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iPray
Apr 4, 2007, 10:05 AM
So Apple is really playing some crazy mind games on me right now.. Some side information: I am currently a PC user hoping to do a switch to Macs, I am currently a college student, I am aware of Leopard and Santa Rosa being released in the next couple months. So my plan is to wait for Leopard to be released before I purchase a Macbook so I will not have to spend any extra money for software. I am planning to be a refurbished Macbook C2D 2.0GHz low end model then do some aftermarket upgrades on the RAM and HDD.

So now to my real question why I am here.. I found an iBook G4 800MHz for sale locally going for $450. The specs are: Apple iBook G4 800MHz / 640MB / 80GB / Radeon 9200 Mobility 32MB / Aiport Extreme Bluetooth Installed. Included will be a fresh battery and power adapter as well as the installation software. No problems whatsoever. I'm wondering if I should purchase this so I can get a feel of the Mac OS since I'm a new user. How fast will this system run for the usual iTunes, web surfing, chatting, etc..? Is this worth the money or should I ask for a decrease in price (since I am a college student and financially limited)? Or should I just save my money and wait to purchase a Macbook now (before Leopard releases) and use my educational discount to purchase the Leopard OS when it releases?

I'm sorry if this post has been repeated many times, I'm a newbie. Thank you for taking the time to read my post, I hope many of you will reply with your feedback. Thanks again!



cmccarten
Apr 4, 2007, 10:29 AM
Old computer=old screen=probably beginning to dim. (I had an ibook that was newer than that and its screen really got to me).
If you can work up the remaining cash for the entry-level macbook, get it.
800 mhz is manageable, but slow by any means. There are significantly faster iBooks out there....
If you're new to OSX, you will definitely appreciate a faster computer vs an outdated one.
Plus, the iBook might start to struggle if you install leopard on it.

hasah
Apr 4, 2007, 10:57 AM
look, by your own admission, you say ur a financially strapped student. you've got a pc already, so you dont NEED a mac just yet. wait till june when leopard is predicited to be released, dont buy a refurb macbook, and use that extra $450 dollars to buy a NEW leopard+new-iLife equipped macbook pro (hopefully with a blu-ray drive by then) or a higher spec macbook. "Good things come to those who wait"! ;)

biblicalfury
Apr 4, 2007, 10:58 AM
I have almost the exact same iBook, just with a smaller hard drive and without bluetooth.

I just posted a topic about upgrading to a new computer myself. For the things that you mention (websurfing, iTunes, chatting) this computer is fine. Word processing too. It's not a speed demon, but it will handle the tasks. The reason I was thinking of upgrading is that things like converting videos or watching a high def video on my iBook are extremely slow. If doing those things are important to you, I would wait. And if you don't need a laptop, you can a refurbished Mac Mini for about the same price right now.

I haven't noticed much of a problem with the screen diming myself.

Marky_Mark
Apr 5, 2007, 06:03 PM
...I haven't noticed much of a problem with the screen diming myself.

You wlll do when you upgrade; I just got a new MBP, side by side my iBook the difference is startling. Never noticed before but it really is pronounced. Would go as far as to say the MBP is double the brightness, and the whites are REALLY clean.

luminosity
Apr 5, 2007, 06:14 PM
You wlll do when you upgrade; I just got a new MBP, side by side my iBook the difference is startling. Never noticed before but it really is pronounced. Would go as far as to say the MBP is double the brightness, and the whites are REALLY clean.


I could have written that post myself, and I still echo it from recent experience.

DigitalAx
Apr 5, 2007, 06:24 PM
I found an iBook G4 800MHz for sale locally going for $450.

That isn't a good enough deal to justify this, IMHO.

I just finished a lot of research on used Mac prices as I was shopping for one for my girlfriend this week.

Here's what I've found:
iBook: $400-$700
Powerbook: $500-1200
Macbook: $750-1200
MBP: $1,100+

It would make more sense to spend some time and an extra $50-100 and get a powerbook if you really can't wait. For that matter, get a refurbished Macbook for $800 for Apple's online store and then sell it on eBay when you're ready to get a new Mac this summer.

I don't recommend eBay right now for used Macs. There may be a few diamons in the rough, but for the most part the prices are really inflated in comparison to what you'll find on Craigslist and here on the forums.

Cult Follower
Apr 5, 2007, 06:38 PM
I would save my money and wait.

zap2
Apr 5, 2007, 06:44 PM
wait...its not worth the 450, put it towards your MacBook...the iBook might end up give you a bad taste of OS X. Old hardware, running new Apps, possible you'll run into slow downs.

If you want to play around with OS X..go to you local Apple store or get a friends Mac. Its not worth 450 to get used to the OS. If you think you like it after trying out at the Apple store/friend's Mac, then get a MacBook and don't like OS X, you can run XP/Vista/Linux Distro of you choice, until its to old to funtion as your main computer.

booksacool1
Apr 5, 2007, 09:46 PM
+1 to save money and wait
At 800mhz the processor just isn't fast enough for a great OSX experience. In addition to that, 640Mb of ram isn't enough nowadays. My mothers laptop has 512Mb and its constantly hitting the HDD. The rpm of the drive is probably only 4200rpm (judging by previous iBooks). And the ram itself, its probably only SDR with half of it soldered to the Motherboard.

To be honest, the iBook is simply too old. Assuming that your a college student, you will probably want to run word. The long load times and lack of responsiveness will be infuriating.

Try and weather out the wait and put your money to a new machine.

nightsky
Apr 6, 2007, 02:25 PM
Refurb core2duo macbook is gd. I got refurb powerbookG4 like new 15.1" ver5 and it is like new + $for 2gb ram, I love it despite all the cons mac users posted. IMO the newest and fastest is not always best. If you r a computer gamer then maybe u need the fastest. Do u need a work horse or a race car? If u r going to buy refurb research what model laptop was the best in its line and consider what functions it must perform for you.

CmdrLaForge
Apr 6, 2007, 02:59 PM
My personal opinion : get that iBook now. It is a really nice machine and does easily what you want to do. But be aware that once you have that for a while you definitely want a better Mac soon. If that is in half a year or a year - but you will not stay forever on this entry machine. ;)

MacGuffin
Apr 6, 2007, 03:33 PM
No problems whatsoever.

Or so it seems.

With the late iBook models, you're just one sudden logic board failure away from having a useless hunk of white plastic.

I just retired a babied 700mhz iBook G3--plenty fast enough to run OS X Tiger and Spotlight, btw--which succumbed to this well-publicized design defect. Google "ibook logic board" and you'll get an eyeful. When you've seen photos of the lengths people go to keep these troubled laptops running, you'll understand.

Here's the smart play. You don't want an iBook and you don't want one of the first generation MacBooks, either (they have their own set of nasty issues). Don't touch anything pre-MacBook rev 2, and then don't buy it sight unseen, but inspect it carefully. The light-leaking screen or bulging battery case or mooing fan or random shut-downs you avoid may just be your own. ;-)

Get informed or suffer the consequences. OS X is great, but the hardware ranges from good to so-so to poor, depending on the year and model. See: http://www.appledefects.com/wiki/index.php?title=MacBook

bankshot
Apr 6, 2007, 04:42 PM
For the desired tasks (light web surfing, iTunes, email, chat), that iBook is plenty capable. I just recently resurrected my 600 MHz G3 iBook from the dreaded logic board problem (will probably post a thread soon about the resurrection -- how appropriate for this weekend! ;) ). It had been "dead" for exactly a year, and we got a first gen 2 GHz Macbook to replace it last May.

After using the Macbook for almost 11 months, I can say I am pleasantly surprised at how good the iBook still is. I do a lot of web development on the side, and the iBook is just fine for that. Terminal to ssh into the web server, Safari and Camino to check results. It really doesn't feel much slower to me than the Macbook for simple stuff like that. Pretty impressive. The only thing it doesn't do with regards to web development is check pages in Internet Explorer using Parallels.

That said, do be wary of the iBook line in general because of the aforementioned logic board problem. After getting curious, I googled and found a method to "repair" it that worked for me. It's been doing just fine for the last week, but then again, I don't know how long this will last. Given the possibility of that type of failure, I'm not sure if I would spend $450 on a machine like that. If you can get it cheaper, it may still be worthwhile.

CmdrLaForge
Apr 7, 2007, 03:44 AM
I have two iBooks - G3 900 MHz and G4 1.42 GHz. Love both - the G3 had the Logic Board replaced twice. I would stay away from the G3s but I am not aware that the G4 has the same problem. Look on Apples website - they have a Logic Board repair program. It covered my two failures.

But the G4 you mentioned above should be fine. Again - check the Apple Website if it is listed there.

Cheers
LaForge