Netbook vs. Old iBook?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by biblicalfury, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    #1
    Any thoughts of the performance of a netbook versus an old iBook?

    The iBook is 5 or 6 years old (800 MHz G4, 680 MB of RAM). It was main computer for quite some time, but I upgraded to an iMac. I still use the iBook for web surfing, light word processing and spreadsheets and to watch the occasional DVD. It's starting to show its age as of late and while I'd like to upgrade, I don't use it enough to justify the cost of a Macbook, nor do I really need a full featured work horse.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    jackiecanev2

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #2
    netbook + osx?
     
  3. macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #3
    One of my reasons for wanting a netbook is the great battery life some of them get (and we're talking 6, 7, 8+ hours). I doubt I could get that kind of battery life out of an old iBook battery. You might if you bought a new replacement battery pack (do they still make them for the iBook?) but that just adds to the cost...
     
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    #4
    That would be preferable, but I'm not terribly experienced with hacks. That plays into the performance, though. If the netbook isn't going to give me much of an upgrade over the iBook, it might not be worth it.
     
  5. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    I happened to upgrade from my iBook G4/800 to an EeePC, although my Eee is the very first generation, so it has the Celeron processor and not an Atom.

    I think it's a mix that depends to some extent on what you're doing. If you use Windows XP on the Netbook, one plus is that Flash, and particularly Flash video, will be significantly better on the Netbook (Flash video plays a lot better on an Atom in XP than it does on a G4 or a G5 in OS X).

    The Netbook could also easily have significantly more RAM than the iBook (although your iBook can't have 680MB of memory... it could have 640MB... and when I upgraded my iBook G4 from 640MB to 1.125GB, it actually improved it quite a lot). But the netbook could easily enough have 2GB of memory.

    If you're okay with Windows and with the size of the netbook, I'd heartily recommend one of the better Netbooks -- perhaps the Lenovo one or the Dell one.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    dubhe

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    #6
    What OS do you run on your iBook? Panther or Tiger would still be quite fast, think Leopard would bog it down too much.
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Philly
    #7
    Grab a Dell Mini 9 and go to town with OSX as others have suggested. Fairly easy to do, just takes a little time.
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #8
    FWIW Panther was great on that iBook with that much RAM, but I don't think Tiger could adequately be called "quite fast." It was fairly fast with more than a gig of memory, however, particularly if Dashboard was turned off and there was a lot of free HD space.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    dubhe

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    #9
    I run it [Tiger] on my PowerBook 12" which has 1GHZ + 768MB RAM + 80GB HDD, also with dashboard disabled, believe you can disable spotlight too but haven't gotten around to it!
     
  10. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    I think from my memory of what the footprint of memory is like, the difference between 640MB and 768 is actually pretty significant in reducing the number of page-outs (not to mention having a roomier hard drive so that you don't run into space barriers as easily with Spotlight and VM needs and having a faster processor). Everyone's experience varies, but at 640MB I found Tiger fairly painful, and it was a relative joy to use on that Mac.

    If I were to do it again, though, I'd still replace it with a netbook. As it happened, at that time I was happily able to sell it for enough to replace it with a netbook without having to pay anything. :D
     
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    #11
    I'm still running Tiger on it. It works well enough for what I use it for.

    It does have 640MB. That was just a typo.

    Is it worth looking at easy upgrades for the iBook at this point or is it too old to see much improvement? Without looking up prices, I would be I could upgrade the memory cheaply.
     
  12. macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #12
    My dad bought a 1.07 ghz 12" ibook with air port express, 3/4 gigs of ram, 30 gig hard drive and a cd reader. Got it for $240 bucks with a new battery, and I have to say, when paired up with a high speed wireless, it's basically a capable netbook. Was pretty impressed with it for the price.

    OTOH, I've got a lenovo s10 hackbook nano/air, and upped the ram and hard drive, and it runs 10.5.6 very well. Solid, smooth build quality, excellent wi fi reception (the g card smokes the n in my uni MBP). The s10 is a little brother to the ibm thinkpad. It looks and feels like a thinkpad (running osx).

    If you could inexpensively max the ram out to over a gig, I'd stick with the ibook. Otherwise, check out the netbook compatbility chart at boing-boing. They've done a good job at showing which rigs have what features in osx.

    Either one should handle surfing, word processing, e mail, etc.
     
  13. macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #13
    Dell Mini 9
    http://www.dell.com/content/product...top-inspiron-9?c=us&cs=19&l=en&ref=lthp&s=dhs

    [​IMG]

    Perfect for what you want, very cheap, and very easy to install OS X on.

    The only netbook which you can install OS X on and ALL the functions work completely as well :)


    Tutorial and Reviews of Mini 9 Running OS X:

    http://www.engadget.com/2008/10/03/dell-mini-9-hacked-to-run-os-x/

    http://hackaday.com/2009/02/21/dell-mini-9-osx-install/

    http://i.gizmodo.com/5156903/how-to-hackintosh-a-dell-mini-9-into-the-ultimate-os-x-netbook

    Infact just search Google and you'll see how many thousands of people have done it already!

    :):apple:
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    #14
    upgraded iBook

    Just upgraded my 12" iBook to 1.25g ram and 250g hd. It flies now, running Tiger on it. Anything else I can upgrade on it?

    Also, I have an Acer Aspire. 1g ram and 160g hd. Can I load Tiger or Leopard on it??
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    #15
    there are a bunch of videos on youtube for the msi wind and installing os x on them, surely there are some for the dell mini 9 also

    this way you can see what is required before you decide on your purchase
     
  16. macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #16
    Boing boing has a chart for netbook conversion to os x. Each model is a link that takes you to the best website detailing how to put mac on it.

    In addition, google is your friend. :D
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Sawtooth811

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Location:
    Charleston, IL
    #17
    I've seen benchmark scores between an iBook G4, MacBook Air, and two netbooks. The netbooks won in the easy tasks, but in the CPU tests and the heavier tasks, the iBook almost doubled their scores in the benchmarks. My solution -- get a PowerBook G4. :cool::apple:
     
  18. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #18
    I think it's important to note the specs -- the iBook's G4 processor went through almost a 2x increase in processor speed, AFAIK, starting at 800MHz and ending up at 1.42 in the fastest iBooks. There's a big difference between 800MHz (which the OP had) and 1.4 or the 1.6GHz processors in the faster Powerbooks.

    There are other considerations, too...

    - How important is weight -- the Netbooks clearly outcompete in this area?
    - How important is speed? With some of the basic tasks the OP listed, I do think there's a difference between fast G4 and Netbook performance, but it's pretty minimal. If you're ripping videos or something, then both computers will be very poor choices, but the speed difference might become much more relevant.
    - How important are aesthetics? I think a used iBook or PB is still prettier than most Netbooks.
    - What OS do you plan on using? It makes a difference if you'll be happy in Windows or possibly Linux on the Netbook vs. needing OS X. It also makes a difference if you need new software -- as fast as a PBG4 might be in comparison to a Netbook, is all the software you want available in PPC Binary?
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    dubhe

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    #19
    Also think about the future, with Snow Leopard around the corner PowerBooks running Tiger or Leopard are soon going to look out of date, yet netbooks will be able to run Win7.

    I'd still have my PB12 any day as a net book :)
     

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