ibookg3 vs. ibookg4

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by goodtimes5, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. goodtimes5 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    Bay Area
    They have a 700 dollar ibook 800mhz g3 at macmall now, and I can't decide to get that or the 800mhz g4 ibook. I'm a student so money matters. I have a 1ghz 17" iMac at home, so this will merely be my school computer. I have a fried brain debating with myself.
  2. tekno_geek911 macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2004
    Phoenix, AZ
    The G3 should be fine since you already have a fast iMac.
  3. tdhurst macrumors 68040


    Dec 27, 2003
    Portland, OR

    $300 dollar diff (with student discount) for the computers. G3 chip is about 8 years old, G4 is not much newer but still quite a leap. You are a student, so I understand money is important (I'm in grad school and in huge debt cuz of it) but....you need to get the best VALUE for your money, not always the cheapest price. I think in six months to a year you will be much happier with the G4 iBook than the G3. I am thinking about getting one of those G3 deals, but that's only because I have access to a DP2.0G5 all the time and I just want a computer to take notes with.
  4. Opteron macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2004
    South Australia
    What kind of G4 ibook?
    what is the $ difference

    Remember the G3 iBooks, were know for having faulty logic boards.
  5. MacRAND macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2003
    Phoenix AZ USA
    G4 instead of G3 iBook if you can afford difference, well worth upgrade.

    Although I enjoy my iBook G3 700MHz, I drool over the new g4 because they are so much faster. To get more speed (painfully slow sometimes) I've
    maxed out RAM (after market), and even
    pulled the 4200 rpm 30GB Hard Drive to
    replace it with a fast 7200 rpm 60GB IBM/Hitachi Hard Drive $212 with free shipping & no tax @
    recommend you pay to have expert install, it is complicated :( and messing up could cost more to repair :mad: than paying for install (I pulled a cable loose and it cost me $45 to have it repaired - I was lucky) :eek:

    So, you can see, it is cheaper to get the faster G4 chip up front.

    If you can afford it, get the G4 which has AltaVec technology and G3 does not. Regardless, either iBook is totally cool just max out the RAM.

    Just don't get the G3 version too near the ocean on a foggy day, because the deep sound of a fog horn might cause the G3 chip to crack, burn up the motherboard, and fog up the LCD screen ;) The only alternative is to move to San Jose or into Napa Valley. If you move as far as Arizona, we can pretty much guarantee perfect pixel preservation for 3 years... it's the dry climate.
  6. goodtimes5 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    Bay Area
    the only reason I'm even considering the g4 is because it has a combo drive while the g3 is only cd-rom. If I want to transfer files at school, I can simply burn a cd, so I'm wondering if they still sell g3 ibooks with combo drives since I can't find any at macmall.
  7. MacRAND macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2003
    Phoenix AZ USA
    Combo is convenient, SuperDrive is what makes PowerBook attractive, CD-ROM is good

    Not being able to even READ a DVD on my iBook G3 is unthinkable. Not being able to WRITE to a DVD is what has many of us thinking about saving money for a PowerBook in the future.

    One of the reasons I love to take my iBook on vacations with me is because of the Combo drive. I can watch a DVD movie on long plane flights, or when I'm bored, and I give CDs to friends and family that I've burned for them loaded with hundreds of digital photos that I've taken of them which they consider gold, and amazing. I can even include some music and turn it into a slide show for them.

    The bummer is not being able to upgrade to a SuperDrive later, except you can buy an external LaCie d2 DVD/CD±R/RW SupserDrive for $249, and get the model that includes the full version of Roxio's TOAST 6.0, usually $99 for FREE. When my combo drive went on the fritz and stopped burning CDs, I opted to pay $250 for an external drive instead of $250 for a new Combo drive replacement PLUS $150 to install it - it is a very complicated do-it-yourself project and not a fun thing to do yourself (I did replace the old slow hard drive with a 60GB 7200 rpm Hitachi/IBM to crank out more speed from my G3).

    The difference for me is that I still have the DVD read capability and can watch DVD movies, or access DVD-ROM information on my iBook, but with a CD-ROM only drive, you could not.

    This has become a DVD "centric" world, with heavy developments in WRITE speed (1x > 2x > 4x > 8x and soon 16x), Dual-Layer burning on Dual-Layer one sided discs, and eventually Hi-Definition capable BluRay discs that will hold more than 10x the data that a 4.7GB DVD-R disc holds today. True, SuperDrives are limited to PowerBooks, and even their small laptop size drived cannot take advantage of the higher burning speeds - only in a full size (half height) drive for iMac or PowerMac.

    All these silly things being said, the one thing running in a G3's favor is that you can consider the G3 iBook CD-ROM as an appropriate, inexpensive laptop for your school years, then write it off a year or so after graduation, and move up to what you really want and can later afford when you have a well-paying job. That inexpensive G3 iBook may be perfect for YOUR NEEDS right NOW, something only you can determine. :cool: More than anything else, you need a portable, laptop computer for class and the G3 does that at a very attractive price, and it does have a CD-ROM!
  8. adamjay macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2004
    i wouldn't call the mere addition of Altivec (that's how its spelled by the way) velocity a "huge leap"
    and that particular G3 isn't 8 years old. This machine was available last year for $1,000.
    notice the G4 has half the L2 cache of the G3 800.

    the majority of consumer-level programs do not even utilize altivec. iTunes only utilizes altivec when encoding songs in your playlist to another bitrate/file format. i have $400 Pro-Audio applications that aren't even utilizing Altivec Velocity engines yet.

    and it has been widely documented that the G3 iBooks get the BEST Airport reception of any and all apple computers.

    just because the number is higher , doesnt make it a better machine. you have to look at what you use the machine for.
    GarageBand/Photoshop/Reason/Cubase/iMovie/FCP? = G4
    Safari/Mail/iChat/iPhoto/iTunes/Appleworks(or OfficeX) = G3

    and i own 2 G4's, so i can say that i'm not really biased.
  9. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a


    Apr 26, 2003
    Wakayama, Japan
    I almost agree with this, but the lack of an internal combo drive is killer. If you are living at home the whole time it might not matter, but if you are going to be in a dorm then i will make a big dif.

    Either machine will be fine for your basic paper writing, e-mail, internet, music, etc. If you do go for the G3 you might want to consider using some of the money you save to purchase an airport card if your school has wireless.
  10. adamjay macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2004
    if the combo drive is a must... and you do plan to upgrade the hell out of it...
    check out Stevolio's sale of a G3 iBook here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=66469 40GB, 640MB, combo, airport

    i think it would suit your needs well.

    and he's in SanFran just like you!
  11. dudeami macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2004
    There are other considerations to look at besides the altivec addition. There is a larger level 2 cache on the G3, however the G4 will have a faster motherboard and faster (DDR) RAM and a better graphics card. So the G4 will be faster overall. You can make some comparisons on your own at Xbench's comparison web site. In general you probably want to discount some of the lower scores, because alot of people test the laptops with energy saver settings that don't allow the best score. In general it looks like the 800 MHz G4 are scoring around 80 and the 800 MHz G3 score around 50, so the G4 overall is about 60% than the G3, if you look at the memory scores, the 800 MHz G4 average in the lower 80's while the 800 MHz G3's average aroung 25, so the G4's memory is over 300% faster. The 900 MHz G3 iBook that I have does a good job, but it just doesn't seem to have has much snap as the G4. I think either computer can handle note taking, email and documentation tasks very well for school, but if you can afford it, I think the G4 would be worth the extra investment.
  12. mkaake macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2003
    i'd say g4, even though it's more expensive.


    well, besides what others have said, from what i've seen, heard, and experienced, the g4 is just a more solid machine. i mean, physically. it's put together better and feels like it can take more of a beating without getting 'beat'.

    not to mention the slot loading drives are cool ;)
    but seriously on the drives, i've seen many a g3 ibook with mis-aligned drive doors that just make the whole thing look shoddy...

  13. Indiana Mac macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2003
    Athens, Georgia
    Get A G4

    I'd reccomend that you get the g4 ibook if at all possible. Even though apple has recognized and offers a repair program for the logic boards on the g3 ibooks, I'd still stay away from it. Nothing beats laptop dying during the semester and waiting a few days for the repairs to be finished.

    on top of that you will have a machine that is superior in performance in many areas(not to mention the niceness of a slot loader drive). Either way the ibooks are excellent machines, but I think the g4 would be better.
  14. xy14 macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2004

    You would really like the G4 better. First of all, G4s are slot drives and are sweeet. The G3s at my school are the slowest freaking things ever. I have a G4 and have no problem with it, although i don't have the 800 Mhz model, I have the 1 Ghz model. I don't know, but I am pretty sure that the G3s come only with Jaguar also.
    A g3+good hard drive+airport+maxed ram=about the same as a g4 anyways.
  15. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Bingo the ability to read DVDs will be important quite soon.

    Apple is most likely going to start shipping more stuff on DVD, which you won't be able to use in a CD-ROM machine.

    The OS will probably be DVD-based really soon, it's the way Apple will be able to dump quite a few of the machines they'd rather not support.

    It's built-in USB and 128MB RAM right now, soon they'll probably add DVD to quite a bit of software.
  16. dragula53 macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2003
    G3 vs G4

    On a lot of number crunching, the G3 actually performed better..
    remember those tests with ibook vs 12" powerbook?

    However, in the place where it matters most, the G4 has a distinct advantage.

    the entire GUI is altivec optimized

    I think.


    my friend's g3 900 is considerably slower than my G4 1ghz in the "how snappy is the interface" test.

  17. Anna macrumors regular

    May 25, 2003
    Go out and get the G4. You will regret it later on especially if you want to run games, make movies etc. the G4 also looks better, sports a much better keyboard and generally more robust. I wouldnt even consider a G3, money must not be that much of an issue if you have your heart set on a mac.

    However if you do decide to go G3, make sure you buy lotsa RAM, from memory i think it can hold 640? someone may be able to correct me on that one, but by the time that you spend your money on the extra ram etc or even the protection plan, case, extra battery, ext mouse/keyboard/stand/ etc *poof* there goes your budget. Get G4, and maybe you can expand the ram later when money isnt as much of an issue.

    Good luck...as long as you are buying a mac!

  18. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    my 600 MHz ibook (16meg vram) scored a respectable 65 you sure your not looking at the toilet seat scores?
  19. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    dont judge on school macheines running 10.2 they arn't looked alfter and are genrally crap
  20. Patmian212 macrumors 68020


    Apr 11, 2004
    No g3

    G3 is old news on tuesday they will probably get price drops on the G4 ibook and u can buy the low end 933 mhz i think it will be for around $800-900.

    Thats what im doing anyway :D

    Trust me i have my sources ;) :cool:
  21. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    go for the iBook g3 its everything you need if you already have a powerful G4 at home. by getting the G3 now you can save your money until a G5 laptop comes out and you are ready to buy one of those in a couple years! if you want an even better deal on a G3 iBook (700mhz instead of 800mhz but still just as good) check out the one im trying to sell
  22. jemeinc macrumors 6502a

    Feb 14, 2004
    South Jersey
    I can't in good faith reccomend a G3 iBook ... I understand Apple will repair your logic board as many times as neccessary, but as someone who's without their iBook every couple of months , it sucks...I don't say this to burst anyones bubble, or pee in someones cheerios but the G3 iBook is a risky purchase to say the least...

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