Should I Buy This Second Hand Powerbook

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by blinkie, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2007
    Hi, A friend of mine has offered me her powerbook g4 for about £400. It's 1.67ghz with a 17inch screen and 512 mb of ram. It seems like a pretty good deal to me but I wanted to check first with all you experts just incase I'm missing something, like a better option.

    I'll be using it sometimes for video editing, some audio too. and photoshoping.

    It should, I think, be a big step up from the 466 desktop I use now.
  2. macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2007
    Athens, Ohio
    In my opinion, you should not buy any Mac that does not have an Intel processor in it these days. This is because of the rumored Intel only release of Mac OS X Snow Leopard and even the old Core Duo processors are way more powerful than any G4.
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 26, 2008
    This is a good post, but if you need an economical upgrade, you might consider a G4. I'm not good with euro but if I could get a female-owned, 17" G4 Powerbook for less than half the cost of a low-end intel macbook...I would probably do it.
  4. macrumors regular


    Aug 4, 2007
    Iowa, United States, Earth, Milky Way, . . .
    I have a iBook g4 with upgraded ram. it doesn't run very well, i would get an early macbook (pro). i have come across apps that do not work on ppc also
  5. macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2006
    I have an "old" Core Duo and it runs like a dream. I am going to upgrade the HD this summer.

    That being said, I do not think there is anything wrong picking up a PPC machine if the price is right. Though, £400 seems like a hefty price for a machine that is going to be most likely superseded in the next OS release.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2006
    The upgrade over the 466MHz G4 you have now will be immense, I definitely recommend getting this unit. I'd offer something like £350 or £375 though, as 400 is almost touching on refurb Intel prices.

    My PowerBook G4 handles everything I throw at it well (Lightroom was an experience, but I knew it would be). Bump the RAM to 2GB and you'll be flying in both Tiger and Leopard in no time.
  7. macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2007
    Are you people out of your minds? This is a total **** deal.

    A refurb MacBook will run about the same, be covered under a 1yr warranty, and have a far better spec sheet.


    ps: Apple refurbs are awesome and indistinguishable from out of the box new product--not like the PB your friend has touched with god-knows-what on his/her hands. (Ehhhhhhh? Just like YOU.)

    e: that price would be fine if it were euros, not pounds.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2007
    See how they mention "female owned"?

    Now you know what i'm talking about. No one wants to be handling some stranger's "jack handed" keyboard.
  9. macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    That seems like a decent price for a 17" PowerBook G4 (granted, I would probably see if your friend would accept an offer of £350 to £375 as per SuperCompu2's advice).

    This would be a huge increase in performance over your existing system. :)
  10. macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2007
    All my joking aside, OP--your friend is giving you a crap deal. And the people ITT are not looking close enough at the true eBay gray market average.

    Getting this machine for anywhere near this price is a garbage deal compared to the spec sheet of ANY refurb MB or MBP. Either would be a performance bump for you.

    I browsed for you and here's a general benchmark spec sheet on why PPC now in fact, drools, and intel now rules.

    I hope for godsake you don't listen to silly voices....

    Go the extra step for an intel box and it will last you a good damn while.
  11. macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    If it is going to be your sole machine i'd strongly advice you pick up an intel machine (core duo) from ebay for about the same price or just splurge and extra 200 for a certified Core 2 Duo refurb with warranty from Apple. You can also search for promotional coupons on the internet which might get you further discounts.

    £400 for a 17" high-end G4 is doable but its not the most cost effective path to take. You'd have to upgrade the RAM to get decent performance out of it and DDR RAM is more expensive now...So it starts adding up to more than £400

    I recently got a maxed out 12" PB for the same price and that was because...its was maxed out (1.25GB RAM/100GB 7200 RPM drive/1.5GHz G4/Superdrive etc) so i wouldn't need to spend a penny more AND it was in pristine condition AND i have an iMac already to do the heavy lifting and was just looking for a portable to surf and write papers with on the go.

    So i'd advice you seek out a refurb but truth be told there's no cheaper way to get a 17" Apple Laptop but if you don't mind a macbook, you can get a core duo i'd imagine from ebay for around the same price and a core 2 duo from Apple refurb for about £200 extra which would give you longevity as well.

    As far as i'm concerned Tiger was the end of the line for G4 machines.
  12. macrumors member


    Apr 6, 2007
    I would say no. Save up an extra £100 and buy a refurbished Macbook. It's faster, is definitely compatible with Snow Leopard, new battery, 1 year warranty...
  13. thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2007
    Thanks for the comments, they've help me realise that it's maybe not the best deal out there (I'm watching some ebay stuff and the prices are cheaper than I'd thought). I agree with what some are saying about intel macs, but they are more expensive, maybe just a little but that makes a difference. What are your thought on macbooks for video editing? This was one reason I thought the Powerbook was handy. Would a macbook's extra processing power outweigh the powerbooks dedicated video card??

    Snow Leopard. Hmm I'm not so sure I really care about it. I still love Tiger and I don't chase App upgrades as much as others. If it ain't broke don't fix it.
  14. macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    depends on your workflow and app you'd be relying on. Video editing for the most part is CPU based i.e. apps like final cut rely on CPU but some apps like Motion are heavily GPU intensive

    For the most part the MacBook will handle video editing just fine but if you're doing production-high-end stuff and use apps like Motion then you might wanna look at the MacBook Pro

    Either way i'd guess that the GMA X3100 is on Par with the G4's Mobility Radeon
  15. macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2008
    I must confess, after being a die hard PPC user, and said that I would NEVER own an Intel Mac, I am typing right now on a new aluminum iMac. It's hundreds of times better than my G4 could ever hope to be. I had a Mirrored Drive Door Dual 1Ghz, with a Radeon 9600 and 2GB RAM, but my iMac is 100x better. I say find a good deal on an Intel. 400 euros, if my memory is correct, is around $800 USD, but don't quote me on that, and for around $1000, you can get a Macbook with the X3100, which I'm quite sure would be on par with the Powerbook's Radeon card. It's up to you, however, that is a decent deal for the computer it is.
  16. macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2007
    Athens, Ohio
    400 Euros is $620.06 USD, not $800 USD. The dollar isn't that bad (yet :().
  17. thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2007
    Just to clarify, I'm talking £400 not €400.
  18. macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2007
    That's about $788,16 or €507,79.
    That's too much for a G4 imo.
    I should buy a Intel Mac if I were you.
  19. thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2007
    Watching ebay gives me the fear. Computers like this are going for around £500!
  20. macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    That's because people on eBay are greedy.

    As others have said, this is a Very Bad Deal.
  21. macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Get a Core Duo or early Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro instead if its your main machine.

    Getting a G4 as a main computer right now is madness, especially at this price.
  22. macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    Apart from the price,as someone else mentioned it's intel all the way now dude & dudet's
  23. macrumors member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Pennsylvania, United States
    I just sold my 17in Powerbook 1.5GHz processor for 1130USD but that was w/ final cut pro and some other pieces of software. If you do get this, I would suggest upgrading to 1 gb RAM RIGHT AWAY!!

    I used FCP to edit for almost 4 years on this machiene and if the keyboard didnt crap out and if I still had more than 1gb of internal storage I would have kept it for another year or two. But its almost impossible to use FCP if you dont have 1gb ram.
  24. macrumors 65816


    Mar 6, 2007
    Keep in mind, you are buying a laptop that has been banged around, even if carefully. Batteries keep getting harder to find and more expensive for older lappies. Memory is more expensive for it, and you definitely need more than 512. That price is way too high for such a relic.
  25. macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    In the UK, market wise, that price is fine. I probably wouldn't buy though, because of the intel thing. US people doing currency conversions are nuts, almost everything costs more here.

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