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Best Mac OS X 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, and 10.3 Prices

2012.05.07

Apple has shipped eight major versions of Mac OS X for PowerPC Macs. On this page we track the oldest ones: Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah and 10.1 Puma from 2001, 10.2 Jaguar from 2003, and 10.3 Panther from 2003. We track 10.4 Tiger, 10.5 Leopard (the last PowerPC version), and 10.6 Snow Leopard on separate pages.

All of these versions (10.0 through 10.3) support Classic Mode, which lets you run Mac OS 9.1 or later (it depends on the version of OS X) while running OS X. For prices on Mac OS 9.x, see our Best Classic Mac OS Prices.

If you're using a PowerBook or iBook, we recommend reading What's the Best Mac OS for Your iBook, PowerBook, or MacBook?

System Requirements

Mac OS X Public Beta may be of historical interest to some, but it is not a practical choice. The Public Beta is programmed to expire on May 15, 2001, so the only way to use it is to set your Mac's clock back and not sync to a time server. I'm not aware of any hacks that overcome this obstacle - nor of any reason for doing so.

Mac OS X 10.0 requires 64 MB (128 MB suggested) and 800 MB (1.5 GB suggested) of free hard drive space. It is supported on all G3 Macs except for the original Kanga PowerBook G3. It can be updated to 10.0.4 using free updates from Apple. Not recommended.

Mac OS X 10.1 requires 96 MB (128 MB suggested) and 1.5 GB of free hard drive space. It is supported on all G3 Macs except for the Kanga PowerBook G3. This is the first really usable version of OS X, but very little software is available, so it is not generally recommended. Can be updated to 10.1.5 using free updates from Apple.

Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar requires 128 MB (256 MB suggested). It is supported on all G3 Macs except for the Kanga PowerBook G3. It can be updated to 10.2.8 using free updates from Apple. Jaguar is the oldest version of OS X to support the Safari browser and the oldest version of OS X that we can recommend, although it is dated and has no modern browsers. See Jaguar Info & Links for more on OS X 10.2.

Mac OS X 10.3 Panther requires 128 MB of RAM (256 MB suggested) and suggests a minimum of 1.5 GB (3 GB recommended) of free space on your hard drive. It runs on a G3 iBook, G3 iMac, Blue & White Power Mac G3, PowerBook G3 Lombard, or later. It can be updated to version 10.3.9 using free updates from Apple. Version 10.3.9 includes Safari 1.3.2. Very solid, lots of software, best version of OS X for slower G3 Macs, especially ones with limited memory. Few relatively modern browsers, but Camino 1.6.11 is worth a try. See Panther Info & Links for more on OS X 10.3.

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger requires 256 MB of RAM (512 MB recommended), a G3 CPU, and 3-4 GB of free hard drive space. If you disable Spotlight and Dashboard, you can reduce its memory footprint by about 30 MB, and it will generally run as well on supported G3 Macs as 10.3 if you give it the memory it needs. This is the last version of OS X to support Classic Mode, which is only available on PowerPC Macs. Tiger gives you access to much more up-to-date software than any previous version, including TenFourFox, a port of Firefox 7 for PowerPC Macs running Tiger or Leopard. Recommended - and still in daily use at Low End Mac headquarters. He have a separate price tracker for Tiger.

Low End Mac does not sell software. Please use the links below to order from the vendor of your choice.

Best Mac OS X Prices

Best Mac OS X Server Prices

Be sure to factor in shipping costs and possible sales tax.

Unless otherwise noted, there is no surcharge for credit card purchases and shipping is not included. Vendors are listed in alphabetical order. Be sure to visit their sites for full details.

Prices may be limited to quantity on hand. Not responsible for typos. Please email any corrections or additional sources with competitive prices to Dan Knight

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