How do I get my PowerMac G5 Up to Speed?

What Operating system can I use to update a PowerMac G5 so it can run the standard Flash & Itunes requirements?

Answer

To run the latest version of iTunes (10.4), you would need to have Mac OS X 10.5 or higher. Visit http://www.apple.com/itunes/ to download the latest version of iTunes and/or review system requirements.

The PowerMac G5 meets the minimum requirements from a hardware standpoint. But you will need Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) installed.

That said, Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) is the final version of Mac OS X to support Apple PowerPC hardware. The PowerMac G5 was amongst the last models of Mac computers to use PowerPC processors. In or around 2006, Apple transitioned to using Intel processors which necessitated software developers to rewrite their application code as PowerPC and Intel processors are fundamentally different.

Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and higher will ONLY run on Intel-based Macs. Modern versions of popular software including Adobe's creative applications, Microsoft Office, and just about any other popular product also require an Intel-based Mac to run.

If you own a PowerPC Mac, you're stuck with using older versions of software in almost all cases. iTunes is one exception as Apple is doing everything it can to continue to allow older computers to have access to it. I anticipate that one or two versions down the road, iTunes will become entirely Intel-native as well.

Further, you're stuck with using older Internet browsers and will not be able to upgrade them to the latest versions in almost every (if not all) cases.

As for Flash, the latest version also requires an Intel-based Mac. You can download and or view the system requirements for Flash at the following address: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

However, you can download the final version of Flash Player that supported PowerPC Macs (I believe it's version 9) here: http://www.oldapps.com/flash_player.php?old_flash_player=9 Finger-wag at Adobe for not making the PowerPC version of Flash Player easy to find.

As computers evolve and their performance gets better, web developers continue to update their websites and in many cases, especially in the realm of Flash, they push the limits of modern computing power and leverage the new technologies in today's latest browsers. Expect that even if you do upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and install the most recent version of Flash possible, some sites are simply not going to work or are going to perform less smoothly than intended due to the fact that your hardware is reaching obsolescence.