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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac - Watching videos on my 500 MHz G3


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willwinuk

 
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Hi,
I have a iMac G3 500 MHz Flower Power Slot-Loading and 256 mb ram with Mac OS X 10.4.11, it is very laggy trying to watch a xvid avi. Is this down to the ram? as I have heard that 500 MHz should be enough for watching videos.
If so could adding another 512 mb ram be ok?


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hughvane

 
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I think it's more the video card than system RAM or processor. Unfortunately, the ATY Rage 128 Pro (Pro), even the ATY Rage 128 Pro2 (Ultra) with 16 Mb VRAM doesn't do a great job by modern standards. I can't get either .avi or .mov to work at all on my iMac 600 with Panther, but you have Tiger, which means you can install Flip4Mac and Perian. What application are you using to try and view the video? VLC Player is recommended.

Having said that, your iMac would certainly operate better with as much RAM as the machine will take, ie. 1 Gb.
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kahlil88

 
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You're probably better off upgrading to a newer machine. There isn't a lot you can do to improve performance since the video card can't be upgraded. However I do recommend playing the movies with MPlayer instead of VLC.

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willwinuk

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hughvane View Post
I think it's more the video card than system RAM or processor. Unfortunately, the ATY Rage 128 Pro (Pro), even the ATY Rage 128 Pro2 (Ultra) with 16 Mb VRAM doesn't do a great job by modern standards. I can't get either .avi or .mov to work at all on my iMac 600 with Panther, but you have Tiger, which means you can install Flip4Mac and Perian. What application are you using to try and view the video? VLC Player is recommended.

Having said that, your iMac would certainly operate better with as much RAM as the machine will take, ie. 1 Gb.

I have tried the latest VLC and Mplayer (they both just crash and dump out), I have also tried QuickTime 7.6 and the latest RealPlayer (both work but are laggy).
I have Flip4Mac and Perian installed.

UPDATE: I am going to post below the details of my graphics card (from system profiler) as sites say the the Flower Power model had a min vram of 16 mb, however system profiler says vram (total) is 8 mb.

ATY,Rage128Pro:

Chipset Model: ATY,Rage128Pro
Type: Display
Bus: AGP
VRAM (Total): 8 MB
Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
Device ID: 0x5052
Revision ID: 0x0000
ROM Revision: 113-XXXXX-109
Displays:
iMac:
Display Type: CRT
Resolution: 1024 x 768 @ 75 Hz
Depth: 16-bit Color
Core Image: Not Supported
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Quartz Extreme: Not Supported
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hughvane

 
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You have the Pro video card, but not the Pro Ultra (16 Mb). The latter came with the 600 MHz model of iMac.

The lag you're experiencing is a combination of both processor and video speed and, sadly, there's not a lot you can do about that.
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willwinuk

 
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Is there a programs that could help? Like to use hard drive as cache for the VRAM? The lag is only just too much to be watchable.

p.s Is it possible to replace the card to a Pro Ultra (16 Mb)? and if so would that be enough?
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kahlil88

 
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You're really better off selling the iMac (you could probably get $50-100 for it) and buying a faster G4 or newer.

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hughvane

 
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I have to agree with Kahlil, you're basically asking an old(er), underpowered (in modern terms) computer to deal with modern video demands. It just won't work. Nor will using Virtual RAM on the HD, OS X does that automatically anyway.

Flash video may show okay, why don't you try loading a few .flv or .swf (the type used on YouTube); or .wmv, to try them out. Quality isn't great, and they're usually only short(er) clips, but they may work. But you still won't be able to watch genuine .avi, or .mp4 (.mpeg) or .mov movies. Their tech demands exceed what your iMac is capable of providing. Unfortunate, I know, but it's a reality of modern technology.
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Alexis

 
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An old Windows machine I had ran internet videos fine. It had a 16Mb ATI Rage, running on a PCI slot. It's CPU was a 1Ghz Duron and it had 512Mb RAM.

I'd try another 256Mb RAM just in case. Should cost peanuts on ebay.
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The following video runs fine, but hardly anything else, even short things on youtube lags. So why does the video below work ok?

http://movies.apple.com/movies/us/ap...inclients3.mov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexis View Post
An old Windows machine I had ran internet videos fine. It had a 16Mb ATI Rage, running on a PCI slot. It's CPU was a 1Ghz Duron and it had 512Mb RAM.
You have twice as much RAM and twice the processing power .

Quote:
Originally Posted by willwinuk View Post
The following video runs fine, but hardly anything else, even short things on youtube lags.
It's understandable that YouTube lags because Flash is, in my experience, a resource hog. I can see my processor shoot up noticeably in terms of usage on my 2.1 C2D. Try to avoid Flash on that machine.

My guess as to why that video works: it's a QT video, not xvid. There is quite possibly a noticeable difference between the two codecs.

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willwinuk

 
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I'll try some more QuickTime videos from different sites and see how they run.
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