Why do used older Macs still cost so much ?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dwl017, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. dwl017 macrumors 6502a

    dwl017

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    #1
    Hello all,

    I am a new member here and a long time Mac user, I was scanning Ebay this evening and for the life of me I just don't understand why so many old used Macs like the Cube and G3 models are still selling for $300 $400 and sometimes even $500 or more!

    Why are people still shelling out big bucks for old used 450Mhz G4 models and 700Mhz iMacs when you can buy a brand new Mac Mini for $500 and some change or a brand new Dell 3Ghz complete system with monitor in the $600 range of course I know why folks loves Mac's but what is the lure to these old slow out dated Macs :confused:
     
  2. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #2
    Macs are less in number, therefore demand is greater, therefore prices are higher.

    Macs last longer then PC's in most cases, and you can still do great stuff with G3's. What can you do with a 300 MHz PC?

    Not much.
     
  3. Mfisch017 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #3
    Well for me, I guesse i will possibly be shelling out 239 for a not so great iBook, but for me I guesse im not buying a refurbed macbook because the things i will be doing on my iBook arn't that hardcore :p so I would rather keep my 700 bucks, guesse it just depends. Look at some eMacs 50$ lol....
     
  4. dwl017 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dwl017

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    #4

    Yeah I understand but correct me If I'm wrong a 600 or 700Mhz stock G3 will be painfully slow for anything other then email checking and light surfing. Most web sites now days that incorporate Flash content etc. would take days to load on a old G3 processor correct ?

    And whats with the Cube ? 450Mhz how painful must this be for anything other then email ?
     
  5. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

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    Mar 21, 2006
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    Hoosiertown
    #5
    You can do quite alot on 350mhz, Thats just about what most people really need. If you have more then 512mb of ram it's really usable.

    remember the power pc processors can do alot more with less mhz.
     
  6. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #6
    Actually you can do quite a bit with a cube. My son actually can do quite a lot in GarageBand, even with only 256 MB of memory. If you bumped up the RAM a bit, it could do even more.

    Also, there are some businesses that need the older computers for legacy applications, for example Quark using Mac OS 9. If the business hasn't migrated up to Mac OS X, then they need a supply of old computers.
     
  7. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    #7
    Incorrect. I did a 3D animation on a 600MHz G3 just a few years ago and it was pretty usable. Granted the dual 2.5GHz G5 I have now renders quite a bit faster, but it's not like a G3 is worthless or anything. No problems with Flash either (how fast a site loads would depend more on the network speed than the CPU anyway).

    --Eric
     
  8. neyoung macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    #8
    If all someone wants to do is to check email, write a few documents, and do a bit of surfing you can accomplish that on a fairly slow machine.

    I compare old Mac's with classic cars. People buy classic cars because they are cool and they bring back memories. I think the same goes for old school Macs. They give off a bit of a retro vibe which is pretty cool if you ask me.
     
  9. dwl017 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dwl017

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    #9
    Sorry Eric I'm new hear and all but I'm not slow, my five year old kid has an Imac G3 600Mhz original style iMac and its painfully slow with 512mb of memory. My kid was using it to surf Disney Online until they recently went flash now the site takes days to open and play. We have Comcast cable internet and my 2GHZ G5 iMac burns through content like a hot knife in butter so I must respectfully disagree with you guys that say the older G3 and G4 Macs are still useful.

    Its easier for my kid to use my G5 then to watch her face frown up while even the kid sites take to long to load up on the old processors. This is just my point of view not trying to argue or start anything.
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #10
    No, Eric5h5 is right......webpage speeds don't really depend on the speed of the computer.


    However, regardless of how "useful" these older Macs are, the point the OP is trying to make is that old Macs don't appear to be worth their asking price. I agree that old Macs sell for way too much money.

    I sold my 3 year old 12" 1 GHz PowerBook with 1.25 GB of RAM and a massive 40 GB HDD for around $750 Canadian dollars (CDN) when I bought it for around $2200 CDN 3 years before that.

    A new MacBook cost me around $1250 CDN through EDU discount (I bought it in Australia. If I bought it in Canada, it would have been a bit cheaper still). I don't know about you, but to me, it's crazy to spend $720 on my old 12" PB. The screen was so dim I'm surprised I was able to sell it.

    I know some people love their old Macs, but in terms of technology and price-performance ratio, I can only think "There's a sucker born every minute."
     
  11. dwl017 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dwl017

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    #11
    This is exactly what I was trying to say.

    I know some people love their old Macs, but in terms of technology and price-performance ratio, I can only think "There's a sucker born every minute."
     
  12. SuperCompu2 macrumors 6502a

    SuperCompu2

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    MA
    #12
    My Dual 500MHz G4s in my PowerMac still kick the @sses of a lot of peoples' eMachines and Gateways they've only recently bought in the last year or two.

    It's simply because the factors that make a PC obsolete don't apply to most modern Macs (I'd say 500MHz G3 and up is still an everyday machine for most people). They don't get bogged down with Adware, spyware and pop-ups. They don't get slower with newer OS's, they get faster. And most importantly, they look much better than most PCs of that age.

    In my opinion, for the most part, the machines are worth the asking price.
     
  13. phuong macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 16, 2006
    #13
    it's the demand/supply that pushes the price up.
    other than that, an old Mac is not much different from an old PC.
    my mom is still using my old compaq desktop, 266MHz 256MB ram, running windows 98. it's broken sometimes, but i fix it easily.
     
  14. gothiquegirrl macrumors regular

    gothiquegirrl

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    #14


    You know, before I re-built my POS PC and put 1gb of ram in it... My G3 500mhz imac with 512mb kicked it's @$$. The PC only had 512 in it as well.. and it was a P4 1+Ghz Machine.

    In fact.. I Currently use my little G3 to listen to Rhapsody , check my email, update my web blog, design my website, I do things in Garageband, It runs the Macromedia MX suite nicely ( even if slow) and CS2 ( again SLOW.. lol ). I have also done light 3D rendering on it.. and ect. Granted there are some things i can't do on it.. as in Movie editing.. and HEAVY Graphics editing.. but it makes a Killer a back up computer.

    I've been so happy with my G3 ( it's NEVER crashed on me! ) that i am now a total switcher. I plan on getting a macbook soon.. and slowly switching all my stuff to a Mac ( My husband is a total PC guy) .

    For most websites it does just fine.. plays DVD's like a charm..

    It was totally worth the $200 i paid for it ( including shipping).

    Ang
     
  15. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #15
    You are taking two facets of the product's worth and drawing a conclusion, a very unflattering one at that. That is not sound logic. The poster who alluded to market demand was right. If old Mac's did not have a demand, the sales outlets would have them sitting without buyers until the price reached a level someone would buy them. You asked the question, "Why......", but reject the answers given. So, are you just interested in making your own point? Or, did you really want an answer?
     
  16. jericho53 macrumors regular

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    #16
    The market determines the price. G3's are still great machines for email, word processing, and classic games. G4's (the newer ones) will satisfy all but the most demanding users. Just my 2 cents.
     
  17. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

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    #17
    Well...you did ask a question (and one that can't be read as rhetorical), and asked to be corrected if you were wrong. So I did. I'm not sure what you expect. :shrug: I can only repeat, a 600Mhz G3 is still useful for a number of things other than email, and some people apparently still value them--hence the prices they go for--but if it makes you feel better somehow to laugh at them for being "suckers", go ahead.

    --Eric
     
  18. ruZZ.il macrumors member

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    Jan 28, 2007
    Location:
    Israel
    #18
    I just recently popped a 512 stick out of an old, basically dead 750mhz pc laptop and stuck it into an old 466mhz ibook.. now, the pc was usable.. before it died.. but the ibook... is like new :) osx 10.4.8 runs fine.. I wouldnt photoshop or anything.. nor would I have with that pc.. but dashboard, expose runs great, it surfs like anything else.. it plays dvd's and videos.. all pretty smoothly.. with streaming music in the backround. I'm really considering buying a new battery and an airport for it it'll be a great machine to just have round the house for ppl coming in and out.. its just simple and there. I love it :)
     
  19. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    #19
    :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

    A POX UPON YOUR FAMILY!

    Now that's done, my 450Mhz G4 Cube is still perfectly capable, thank you. I'm running 10.4.8 very nicely, and am at this moment typing this with iTunes playing music in the background, and MSN Messenger. About 50% CPU usage.

    I can run Quake 3 very well, and recently downloaded the WC3 demo, which gave smooth framerates, albeit on the lowest graphics settings.

    I reckon I could sell my cube with 15" screen, keyboard, speakers and mouse for maybe even AU$500, looking at the prices on e-bay. I will likely keep it for a long time in the future though, because it is useful, especially as it has a 250GB HDD in it, and it is the fastest computer my family owns, the second fastest in the house (My dad uses a PowerBook from his work). The other two are black 233Mhz G3 Powerooks. Now in my opinion, THEY are unusable, but my Mum seems to disagree.

    If a person just wants to surf the net, listen to music, watch DVD's, write assignments, and do some light gaming, there's nothing wrong with my Cube. Why shell out 3 times as much to get something you don't need?

    My G4 Cube is quite rare. Only very few were made, and it looks awesome. It also sounds awesome, as it has no fans. It would look grat in someone's loungeroom.

    I'll murder you for insulting my Cube some other time.
     
  20. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

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    #20
    :writes note to self: "Do not insult Cube when ardent Cube fans might be lurking in the vicinity...consequences appear to be painful" :tries not to lose note:

    --Eric
     
  21. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #21
    *roflmao*

    Too true, too true. However, as soon as I get a new notebook, I will be somewhat more forgiving of people insulting the Cube. So instead of murder worthy, it will be downgraded to break-all-the-fingers-on-your-right-hand worthy. Unless you're a lefty, in which case the subjected hand will be reversed.
     
  22. djellison macrumors 68020

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Pasadena CA
    #22
    I honestly believe there is a profit to be made from buying refurb MB's and MBP's from the Apple store and putting them straight on Ebay. I actually spent a month about 8 years ago buying brand new DDR Ram from an online retailer and putting it straight on ebay -making about 20% profit every time....still don't understand how or why it was possible..but it was.

    I'm waiting to buy an MBP till the June Keynote. If I buy a refurb MB now, and then sell it on once I get my MBP - I will, at worst, get my money back...at best make a small profit ( especially if I drop 2 gig of ram in it )

    Doug
     
  23. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #23
    You mentioned the Cube. That one is a special case. People want it for the same reason they want a Jaguar E-Type, or a classic watch. It is rare, and there is nothing like it.

    Now you compared these old Macs to a cheap 3 GHz Dell. Newbie mistake: There are cheap 3 GHz Dells, but they are the absolute low end Dells. Outdated six months before you bought them, and no redeeming features. The better Dells actually have lower clock speed. 3 GHz Dells are the dinosaurs using Pentium 4 processors, almost extinct (3 GHz starts again at the very high end with really expensive 3 GHz Core 2 chips, but you were talking about $600 computers, and these chips are $999 alone).

    Now about these old machines going for $300 or $400: They work. They do their job. They run as smoothly today as they did five years ago, and you can use them without them giving you any agro. The things that they are used for, they do them better than any Windows machine. Where Windows Vista needs the latest and greatest hardware to run (and that $600 Dell won't make a pleasant experience), MacOS X runs smoothly on a much much slower machine, with a graphics card that is slower than anything you can buy today.

    And, of course, some people buying on eBay just get carried away.
     
  24. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #24
    That's because you are using the wrong metrics. Price/performance ratio doesn't matter. Price/usefulness ratio is what counts. A computer reaches hundred percent usefulness if it does what I want it to do, without annoying me. Depending on what is used for, a used Macintosh for $300 can reach that hundred percent usefulness mark easily, when a $600 Dell (or a $2000 Dell) doesn't have a chance.
     
  25. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #25
    I was using my Cube at 450 MHz until last year and had no problem using it as my only TV with the Formac Studio DV/TV, and DVDs, besides all the other uses mentioned above.

    Then I upgraded it to 1.8 GHz because it was slow to watch TV and surf at the same time. It was also slow to watch videos from iTunes.

    Now I use it with EyeTV in MPEG2 mode, because in MPEG4 it's kinda slow for playback. I still have the Formac and can use both at the same time.

    In these years, I went:
    CPU: 450MHz - 1.8 Ghz
    RAM: 64MB - 192MB - 704MB - 576MB - 1088MB
    HD: 20GB - 60GB - 120GB - 320GB - 400GB
    GFX: ATI Rage 128 - nVidia GeForce 2MX - ATI Radeon 7500

    I could have upgraded all these things even more.

    The main motivator to move to a newer computer would be USB 2.0
     

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