Is the Pismo worth upgrading?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by CraigWallace, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. CraigWallace macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #1
    Hello there.I'm new here.I recently bought a Pismo Powerbook G3 off ebay.
    It's pretty decent,and it cost me $265(that included shipping.)
    I'm pretty sure the new OS whenever it comes out won't support the Pismo.
    So is it worth upgrading the 400mhz processor to a G4 or should I save up for a new one?
    The only thing that's been wrong with my notebook is that it fell off a table and the dvd drive failed.(oops)So far I've invested around $150 for this, new software, dvd drive, case,etc.
    If anyone wants the current specs,I can post them.
    Thanks for any help!
    ~Craig
     
  2. Jschultz macrumors 6502a

    Jschultz

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #2
    Will it continue to do what you ask of it? I'm in somewhat of the same predicament with my 400 mhz G4 TiBook. After buying a new 5400 rpm HDD, another stick of 512, and a combo drive, I'm almost halfway at a new macbook when they come out.

    So ask yourself how important it may be? Do you REALLY like your pismo?
     
  3. CraigWallace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #3
    Hello.
    Yes, it runs fine. Has panther and everything. I was going to upgrade to Tiger but the people at the apple store twice wouldn't let me buy it.(Can you believe that?)They said it themselves it wouldn't run well.
    I said to myself before I bought it I wouldn't spend more than 200 on it(on upgrades).
    I like the macbook pro with the built in isight,but that's out of my budget now.
    ~Craig
     
  4. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    #4
    As a resident Pismo expert myself (2 fully functional, and 1 mostly functional), I actually find that they run Tiger better than they run Panther. To be honest, I would be doing a lot of yelling in any store which refused to sell me such an item. If I tried to talk someone out of buying a product at my store, the worst I would do is inform them that I would refuse to return the product if it didn't work, and then let them buy it. That's enough to talk people out of buying things when they just think they know more than the salesperson.

    As for upgrading the processor, it really isn't worth it. I say this because the upgrade itself will cost a few hundred dollars. For those same few hundred dollars, you can just buy a used TiBook, which will use the same memory as the Pismo. I'd say, use the Pismo until you can afford something brand new. In general, that's the best course of action with Macs generally. They work well for a good long time, so don't rush and try to upgrade frequently. Save your pennies, and buy the latest and greatest when you can, then use that until you can stand it no more.

    To be honest, Pismos are still exceptionally good machines. They run OS X, and even Photoshop pretty well (just not vector stuff due to the lack of a vector unit on G3 processors). I've kept mine around for just that reason. In fact, one of my Pismos (the only one I obtained whole, as opposed to built from parts) is currently being converted into a Picture Frame/Wall Unit simply because it's capable.
     
  5. CraigWallace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #5
    i should just buy Tiger online
    I don't like my local apple store much anyway...the people,that is.
    here are my PB specs:
    OS X Panther
    40gb(30 left)
    dvd/cd drive(well,its on its way)
    400mhz
    384 mb ram
    so tiger would run well on this?I should go back there and show them this thread. just to make a point,then refuse to buy it and buy it online
    :)
    ~Craig
     
  6. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    #6
    I'd say a RAM upgrade would be a good investment. I'm running Tiger on my G3/400 Pismo with 512mb and it's a solid little machine. In fact, I end up using it much more than my Mac mini. Yes, I notice the increase in "snappiness" when I'm on the mini, but I find I'm rarely frustrated by the performance of the Pismo.
     
  7. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    #7
    I've actually had Tiger running on a Pismo with 128MB of memory (need more than that to install it, but it will boot fine with only 128MB), and it was fairly quick. It actually booted, and ran faster than Panther had on the precise same setup. So, memory is useful, but not necessary. Be sure to consider when you plan to upgrade the machine. I say that because the memory won't work in brand new machines, and won't raise the price of the machine by anything close to what you paid for the memory. So, balance whether you actually need to do the upgrade.
     
  8. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    #8
    Adding an extra 256mb of RAM to a Pismo costs about $28. Not exactly a major financial decision.
     
  9. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
  10. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    #10
    256MB is alright, but 512MB sticks are rather expensive. The Pismo will take two 512MB sticks. So, in short, don't max it out unless you really have to.
     
  11. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    PDX
    #11
    This is a tough decision, because the Pismo keeps getting older and older, so it is hard to justify upgrading such a machine for purely economic and utilitarian reasons. I guess it depends on your planned usage and how much you "love" the machine.

    I have a pismo that I have upgraded the processor to a G4 500, the HD to a 7200rpm and maxed out the Ram. It is still a quite capable machine in many aspects. I also have two batteries ( a feature I love), and battery power is phenomenal since both batteries are replacements superior to the original. I love my pismo to death and still use it around the house and for light work.

    Still, I spent close to $1000 over the years bringing this machine up to it's current specs, which could yield you a nice iBook which would blow my PB out of the water in many respects. So it is not a choice for everyone.

    If I were you, however, I might consider the cpu upgrade to a G4, just because that seems to be the minimum spec for most modern software. With a decent amount of Ram and a good HD, it would be a good machine.
     
  12. iShane macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #12
    If I was in your position, I would just save up to get a new one. But it depends on what you're using it for if its just for simple internet browsing and maybe IM it would probably be fine. If you think something more you should probably just save. Last summer I bought a 550 MHz TiBook and decided it just wasn't enough for me and I was TRYING to sell it and upgrade but then my sister just had to break it. :eek:
     
  13. umrdad macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    #13
    Pismo upgrade

    I'm guessing you bought it for a reason I got this one off ebay too and my total investment is just under $900 but now it has 1g ram, 550 g4, 80g 7200rpm hdd, airport card, cd/dvd drive and a floppy drive (yeah i know floppy???) running 10.4.5 everything works great . . its your money but doubt if you'll be disappointed
     
  14. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #14
    I wouldn't spend one more penny on it, if I were you.

    Although if I were you I never would have bought it since you can get this from the Apple Refub store right now and this will blow your pismo (even an upgraded one) out of the water:

    Refurbished iBook 12-inch 1.33GHz Combo Drive
    512MB memory (DDR333 SDRAM)
    40GB Ultra ATA hard drive
    ATI Mobility Radeon 9550 (32MB DDR video memory)
    Built-in AirPort Extreme
    Built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
    Scrolling Trackpad
    Sudden Motion Sensor
    • Save 21% off the original price

    Original price: $999.00
    Your price: $799.00
    Estimated Ship:
    3-5 business days
    Free Shipping

    I know this is a few hundred dollars more than you'll pay for your pismo plus upgrades, but the machine is much better IMO.
     
  15. Sammis89 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #15
    Sorry for the spam, but what a great song...
     
  16. CraigWallace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #16
    ok right now I'm winning Tiger for 30$-that's 100 bucks off retail.
    I'm not linking to it or people would bid against me.
    I am going back to the apple store when I get it(my max bid is 60- other Tigers are going for 50)and prove to them that it works fine-they should remember me.
    I think after I get a summer job(I'm 16-give me a break:)) I will save up money for ram upgrades- I don't like the fact the iBook is so small. I need a floppy drive too, I have some old mac games, but oh well. That's not important now.
    :)
    ~Craig
     
  17. Jschultz macrumors 6502a

    Jschultz

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #17
    That's the main thing holding me back from an iBook or 12" PB- Too small a screen. I *might* be able to live with a 13.3" WS, but who knows.

    I swore to myself I'd not spend another dime on my TiBook. I bought a stick of 512, and a NIC card for it already. It needs a new battery ($144) and it could use some type of writable media drive (only has a DVD player) but I feel that the 300 bucks those would cost is almost 33% of the way to a new WS macbook when it comes out.

    ah well.

    good luck with that copy of Tiger too!
     
  18. CraigWallace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #18
    thanks everyone
    well, I won tiger for 54.01 total
    I don't see the point of the extra cent though.
    I'm upgrading it to tiger and saving for a while.
    ~Craig
     
  19. Cartman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #19
    As long as you have 512+ memory and a decent hard drive, it will be fine. It runs great on my G3 500mhz iBook with 640 ram.
     
  20. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    #20
    I love the pismos - imo, the best apple laptop ever made. upgrade the thing to no more, and then that thing will fly, i'd love to buy a pismo and just do that.
     
  21. steelegem macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #21
    Tiger on my Pismo?

    I just found this forum and am so glad I did. I switched to Mac late in 2005 when I got a great deal on a Pismo. For this machine and me, it was love at first sight. My desktop PC has become secondary while the Pismo is now my main day-to-day machine. I have done a couple minor upgrades and am now sitting on the fence.. Panther or Tiger? Tiger or Panther?

    Panther serves my needs very well. I don't do photo/video/audio editing.. just simple browsing, email, MS Office, and chat. I do play a lot of music with iTunes, either streaming or my own MP3s. I have read mixed opinions on upgrading to Tiger.. some seem to love it, while others prefer to stay with Panther. Does this basically come down to personal preference? Tiger seems to have many advanced features, yet Panther appears very solid and stable in its performance on my machine.

    If anyone has a good educated opinion or personal experience they might share, I would greatly appreciate any input. My Pismo is the original 500 mhz G3 processor and I have maxxed the ram at 1GB, with a 40GB 5400 rpm drive (which I am considering a 60 or 80 in the near future.)

    Thanks!
    :cool:
     
  22. Dave00 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    #22
    I love my Pismo, but don't need it so much anymore since I got an iMac G5. Nice things about the Pismo include
    - ability to put two batteries in
    - USB + FW
    - very durable, good ergonomics
    - ability to video span - you can run presentations off of it

    The biggest bang for your buck on the Pismo is going to be maxing out the RAM and getting a good battery or two. Upgrading the CPU (which I've looked into many times) will get you very little performance improvement for the money - when you start spending that kind of cash, you really start thinking about just getting a new machine. I'd also consider putting an 802.11g PCMCIA in the card slot. I wouldn't bother with an internal optical drive - again, too much money to be worth it.

    Dave
     

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