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iBook G3 or iBook G4?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Shake 'n' Bake, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Hello everybody,

    I've got a Mac mini now, but I'm tired of being tethered to my desk so I've decided to buy an iBook. There's just one problem; I'm not sure if I should get a G3 or a G4.

    Here's what I'll be doing:

    1. Web browsing

    2. I've got some music I'd like to put on there, but it isn't necessary

    3. Stuff in iWork like spreadsheets, Keynote presentations, and pretty basic word processing

    4. Email

    5. iChat

    It is also worth noting that I'd really like to run Tiger on the thing, so I'd be up to date.

    I've also got an app that some of you may remember, HyperCard, that I love and I really want to run on this.

    Any suggestions would be great!
  2. macrumors 6502

    I'm sure the experienced ones will want to know your price point....
  3. macrumors 603


    In most cases, I would say go for the iBook G3 since it's powerful enough to do everything you want, and would be cheaper then a G4.

    However, the line of white iBook G3's is known for their horrible reliability and graphics problems. Something like 70% of the machines are affected by them/ You could get a 500 MHz iBook G3 which had a much lower rate of these problems, but I'm not sure you'd be happy with the speed. (If you think you would though, then by all means, get one.)

    So, I'm going to have to say go with the G4. If you do though, make sure it's at least the 1 GHz model, as the 800 MHz was known to also suffer from the G3's problems.

    So to sum it up, either get the 500 MHz iBook G3, or a 1 GHz (or faster) iBook G4.
  4. macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Forgot that. I'm looking to spend no more that about $250 on this. The only thing it needs to have is AirPort and an OK sized HDD (~40 GB).
  5. macrumors 604


    I'd highly suggest a G4...my G4 iBook holds up quite well with 10.5 on it!

    I'm not sure prices for them, but the extra speed with a G4 would be well worth it(if you want to use 10.5)
  6. macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Running 10.5 seems like the thing to do. I just looked on ebay, and Tiger is going for ~$100, with ~11 hr left! Just looked a PB G3s; they're not even close to what I need.

    What specs should I look for?
  7. macrumors 65816


    We use G3 ibooks at work for student presentations with Keynote. It is painful with the waiting sometimes.

    However, that may be due to the fact that the lab has new(ish) imac 2.66 machines, and I have a Mac Pro at home. By comparison the G3 seems so slooooowwwww.
  8. macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Waiting how? To switch slides, to launch, what?
  9. macrumors 6502

    Correct answer is neither

  10. macrumors 604


    If you're going to run 10.5, you really need to have a G4(although G3 can be hacked to work, I believe)

    If I were you, I'd put as much cash towards a higher clock speed for the laptop, and worry about RAM(and HDD) later...you can always upgrade those, CPU tends to near impossibe
  11. macrumors 604


    How is that helpful?

    If you'd like to start a thread about PPC vs x86 both in theory of what the architecture can do and in practice with how the companies making them preformed, feel free!
  12. macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Not only is that untrue, but the way I see Apple's transition to Intel chips is this:

    They gave in to the big-guy, like the corner store closing due to Wal-Mart. PPC is what made Apple special. The only thing I know of that runs a PPC chip now is the XBox 360 and the Wii.

    On the other hand, It was an OK move because now Apple's got really fast MacBooks and a nearly 3.0 GHz MacPro (why is the operating frequency lower?).
  13. macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    That's a good idea. What type of RAM (I've got 1 GB worth of SO-DIMM RAM left over from a Mac mini upgrade) and what HDD port do they have?
  14. macrumors 603


    I'm too lazy to do it for you, but you can find out at apple-history.net

    Personally, I'd go for a 1.2 GHz G4. You can probably find one for $300-350.
  15. macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    ~$300 is great. Where would I find one?
  16. macrumors 603


    eBay, probably.
  17. macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    I'll check that out.

    if anyone else has ideas I'm open to suggestions.
  18. macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    They look pretty good on ebay.

    So... If I were to buy one of these things, obviously I'd run Leopard. So would you recommend just the OS or the Mac OS X Box?
  19. macrumors 65816


    Start up is slow, which is compounded by the fact that the school machines are networked, so the authentication process is slow.

    Application start up is slow, but once you get running it's not bad. You are limited on certain animations for sure, but it gets the job done.
  20. macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    I see. It looks like I'll be going for a G4 then.
  21. macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    I know that the PPC processors, especially the G5s, get pretty hot. Will heat be an issue i.e. marks on my legs? (I don't really care, but it's nice to know)
  22. macrumors 603


    My iBook G4 is pretty good as far as heat goes. It can get uncomfortable on the legs when converting video and other processor intensive things, but it's pretty good overall.
  23. macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    That's great then, I guess.

    Are these rugged? Like can they take some bumping on tables and furniture and maybe a fall from the lap?
  24. macrumors 6502

    My Mac Mini is barely faster (however still noticeably) than my eMac 1.25GHz PPC for Browsing, Word Processing, Email , etc. So iWork would be faster, it would still be quite functional on the eMac. Hence why I've been using it for a year, still use it, and will continue to use it. It runs on par with my single core P4 2.8 windows machine. That PC is only 2.5 years old, the eMac PPC is almost 5 years old with slower ram, slower drive interface, slower bus speed, etc. My son has a G4 Power Mac 1ghz and again, w/ 10.5 it's great for basic tasks too. Find me a 8 year old PC at 1GHz w/ 1GB of Ram running Vista Home Premium as smoothly as th e PowerMac runs Leopard. Not going to happen, cuz I happen to to have a PIII 1ghz machine and tried it for giggles because it was the minimum specs.

    But then again, the OP asked for G3 v. G4 comparison.....

    So just because it's old, and you think it sucks, doesn't mean it doesn't still serve some people's needs.
  25. macrumors regular

    You might want to get a G4 refurbished from TigerDirect for $419.99. Here's the link:


    And if you're too lazy to check the specifications, here they are:


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