 333Mhz is perfectly capable of running 512MB of RAM using 2 256MB PC66 144Pin SO-DIMM’s. 2003-11-17 12:49 pm do you work for apple ? – apple is king in *not offering* more gui-prefs. 2003-11-17 2:31 pm I love my ibook. I was sitting next to a person with a P3 600 laptop, his boot time was about 2 minutes, with Windows 98. Mine was about 20 to 30 seconds, full gui and mail, aim running. Everything on his computer lagged, and mine was faster than it had ever been before, which was pretty fast for a G3. I would say that apple as put some work into getting this OSX to work on older models, but they didn’t go back as far as they did last time. I think they are fading out the G3 support, next release has the possiblility of just being a G4 or G5 system, with the G5 version being fully functional 64-bit OS, if not, then the next update after that will be the fading point. If they do leave me behind, I think they have left me with something good and solid, just as long as security updates still come down the line for major things. One happy customer. 2003-11-17 3:21 pm *** Quote *** She purchased a 256MB memory module of which only half that memory was recognized by the iMac. We removed on of her 32MB modules and added the 256MB which was now recognized at 128MB for a total of 160 MB of RAM. *** End Quote *** Au contriare: Go to Apple support and search for the following article: “iMac: When to Install Available Updates” Article ID:58174 Your little iMac simply needs a firmware upgrade. In addition the limit is 2×256 MB modules for a total of 512 MB. The larger modules were generally not available at the time of the writing. (All references to this I’ve seen, seem to get this wrong.) As an owner of a 266 Mhz G3 iMac with half a gig of ram, I can say Panther performance is superb. It is much more responsive than any other machine I’ve ever had save BeOS. There is no disk thrashing with this amount of memory and I tend to leave everything open run multiple accounts and not even shut down the computer at the end of the day. The only really slow thing is launching Mozilla Firebird which is a pig on any system but is fastest (and nicest) in it’s OSX incarnation. Regarding speed, the Exposé feature works brilliantly even though I can’t use Quartz Extreme. Animations are even smoother with the application of the 10.3.1 upgrade released a few days ago. I have not tried to disable any of the “eye candy”, and want to state that all this is not useless, it gives you feedback of your actions as another poster has pointed out. It also does *not* slow the system down. To give you an idea of how well the system works, last night I was viewing a Quicktime movie over the web (modem data rate limited, 5fps) and wondered if Exposé would still work. It did, the movie continued to play in the shrunken window, sound continued without a skip and the animations in various web pages and other applications were visible at the same time. Movie windows played while being dragged as they did when dragging other windows. All without the video or sound skipping. This is an enormously significant accomplishment by Apple. 10.2 ran faster than 10.1, and now 10.3 runs faster than 10.2. In fact, I worked on a friends 10.2 system yesterday and it seems as outmoded as running windows 3.1 compared to the freedom and speed in Panther. This despite the fact that his system is a 1 Ghz Sunflower 17″ iMac with full hardware OpenGL. Oh yes. The search feature in the PDF viewer is *amazing*, I converted a MS Excel document into a 475 page PDF file using the print dialog on OSX. When viewing the PDF file with the built in Preview application in Panther, with your first use of the search window, your document is completely indexed and subsequent searches take under five seconds with no disk activity whatsoever. Amazing. It feels rather like using “Info Select” (“Tornado Notes”) under DOS where the search is done live and is narrowed down with each additional keystroke you type into the search window. Given a proper amount of RAM, Panther will run beautifully on any G3 or G4 iMac. 2003-11-17 3:33 pm There are several “theme changer” apps available to change from the default Aqua theme to something less eye-candy. I switched to a QNX theme and noticed a difference in window movement/resizing and menus popping out. Most other themes use simplistic color patterns for window frames, no more stripes, and that made text a lot easier to read too especially in menus. I couldn’t really tell, but it seemed like there were less transparency effects in windows/menus so that might also help with UI performance. If it’s possible to disable transparency and drop shadow effects it would be a big savings right there. 2003-11-17 4:23 pm Even more fascinating… 41% of Omani’s prefer “Steady Rain” over Thunderstorms or Drizzle. Its good to see such thought provoking queries in the press these days. Much better than CNN insisting college students ask candidates about Macs Vs. PC’s. 2003-11-17 5:36 pm Phanter is really amazing! Even games are faster now… Quake3 is even faster than it was running with OS9. I wonder if the new compiler released by IBM could improve the performance even more… I know it’s aimed at the G5, but I bet it’s better optimizing PPC code than GCC3, even for G3 processors. 😀 2003-11-17 6:21 pm Being an OSNews regular – and an Omani – I must say I had to rub my eyes twice when I read the news source. Eugenia, how on earth did you dig this one up? Alas… it was syndicated.