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Old Jul 23, 2007, 10:10 PM   #1
dschiller
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How (un)usable is an iBook G3?

Hi all

My sister is a PC user, but she saw a Blueberry G3 iBook the other day and now she decided she must have one, coz it looks "cute"

Since I am a Mac user, she asked me to find a decent one for her (price being an issue). I looked on ebay and I found 3 possible units (for about U$150) in fine condition. All of them have 300 MHz G3s, two of them have 288 MB and one has 576 MB of Ram.

She would only be using it for Wireless Internet surfing, but she requires OS X, because "it must have that cute dock thingy" (I was thinking of installing Panther, since I already got some installation CDs not being used). I already have an Aiport card compatible with the G3 iBook. What I want to know is: how slow is this model running OS X? Is Safari use gonna be bearable? Would Expose work?

EDIT: Crucial says a 300MHz G3 iBook only manages 288MB of Ram. Can anyone confirm this? If that's the case, I presume I shouldn't go for the 576Mb one. Am I right?

Thanks in advance
Daniel
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Last edited by dschiller; Jul 23, 2007 at 10:16 PM.
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Old Jul 23, 2007, 10:14 PM   #2
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It's not too bad...I run Tiger on a 500 MHz iBook with 384 MB of RAM. I only use it for web surfing and light word processing. It's certainly not snappy, but web browsing is definitely usable. Exposé functions with a brief hesitation. Of course, a 300 MHz machine will be another step slower, so it would probably be pushing it. My guess would be that it would be livable though.
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Old Jul 23, 2007, 10:23 PM   #3
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I found that my 333mHz Powerbook G3 was getting pretty slow with the internet, so I'd recommend against it. Like my Powerbook, the 300 Mhz blueberry iBook can't run Panther either. This means an older version of Safari and the possibility that with time, it'll become even more of a clunker online.
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Old Jul 23, 2007, 10:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadmonkey View Post
Like my Powerbook, the 300 Mhz blueberry iBook can't run Panther either.
Both of these machines can run Panther as long as you bump the RAM a bit.
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Old Jul 23, 2007, 10:34 PM   #5
Royale w/cheese
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Here are some cheap g3's that can offer a little better OSX performance.

http://www.wegenermedia.com/ibk500.htm
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Old Jul 23, 2007, 10:48 PM   #6
dschiller
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Thanks for the replies!

The problem is, my sister only wants either a Blueberry or a Green Clamshell iBook, but I can't find any of the former that has a processor faster than 300MHz and I can't find any of the later, except for this one, which is in pretty bad condition.

BTW, can anyone confirm a 300MHz iBook can handle 576Mb of Ram?

Any ideas?
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Old Jul 23, 2007, 10:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dschiller View Post
BTW, can anyone confirm a 300MHz iBook can handle 576Mb of Ram?
Yes, they can accept a single 512 MB chip in the single user-accessible slot, so if you get a machine with the 64 MB chip built-in, you can get to 576 MB total.

Keep an eye out for the 466 MHz model in key lime...they are around.
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Old Jul 23, 2007, 11:00 PM   #8
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I would love to own one of those 466MHz Keylime ones or I could settle with the graphite 466MHz. Either way I'd just use it for DVD viewing on trips and websurfing.

Hope you find a good coloured iBook dschiller
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Old Jul 23, 2007, 11:10 PM   #9
Royale w/cheese
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dschiller View Post
...The problem is, my sister only wants either a Blueberry or a Green Clamshell iBook, but I can't find any of the former that has a processor faster than 300MHz and I can't find any of the later...
I just hope that this does not sour her to the efficiency and all around reliability of the mac and OSX. It will definitly not be a speed demon. The best of luck.
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 01:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildCowboy View Post
Both of these machines can run Panther as long as you bump the RAM a bit.
My bad - I meant to say that they can't run Tiger, but I guess I got my big cats confused! In fact, I'm already running Panther on my PB G3. So my original post should have read like this:

Quote:
I found that my 333mHz Powerbook G3 was getting pretty slow with the internet, so I'd recommend against it. Like my Powerbook, the 300 Mhz blueberry iBook can't run Tiger either. This means an older version of Safari and the possibility that with time, it'll become even more of a clunker online.
As joepunk said, try for a Keylime 466mHz - not only are they the fastest of the colored iBooks, but they're delicious too!
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 07:05 PM   #11
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The biggest problem with those clamshell ibooks isn't the slow speed, but rather the poor screen resolution. She will be limited to 800x600, and that will feel very, very cramped, especially when browsing the web. Couple that with the slow processor, hard drive, and limited RAM upgrade capacity, and overall it won't be the most enjoyable experience. Useable yes, but not all that much fun.
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 07:47 PM   #12
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Also, all of the coloured ibooks have only one USB 1.1 port.

Atleast with the 466MHz G3 version you get a firewire port.
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 07:54 PM   #13
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The OP might find the following site useful to inspect the original specifications of the original iBooks.

http://www.apple-history.com/

It's an interesting site even if you're not buying a 7 year old iBook.

HTH
SL
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