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Ask Max: Should I upgrade my PowerBook OS, or reinstall a fresh OS?

Asked on 02/24/2009:


I purchased a PowerBook G4 from you last April and am very pleased with it. However I now have requirements to upgrade from my current OS X.3.9 to OS X.4. This machine has the 500MHz PowerPC G4 processor and 512 MB SDRAM.

So my specific question is: Will there be any significant problems installing and running the X.4 upgrades available on CD rom from numerous sources for $120 to $140? - or - Will it be better for me to remove the current OS and reinstall a new OS X.4 ($200-$220)?

If you would like to review the specifications of my book, they may be in your company database under my name.

Thank You,



The Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger upgrade path is a decent way to go when upgrading your 10.3 Mac computer. I personally will want a full retail disk around so that I can Archive and Install, without downgrading and then updating again, but it is not essential. Save your money and get a Upgrade OS X CD set, instead of a full version. PowerMax used to sell those but we have long since run out (probably due to our significantly lower prices, compared to what you are listing).

Hope that helps,

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