Is it Worth Buying an iBook G3/4?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by MecPro, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2009
    Hi guys,

    Well my IT analyst job is going OK, so I am doing a lo of traveling (personal and business), and I feel the need for a portable. But my paycheque doesn't look too good enough to buy a MBA, or a newer Intel Macbook. I have abudget of about £150-200 TOPS! (I could just get a Windows notebook, but ehh!)

    So I was having a butchers around eBay and saw a fair few iBooks, some with and without problems, and I was just wondering if it would be a good idea buying one?

    How reliable are they? Does anyone still service them, as for the infamous Logic Board issues, how expensive is that to fix? I will be using it for nothing but internet, emails and word documents, and music here and there, but nothing too extreme.

    So what do you guys think?

    edit: Like this for example, I am a PC repair guy deep down, so trying to fix this will be :), unless it's a more serious fault: I think I can get batteries for under £40, so it will be a great little deal!

  2. macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2008
    They are quite good still, but you'd want to go for the most recent iBook from 2005 which would be a 1.33Ghz G4. That way it'll run Leopard and still be quite useable.

    This particular one might not be worth it though as it could well need a new logic board as it should still power up with a dead battery. It could also be a DC-In board but there's no way of knowing before buying it.

    I might be wrong but I think the logic board problems were more related to the older G4's & G3's, the Mid 2005 iBooks seem very reliable.

    Recon logic boards seem to go for about £125+

    Keep looking through ebay and you'll be able to find a perfect 1.33Ghz G4 within your budget.
  3. macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    IMO, a G3 waste of money to purchase nowadays. Find a late late model iBook G4 as mentioned above and get OS X 10.5 on there.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2007
    I have a mid-2005 1.33 GHz iBook G4 right in front of me that had been scrapped by a school (MLTI) and I rescued for free. It works great, but I wouldn't spend more than $200 US on this model.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2009
    Wilton, CT
    Like it has been said before iBook G3's now are really just a waste of time and money, I would say get a late model G4 or get a 12" PowerBook G4 if you can find one, because those really were some of the best machines Apple has ever made.
  6. macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2009
    Um, No. You do NOT want to put 10.5 on there. It is very very sloow on an iBook G4. Stick with 10.4. All modern software still runs on 10.4.

    You should be able to find a nice iBook G4, upgrade the memory with a 1 GB sodimm, upgrade the hard drive with a modern PATA drive (WD makes several, up to 320 GB) and you'll have a nice capable portable.

    Even several years old used iBooks still deliver 3-4 hours of battery life (vs. 6 hours on a new battery) so they make great portables. An iBookG4 is great for email and web and office tasks, but not so good at video. Youtube will be kind of choppy and not smooth. iTunes music works great though.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2009
    Check this:
    I use a early 2005 iBook G4, 12", 1.2 Ghz, 1.25GB RAM running that latest of 10.5, 120 GB HD. Spent around $300 US altogether, price of book, maxing out RAM and HD. Parts wise, quite a few places still have parts, at least in US. They're not bad, and will do about anything still. However, remember these things:

    It's still an iBook G4, so it has limitations. If you replace HD, stay with 120GB or less. The logic board will only recognize the first 128GB of whatever HD you put in there. Some have had success with installing larger than 120GB, and partitioning, and that seems to work. However, with what you described, I don't think you need much more than the 120GB to be honest.

    10.5(Leopard) does not slow down G4. If you have replace HD, take what you want off old drive, install new HD, then OS, then your files. Don't bother with saving Classic OS 9. Not worth anything anymore unless you still play The Oregon Trail.

    If you ever move on to a MB/MBP, SAVE YOUR IBOOK G4!!! It will become the hippest, most advanced paperweight you'll ever own. Enjoy.
  8. macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    speak for yourself, dads ibook + 10.5 runs fine (1.25GHz, 1.25GB RAM).

    go for a top end G4 iBook, or possibly even an old CoreDuo MBP. the differences are night and day. the iBook will be fine for word, music, light browsing etc but watching youtube vids or anything taxing you will lag behind ALOT.

    if you're after battery life, def go the iBook. dads gets 6hrs!

    goodluck with your decision!
  9. macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2009
    I had an ibook g3. I liked it but the problem was it could not play videos because the processor was crappy. I got it on ebay cheap but it was old so it died about 2 months ago. If i were you i would not get an old computer. You will pay more money for a newer computer but it is worth it.
  10. macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    I had a 900 Mhz iBook 12" G3 and have five logic board failures over two years. Just my personal experience, but I wouldn't get a G3.

    Apple replaced if with a G4 (1.2GHz, 12") and that had no problems.

    So I say: get a G4.

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