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G3 iBook's too expensive...why?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Brother Michael, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    I have been looking out on eBay and various online retailers at iBook G3's and noticed that they seem very overpriced. I mean I am seeing 800mhz G3's for only 200-300 less than a brand new iBook.

    Why? Is the G3 model really that comparable to the new iBooks?

    I am looking for a basic laptop, I wanted to get something not too old so that it would have some of todays options on it (a firewire port, wi-fi, semi-large hdd) but not too new (price). I plan on doing basic things like word processing, Aim, internet, perhaps running photoshop/illustrator, but nothing too complex. So I thought I would get a G3 iBook as it can still run Panther, have good battery life, and be a cheaper alternative to buying a brand new computer. But I am shocked to see the prices of them still in the 750-800 range. For that amount I might as well buy a new one from Apple for 200 more (student discount).

    Any idea?

  2. macrumors 6502

    Well A lot of people just like to have the G3 notebooks cuz...

    They are pretty, im not joking here ^^
  3. macrumors 68020

    question fear

    my guess is that its because the g3 ibooks arent that old, so their resale value isnt as depreciated as it is on some of the other types of macs like powermacs, powerbooks, etc.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    I am tight on money at the moment, I had to quit work (unrelated medical problems) and I am college student, however, correct me if I am wrong here...

    You are telling me that if I bite the bullet and drop the money on an iBook G3, that I would be getting a system that is basically current?

  5. macrumors Penryn


    Personally, I think that's a ripoff. You must understand that Macs keep their value better, and so will have a higher resale value later on, but I almost bought an iBook G3 800MHz 1 year and..... 9 months ago (?), and if someone would pay only a few hundred less to get a G3 iBook instead of one of the new iBooks, they're not thinking straight.

    Either that, or some people really want the best they can afford, and they can't afford the extra $200 dollars to get a new one. I say get a G4 iBook because it has Altivec. The G3 doesn't. Nuff said.
  6. macrumors 68030


    He's right. Altivec is going to become very very important in future releases of OS X. It already is important in most major OS X apps like Photoshop and Apple has integrated it into many apps, like iTunes which uses Altivec to speed up encoding.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    yea, yea...in hindsight it seems really foolish to try and save $200 on something like a G3...now if the one I bid on at eBay for 400 goes through well then good enough...

    It really just comes down to this in the end: Do I want to spend what money I have left on a computer...or not? I mean if I buy this thing that's it, I am out of money and next year I may want a better one.

    My school has Macs and I do have a fairly decent PC.

    At anyrate, thanks a lot everyone.

  8. macrumors 68020


    Macs hold their value. I think that's a good thing. And the latest G4 iBooks are only a few months old. You can even buy G3 iBooks new through resellers.

    The useage you've described doesn't require a very powerful computer. If it has to be portable then check out older G3 PowerBooks--Pismos are great. You can probably get one for $400-$500.

    Edit: specified that G3 iBooks are stil available new.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Like what a 500 mhz system? Honestly my biggest concern is hdd space, even with an External Drive (hence the emphasis on a firewire drive), nothing beats having plenty on the actual machine.

  10. macrumors 68020


    Yes, Pismos came in 450 or 500mhz--plenty for what you want to do. You can buy a hard drive up to 80GB for it, if that's important to you.

    If you don't want to pay a lot, you have to be willing to compromise.
  11. macrumors 65816

    If you could cough up the extra few hundred it would be better that way if you decide to sell it in a few years you will get more.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    I'm probably gonna get ripped for this but that's OK, I've got thick skin, I can take it ;-)... Speaking from experience, stay away from the G3 iBooks... They're lemons... Don't pay attention to Apples claims that it is only the ones in the Logic Board Repair program ( which I believe was recently expanded to cover more units)... Those things are ticking time bombs... If it's not your logic board it will be your hard drive, or cd writer or your internal mic... I understand these things are machines & nothing is 100 % perfect all the time, but the G3 iBooks are junk... I paid top dollar for one, & while I still swear by Apple because of my past experiences with their products, I can't in good faith recommend them to ANYONE under ANY circumstances...
    OK, I'm off my soapbox now... lol...
  13. macrumors regular

    400-500 MHz Really Not Fast Enough

    400-500 MHz is really too slow for even basic computing. Unless you are a very patient person who doesn't need a fast computer, you really should be looking at something with a 600 MHz processor minimum. My old iBook G4 800 MHz was great; something with that speed should serve you well for at least a year. I don't know how much of a difference the G3 processor would make, but again, if what you're doing is pretty basic, I'd say go for a 600 MHz G3.

    Mike LaRiviere
  14. macrumors 65816

    I agree with the original poster that G3 iBooks are still a bit high. But, they are coming down in price recently. This is mainly due to more and more revisions of the iBook, which puts more models out on the used market.

    This is a big over simplification but just a couple of months ago iBooks seem to be priced at $1 per Mhz--regardless of the fact that it is just a G3. The prices then go up from there depending on how much RAM and the type of drive.

    In the past few months the prices have dropped a good bit. I thin kthis is due to the first refurbished G4s hitting the dealers. Smalldog.com has a bunch of refurb iBooks. A G3 700 with CD-ROM is $579, which is not bad.

    I just purchased a G4 800 refurb from Apple for $749. I settled in that this machine only had 128mb and a CD-ROM drive. I would love to have a combo drive, but I had to be honest and realize that I won't really use it that often. I have a superdrive at home.

    I agree with the other poster about the G3 iBooks and their issues. The issues seem to be spreading out to more and more models. It is not fun to have to send your machine back to Apple for repairs.

    If you see a loaded G3 (640mb, 30gb, combo drive) with a good logic board for under $700 it may be a good deal. If you need AltiVec then just forget the G3s and check Apple's Special deals page or Smalldog for refurb G4s.

    Good luck.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Ok everyone, against all better judgement and intelligence I bid on and won an iBook G3 600mhz with Panther running on it, on eBay. It cost a little under 500 dollars, and frankly im cool with that.

    Like I said I dont need a killer machine as I have a good desktop pc, I wanted a laptop for some portable computing and internet. I looked at comparable PC Laptops in this price range and am very happy with my iBook purchase. If I find I do not like it, I will list it on eBay plain and simple.

    So regardless as to whether the G3 line is garbage, whether I should have spent more on newer, is behind me now.

    I need some help with a new problem, Airport Wireless. Where can I find an Airport card or an 802.11b wifi card that is iBook friendly?

  16. macrumors 68000


  17. macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

  18. macrumors 6502

    Does that also go for the iBook G4 800mhz??
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

  20. macrumors 6502

    yeah, that's supposed to be mine. :)

  21. macrumors 6502a

    Congrats on the mac... I wish I could've offered you a more encouraging review earlier, but hey, I was just trying to let you know what you could possibly be in for.. With that being said, good luck with your new mac, I'm sure you'll enjoy it...
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    No it's cool. I am glad to have heard that. If it happens to mine it won't be as much of a shock. Besides, more important to hearing the Pro's is the Con's, they are necessary to know in the purchasing decision.

    As for enjoying it. I know I will. Ever since I used them at school, I have wanted one. I wanted to be able to customize it to me, and not have everything I did erased when the school came around and re-imaged the hdd. I am not going to even attempt to run anything high-end on this (like Video-editing). The only thing I am really sad to know is that Garageband won't run on it (Seriously, that program really had me hooked on buying a new one). If I find that this one just won't cut it, well then, I will try to sell it and get a newer one...or keep it, and keep saving up for my Powermac G5.

    Seriously Jemeinc, thanks.

  23. macrumors 68020


    Don't let the thousands of pros out there getting heavy duty use out of original G4s, B&W G3s, and even 9600s hear you say that.

    Personal experience here: In my home we have a 400mhz G4, 450mhz G4, and dual 1ghz G4. In basic tasks I can't notice any difference between any of them. If you gave me the "Pepsi Challenge" and connected each one to the same monitor without me seeing the computer I doubt I could tell the difference by using them. Even in Photoshop you have to start doing some pretty hard core stuff before you notice any slowness in the 400.

    What do you mean by "basic computing" anyway? Word processing, email, web browsing? What most people use their computers for most of the time. I also have a PowerMac 7200 that runs at a blinding 120mhz. Guess what--no problems.

    Part two of the megahertz myth, which nobody seems to address, is "how fast does your computer need to be in the first place?"

    EDIT: Fixed a gramatical error.
  24. macrumors regular

    He's so right. My "new" B&W G3 is fast enough for me. I'm also going from an Athlon XP 1900+, which seems faster, but it's alright. I just wanted the mac experience, and I'm getting it. Now I'm saving up to get an iBook! It's a G3/350 with 192 megs of RAM. OS X is heaven compared to my stupid XP machines. My 1 yr. old Dell laptop still bluescreens every day. That's annoying...
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Wow, thanks guys that is really uplifting.

    Like I said for the money I bought mine at I am happy. If I had paid 300 more, I probably would be a little upset, but 500 dollars is really not bad at all. I was planning on speding 500 on a P3 PC notebook, and this one stilll has more features on it then older PC's (firewire, USB, Touchpad)

    Thanks! :)


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