College kid iBook question!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by bigpumbaa, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. bigpumbaa macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    #1
    I'm looking for a 12" Apple iBook, and I'm wondering what speed I should get. I'm going to use it mainly for word processing and wireless internet. I already have a pretty hefty Windows notebook, and I just want something small to throw into my backpack to take to class. So obviously I dont think its worth getting a brand new one, what speed should I get? Is 500mhz enough? Is G3 enough? Should I get more speed? I can technically afford a brand new one... but I don't think its worth it for what I'm going to do with it. I just don't want it to chug on webpages and in word processing. HELP!!! :)
     
  2. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #2
    the only thing u might have trouble with is when you load flash sites, especially the newer ones, u might get a stuter here and there
    but for wp and surfing 500 mhz is fine
     
  3. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    #3
    Try to go for a used G4, as the performance is ideal no matter what you plan to do. Judging from experience, no one ever uses their machine for what they claim they will. Everyone says word processing and internet, and then they get upset when they try to do more. G4 would be ideal, but a high end G3 (800-900MHz) will do the trick.
     
  4. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #4
    Coming from a college student, get at least like a 1 ghz G4...

    I mean you think you just need it to word process. But once you get your feet wet in college, you're gonna have a good time and want all your pictures on there in iPhoto. You're also going to want to have a huge music library on there and listen to all your stuff. Then you're going to have safari open. So like... you're going to be multitasking, and they're fun computers. they're not so fun when they get bogged down so it's just a suggestion. I had a 700 mhz G3 w/ 640mb of RAM for a while, and to be honest, with everything that i was just talking about, it felt sluggish. I'm on a 1.2 ghz G4 and it's great now! So I think something in the middle like a slower G4 woudl suit you better.

    -Kevin
     
  5. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #5
    There should be special pricing posted on the Apple store tomorrow (Friday 26th).

    So it might be worth your while to get a discounted new iBook, rather than a used/refurbished one for only marginally less.

    Let us know what you decide.
     
  6. jadam macrumors 6502a

    jadam

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    #6
    I would personally say get a new one with an educational discount. I have a 700mhz G3 ibook, and althought it works well, there are many times where I wish this thing was just a damned bit faster!(maybe I just need more ram, 256mb doesn't seem to be cutting it)

    Plus you want a new laptop with a good battery, there are goign to be many times when you take your laptop to someone elses dorm room and a good battery would help a lot.
     
  7. zen_state macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    #7
    with just 256 on osx even a G5 wouldn't perform that well. get more ram for sure. osx needs 512 at the very least to run decently. max the ram out and it will be the best thing you ever did to your ibook. trust me.
     
  8. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    #8
    Actually, I've made 10.3 run smoothly with 160MB of ram. To state that 256 isn't enough is just preposterous. The claim is that he wants, at least at first, to use internet and word processing. 256MB can handle that perfectly smoothly. Once you start doing other stuff on there, as we all know you will, then invest in a 512 stick. 768MB of ram is most certainly good enough to run many many windows, and exposé between them fairly rapidly. I wouldn't go cracking open Final Cut Pro, but any applications that are not so processor heavy run well.

    The reason a G5 runs rather poorly using 256Mb of ram is that one seldom uses a G5 for processor light applications, or when one does, one tends to run many of them. 256MB is a bottleneck for a machine like a G5, because the processor is capable of performing tasks that would require far more memory. Not only is the iBook in question a G4, but there are power issues to consider. To maintain battery life, most applications being run will not be very intensive. We have a 1.6GHz G5 open at work, used mostly for storing disk images. We also demo a few pieces of software on it occasionally. We've not upgraded the stock 256MB, and it runs fine for what we need from it. It's on the floor, so it doesn't get worked very much. People fiddle a bit, and we use a few pieces of software, but not very much. This is not typical G5 use. It is however, average computer use.
     
  9. ricebag macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    #9
    any computer, more ram

    From a fellow college student,
    I had a G3 500, and it was definitely usable, but I would improve the RAM in it, just as a nice cheap way to get it quite a bit nicer in usability terms. Although I would also recommend getting a G4 (any speed) if you can afford it.

    G4 + enough RAM = sweet.
     
  10. bigpumbaa thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    #10
    Let me shed some light on my current situation. I have a 2.4 ghz P4 laptop thats a friken BRICK. I consider it a highly portable desktop more than anything (and use it as such). I have an iPod and about 12 gigs of music on it (20 gig 3G) used on my PC. I probably wouldn't put my music on the Mac, AND I probably wouldn't use it as a primary computer. This would literally be an always portable computer. iPhoto would probably be used, perhaps some iMovie (seldomly). I want OS X to run smoothly (thats very important to me... OS's running smoothly
    ;)). Will a cheaper, slower iBook run OS X smoothly? Does that change anyone opinions? ;)
     
  11. roadapple macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    #11
    simple, get the best machine that fits your budget.
     
  12. Poeben macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    #12
    I have a 900Mhz G3 iBook with 640MB ram. I use it primarily for what you mention--word processing, web, email, wireless internet. It works ok for these tasks, but I do tend to push it really hard at times, i.e. 16 track digital recording, flash designing, photoshop---NOT the best idea but still chugs through. In the long run, I would definately recommend getting a faster G4 with a good amount of ram. The G3's max out at 640MB, while the new G4's max out around 1.25GB. (correct?) No doubt a fast G3 would meet your needs, but IMO get the fastest one you can along with a lot of ram.
     
  13. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #13
    Amazon discount

    Amazon has the 12" iBook for $999 with a $100 rebate. I think that's better than the educational pricing at Apple.com (the cheapest one doesn't have Airport Extreme built-in.)
     
  14. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #14
    I'll put it bluntly: you're wrong.

    Regardless of the processor speed, OS X will run much faster on any computer with 512 MB RAM when compared to 256. It's not an issue of processor speed, it's an issue of virtual memory. OS X has to do a LOT of page-swapping to run when there's 256 MB of RAM. This slows the computer down considerably, as the hard disk is much slower than RAM. This happens because with extremely limited resources, there's not enough RAM for all active threads to keep their instructions and data loaded in RAM. Bump it up, and pageins and pageouts only have to happen when switching between threads. That's a big deal.

    The moral of the story is that having 256 MB RAM is a performance hit for OS X on ANY system, whether a G3, G4, or G5. That's not to say that 256 MB isn't going to work fine, but it's the bare minimum, and a notable improvement in performance will be noted with an upgrade to 512 MB or more.
     
  15. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    #15
    He's right you know :p ... It's one thing getting OS X to work on 128/190/<512 but OS X doesn't perform as well as it shoult. Although I survived on 128 for many years using OS X, once I upgraded it was like I had a new iBook.

    I wouldn't recommend the 500mhz iBook... they had lots of video problems and regardless of this, they aren't speedy gonsalos. I'd say 800mhz G3/G4 you'll find for only a littler more on eBay.
     
  16. Leareth macrumors 68000

    Leareth

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #16
    I have had my G3 700mhz for a couple of years now and it is still great for school stuff, max out the RAM and you wont have any problems with the basic apps. And if you get the Cd-Rom model your battery will last longer.
    the 12" is super portable, just get a good case for it and an extra adapter to carry around or an extra battery. I am running 10.3.6 on all of my computers just fine. Actually I noticed a speed boost on four of them when I upgraded from Jaguar. Get a G3 they are more battery efficient than G4's which you are not going to use the power of anyways.
     
  17. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #17
    No. Some people just think that smoothly means when you click a program, it opens relatively soon.
    That's just silly speculation without any grounds as to how you feel people use computers. "processor light" eh? You think iTunes, MS Office, and Safari are processor light?
     
  18. dsharits macrumors 68000

    dsharits

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Location:
    The People's Republic of America
    #18
    Nope. The Apple Educational Discount is exactly the same ($899).
    Not true either. All of the second rev. iBooks come with AirPort Extreme built in. ( I know, because I just got one! :D )

    Daniel
     
  19. zen_state macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    #19
    I guess your mind operates in bizarro world because everything you claim is false. read above for the many that think the same way. ram in the end is what really makes or breaks a system. fact.
     
  20. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #20
    Hmmm

    You're like the mom who watches her son marching in the band on the field, and then turns to the person next to her and comments.

    "Gee! Just look at that. Everyone is marching out of time except my son!"
     
  21. bigpumbaa thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    #21
    So taking all this input into account... would this be a good choice and good price?

    iBook G3 12" 600MHz 256MB/20GB/CD-ROM Reseller Refurbished @ $499 (expercom.com)

    Regardless, this purchase is going to have to wait until after Christmas. I've been talking to my parents (I'm home for Thanksgiving right now) and I think for Christmas they might give me a little cash to help me out with the purchase. Anyways, give me some feedback on that and thanks... you guys are really awesome! :)
     
  22. Leareth macrumors 68000

    Leareth

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #22
    Not a really good deal, you can get one like that for about $350 at a used mac store and even lower on Ebay.
    Does it even come with an airport card? Cause that will set you back another $100
    and the RAM needs to be upgraded
    I can tell you from other peoples experience, the 600mhz's tend to have problems either with the logic board or the optical drive, every one I know who has one has had at least one of these problems, but hey on one of my G3 iBooks the logic board went three times and apple replaced the iBook with a brand new G4 one.
     
  23. jadam macrumors 6502a

    jadam

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    #23

    Time to get my logic board broken for the fourth time!
     

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