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Thread: Old G4 Running Slow

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Sep 23, 2009
    Old G4 Running Slow
    So I got this old 2000 Power Mac G4 off of Craigslist for my mom and little brother for the sole purpose of web browsing. The problem is that is so awfully slow. The computer was fully restored to factory settings and when I go to Youtube, the video looks like it's a slideshow. Pages take forever to load.

    I do not know anything about computers at all, so besides buying another computer, what should I do to? Any suggestions would be appreciated, here are the specs...

    Machine Name: Power Mac G4 (AGP graphics)
    Machine Model: PowerMac3,1
    CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (2.9)
    Number Of CPUs: 1
    CPU Speed: 500 MHz
    L2 Cache (per CPU): 1 MB
    Memory: 1.5 GB
    Bus Speed: 100 MHz

    Also, the lady I bought if from said that it has a 2 hard drives or something like that. There is are 2 icons on the desktop. One for 10GB hard drive and the other a 30GB hard drive.

    I can't seem to switch to use the 30GB one, it is virtually free of space. The 10GB, which is what the computer is using is half full, could this be the problem? Thanks guys.

  2. #2

    Mac SK's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 20, 2006
    Theres no operating system on the second drive its just for storage. If you double click it and it opens and nothing is there no one has saved any files to it. You can go into the browser and change the cashe and download folder to operate on the second drive. That will speed up the browser. But you have to increase the memory allocated to the app if theses items are on another drive. You need to go throw the first drive and trash stuff you no longer use or need and clear up some space. If you have a start up disc you need to run system utilities.

  3. #3

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    You have to remember that model Gigabit Ethernet is now ten years old which makes it pretty slow. Having said that, it has quite respectable memory and you have not indicated what operating system it has and if the original install discs came with the machine.

    Do as suggested by Mac-SK and install the larger drive in the number one position, purchase a full retail install version of Tiger, OS X.4, which usually comes on a DVD. Most of these models came fitted with a combo driver which will read the DVD, but check that out first.

    Boot with the Tiger disc in the drive, hold down 'C" immediately after the chime, go to Utilities > Disk Utility and run Repair Disk, then go to Erase and format it, and format with Mac OS Extended (Journalled) and insgtall Tiger. Here are the machine specs:-

    Apple Power Macintosh G4 500 (AGP) Specs (Power Mac G4 - AGP - M7629LL/A*) @

    Also updating the graphics display card from the standard Rage Pro will also improve things.

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Sep 23, 2009
    Hey guys, yes, I have all the original discs and it is operating 10.4.11. I will try out your suggestions to see if it works.

    Also here are the specs for the graphics Harryb2448:

    Chipset Model: ATY,Rage128Pro
    Type: Display
    Bus: AGP
    Slot: SLOT-A
    VRAM (Total): 16 MB
    Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
    Device ID: 0x5046
    Revision ID: 0x0000
    ROM Revision: 113-63001-110

  5. #5

    ADKhikerVW's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 18, 2007
    Wilmington, NY
    The problem is that a large chunk of the web now, including YouTube, is very heavy in Flash content. Flash takes a relatively fast processor to work smoothly, and it is not optimized for PowerPC at all. There is probably nothing you can do to improve the performance of Flash based sites, no matter how much you upgrade that system.

  6. #6

    Member Since
    Sep 23, 2009
    hey guys, so i changed the the hard drives and put the operating system on the 30gb one, it's a little faster but the web browser is still slow and choppy. is buying a processor something i could do? if so, what type of processor do u guys recommend?

  7. #7

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    The only processor you can use is a CPU upgrade and they are too dear when you can get a G5 for the price. Here is a link however ~ just hold your breath whilst you look at the prices and a second hand processor from a faster machine will NOT work:-

    Processor Upgrades for your Apple PowerMac G4 AGP Graphics "Sawtooth" 500MHz (1999) at

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