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Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 21, 2009, 10:08 PM
Hello everybody,

I've got a Mac mini now, but I'm tired of being tethered to my desk so I've decided to buy an iBook. There's just one problem; I'm not sure if I should get a G3 or a G4.

Here's what I'll be doing:

1. Web browsing

2. I've got some music I'd like to put on there, but it isn't necessary

3. Stuff in iWork like spreadsheets, Keynote presentations, and pretty basic word processing

4. Email

5. iChat

It is also worth noting that I'd really like to run Tiger on the thing, so I'd be up to date.

I've also got an app that some of you may remember, HyperCard, that I love and I really want to run on this.

Any suggestions would be great!



txnoob
Mar 21, 2009, 10:11 PM
Hello everybody,

I've got a Mac mini now, but I'm tired of being tethered to my desk so I've decided to buy an iBook. There's just one problem; I'm not sure if I should get a G3 or a G4.

Here's what I'll be doing:

1. Web browsing

2. I've got some music I'd like to put on there, but it isn't necessary

3. Stuff in iWork like spreadsheets, Keynote presentations, and pretty basic word processing

4. Email

5. iChat

It is also worth noting that I'd really like to run Tiger on the thing, so I'd be up to date.

I've also got an app that some of you may remember, HyperCard, that I love and I really want to run on this.

Any suggestions would be great!

I'm sure the experienced ones will want to know your price point....

SkyBell
Mar 21, 2009, 10:16 PM
In most cases, I would say go for the iBook G3 since it's powerful enough to do everything you want, and would be cheaper then a G4.

However, the line of white iBook G3's is known for their horrible reliability and graphics problems. Something like 70% of the machines are affected by them/ You could get a 500 MHz iBook G3 which had a much lower rate of these problems, but I'm not sure you'd be happy with the speed. (If you think you would though, then by all means, get one.)

So, I'm going to have to say go with the G4. If you do though, make sure it's at least the 1 GHz model, as the 800 MHz was known to also suffer from the G3's problems.

So to sum it up, either get the 500 MHz iBook G3, or a 1 GHz (or faster) iBook G4.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 21, 2009, 10:17 PM
Forgot that. I'm looking to spend no more that about $250 on this. The only thing it needs to have is AirPort and an OK sized HDD (~40 GB).

zap2
Mar 21, 2009, 10:20 PM
I'd highly suggest a G4...my G4 iBook holds up quite well with 10.5 on it!

I'm not sure prices for them, but the extra speed with a G4 would be well worth it(if you want to use 10.5)

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 21, 2009, 10:28 PM
Running 10.5 seems like the thing to do. I just looked on ebay, and Tiger is going for ~$100, with ~11 hr left! Just looked a PB G3s; they're not even close to what I need.

What specs should I look for?

mcavjame
Mar 21, 2009, 10:33 PM
We use G3 ibooks at work for student presentations with Keynote. It is painful with the waiting sometimes.

However, that may be due to the fact that the lab has new(ish) imac 2.66 machines, and I have a Mac Pro at home. By comparison the G3 seems so slooooowwwww.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 21, 2009, 10:38 PM
Waiting how? To switch slides, to launch, what?

zorahk
Mar 21, 2009, 10:38 PM
Correct answer is neither


PPC SUCKS.

zap2
Mar 21, 2009, 10:41 PM
If you're going to run 10.5, you really need to have a G4(although G3 can be hacked to work, I believe)


If I were you, I'd put as much cash towards a higher clock speed for the laptop, and worry about RAM(and HDD) later...you can always upgrade those, CPU tends to near impossibe

zap2
Mar 21, 2009, 10:44 PM
Correct answer is neither


PPC SUCKS.

How is that helpful?

If you'd like to start a thread about PPC vs x86 both in theory of what the architecture can do and in practice with how the companies making them preformed, feel free!

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 21, 2009, 10:51 PM
PPC SUCKS.

Not only is that untrue, but the way I see Apple's transition to Intel chips is this:

They gave in to the big-guy, like the corner store closing due to Wal-Mart. PPC is what made Apple special. The only thing I know of that runs a PPC chip now is the XBox 360 and the Wii.

On the other hand, It was an OK move because now Apple's got really fast MacBooks and a nearly 3.0 GHz MacPro (why is the operating frequency lower?).

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 21, 2009, 10:53 PM
If I were you, I'd put as much cash towards a higher clock speed for the laptop, and worry about RAM(and HDD) later...you can always upgrade those, CPU tends to near impossibe

That's a good idea. What type of RAM (I've got 1 GB worth of SO-DIMM RAM left over from a Mac mini upgrade) and what HDD port do they have?

SkyBell
Mar 21, 2009, 11:22 PM
That's a good idea. What type of RAM (I've got 1 GB worth of SO-DIMM RAM left over from a Mac mini upgrade) and what HDD port do they have?

I'm too lazy to do it for you, but you can find out at apple-history.net

Personally, I'd go for a 1.2 GHz G4. You can probably find one for $300-350.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 21, 2009, 11:29 PM
~$300 is great. Where would I find one?

SkyBell
Mar 21, 2009, 11:35 PM
~$300 is great. Where would I find one?

eBay, probably.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 21, 2009, 11:38 PM
I'll check that out.

if anyone else has ideas I'm open to suggestions.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 21, 2009, 11:41 PM
They look pretty good on ebay.

So... If I were to buy one of these things, obviously I'd run Leopard. So would you recommend just the OS or the Mac OS X Box?

mcavjame
Mar 21, 2009, 11:43 PM
Waiting how? To switch slides, to launch, what?

Start up is slow, which is compounded by the fact that the school machines are networked, so the authentication process is slow.

Application start up is slow, but once you get running it's not bad. You are limited on certain animations for sure, but it gets the job done.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 21, 2009, 11:45 PM
I see. It looks like I'll be going for a G4 then.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 21, 2009, 11:47 PM
I know that the PPC processors, especially the G5s, get pretty hot. Will heat be an issue i.e. marks on my legs? (I don't really care, but it's nice to know)

SkyBell
Mar 21, 2009, 11:55 PM
I know that the PPC processors, especially the G5s, get pretty hot. Will heat be an issue i.e. marks on my legs? (I don't really care, but it's nice to know)

My iBook G4 is pretty good as far as heat goes. It can get uncomfortable on the legs when converting video and other processor intensive things, but it's pretty good overall.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 12:01 AM
That's great then, I guess.

Are these rugged? Like can they take some bumping on tables and furniture and maybe a fall from the lap?

txnoob
Mar 22, 2009, 12:17 AM
Correct answer is neither


PPC SUCKS.

My Mac Mini is barely faster (however still noticeably) than my eMac 1.25GHz PPC for Browsing, Word Processing, Email , etc. So iWork would be faster, it would still be quite functional on the eMac. Hence why I've been using it for a year, still use it, and will continue to use it. It runs on par with my single core P4 2.8 windows machine. That PC is only 2.5 years old, the eMac PPC is almost 5 years old with slower ram, slower drive interface, slower bus speed, etc. My son has a G4 Power Mac 1ghz and again, w/ 10.5 it's great for basic tasks too. Find me a 8 year old PC at 1GHz w/ 1GB of Ram running Vista Home Premium as smoothly as th e PowerMac runs Leopard. Not going to happen, cuz I happen to to have a PIII 1ghz machine and tried it for giggles because it was the minimum specs.

But then again, the OP asked for G3 v. G4 comparison.....

So just because it's old, and you think it sucks, doesn't mean it doesn't still serve some people's needs.

chuckcalo
Mar 22, 2009, 12:22 AM
You might want to get a G4 refurbished from TigerDirect for $419.99. Here's the link:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4505598&CatId=4360

And if you're too lazy to check the specifications, here they are:

Display Type: XGA TFT LCD


Screen Size: 12"


Maximum Resolution: 1024 x 768


Memory Type: DDR


Memory Size: 512MB


Memory Speed: PC133


Memory Slots (Total): 2


Memory Slots (Filled): 1


Memory Slots (Available): 1


Capacity: 40GB


Hard Drives Included: 1x 40GB


Drive Types: Hard Drive


Hard Drive Speed: 5400 RPM


Lifestyle: Home & Student


Condition: Refurbished


Operating Systems: Mac OS X10


Platform: Notebook PC


Processor Brand: PowerPC


Processor Type: Single-Core


Processor Speed: 1.33GHz


Processor Number: 1.5


GPU/VPU: ATI MOBILITY RADEON 9200


Video Memory: 32MB


Optical Drive Type: DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive


Audio Description: Integrated Audio


Audio Channels: 2


Audio Output: 1 - Headphone output port


Integrated Microphone: N/A


USB Ports: 2


FireWire Ports: 1


LAN Ports: 1


Modem Ports: 1


Audio Out Jacks: 1


Communications Description: Integrated LAN
Integrated Modem
Integrated Wireless LAN


Data Transfer Rate: 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN


Protocols: V.92
802.11b
802.11g


Buttons: 1


Keyboard Type: Standard Size


Battery Type: Lithium-ion


Battery Life: N/A


Specification Notes: [7] To provide the most accurate specifications, the specifications listed are based upon the manufacturer's exact model specification as published on the manufacturer's website, and a confirmation against product samples.


Color: White

michael.lauden
Mar 22, 2009, 12:27 AM
is it just me or would some people like all the answers handed to them?

i'd rather spend an hour researching than ask on a forum and wait an hour for it to be handed to me.

i can understand asking the differences between model.. and i'm not trying to be a meanie here but i've seen a lot of threads lately and it'd just disheartening

txnoob
Mar 22, 2009, 12:49 AM
is it just me or would some people like all the answers handed to them?

i'd rather spend an hour researching than ask on a forum and wait an hour for it to be handed to me.

i can understand asking the differences between model.. and i'm not trying to be a meanie here but i've seen a lot of threads lately and it'd just disheartening

It would drive me nuts. However there have been times where I've had no other resource. Like when I was having trouble with a PPC linux install.

I'm kinda new here so I can't really say much, but I'm not new to forums. One of the most common questions we get on a pistol forum I belong to is "I'm considering Brand A, Model Z or Brand B, Model X. Which is better?"
Both quality, both serve the same purpose, each have a few minor advantages. "Which is better" is impossible to answer since it would all be subjective to the buyers individual needs and tastes. Not exactly the same scenario, but I get your point.

And to the OP, no disrespect. I know sometimes people are hesitant about Ebay and want to know if there's a "special place" to buy used Macs. Ebay or craigslist probably your best bet. I know Mac of all Trades and Power Max sells used Macs.

California
Mar 22, 2009, 12:51 AM
Getting the last ibook g4s made is the only way to go.

Bluetooth 2.0 plus EDR

Sudden Motion sensor

USB 2.0

Airport extreme.

Scrolling trackpad only on the g4 12" 1.33ghz and g4 1.42ghz 14".

Plus they have 512mb ram built in and can take 1.5 gigs of ram, better than any of the previous iBooks.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 10:37 AM
That looks pretty good. Mainly because you know what you are getting and it is refurbished.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 10:44 AM
I'll look for a 1.33 then. Did they all come with that (airport, Bluetooth)?

QCassidy352
Mar 22, 2009, 10:54 AM
Getting the last ibook g4s made is the only way to go.

Bluetooth 2.0 plus EDR

Sudden Motion sensor

USB 2.0

Airport extreme.

Scrolling trackpad only on the g4 12" 1.33ghz and g4 1.42ghz 14".

Plus they have 512mb ram built in and can take 1.5 gigs of ram, better than any of the previous iBooks.

I agree. Not having the scrolling trackpad would drive me crazy, even if not for the rest of what you list. Plus the last ibooks had a radeon 9550. Obviously still very old by today's standards, but a very nice step up from the 9200 in the previous generation.

I'll look for a 1.33 then. Did they all come with that (airport, Bluetooth)?

Yes, all that was standard by that time.

Dustman
Mar 22, 2009, 10:55 AM
I'll look for a 1.33 then. Did they all come with that (airport, Bluetooth)?

Yes :)

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 11:02 AM
That's great. I don't really care about the graphics performace, but if the 9550 could be had for about the same price, obviously, I'd get the 9550.

I saw a picture of one and it looks like it has a Display Port. Is that true? Or can I find one with a DVI or a VGA output?

instaxgirl
Mar 22, 2009, 11:06 AM
That's great then, I guess.

Are these rugged? Like can they take some bumping on tables and furniture and maybe a fall from the lap?

Hell yes. I accidentally dropped mine onto the table at uni a few weeks ago (for some reason I was standing up with it :confused:). All my friends jumped, I didn't even flinch. I take mine into uni pretty much everyday and there's been a few times when the bag it's been in's accidentally got walloped off the wall of the bus, I've dropped it a couple of times as well etc etc

I'm running last rev 1.33 G4 12" with 1.5GB ram with Leopard running fast on it :) And I also recommend G4 over G3, G3's were way too problematic

chuckcalo
Mar 22, 2009, 11:06 AM
Seriously if I knew about that deal from TigerDirect I posted few hours ago, I wouldn't had bought a netbook. Kind of pisses me off now.

According to this: http://support.apple.com/kb/SP43 they come with Bluetooth.

Airforcekid
Mar 22, 2009, 11:11 AM
I used iMovie HD fine and had a good collection of songs on iTunes. 700MZH never kept it because I have newer macbooks.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 11:32 AM
Knowing that these will run iMovie is great, because I definitely plan on bringing it on vacation.

From the specs on TigerDirect, it looks like my RAM will work with it.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 11:40 AM
I saw on the kb article that there was a 14'' as well. Would it be better to get the 14''? I don't really care about the SuperDrive that much, because I can just burn DVDs from my mini, but would the faster processor be a better thing in reality, and does the 14'' screen look bigger?

marold280
Mar 22, 2009, 11:50 AM
I had an ibook g3 for about 6 months and it was fabulous.
If you want one of those then go for the top of the range 900mhz version.
it comes with about 256mb ram and an airport card.
It was the last one apple made before bringing out the G4 .
A G4 would be a hell of a lot faster. more ram etc. Plus the hard drive would be bigger.
G3's will only be around 200 now . bargain

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 11:59 AM
As much as I'd like to save some $ by getting the G3, it won't run Leopard, someone said that Keynote was pretty terrible on it, it likely won't iMovie well.

Although, I could get a copy of Tiger, but that is just as expensive as Leopard.

mkrishnan
Mar 22, 2009, 12:08 PM
I saw a picture of one and it looks like it has a Display Port. Is that true? Or can I find one with a DVI or a VGA output?

You're still talking an iBook G4, right? All of them have mini-VGA ports on them. They came with a mini-VGA to VGA adapter one could use to plug them into a VGA device, and one could also buy a video adapter (SD) that would provide S-Video and composite signals. DVI isn't an option unless one were talking about a device that accepted an analog (DVI-A) signal over the DVI port, in which case one could use a VGA to DVI-A adapter. HDMI and digital DVI (DVI-D) are non-options in any meaningful way.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 12:12 PM
Yup, I was on the G4. So unless I get an iBook with one of those, I'll have to find one. Where would I find one? Does Apple have any?

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 12:14 PM
Just looked on the Apple web site. No results for "mini vga to vga".

mkrishnan
Mar 22, 2009, 12:15 PM
Yup, I was on the G4. So unless I get an iBook with one of those, I'll have to find one. Where would I find one? Does Apple have any?

They're available from a variety of sources....

http://www.google.com/products?q=apple+mini-vga+to+vga+adapter

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 12:16 PM
That's good.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 12:17 PM
I saw on the kb article that there was a 14'' as well. Would it be better to get the 14''? I don't really care about the SuperDrive that much, because I can just burn DVDs from my mini, but would the faster processor be a better thing in reality, and does the 14'' screen look bigger?

What about the 14''?

mkrishnan
Mar 22, 2009, 12:20 PM
What about the 14''?

Of course it "looks bigger." It is bigger. The 14" iBook had the same screen resolution as the 12" one, though. What this means is that you pay a penalty in weight and size for a magnified screen and a slight increase in processor speed. That's a calculus you have to do for yourself. I would not personally get a 14" iBook....

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 12:32 PM
Well I will probably go for the 12'' then. The increase in speed isn't much anyways.

Would it be possible to replace the ComboDrive in a 12'' with a SuperDrive from a 14''?

mkrishnan
Mar 22, 2009, 12:40 PM
Would it be possible to replace the ComboDrive in a 12'' with a SuperDrive from a 14''?

You can, yes -- either using a module from an iBook 14" or from a Powerbook G4, or with another similar module off the net (slot loading ATAPI drive, etc). It's probably in the moderately complicated upgrade realm.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 12:44 PM
That's good. Upgrading computers is a good passtime for me.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 12:50 PM
I read about 30 minutes ago that one can expect ~5 hours of battery life with airport on and the brightness way down. What can I expect from about half brightness and airport on?

mkrishnan
Mar 22, 2009, 01:05 PM
I read about 30 minutes ago that one can expect ~5 hours of battery life with airport on and the brightness way down. What can I expect from about half brightness and airport on?

With a battery in new condition, typically on the order of 3.5-4 hours, or perhaps less if you do computationally intensive things or run the disks a lot. They were pretty good in this regard, with the caveat that minimum brightness (as specified for getting lots of power) was a lot dimmer than it is these days....

One other nicety is that they can easily survive for several days in sleep mode....

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 01:09 PM
Good. 4 hours is plenty for me. The most intensive task I'll likely be doing is working in iMovie.

mkrishnan
Mar 22, 2009, 01:13 PM
Good. 4 hours is plenty for me. The most intensive task I'll likely be doing is working in iMovie.

That sounds nice. Mind you, you won't get any four hours editing in iMovie... You'd get four hours with minimal tasks like editing a Word document and perhaps intermittently surfing the web.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 01:22 PM
I expected that. I would keep plugged in at most times. I think the light on the charger is one of the best things about the iBook. When I go on vacation, we usually take the car. Can you get a car charger for an iBook G4?

mkrishnan
Mar 22, 2009, 02:07 PM
I expected that. I would keep plugged in at most times. I think the light on the charger is one of the best things about the iBook. When I go on vacation, we usually take the car. Can you get a car charger for an iBook G4?

Probably... yes, a quick google search suggests, you can. Alternatively, you may also be able to get an inverter -- I have a small one that plugs into a cigarette lighter and provides two 120VAC plugs. It's not quite so energy efficient, since the car makes AC energy, converts it to DC, the converter converts it back to AC, and then the power supply converts it back to DC, but it is versatile, and the amount of power involved is small anyways....

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 02:19 PM
Looks like you can get them, but they're kind of expensive.

California
Mar 22, 2009, 02:37 PM
Well I will probably go for the 12'' then. The increase in speed isn't much anyways.

Would it be possible to replace the ComboDrive in a 12'' with a SuperDrive from a 14''?

Of course you can upgrade the combo drive in a 1.33" iBook 12" G4.

I've dropped the latest ata superdrives in them and they work great.

You upgrade the hard drive to the biggest ata pata ide laptop hard drive you cn get ... I think they now make a 320gb ata hard drive and you are running great. BTW, the secret on the 12" iBook G4 1.33 is that it really is just as fast as the 1.5gzh 12" Powerbook G4 (also last revision of the line).

This is because the iBook has a maximum ram of 1.5 gbs, while the 12" Powerbook only took 1.25gb of ram in its final outing. The CPU speed doesn't do much, in fact, the 12" Powerbook's logic board is just a slightly overclocked G4 1.33ghz iBook's board.

The only difference besides the case is the ram difference in favor of the iBook and the VGA out instead of DVI on the Powerbook.

You upgrade the G4 iBook and you really have a powerbook with a non dentable case.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 02:38 PM
I just read on the Apple Support Forum that there was a Logic Board problem with the G3s and some G4s. Are a lot of G4s affected by this?

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 03:21 PM
Of course you can upgrade the combo drive in a 1.33" iBook 12" G4.

I've dropped the latest ata superdrives in them and they work great.

You upgrade the hard drive to the biggest ata pata ide laptop hard drive you cn get ... I think they now make a 320gb ata hard drive and you are running great. BTW, the secret on the 12" iBook G4 1.33 is that it really is just as fast as the 1.5gzh 12" Powerbook G4 (also last revision of the line).

This is because the iBook has a maximum ram of 1.5 gbs, while the 12" Powerbook only took 1.25gb of ram in its final outing. The CPU speed doesn't do much, in fact, the 12" Powerbook's logic board is just a slightly overclocked G4 1.33ghz iBook's board.

The only difference besides the case is the ram difference in favor of the iBook and the VGA out instead of DVI on the Powerbook.

You upgrade the G4 iBook and you really have a powerbook with a non dentable case.. So what type of hdd? Ata, pata, what?

California
Mar 22, 2009, 03:51 PM
. So what type of hdd? Ata, pata, what?

Dude, now it is time to do your own research. we've babied you along so far and I already answered the questions.

Let us know what you do with the iBook when you get it. Good luck.

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 22, 2009, 05:29 PM
You're right. So for a wrap up (for now):

The iBook G4 takes an ATA HDD

All of you have been a great help to me!