Don't laugh, but...iMac G3??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by stevep, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. stevep macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2004
    So, I might have to send my MBP in for a display problem to be fixed. I was thinking of getting an iMac G3 600mHz, 384mB ram, on eBay for around £40 or £50 so I'm not totally computerless for the 3 - 4 weeks, and then using it afterwards to stick all my music and media files on (it'll be hooked up with ethernet).
    1. Is this a totally stupid idea?
    2. I know it will run Tiger, but will it run like treacle?
    3. Anyone remember what size drive these had (seem to remember around 30gB but not sure).
  2. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    It is a nice machine, and if you don't feel like you want it afterwards, there are many uses (computerless people, fishtank etc). I would not reccomend Tiger with those specs, as it is even quite slow with a Core Solo mini...
  3. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    The problem with Tiger on that machine is not so much the CPU as the lack of RAM. If there were twice as much, it would be a lot better.

  4. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    no problem - bust out that G3. Old school my man, old school.
  5. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2003
    RI -> CA -> ME
    mine works

    I have a G3 400mhz and it works great for what you are talking about.
    I am on 10.3.9 and it does not rip CDs quickly, but it works great as a little music/web server.

    Oh, about the hard drive, I think mine was 6GB, but I put in a 40GB.
  6. phuong macrumors 6502a

    Aug 16, 2006
    my cousin is currenly using a G3 and doesn't seem to replace it any soon.
    her reason: it's perfectly functioning.
  7. calculus Guest


    Dec 12, 2005
  8. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    It will work, sort of...!
    The processor is slow, there isn't enough ram, etc. etc. That model came with several different hard drive sizes. And if you are going to install Tiger, remember that the installer is a DVD and the 600MHz iMac only had a CD drive. You can get Tiger on CD, you can do the Firewire Target mode trick. Just be aware that you could put a bit of money into upgrades and still have an old G3!
  9. dpaanlka macrumors 601


    Nov 16, 2004
    The guy that live next to me uses an 600mhz iMac G3 every single day. It runs Tiger and Office and iChat and Safari just fine. He gets plenty of work done and never wanted to do something that it couldn't. It's much faster than his roommate's one year old PC, which is so virus and spyware ridden as to be almost useless. This irony is the butt of many jokes around here.
  10. Reflow macrumors 68000


    Mar 30, 2005
  11. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    You may want to consider Panther rather than Tiger, but otherwise the 600MHz iMacs are still very capable. Try and replace the 128MB DIMM with a 512MB one though. With 768MB RAM you should get quite decent performance out of it.
  12. brokecollegeF04 macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2006
    I have a G3 400mhz iMac that I run a NetBoot Server off of 128MB RAM with panther server.. then in my living room I have a G3 500mhz iMac 384MB/20GB with tiger that I use for basic web surfing and stuff
  13. tdhurst macrumors 68040


    Dec 27, 2003
    Portland, OR

    I've got a music server setup on a 500mhz G3, with 512 ram running Tiger.

    Works great!
  14. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    I have a 350 MHz (well, I've permanently lent it to a friend as his only computer) G3, with 512 MB of RAM and it's great with Tiger! It has a few issues with some of the more graphical side of things, although it never feels sluggish! I'd say go for it and bump up the RAM in the meantime to 512 MB (cost me £60).
  15. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
  16. matd2100 macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2007
    Well... I'm typing this on an iMac DV + 450 with 512MB RAM. Works great on Tiger... and some people will tell you that it's better to run Panther than Tiger because it's faster. Well they're WRONG I used Panther for a year before upgrading to Tiger and Tiger is FAR more responsive, java programs also run a lot faster (so programs like Mercury Messenger are also faster and more responsive). I'd recommend you turn off dashboard though as that gobbles up precious RAM that is needed. Just this week I won a bid for a macbook pro (CD 2GHZ, 2GB ram, 256 graphics) on ebay and I'm expecting it through thursday, and will see how of a difference in speed there will be.

    If you get an iMac G3, IMO it should have at least 512MB of ram if you want to beable to do anything useful with it.

    O yea and my iMac came with 20GB hard drive. But I added 160GB external drive :)
  17. BBC B 32k macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2005
    As I am so lazy/attached to my old comps I have a 450 mhz iMac DVSE running panther. Trots along nice with 348/40. Would like to know what you lot mean by using as a music server. Do you access the music remotely or just hook up the iMac to an amp via the headphone socket?

    Love the G3 imac to bits. It is an icon simple as that. Would be great to have it as a NECCESSARY piece of equipment.

    I was considering putting mine in our (large) entrance hall as a guest terminal.
  18. rknabe macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2007
    Have to agree with the others that Tiger is faster than Panther on this hardware. I bought a G3 iMac 400DV about a year ago ($100 on ebay) to play around with OS X. Started with Panther, then went to Tiger. After the first couple of Tiger updates, it was working much smoother than the more matured Panther.

    Like someone else mentioned, the main bottleneck with this system is in the graphics - not as much hardware support for CoreImage, etc. I found that using Onyx helped much to tweak the GUI settings more than the System Preferences supported. This old box has really surprised me, it is physically in like new condition. It's quiet (wish it were smaller though). I recently ran Keynote '06 and was pleasantly surprised that it could handle 3D transitions like Reflection pretty smoothly. I've been using the ATIAccelator to squeeze an extra 14% of speed out of the GPU and video memory.

    BTW, I'm just waiting on Leopard or a hardware bump to spend my tax refund on an iMac 20", 2GB RAM (thinking of getting 256MB VRAM to support CoreAnimation and 3D stuff better in Leopard).

    (Also, first post for me. Been reading for a couple of months watching for right time to buy and seeing what people are saying about the newest hardware.)
  19. stevep thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2004
    Thanks everyone - I'm still bidding and with my luck there'll be a last minute stampede and my internet connection will die. There seem to be plenty on eBay at the moment though, so another one will come along if I miss this one.
  20. djkny macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2003
    Try craigslist. I got my iMac 500MHZ DV SE w/ 384MB RAM, 30GB HD, Panther, and CD Burner thrown in for $75.

    In fact, I'd go a step further and sell off your MBP. I certainly returned my 15" MBP 2.16 C2D, and got my $1800 back. Thank goodness -- the LCD on it was pathetic for the amount of money spent.

    I've gone vintage ever since and been way more productive. It's not about the latest gadgets and succumbing to the marketing glitz of modern technology; it's about content, what you do with it, what you can produce that counts. My iMac runs beautifully -- MS office, web surfing, music, even watching online videos ...not as bad as I thought.

    Apple ain't foolin' me with their bent-up, latch-loose, uneven illum MBP's ever again.
  21. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    £40-£50 for that machine would be a pretty good deal, in my humble opinion. As others have rightly said though, it could do with a touch more RAM in there. I can't vouch personally for running Tiger but Panther ran very smoothly on my old G3 iMac (500Mhz and 384MB). It was a great little machine and I will admit to missing it a bit sometimes. :eek:
  22. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
    I got the same machine, slightly larger hard drive (upgraded a few years ago). I just recently added 128 MBs more RAM last week, now with 512. It's running Panther, not Tiger, but it's fast with that OS.

    It's a very very usable machine - my parents main unit. Overall, as long as you're not doing anything processor intensive, it'll be fine.
  23. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    I have this exact machine; same CPU, same RAM.

    It was my MAIN machine until last March, when I replaced it with the iMac in my sig (which was, of course, an order of magnitude faster).

    It works well in Tiger, provided you don't try to run too much at once. One program, maybe two, and that's it. As others have said, it's the RAM that slows the thing down, not the CPU. If you can find a cheap source of PC100 or PC133 RAM, I'd up the machine to 1GB and you should be fine.
  24. ricgnzlzcr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    Nothing wrong with one of those imacs. I used a 400 mhz powermac back in November for a few weeks while I was making a purchase for a new computer and it ran just fine. If I didn't lust so much for portability I probably could have kept it as my only computer.
  25. islanders macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2006
    Charleston, SC
    size matters

    That would be too big for me. I have several powerbooks, G3, which work fine with Panther or Tiger.

    These are firewire.

    I picked up a 400 with very little use for $175, and a 500 that was like new for $300.

    I would slap a 7200 TravilStar in for $79. and bump up the ram to 512. Just that would get you though three or four weeks just fine. Then you could tuck it away or use it as a firewire HD, keep using it, or sell it on Ebay.

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