If you’ve been waiting for your older Mac to display QuickTime videos or play games with the same pep as you see in Mac OS 9, your wait may be in vain. A document posted to Apple’s own online Knowledge Base said unequivocally that users of older Macs with slower graphics hardware shouldn’t expect any better performance than what they’re seeing now with Mac OS X.
The document, entitled Mac OS X: Optimizing for Earlier ATI Graphics Accelerators , was updated yesterday. The Knowledge Base article specifies that QuickTime movies an OpenGL-based games may work more slowly than expected when run on certain older Mac models equipped with slower ATI-based graphics chipsets.
It’s been noted by some of these systems that while QuickTime and OpenGL run adequately under Mac OS 9, there does not appear to be the same level of performance available when using the same systems with Mac OS X, even in its most recent incarnations.
Systems affected by this problem include “beige” Power Mac G3 models; iMacs running at 233-333MHz; PowerBook G3 “Wall Street” and “Lombard” models; and the original iBook. All of these computers utilize ATI RAGE II+, IIc, Pro, Pro Turbo, LT Pro or Mobility chip variants.
“Lowering the display color bit depth to thousands improves performance of some movies and applications,” noted Apple.
“Use the latest version of Mac OS X for best overall performance and feature set. Further Mac OS X support for the graphic accelerator chipsets listed above is not planned,” concluded Apple.