My New Vintage Hardware – Can Leopard be installed on an 800MHz machine?

iMac G4I have a vintage 800MHz iMac G4. There, I’ve said it, and wow, does that sound strange and unpleasant to me. I love my iMac – remember those commercials where it stuck its ‘tongue’ out at the guy on the sidewalk? – and I was very excited to hear, initially, that I could put Leopard on it. For a lot of people, these original-looking iMacs were their first sip of the Apple kool-aid: exciting, different, classy, with a form that looked like nothing else around as well as being ridiculously useful. (Pivoting, tilting monitor – yes please!) The version I have, when it first came out, was the top model for the iMac, and ones like it still command a solid 200 to 400$US on eBay.

So when Apple decided that Leopard would only officially support 867Mhz or higher machines now, I was heartbroken. I’m not alone here, either. The owners of the 800MHz flavors of iBook, PowerMac G4 (Quicksilver and Titanium), and eMac also now are the proud possessors of officially-vintage hardware.  These are not, for the most part, considered to be slow or obsolete machines; granted, they’re not as screamingly fast as the new Macs, but they’re still reliable and steady.

However, I noted that Apple made this decision because the installer ran too slowly, which makes me wonder. Also, earlier dev builds ran on machines like these, if slowly. If I’m willing to let it sit for an hour or so, can I still install Leopard on my iMac? I know I’m not the only one that’ll be wondering, either.