is an ibook still worth it?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by macdame, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2009
    West Virginia
    i was wondering if someone could give me some advice. i currently own a dell xps m1330 i bought in august of 2007. it come with windows vista on it and i have never liked vista. i had linux on it for a while and it was a beast and ran great. the only thing is...linux isnt all to user friendly right now..for me anyways. i have some friends who use macs and i have always enjoyed their computers. i was going to get a mac when i bought my dell, but for some reason i didnt:-/ i was wondering if buying an ibook g4 in good condition would be worth a purchase. i wanted to get an older one for a good price so i could see if i really like a mac. i didnt want to pay a bunch for one and not end up liking it.
    i would basically use it for web surfing, music dowloading, writing papers, and messing w/ garage band. any advice would be much appreciated.thanks!
  2. macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    I would go for a used macbook, to be honest. iBooks are pretty old now and you'll get better performance out of their intel processor machines.
  3. macrumors 68020


    Aug 16, 2007
    no - the power PC alone should be the non-selling point. who knows if newer OSs and Software will even support this processor?
  4. macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    In all honesty, used MacBook or refurb MacBook (whether it be White, Black or alum) is always 300% better choice over the iBooks.

    You can basically call the PowerPC Processors dead. It is quite evident that it will not be supported by the next Mac OS X, and it's just an overall bad processor compared to the lowest Intel Chips that Apple has ever offered.

    Any Intel chips from Apple is better than the best PPC apple has ever offered.

    So I would get a used White MacBook:)
  5. macrumors 601


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    If you find one for $200 bucks, you get get a feel for a Mac but don't judge it on it's speed. You can do all the things you wanted except messing with Garageband. It will work best with the iLife version of those days. At least you can see how it works without much investment. I don't recommend paying more than $300 bucks for it.
  6. macrumors 65816

    Dec 31, 2008
    So a Core Solo 1.5 GHz (lowest Intel chip Apple ever offered) is better than the PowerMac G5 Quad @ 2.5 GHz? I must say, uh, NO. I own a Mini that was originally a Core Solo (now its a Duo) and it was dog slow. My old PowerMac G4 (dual) was faster for most everything, save video encoding in iMovie.

    My advice on an iBook - if it fits your budget, then yes, its a good deal, though I personally wouldn't pay over $350 for any iBook. The G4 IS a lot slower than the Core Duo (the slowest in any Macbook), but its not unusable. True, it probably won't support Snow Leopard, but who needs the latest and greatest, anyway? I still run Tiger on my Mini... and its just fine.
  7. macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2009
    I think people views are a little skewed by how fast computer technology moves. To give you a point of reference, I inherited my girlfriends 12" ibook G4 (1.2GHz, 1.25GB ram) to use while I decide on a Macbook Pro to buy. I have been using it for the past year.

    I am not a normal user either, I run a web design business on the side, so it has to run photoshop, coda, etc. And that is with numerous images, folders, and safari windows open. I get the beachball fairly often and can't wait to jump up to a Macbook Pro, but in all reality this computer I get by on and am rather productive on.

    This computer is a tank, I carry it with me everywhere, everyday and in addition to web design, I use it in class, home, coffee shops.. it is probably being used 12 hours a day.

    So yeh, a G4 ibook might be "dated", but in reality it would be perfect for you to try out OS X on... I even upgraded mine to Leopard 6 months ago or so.

    ps. I will probably be selling mine for $350 when I decided on a 15" or 17" Pro. Part of the reason I am having a hard time pulling the trigger on a new Pro is justifying the cost of a $2500 notebook when a $350 one is doing the job.

  8. macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2008

    To sum up, the only difference between an old mac and a new mac is not how much you can do, but how much you can do at once.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2009
    And as another point of reference, I use to do my work on a 1.8 core duo? w/ 2GB of ram Mac Mini, until I turned it into a dedicated HTPC. And I don't notice much difference at all using the Ibook G4 for the same work and tasks. Not to say the ibook isn't slower, just that for "my" normal use, which is fairly intensive (Photoshop CS3) there isn't much of a difference. I am sure the Macbook Pro I am gonna buy will be way overkill and is overkill for 90% of its users.:apple:
  10. macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    No, absolutely too slow. Maybe a white MB would be as far back as I'd go.
  11. macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2009
    haha, did you ready any of my posts?
  12. macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    A lot of people on here seem to blindly dis G4 Macs. They're great if they're new enough G4's and they're cheap too.

    I think it's a great idea.
  13. Guest

    Jan 4, 2009
    I don't know, depends on what kind of deal you get. I got my iMac G5 for 300 dollars in Canada which was definitely a steal and I sold a mac mini G4 for 325 so if it is real cheap go for it but not if it is not.
  14. macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2009
    You could go out, right now, and buy a new MB or MBP-base and easily resell it if you decide you don't like it. I guarantee you that you could sell it to someone for $300 than store asking price, maybe even $200. So, lets say you buy the old thing for $400, versus losing $200-300 on a good one. The new one is obviously the better option. And hey, if you stay with Mac, you've got a kick ass computer out of the deal.
  15. macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2008
    As others have pointed out, the iBook is definitely slower than newer models, and I have no idea how well it will (or won't) hold its value. Still, for what it's worth, my iBook G4 is going strong, solid as a rock, long battery times. I only upgraded recently because some software I use required the Intel processor. Also you should know that my iBook came with Garageband pre-installed, so I'm guessing it's fine to use it for that. (I never played around with that much.) I still take my iBook on the road with me if I think I'll be roughing it. I know I can count on it.
  16. macrumors 68020


    May 18, 2004
    This is an issue that anybody considering an older ibook should consider. I've started to discover the occasional software title that I can't run because my computer doesn't have an intel processor. It hasn't forced me to upgrade yet, but anybody buying a PPC based Mac needs to be aware that it's going to be an in their not too distant future..........but beyond that, if you can get a really good price, a G4 iBook is still a viable computer for lots of things
  17. macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2009
    its all very well saying "get a used macbook" but really, i could never afford one so i had to buy ibook g4. Its absolutely the best thing iver ever done.

    ive saved about £180 and the machine is nice and quick imo, i use iWork 09 on it mainly, but i guess if you want to do more challenging things than youtube/ internet browsing and documents then you may want the macbook, however, my ibook is really, really good.

    Edit: My battery lasts a whopping 5 hours if i turn screen down...
  18. macrumors 65816

    Dec 31, 2008
    Yes, definitely consider the "does my software require Intel" question. Also, consider the "does my software require Rosetta" question, too - PPC emulation under Rosetta is dog-slow. However, just about any software you'll need now has an Intel version, so this isn't really an issue any more. Just wanted to throw my 2 cents in. :)

    If you understand its limits, a G4/G5 Mac can be quite useful. Don't expect to run Windows (VirtualPC is a dog, too) and don't expect to have the fastest computer on the block. If you're OK with that, then a PPC Mac could serve you well. For example, my mother-in-law loves her 700MHz G4 eMac. I, however, keep wanting more than my 2GHz Mac Mini can offer. Its all in the realm of expectations - I DO want the latest and greatest; she couldn't care less.

    My the only problem with suggesting an iBook would be with its RAM limit - even the last of them were capped out at 1.5 GB (less on older models). The same goes for the 12" PowerBook, but it has a great form factor. The 15" and 17" PowerBooks, at least from about 1GHz and up, support 2GB. PPC processors need lots of RAM to make up for their lack of speed.
  19. macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Just to all of you bashing the PowerPC, the PS3 uses something similar to a G5 chip. I wouldn't call it slow and I certainly wouldn't call it "dead".
  20. macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    A 1.25+ GHz G4 will give you a nice taste of the Mac experience if you're mainly doing web, iTunes, email, iPhoto and other light computing. On my 1.33GHz G4 PB, I found that GarageBand was a bit sluggish, although it certainly ran. Even Adobe CS2 ran fine, although I wouldn't open up PhotoShop, Illustrator, and InDesign at once unless I really had to.
    When I got my MBP in December, my wife took my 4.5 year old PowerBook as a replacement for her 3 year old Sony Vaio XP SP3 laptop. She is excited by how much snappier things feel on it in comparison. YMMV.

    If you can find a decently spec'd G4 for a couple hundred, it's worth it as a feeler.
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 5, 2008
  22. macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    Haha, that's pretty funny.

    Is your limit for an octo Mac Pro $1000, too? Purchased any $25 iPod touches lately?
  23. macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    If you insist on getting PPC get a 15" PowerBook. The screen on the iBook's (12 and 14) is only 1024*768 which is less than any new PC (except really cheap netbooks).

    iBooks are famous for logic board failure.

    Mine died due to the famous logic board failure
  24. macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    I have a 1024x768 iBook and it's really not bad at all. That's what command+tab is for.

    Besides, if you want a small form factor, XGA is your only choice.
  25. macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    I cannot use any computer less than 1280 pixels wide for my work. My PowerBook is almost too small. The reason I convinced dad to buy me my PowerBook was that I could not stand the screen on my iBook

    13 inch thinkpad = 1440*900

    I want full HD on 15 inch anyway

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