Software Grand Prix On My G3

Okay, so here are the (slightly truncated) system requirements for Office 2004 and iLife ’06, respectively.

Office 2004

  • Processor: G3 (Mac OS X compatible) or higher
  • OS: Mac OS X 10.2.8+
  • Memory 256 MB

iLife ’06

  • Processor: 500MHz G4 or faster, G5, or Core processor
  • OS: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or 10.4.3+
  • Memory: 256 MB (512 MB recommended)
  • Video: 32 MB

So, my PowerBook has a 500 MHz G3 processor, Mac OS X 10.4.5, 512 MB RAM, and an 8 MB video card. For a recent slideshow I created to help my kids memorize words to their program songs, which application do you think ran more smoothly – PowerPoint 2004 (from Office 2004) or Keynote 3 (form iLife ’06)?

If you guessed PowerPoint, you are WRONG.

As long as I used simple transitions, such as appear or dissolve, Keynote transitioned between slides much more smoothly than PowerPoint. We’re talking multiple second delays in PowerPoint whenever I would tap the spacebar to change slides while Keynote was near instantaneous. (Again, I had to watch what I was doing.) Even when editing the slides, Keynote felt slightly snappier.

Look back at the system requirements now. My machine doesn’t even meet iLife’s base specifications while it exceeds Office’s! Try to figure that one out…