Apple’s Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger reviewed by experienced Windows user who switched to Mac two years ago

Marcus Kelmon has written a review for of Apple Computer’s Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger “based on version 10.4.2 and is written from the perspective of a mobile user using slightly older hardware, experienced in Windows, and one who must spend much of their time using OS X within a predominantly Windows corporate network. If you believe that Windows is a great OS and that Apple (or Linux) ‘sucks,’ then this probably isn’t for you. However, I will try to be as unbiased as I can… I’m someone who has had enough of Windows XP and decided (about 2-years ago) to try Apple…”

Kelmon’s Pros and Cons of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger:

• Spotlight lets me find stuff again, particularly emails!
• Dashboard has many useful applications available that can be run without cluttering up your main desktop and consume practically no system resources
• Safari RSS is great but a bit addictive
• Preview is much handier tool for quickly sending marked-up PDF documents to people
• Gaming performance appears to have increased
• Jabber support in iChat allows me to use it at work
• Dictionary application is more useful than you’d think

• Spotlight isn’t as fast as I’d hoped on a G4 PowerBook
• System performance seems to have dropped in some areas, such as opening file dialogs
• Automator isn’t as useful for me as I’d hoped
• Dashboard Widgets can be slow to load/refresh
• Cisco VPN Client still pretty rubbish after 4-months
• H.264 codec support in QuickTime makes supporting videos look great but you need a faster CPU than what I’ve got

Full review with reader comments available here.


  1. This is the problem with PowerPC and Apple. They’ve designed an OS that is too slow on currently shipping hardware. Quite embarassing actually if anybody were paying attention. Apple had no choice but to go x86 as unfortunate as it may be.

    If you cannot buy THE LATEST off the shelf PC video cards for Macs you will not succeed in getting a critical mass of people switching to Macs for high-end apps and gaming. The prices are too high if they are available at all.

  2. OH and Spotlight sux by the way. It doesn’t find files that I know exist and it slows the system down. System preferences should have an option to disable.

    Magic Word: Purpose (as in Spotlight serves none)

  3. not true. I run a 500 mhz G3 pismo with 384 MB of RAM on Tiger and it runs great. Way faster in many areas than OS9. People get in this Windows mentality of everything gets slower with a newer OS. Tiger is faster than previous operating systems.

  4. So far, I like what I’m reading. Kelmon seems to be pretty fair-handed with his critique of Tiger. Nice to know that there are people out there who can write fairly about Mac OS (not that I didn’t know that before, but I was at the point where I believed that EVERY PC user LOVED Windows).

  5. i have 1 ghz 17 inch power book with 1gb of ram, and some dialogues take an age to open and sometimes spotlight is slow and widgets can be unresponsive, so in short having a good chunk of ram wont change what he is saying, tiger does sometimes feel slower than 10.3

  6. This is a fair article by Marcus Kelmon as the con’s he lists are mainly in line with the problems of running on older hardware and in my view are minor.

    As for the Cisco VPN client, and I do not use this, is it not down to Cisco to get right?

    Otherwise should Marcus get the chance to try out his same test on a faster Mac his results may differ for the better.

    On the comment section of the full article page where a respondee Kelmon states that OS X cannot natively support multiple desktops I am not sure that is true as each of my Mac’s have dedicated screens, can anyone here set the record straight?

  7. If he’s running an older Powerbook like my TiBook -400ghz- then what will revitalise it is a 7,200 hard drive. With under 1Gb of memory it pretty well flies compared to how it was with the sloooow old drive…

    Disagree with the H264 codec – its fantastic and Spotlight is also almost as quick as my G5 – again the hard drive playing a big part I think.

  8. The problem with the 1ghz aluminum powerbooks is that they shipped initially with 4200 rpm hd’s. I swapped mine out with a 5200 and it was like getting a new computer. I don’t understand why Apple punishes the early adopters like myself by cutting corners to get the price down a few bux. I paid 2200 bux and got a 4200 rpm slow drive to boot from. Wierd. That could be part of the problems he was having. I have 1.5 gig of ram and the system hardly ever uses it all. Right now I’m only using 439 mb and I have photoshop, preview, firefox, vncThing, AIM, iTunes & mail running.

    The Cisco VPN client runs, but it decides seemingly at random when it will run and when the subsytem is not available. I don’t know whose problem that is. Hopefully they’ll get it straight in the next year or two. I’ve been having a Windows user style patience with this app. Thank god it’s the only one. =)

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