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View Full Version : iBook G4 vs. Intel C2D Mac Mini




Warstrong
Jan 29, 2008, 03:38 PM
Hi, I love my PowerBook G3 Firewire (a.k.a. Pismo or 2000) but it isn't the zippiest computer ever. So as I find the pismo is more a collector's item than it is a regular laptop I have decided I'm going to try to sell it on eBay. It's got a 500MHz G3, 256MB RAM, 1MB L2 Cache, DVD drive, and an $80 hard drive I installed myself with 80GB. I hope to get about $350 for it?

I have $120 in addition to what I'll get from the pismo.

eBay has dual core mac minis like new or in sealed box with 1GB RAM and everything for $450 and $475. I was first considering an iBook G4. I don't have another laptop to bring between my mom and dad's houses. The advantage of a laptop for me is keeping my data I need with me. I have a portable hard drive but the computers over at the other house aren't totally mine like the ones here. I could always upload everything to a .Mac account but then I couldn't access it from a windows computer?

I guess what it comes down to is the iBook G4 being a computer with a big future ahead of it. If it will run the latest apps and stuff for the next 3-5 years without problems (I don't really do video/music editing, yet, but I am a power user) then I'd be happier with the iBook G4 and then my brand new custom built PC could do windows and osx86 when I finally get that going. If the iBook won't be then I should really just go with the mac mini instead because I'll need a good mac for the future.

well used iBook G4 or Intel dual core mini?
thanks!



Eidorian
Jan 29, 2008, 03:39 PM
Get the Intel Mac mini. It's nearly portable in it's own right on a budget as such.

Virgil-TB2
Jan 29, 2008, 03:47 PM
I don't have a ton of experience with low-end second hand stuff like this, but I am familiar with these products when they were new.

The iBook G4 (are you sure you're not talking about a PowerBook G4?) is definitely *not* a computer "with a future ahead of it." It definitely *won't* run the latest applications. It was considered a bit underpowered even when it was brand new and most of the users that I saw buy it on release, were buying a PowerBook a bit later on as it just "didn't cut it" for them.

That being said the Mini has a similar reputation. :rolleyes:

An intel-based Mini like you describe, with adequate memory running Tiger, could be a useful machine for a long time, so I would go with that. However, I think you're expectations are off in general.

If you don't have much money, then you have no choice, but by no means would either of these machines be advisable for a "power user" (even brand new), and the time frame you expect them to be useable as such is a bit, uh ... optimistic? :)

aross99
Jan 29, 2008, 03:47 PM
The iBook G4 will definately not run things as well as the Mini. I will barely run Leopard...

I feel your pain about not having a laptop, but the iBook G4 is not the way to go. You can get a refurb MacBook for about $950 from Apple, but that is twice what you are going to have cash wise.

I think the Mac Mini would be a good solution, but it's not a laptop. It is fairly portable though. If you had a small bag for it, you could transport is between houses - especially if you aren't going back and forth every day...

As long as you have a monitor, USB keyboard and mouse (not a PC PS-2 style), at both locations you could hookup when you are there.

Kind of a pain, but like you said - you would have all of your stuff, and even more important, you wouldn't have to mess with Windows...

sananda
Jan 29, 2008, 03:52 PM
The iBook G4 will definately not run things as well as the Mini. I will barely run Leopard...



my ibook g4 is running leopard just aswell as it ran tiger (which it came with).

however, i would say it won't have the longevity from this point forward the op is looking for.

QCassidy352
Jan 29, 2008, 03:55 PM
If you don't have much money, then you have no choice, but by no means would either of these machines be advisable for a "power user" (even brand new), and the time frame you expect them to be useable as such is a bit, uh ... optimistic? :)

I agree with this, but do keep in mind that the OP has been using a 7-8 year old Pismo. So apparently he does just fine with less than brand new hardware.

I'd have to say the mini is the better choice. The performance is far beyond that of the ibook, and it will run new software much longer.

Of course, what would be best would be to find a used macbook (still under warranty, hopefully) because that would be the best of both worlds. But it's not going to be as cheap as either of the others.

Warstrong
Jan 30, 2008, 02:13 PM
Well, thanks for all these replies!

I see where all of your points make sense, but even the mention of a macbook makes me wish I had the money for it. I have only been using the Pismo for the last...9 months, and it has been quite nice considering it is a great way to manage some of my data and whatever else you'd imagine a 500MHz G3 being able to do with 256MB RAM. Considering I got this for free from my dad, the last thing I'm going to do is complain.

Anyways, I suppose I could hold off on trading until I have enough money for a used macbook, but only if it's about $150 away from the ibook/mini. I might be afraid to bring the mini with me because it would be shaking around and stuff on the way there (I only go every other Friday and go back on that next Monday, but still...). I've been thinking that maybe I could buy an iBook G4 and then when it's not enough just buy something better that I can afford then? I think the G4 iBook would be enough for my needs considering I'm used to this 500MHz G3 with 256MB...a link to the cheapest macbook you can find and/or benchmarks for comparison of a pismo and ibook would be great! thanks

EDIT: Just so I know, how much would you guys pay for a Pismo with 256MB, an 80GB WD Scorpio hard drive, dvd, 1mb l2 cache, 500Mhz G3, 8MB Video? I'm thinking a starting price of $325 and buy it now of 425...thanks again

California
Jan 31, 2008, 08:57 PM
if you can get a really cheap last revision iBook, go for it. I am running my Powerbook G4 1.5ghz with maxed 1.25gb of ram on Leopard and an upgraded hard drive - and the last rev. iBooks nearly match this.

One thing people forget about the last gen. iBooks, is that they came with 512mb of ram built in and max ram of 1.5gbs.

Drop a faster hd in it and bump up the ram. In fact, I dropped a superdrive in a last rev. iBook plus the hard drive and was very very happy with the results and Leopard is no problem.

just get it cheap.

I think the G4 iBook would be enough for my needs considering I'm used to this 500MHz G3 with 256MB...a link to the cheapest macbook you can find and/or benchmarks for comparison of a pismo and ibook would be great! thanks

EDIT: Just so I know, how much would you guys pay for a Pismo with 256MB, an 80GB WD Scorpio hard drive, dvd, 1mb l2 cache, 500Mhz G3, 8MB Video? I'm thinking a starting price of $325 and buy it now of 425...thanks again


I think you are asking a bit too much for the Pismo. If that's a fast and new Scorpio hd, get a last rev. iBook G4, swap hd's with the Pismo and ask 275 for it. Those Pismos are amazing. You know you can upgrade them to G4 550's right?

SthrnCmfrtr
Jan 31, 2008, 09:00 PM
The G4 iBooks were fantastic. Unless you're wanting to game or do something else really demanding, my opinion is that you'll get more out of the iBook's portability than you would out of the Mac mini's speed.

Warstrong
Feb 2, 2008, 12:27 PM
I think you guys are right. Would it be possible for me to put up two sales for the pismo, one for $275 with the stock hard drive and another for $360 keeping the scorpio drive in there? considering it's a very fast $80 80GB drive I think it's fair...obviously I don't have two but could I post two offers and take down the one that isn't bought? Maybe I should just sell it without the great drive, and get someone to sell their iBook for about 400? I don't know, I feel like 275 might be selling short considering that it was only used for a year or two and then stored away not being used, and THEN dug up earlier this year. My dad got a G4 laptop shortly after this Pismo and didn't look back...So as you can imagine, it's in good condition. The ibooks on eBay for $400 are 800MHz models, so I don't think I can sell the pismo for 275 and have a very good iBook G4. I think I'm going to have to give up the scorpio drive.

iMpathetic
Feb 2, 2008, 12:31 PM
Another vote for the iBook G4. My first computer and I adore it. :D

eRondeau
Feb 2, 2008, 01:09 PM
My 1.0GHz iBook G4 was definitely "snappy" running Jaguar, Panther, and even Tiger. But not so much with Leopard. Actually it kind-of feels perpetually bogged-down. Even moving thru the Dock looks like a 5fps animation. I love my iBook, it's been 100% flawless for over four years. But it's now about four generations old (G4 -> G5 -> Intel Core Duo -> Intel C2D). It is feeling a little tired now. For all the pleasure you will get from it over the years, find the $$$ somewhere and buy a new Macbook. Nice big HD, super fast, beautiful screen, Airport .n and Bluetooth built-in. You won't regret it. :apple:

Warstrong
Feb 5, 2008, 08:59 PM
So I did a little thinking and it seems that my new PC that I JUST built at the very beginning of October is worth about $550 on eBay. That coupled with the sales from my PowerBook and the $120 I have now would result in enough money for a brand new Macbook! Exciting stuff! But would it be worth it to give up the PC (which will have osx86 on it by the end of the week) and also the potential iBook G4 (which would do a lot of what I would want it to do, but soon be too slow, especially with 10.5)?

Is an iBook G4 and new PC greater than an Intel Macbook? I have never had the experience of my own factory computer (nonetheless a mac), and I think I'd get more money when I would go to sell the macbook, right? BTW, the MacBook would remain basic until I could afford to buy the 2GB RAM...thanks!

adamyoshida
Feb 5, 2008, 09:36 PM
Honestly - my advice, based on fairly deep experience:

Don't ever buy used computers. Especially not used Apple laptop computers of recent generations.

Most laptops seem to be designed for planned obslesence. The main exception - the one type of computer which seems to be found kicking around - are IBM ThinkPads.

But Apple? Let's face it. Most Apple laptops of this century (post-Pismo and candy-coloured iBook) have suffered severe reliability issues of one sort or another.

Better a new one, with a warranty. If you buy a two or three year-old G4 iBook there's a decent chance that it will suffer a major hardware failure in less than a year.

Frankly, at your budget, I'd almost recommend that you get a cheap PC laptop.

But, if you're going to sell your PC, then - yeah, get a refurb MacBook. The current generation MacBook/MacBook Pro designs are mature and sound. This is a good time to buy a reliable machine.

Warstrong
Feb 6, 2008, 02:21 PM
I'm more focused on the idea of selling the pc or not in the first place... I am hoping to get osx86 working tonight if possible. When it finally works, if it works as good as it would on an official intel mac then I don't see the reason to buy the macbook over my pc (which can be upgraded endlessly unlike a laptop). I'm a big computer user (averaging about 10+ hours a day, more on weekends), so would it make sense to have ONLY a new macbook? Are the macbooks really good enough to be used as a standalone computer for such a heavy user?