Tiger Unleashed: New System Specs Explored

Yesterday Apple announced April 29 will mark the the fifth major release of Mac
OS X - Tiger (10.4). With a new OS comes steeper system requirements, which
means dropping support for older systems.

Here's a capsule look at how each of Apple's hardware lines will be affected by the new built-in FireWire requirement. The previous Mac OS X Panther update also posed a hardware barrier with the requirement of built-in USB.


Original iBooks (300 and 366MHz) are not supported, since they do not have built-in
FireWire. Also of note, all iBooks do no support hardware acceleration of Core
Image and CoreVideo. This means that some interface and other graphics-intense
functions will suffer.


All Slot Loading iMacs, iMac G4 and iMac G5s are supported. The original Bondi iMacs (233, 266 and 333MHz) are not supported by Tiger.

PowerMac G4

All PowerMac G4s are supported, but won't run Core Image unless you have a Core Image-compatible video card, such as the ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 or Radeon 9600 XT.

Blue and White G3 (Power Mac G3)

The Blue and White G3 is supported. The Beige G3 is not supported, and hasn't been since Jaguar (10.2).

PowerBook G4

All PowerBook G4s are supported.

PowerBook G3

Although Apple said the PowerBook G3 FireWire (Bronze PowerBook) is not supported, that statement may have been an oversight, since it does have built-in FireWire ports.


All eMacs are supported in Tiger. However, the eMac does not support Core Image and CoreVideo hardware acceleration.

Mac mini

Mac mini is supported by Tiger, but as with the eMac, does not support Core Image and Core Video hardware acceleration.

General requirements

Other requirements include 256MB of physical RAM (up from 128MB required for Panther), 3GB hard drive space (up from 2GB), 4GB of drive space if you install the Developer Tools (up from 3.5GB in Panther).

Apple also offers a breakdown of the requirement on its web site:
Panther: http://web.archive.org/web/20040401220118/http://www.apple.com/macosx/upgrade/requirements.html
Tiger: http://www.apple.com/macosx/upgrade/requirements.html