Laptop for my Mother: G3 or G4 iBook?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by simp, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2006
    Hi All:-

    Having brainwashed my mother into the cult of Mac, she'd like to upgrade from the clamshell iBook I picked up for her a couple of years ago.

    She doesn't want to upgrade in a hurry, but, being retired, and not being a power-user she doesn't want to spend too much money, either.

    So I've located two options for her:-
    - a 600mhz iBook G3 ($490)
    - a 1ghz iBook G4 ($792)

    She seems to be leaning toward the G3, but I'm wary, as my own (much used) G3 iBook died after 4 years (of heavy use). Or will the g3 last her? She will not be doing much more than browsing, mailing and word processing... I know that the G3 will do this just fine under 10.3 - but will the machine last as long, do you think?

    Opinions welcome!

  2. macrumors 68030


    May 27, 2006
    Miami, FL
    The G4.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2006
    Clearwater, FL
    Go for the G4, and you can get better deals than that. :)

    You dont want her to think macs suck with a ancient G3.
  4. macrumors 68020


    May 18, 2004
    I have a G3 500 iBook that gets used for the same sort of things that you say your mother will do and it's still a usable machine.....however, if I were buying a used iBook right now, I would definitely get the G4 as I suspect it's going to last longer
  5. macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    Both of those are probably overpriced, especially the G3. Since she's in no hurry, I'd spend some time and look around for a good deal on a G4. Apple have been dropping support for the G3s and it's not unreasonable to expect Leopard to require at least a G4.
  6. macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2006
    Central FL
    The G4 does sound like a better idea.

    But if she does decide to go in the direction of a G3, she can deffinately get one for less than $500. I currently have my 800MHz iBook on ebay, and it will probably go for around $400.
  7. macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Oh come on, those prices are ridiculous!

    Definately get her a G4. I bought a 15" PowerBook G4 1.33Ghz, 60GB HD, 512MB RAM, BT + Airport for around $550.

  8. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2006
    Flyover country
    I wouldn't even consider the G3. Those things had enough hardware problems when they were new.

    Frankly, I can't say I'd jump on the G4 either, considering, Apple just dropped the refurb Macbook prices again today. For $849 you can get a low end refurbished Macbook. $790 looks pretty ridiculous in comparison.
  9. macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2004
    The Wood of Spots, NJ
    I've been thinking of getting my mother a G3 iBook as well, just for the heck of it.... I really need to get my family off pc's and into macs. I wouldn't spend over $300 on a g3 iBook though.
  10. macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    There's a 1.2Ghz G4 iBook in the Marketplace right now, and the seller is looking for around $550 for it. It's a little more than the G3 you were looking at, and a lot less than the G4. Faster, too!
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2006
    Thanks for your replies.

    Yes - I do agree that the G4 is the better idea.

    The problem with the price is that I'm based in Ireland - but most of the keenly priced laptops on eBay won't ship outside North America - and we have to stump up for shipping. Best deal I've found so far on ebay is $625 with $90 shipping(!). UK refurb prices tend to start around the $700 mark, with around $30 shipping... Irish sellers ask for incredibly unrealistic prices...

    But yes - I've already found a better deal than the $790 laptop I mentioned at the top of the thread - so the moral of the story is to just keep on digging away on ebay... But I'm not sure where to get a $550 bargain! Any suggestions gratefully appreciated...

    (It is so ******* time-consuming being the techie in the family...!)
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2006
    Thanks for the link - I just posted there to ask him if he'd ship to Europe... But I don't think he wants to ship outside North America...

  13. macrumors 603


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    G3. They'll be around for a while. If all your mother does is email, web and word processing, she just needs a G3.

    Who says she needs leopard? I imagine even 10.0 will be supported until at least 2009-2010.(And it doesn't even have to be supported for it to work) My iMac 233 MHz G3 with 8.6 would be perfect for all my needs- except I'm a gamer.

  14. macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Thats not entirely true. The G3 would still be sluggish when it comes to word processing even if loaded with ram. Sure, you could get by without Panther/Tiger, but anything before Jaguar has stability issues that his mother could do without.

  15. macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    The deal I mentioned I got above ($550 for PB G4 15") was from the states, and I am based in the UK. Shipping will vary on these auctions between $65-$90 but the latter range of that is a bit extreme.

    I don't know the situation in Ireland, but for anything coming into the UK, if the seller has sent it by insured mail (I wouldn't get it without this and that is also why shipping is high), he has to declare the value on the box. Therefore, it WILL get a customs charge (at least coming into the UK it would).

    The simple method I used to get mine so cheap was easy, patience! I searched eBay every couple of days for about 3 weeks until I eventually saw this one. I should add that it is also in pristine condition. One of the best condition PB's (considering its two years old) I ever seen - no sign of wear whatsoever!

    Just keep looking, you will get a good deal eventually, and many sellers are reasonable enough to ship to UK.

  16. macrumors regular


    Sep 3, 2006
    Go for the G4. OSX's gonna be sluggish on a G3 600, while the 1Ghz G4 will be quite snappy. And you can upgrade her to leopard when the time comes.

    Not to mention, Laptops have a shorter life expectancy than desktops from experience. It'll probably last longer.

    But that being said, keep looking for good deals!
  17. macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    Definitely G4.

    I wouldn't run OS X on a G3 if I had a choice between it an the G4.
  18. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2006
    Thanks for all your comments. I'll hold off for a reasonable priced G4...

    My mother is a patient lady, and I enjoy an eBay challenge as much as the next geek..!
  19. macrumors 68000


    Nov 8, 2002
    Chinatown NYC
    Huh??? My first Mac was a G3 running OS 10.2 and I definitely didn't think of it as "slow". And I upgraded to 10.3 and didn't have any problems with that version either.

    But still I'd say in general go for the G4, NOT because it's faster but rather because it's at least a year or two newer, so one can reasonably expect it to last a year or two longer than a G3. But not at $792 though, that's FAR too much. Apple sold NEW iBook G4s for $999 just a year ago!!! I would say pay no more than $500 for a used iBook G4, and even then make sure it's a later model from 2005.
  20. macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    When you're checking on a system be sure to make sure the seller has
    all the original OS Disks.

    You may be fortunate that the previous owner has already upgraded to Tiger, but some older G4's may only come with Panther.

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