Is my iBook “snappier” the after 10.4.5 update?

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Random Thoughts

I just grabbed and installed the 10.4.5 update off Software Update and it seems like the faster processor upgrades from Apple are not just for Mac Book Pro buyers. I may be imagining things, but my G4 iBook/933 seems to have a new lease on life. All of my applications are launching a lot faster. This is especially true on the second launch. I am not an expert, but to me Apple seems to have tweaked the caching a bit. Here is an example of what I noticed… on the first launch of Safari after the update it launched after 4-5 dock bounces, not a big deal. On subsequent launches however, it was up in running in under 2 bounces. AWESOME! The Dashboard exhibits similar behaviour. On the first hit of F12 it still takes a little time for my Widgets to initalize (but they do so about 3 times faster than before) and then on the second hit… BOOM they are there almost instantly. My scrolling everywhere is “like butter”, Expose does its swooshing acrobatics like a jet fighter, iPhoto screams and Spotlight searches are truly instant. It’s like I have a brand new iBook. Can everyone please tell me I am not dreaming. Am I just imagining things? Did Steve give me a virtual processor upgrade? Did some of those OS X for Intel optimization creep over into the PowerPC code? If anyone can enlighten us I would love to hear it, but for now I think this update to Tiger is the best ever.

There are 43 comments on Is my iBook “snappier” the after 10.4.5 update?:

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  1. josh | Feb 14 2006 - 06:33

    I have noticed this too, but afte the update when ever I open iTunes and try to play a movie it crashes

  2. josh | Feb 14 2006 - 06:53

    I have noticed this too, but after the update when ever I open iTunes and try to play a movie it crashes

  3. Charles | Feb 14 2006 - 08:23

    After the update, it only took 3 dock hops for safari to load at first… then I quit and re-launched and it only took 2 dock hops. A bit quicker I would say… 33%.

    I have a very similar setup to you Adam, but my iBook is 1.07GHz… so, uhhh…. yeah… I guess I’m better then you! :-)


  4. Mark Fleser | Feb 14 2006 - 08:08

    Me too on my 1.33 iBook. Dashboard especially is faster.

  5. Luke | Feb 14 2006 - 08:05

    Yep, i’ve definately noticed this. On my 1.42 Ghz Mac Mini, safari launches in one bounce!! Even Photoshop Elements and other more advanced programs seem to start up faster. The whole OS seems a little snappier.

  6. BruceG | Feb 14 2006 - 09:21

    Apparently 10.4.5 has also fixed an audio echo/looping problem encountered by many purchasers of the last G4 15″ and 17″ Dl Powerbooks! (see Apple site Forum under Powerbooks/audio echo-looping problems.)

  7. Kyle | Feb 14 2006 - 09:57


    You were right! Just installed the update on my iBook G4. Wow. This is fantastic!!

  8. WIll | Feb 14 2006 - 09:07

    Hey Adam,
    I have noticed something seems different on my iBook as well. However, I would like to know what some other features of this update are as well.

  9. Justin F | Feb 14 2006 - 09:21

    Either you are getting your own reality distorion field and casting it on us or my mac is running faster because i am noticing the same thing.

  10. overheated | Feb 14 2006 - 10:18


    my powerbook 17″ 1.5ghz with a gig is more snappy. this is not just a percived diffeence either. i will still be replacing it however but it will help tide me over till the macbook pro 17″er’s are announced :). i also haven’t found anything that the update has broken yet / my itune vid’s play fine but time will tell.

  11. Alan | Feb 14 2006 - 10:46

    I have an iBook G4 (late 2004), 1.2 Ghz processor, and noticed that my system has an overall improvement in speed! iCal, itunes, safari, and iChat are fast. This is awesome!


  12. John | Feb 14 2006 - 10:17

    I can’t speak to 10.4.5 being particularly faster but as a person who just went to 10.4.5 from Panther this week, I swear my Powerbook runs cooler. I haven’t heard the fan yet and have worked with a couple of programs that invariably ramped my ‘book up to 142-144 degrees and ran the fan like B17 revving up for takeoff.

  13. Rod | Feb 15 2006 - 08:28

    I went to use ichat and twice it crashed after the update. I sent off the report when asked. Pb G4 1gig 1.5 I do however notice a speed bump throughout the system.

  14. Christopher | Feb 15 2006 - 08:34

    I was noticing a similar effect on my 1.2 G4 12″ iBook as well. Glad it’s not just my imagination. Definitely seems a tad snappier.

    It seems like with most OS X updates, my iBook gets faster. With each Windoze update, my PC gets more bogged down. I have no hard data to back that up, just a gut feeling from use.


  15. JJB | Feb 15 2006 - 08:12

    Power Book G4 My system takes forever to boot-up????

  16. Victor | Feb 15 2006 - 08:16

    Good catch, Adam. I’ve noticed it too on my 1.42ghz iBook. But if we’re experiencing this on our G4 iBooks, just imagine whats happening on the new MacBook Pro’s! They must be on warp drive! I was with you on waiting till next year (or this fall) to trade-in my iBook for an MBP, but I’m not so sure now (especially with the just announced processor upgrades).

  17. quicksilver | Feb 15 2006 - 09:02

    I have an ibook G3 500MHz 384RAM and I see a bit of difference, not much though. If there is anybody left out there with G3s , how is the update workin for you?

  18. Brandon Ferioli | Feb 15 2006 - 09:34

    I hadn’t really paid much attention, but you’re right! My iBook G4 (1 GHz, 512 MB, 30 GB) runs considerably faster now. Also, “overheated”, do you mean to tell me that you are replacing your 17″ PowerBook?! If so, are you going to sell it, I’d love to get my hands on it! -Brandon Ferioli (

  19. Morpheus | Feb 15 2006 - 10:31

    Wow Weeeeee … It’s pretty fast on PowerBook G4 1 GB RAM….

  20. C H Morrison | Feb 15 2006 - 04:41

    I have a G3 600mhz iBook 384 ram and it provides some snappier aspects here too. I can watch the InsideMAC TV video podcast smoothly without having to shrink the main itunes window in the background and shutdown all other apps. Still can’t watch videos downloaded from the itunes store without interuptions to the video display…although I now pick up more frames then before. VintageGeek

  21. Mr Nice | Feb 15 2006 - 04:07

    My iMac G5 is running nice and fast,Safari seems to have had quite a boost iphoto too.

  22. Allen | Feb 15 2006 - 04:53

    I think it’s about time I upgrade from 10.3.9. I have been holding off upgrading to 10.4 with all the fix after bug fix.

  23. John | Feb 15 2006 - 06:33

    I have just updated my ibook G3 500Mhz with 640MB of ram,
    the update was only 6.4MB but it installed fast. However, the rebooting took alot longer than before, now i have to say that my ibook G3 did not receive a boost from the update, safara still bounces 4 times in the dock.

  24. Anonymous | Feb 15 2006 - 07:01

    Adobe Acrobat 7 Professional is ready to go after just 3 bounces in the dock. Generally took a little less than a minute to launch prior to installing the Mac OS X 10.4.5 update.

    Using an iBook G4 (12″ 1.2 GHz, Late 2004) with 768 MB RAM and a 60 GB hard drive.

  25. cfsporn | Feb 15 2006 - 08:11

    WOW!!! My PowerBook is running like a dream now. It is running faster, cooler. And if that wasn’t enough, the battery is longer. Adam, your experiences with 10.4.5 are shared with me. It looks like I no longer have to buy a ram upgrade! I am running on a PowerBook G4 DL with 512 MB of DDR-2 RAM.

  26. Tanner | Feb 15 2006 - 10:38

    wow, its all true, Apple mustve been all our Valentines. lol. but i heard my fan kick in for the first time in my life owningm y PB AND ITS Ssoo slient.

  27. keydin | Feb 16 2006 - 12:42

    I am running a power mac g4 933 and I am having the same results. Nice and quick!!!

  28. Josiah | Feb 16 2006 - 05:27

    My PowerBook is faster ,but I can’t play mpeg4 video…

  29. Michael | Feb 16 2006 - 06:29

    I also have a iBook G4 933 and it is noticably quicker launching applications. Way to go Apple.

  30. Scott Bass (mercury7) | Feb 16 2006 - 09:23

    Adam, was this speed increase directly after the 10.4.5 or was it after the ilife update? also, I started asking questions about this over at appleinsider and some one attributed this to removal of the bug code? I don’t even know what that is but thats what he said

  31. Chris | Feb 16 2006 - 09:17

    My PowerBook is much faster but I figured it was because I had disabled Shapeshifter. This is fantastic since I have no plans to upgrade to the MacBook Pro until next year some time. Finally, an OSX upgrade that doesn’t disappoint!

  32. Max Denton | Feb 16 2006 - 10:06

    Hey adam! i think you are right, safari is off to the races after only one bounce, one bounce for iPhoto too (and now only 3secs to load 3400 photos) , iMoive is down to 3, itunes is at 2 with 525 songs. This is all on my imac g5 1.8 with a gig of ram. Oh and system preference used to take a couple of bounces, now it is off even before the first bounce!

    Well there ya have it. My review: 10.4.5 rocks! i think 10.5 is on its way if they are rolling out the updates this fast. Look and panther right after we got to 10.3.9 tiger was here!

    PS i think it is really funny that we are bench marking our systems in bounces

    IN Christ


  33. Michael | Feb 16 2006 - 01:58

    Just as an fyi. My increase in speed was before the iLife update.

  34. Alex Santos | Feb 16 2006 - 03:54

    emac 1GHz note on 10.4.5 update

    Yes it is snappier. Spotlight is finally faster (I have a 250GB drive)

    iBook 800

    Spotlight is faster here too!

    Yes I only checked Spotlight and opening apps

    Opening apps is faster.

    Duodock – not much has changed. Duodock is a very old 68030 for those of you who don’t know.

  35. Ash | Feb 17 2006 - 03:09

    One annoying thing after the update, for me at least, is that when coping files to an external usb drive I just get the spinning beach ball of death instead of the file transfer dialog. Files copy fine and the beachball disappears after the copy. Wierd.

  36. scott bass | Feb 17 2006 - 07:47

    ok…so I finally downloaded 10.4.5 and I do see a difference in speed….it definitely seems to be a caching thing though…the first time I open a program then it takes a “normal” amount of time to load….however after closing the programs out, the second time is instantaneous on my 17″ 1.67 powerbook, probably the most drastic is motion, this program has always taken its time opening…now it’s just there instantly….so the speed increase is a memory management enhancement I guess……It also seems like this thread would have been more popular if this was something that seems so dramatic but its not being talked about any where that I can see other than mac cast. kinda weird

  37. solccs | Feb 18 2006 - 04:12

    Well, I think I’m the one with the weakest system to post on this thread and with an iBook G3 special ed graphite 466Mhz 320RAM my machine is much faster at second time application launches. I’d say it’s about nearly twice as fast. Used to take about 11 sec to load iTunes, it now does it in 5 upon the second launch. Mail, too, about half the time, 2-3 instead of 4 bounces. iChat, too, etc.

    It took the iBook a loooong time to restart after the upgrade. This is probably when all the critical changes happen. Following restarts where faster after permission repair, too.

    I was worried my G3 would have to go back to 10.3.8, which is where it ran best, but with this update it can rest in peace in Tiger.
    I promise I won’t go to Leopard….That’s what I said last time about Tiger!

  38. shadow | Feb 18 2006 - 10:31

    Yeah I have notice this speed increase too with my Mac Mini. I have been using it to do some video encoding with mencoder and it was taking about 14 hours per file. After I did the upgrade it was only taking 6 to 7 hours for the videos to encode.

  39. prospervic | Feb 19 2006 - 07:38

    On second thought……has anyone else noticed that this speed-up effect dissapears after you reboot? iTunes is 3 bounces on first launch, 1 on the second. But after a reboot, it’s back to 3 bounces, then 1 bounce on a second launch. This leads me to suspect that the 10.4.5 update has the system working more off RAM.

  40. Chris | Feb 20 2006 - 03:25

    id just like to say, your all on crack… I’ve got an iMac G5 all the bells and whistles, and it is no fater than what i used to be…

    and just as a note applications have always been faster at loading the second time around…

  41. Walafrid | Feb 25 2006 - 04:47

    My iBook 1.2 GHz 12″ does seem to be running a lot snappier since I updated to 10.4.5. Applications are loading with much fewer bounces, and, though it’s hard to quantify, the whole system does seem more responsive.

    And I don’t know if I’m imagining this, but the battery life also seems to be a bit longer. I used to get an average of ~3.5 hours, but now it’s more like 5 hours! If this really is as a result of the update, then well done Apple! My last Windows laptop just got slower and slower with every system update, but my iBook just seems to get better.

  42. Damien | Feb 25 2006 - 08:22

    heh, it’s funny… i’ve read on so many forums people parodying this exact thing. “OMG, after teh update my mac feels much snappier! Up to 30% less DBPL (dock bounces per launch)!!!11!”

    … and it’s soooooo true! This thread confirms it :) Okay, sorry, I just thought it was funny :)