ibook G3/900 vs G4/800 Best Value?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by BFedrec, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. BFedrec macrumors newbie

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    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    Lawrenceville, GA
    #1
    OK... first posting here, been lurking for a bit. I'm guessin this has been asked before, but I couldn't find it in the last months worth of posts.

    I've been saving up my pennies to get an iBook for the last few months. I'm a Unix Admin who runs Linux on one machine at home, Windows 2K on one, and have a long term loan of a G4/450 Powermac running OS X on one machine. I got HOOKED on OS X and iMovie, and am in need of a laptop to take with me and do web work and writing. Those are my MAIN needed functions for the laptop, both of which won't require too much machine to do, BUT I do want to run iMovie and do some editing. My budget is fairly tight, and while I WANT to get a G5 system for movie editing at home, I realize that the G6 will probably be out by the time I've got enough money saved up for it.... SO on to the POINT of the post.

    I've got just about enough saved up to get a 12" G4/800 iBook, but now I'm being tempted by good deals on G3/900 iBooks. Micro-Center is running an ad for a G3/900 12" with combo drive for $799 or $699 if you get their branded Visa card... I'd be getting the G4 with an educational discount (homeschooling family that we are), and I'm trying to determine if it's worth the extra $300 to get a G4 iBook vs a G3.

    The latest issue of MacWorld has them compared and while the G4 does better than the G3, it's not by a huge margin, and the $300 difference could go towards that firewire DVD Burner I'd like to get. The biggest difference in performance is in iMovie, and iTunes, and of course I'd have to spend a few extra bucks for iLife 04. So... anybody have experience with both the G3/900 12" and the G4/800 12" iBooks and have any advice on how much more the G4 is worth? Pardon my long-windedness

    CharlesP
     
  2. BFedrec thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 20, 2004
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    Lawrenceville, GA
    #2
    Forgot the OTHER spec I need in the laptop... a combo drive (both of these set-ups have them), so I can burn CD's AND so the family can watch movies when travelling.

    CharlesP
     
  3. MacAztec macrumors 68040

    MacAztec

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    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #3
    699$ for a G3 900Mhz? I dont see how you can go wrong with that.

    Sure, the G4 would be faster, and have a faster video card, along with Airport Extreme, and BlueTooth, and a slot loading drive, etc.

    I dont know actually. See, if it were me, I would buy the G3 900Mhz. BUT that is ONLY because I have a pretty fast powermac at home that I would do all my CPU intensive stuff on.

    The laptop would only be for surfing/chatting/typing docs/stuff like that.
     
  4. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    Bay Area
    #4
    I'd go G4. The G3 is a very old chip now, and all of OS X, and the iapps in particular, has been at least partially optimized to take advantage of altivec. Basically, the G4 ibook has newer tech and will do much better with future software releases... I'd go with that.
     
  5. RexTheMacFan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Post Falls, ID
    #5
    If you want to burn your movies to DVDs then you definitely want to get the G4 'cause it'll encode to MPEG-2 something like 5-6 times faster because of the added benefits of the Altivec unit. I have a 900mhz G3 iBook and wish I had waited an extra month to get it because I would have had a G4 and been able to encode movies on it. Hope this helps. :)
     
  6. BFedrec thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Rex that helps me a ton as I'm hoping to do just that... I've got two sons and I'd like to make all those home movies into DVDs. The Macworld testing shows the encoding with iMovie faster on the G4 but not THAT much faster... but it also looks like it's only exporting to quicktime for e-mail and not actual Mpeg2 for that test.

    CharlesP
     
  7. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #7
    was the macworld test encoding within imovie... or burning to a DVD? The G3 will be slower but still quite workable within imovie. Burning that movie to DVD is a different story, and if that's what you want to do, it would be a *big* mistake to go with a G3.
     
  8. BFedrec thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    based on what I can tell from the article and on their site it looks like it's within iMovie. I knew that the G4 was supposed to give big gains over the G3 in the video editing field, but wasn't finding the comparison in that article to show that. Their measurement wasn't of the whole process so not as indicative (and I think their main point with it all was to compare the G4s and the powerbook more than the old iBook so they didn't explain that much).

    CharlesP
     
  9. IndyGopher macrumors 6502a

    IndyGopher

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    Nov 3, 2001
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #9
    Remember that before iLife04, you had to have an INTERNAL superdrive to even run iDVD. That's why you aren't finding any comparisons with DVD encoding on an iBook.. Apple's software to do the encoding just plain wouldn't run on a G3. Come to think of it, I don't know if it will even now.. I know you can run iDVD04 on a G4 iBook, since it doesn't require a superdrive anymore, but I don't know if it still checks to see if it's a G4. If that is the case, then there is no decision to make.. you have to get the G4 iBook.
     
  10. loubapache macrumors member

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    Feb 12, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan
    #10
    CharlesP:

    I am in the same situation and cannot decide.

    I did see the Micro Center $799 price with $100 rebate if you get their Visa card. However, one has to go to their store to do it. The Apple Education store also has the G3 900 MHz for $799.

    The G4 does come with an extra 128 MB chip but most would upgrade by using a 512 MB chip so the 128 MB is wasted anyway.

    For me, I just want to get a Mac to taste OS X. If I like it, I will get a Powerbook and give the iBook to my daughter. I have three other fairly powerful Windows desktops and laptop. The main reason I want to try OS X and some Mac software is that I downloaded a Windows version of iTunes and liked it. I have actually already purchased Microsoft Office for OS X from the university I work for $10 before I even get a Mac.

    Good luck on your decision and please let us know.

    Bo
     
  11. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

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    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #11
    I have a G3 ibook and whilst it's a perfectly fine machine I'd go with a G4 if I were you. Apart from the current advantages of a G4 i feel that Apple will start to make more of their software G4 and above only as they now only sell G4 and above machines.

    The G4 ibook also has USB2 and airport extreme. The USB2 in particular is useful if you don't want to watch your scanner crawl...
     
  12. invaLPsion macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

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    The Northlands
    #12
    Get the iBook!

    I couldn't find the exact Macworld or Macaddit I found it in but I do know for a fact that the 900MHz G3 iBook compared to and actually beat the old 867 MHZ 12 inch powerbook in tests such as rendering and graphics. For $300 cheaper, you can't go wrong with the iBook. (It will allow you to have more money for that powermac;) )
     
  13. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

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    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #13
    Hi,

    I have an iBook G3 900 MHz and I am doing both task you mentioned with it. Editing videos with iMovie and creating some web sites.

    Well, for me it works fast enough. The good thing about iMovie is, that you can start rendering or apply rendering to a clip and it will render in the background while you can go ahead working on the next and you don't have to wait until all rendering has finished.

    I would suggest the G3. Max out the RAM.
     
  14. loubapache macrumors member

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    Feb 12, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan
    #14
    I am not sure if this is an appropriate question but I'll try.

    In terms of general and pure processing power, how fast is the G3 900 MHz in comparison to the Intel Pentium processors? Something like a P-III 900 MHz?

    Bo
     
  15. invaLPsion macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

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    The Northlands
    #15
    Hell no. I don't think it is possible to compare those chips but I am sure that a G3 900 is way faster than a 900 P3. If you want proof, I have a consumer reports right here that gives the 700 MHz iBook a top rating in application speed. It outperforms a 1.1 GHz P3 laptop in that rating.
     
  16. loubapache macrumors member

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    Feb 12, 2004
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    Michigan
    #16
    Thanks, invaLPsion.

    Which issue of Consumers Report is it in?

    Bo
     
  17. invaLPsion macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

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    The Northlands
    #17
    My Mistake (A good one tho)

    To tell you the truth, my first post was from memory and it was wrong.

    I just found the consumer reports and it pits the 900MHz G3 iBook against a host of other PC laptops and even the 867MHz powerbook. The 900MHz iBook did receive a top rating in speed as did the 867Mhz powerbook.

    The only PC laptop to receive a top performance rating in speed was the 1.4 Ghz centrino. The iBook beat out other PC laptops wth over 2GHz processors!:eek::)

    The consumer reports is from September 2003.
     
  18. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    washington dc
    #18
    g4... my friend had the old g3, then just got the new g4... what a WORLD of difference. everything runs so much more smoothly... and you can use ichat and the isight with the g4 :D
     
  19. IndyGopher macrumors 6502a

    IndyGopher

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2001
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #19
    Re: Get the iBook!

    Re-read the first post.. both machines are iBooks, he's asking whether the new G4 iBook is better suited to his tasks, which includes burning DVD's, than the old G3 iBook. While the last G3 iBooks did indeed have better graphics chips (GPUs) than the 867 PowerBook, this is not the case with the G3 900 vs G4 800 iBooks.
     
  20. tiktokfx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Location:
    DC Metropolitan Area
    #20
    I could be wrong, but I'm pretty certain that if you get the G3 iBook you're going to be getting the software that came at that point, ie... Jaguar.

    A new G4 iBook would include Panther and iLife '04.

    That's about $180 in software right there.
     
  21. invaLPsion macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

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    #21
    Re: Re: Get the iBook!

    First of all, I was just trying to offer some helpful insights in terms of processor speeds (G3 vs G4).
    Second of all, I'm not so sure that a Geforce42go was that much worse than a radeon 7500 mobility.
     
  22. invaLPsion macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

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    #22
    Very good point.;)
     
  23. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #23
    G4 iBook 14" or 12" is much bettern than G3

    I have had my G3 iBook 700MHz since July 2002, and I love it dearly, so much so, I just replaced the petty 128MB chip with a 512MB PC133 ...zoom!
    Hey, I don't spend $125 on anything I don't love and want to keep.
    But, my iBook's Sony ComboDrive CD burner is going sour so instead of replacing it at $269
    I got a $249 external firewire LaCie d2 8x DVD/CD±R/RW SuperDrive with full version of Roxio Toast 6 ($99 savings) included FREE. (Besides, even a PowerBook SuperDrive only writes at 2x DVD; I have an 8x burner!)

    ADVICE:
    do not get a G3, it is so 2002 - this is 2004 people!
    Why go backwards? Are we not looking forward to G5 PowerBooks? See the point?
    Just about every G3 iBook owner who has touched a G4 iBook at an Apple Store turns green with envy, the G4 is a very significant upgrade and includes AltiVec.
    That's why all the retailers are 'giving away' G3s at low low prices...they gotta get rid of them. Sure it's a deal, just think - why?

    GET
    the G4 and if you are doing editing consider the 14.1" above the tiny 12" screen

    GET
    the 933MHz G4 for BEST VALUE over the 1GHz because the extra 77MHz is not worth paying $200 more
    $1,299.00
    933MHz
    PowerPC G4
    256K L2 cache @ 933MHz
    14-inch
    TFT Display (almost a 15 like PB)
    1024x768 resolution
    256MB DDR266 SDRAM
    40GB
    Ultra ATA drive
    Combo Drive (GET an external FW 8x SuperDrive later)
    ATI Mobility Radeon 9200
    32MB DDR video memory
    Includes:
    Panther OS 10.3.2
    (SAVE $130)
    iLife 2004
    (SAVE $50) including iDVD !!!
    2 USB 2.0 ports (not available on G3)

    Your true Dilemma: 12" or 14"? only $200 apart ($1099 vs. $1299)
    What's the Difference: 133MHz more CPU speed, 10GB more HD, and 2" in LCD screen
    Just be sure it's a G4
     

    Attached Files:

  24. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #24
    Re: Re: Get the iBook!

    The point is that the G4 iBook 800 is near enough the same spec as the 867 PowerBook 12" Rev A, thus you can compare them. The 7500 Radeon of the iBook G3 is not as good as the 420 Go of the Rev A PB. The new G4 iBooks and 12" PowerBooks have much better graphics cards than either of those.

    I would say, go G4. You could go with the 14" but then you might as well get the 12" PowerBook. The original poster was on a budget so I think the G4 12" iBook is the better option.

    As already mentioned, Apple will be phasing out G3 support (not so that they can't run apps, but run them reasonably). There are more advances in the newest G4s over the G3s than meets the eye. Alti-vec is getting far more important, and the new iBooks have USB2, Airport Extreme, etc. Note that you need a G4 to run GarageBand decently (and it will come with your G4 Mac) and to use iChat AV to its full advantage.
     
  25. phrancpharmD macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Location:
    Historic Norcross
    #25
    Re: G4 iBook 14" or 12" is much bettern than G3

    Guilty as charged! I had my sights set on a 15" PowerBook but couldn't quite get there yet, but within a week and a half of my first serious tryout of the G4 iBook at the Apple Store, I had sold my 600MHz 12" G3 iBook and bought the 933MHz 14" G4 iBook and am VERY happy so far.

    The larger screen alone was justification enough for the price difference for me - my G3 iBook was a 12" and the G4 is a 14" and there is no comparison. . .
     

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