Will a PowerBook g4 be sufficient for my needs?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by barny, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. macrumors member

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    Hi. I have recently noticed that a laptop would be very useful for me. I have an old dell one but it is extremely slow. I just need something good for browsin the Internet and basic word processing. I was thinking maybe going for a good condition PowerBook g4? What do u guys think?

    Barny :)
  2. macrumors regular

    I have one of the original g4 powerbooks. it is a g4 titanium 400 mhz/512 ram and so far i am very happy with it. it does everything i need it to do, including running live weather radar programs since i am a storm chaser by trade in the US. i think if you could find one reasonably priced in decent condition you wil be happy with it. dont run anything lower than os x 10.4.11 since most programs still support 10.4.11
  3. Guest


    The PowerBook G4 will be sufficient enough, unless you visit Flash related websites like YouTube or other similar sites, as Flash is quite CPU hungry and the G4 is not really equipped for that kind of CPU activity anymore, it is an old architecture. Better get one of the first MacBooks (Core Duo) if you want to use YouTube or similar Flash related video sites.
    And as the above post indicates, the G4 came in many variants, from 400MHz and 128MB RAM to 1.67GHz and 512MB RAM as standard.
    See here for all the models: http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/powerbook_g4/index-powerbook-g4.html


    Example: Will a PowerBook G4 (xy GHz, xyz MB RAM) be sufficient for ....
  4. macrumors member

    Thanks for the tip. Sorry I was rushing and didn't think about what I wa writing. I'm afraid I changed it but it doesn't seem to have changed the topic name, just the title when u go into post. Another question. I am from the uk (if this makes any difference) and all the PowerBooks go for loads on eBay. Even the low spec ones that are apparently worth under £100. I want to get a laptop with the apple look but at a lower price and even te very first PowerBooks don't seem to sell for low amounts.
  5. macrumors 604


    Yeah it'll be great as long as you don't want to stream videos in your web browser.
  6. macrumors member

    I was able to get my powerbook g4 12", 1.0GHz on ebay for $220 total which seemed like a fair deal to me. You just need to really keep your eyes peeled on ebay and look frequently, they can sell quick if its a really good deal. If I were you, I'd go for the Aluminum models (1.0GHz and up), from what I've heard anything lower is significantly slower but all are still useful. Just don't spend too much on one, these are quite old machines and are obsolete when it comes to new applications and operating systems.

    Hope you find what you're looking for. :apple:
  7. macrumors regular

    i use a g4 1.67GHZ 1.5 GIG ram for what you are asking about and it works very well. side note i installed leopard on it a few months ago and the performance went to hell, going back to tiger with it. I will so miss quicklook tho
  8. macrumors 68000


    Powerbook G4 is just fine for that. I'd highly recommend one that has a 1GHz or faster processor just because so many sites today are using more and more graphics and flash video. I use old Powerbooks daily, and they are still excellent computers.
  9. macrumors 68000


    For your needs, I'd actually suggest a netbook--they're newer, faster, and there are distributions of Linux that will emulate OSX (or you can hack OSX onto it, if you buy the right kind and a 10.6 install disc). I have one that I use for those purposes (I still use my G4 iBook for anything more heady) and it's a great little machine, I'm actually using it right now as I run diagnostics on my main compy...
  10. macrumors member

    Thanks for the feedback guys. Does anyone else have an opinion on this?

  11. macrumors G3


    I'd advise for you to avoid buy anything PowerPC based. Get an early intel mac.
  12. macrumors 604


    Why? Early intel Macs aren't that stable anyway (at least the early intel iMacs are not).
  13. macrumors 68040


  14. macrumors 604


  15. macrumors 68040


    Lack of experience with G4 PowerBooks and giving advices to others? ;)
    No offense ofc.
  16. macrumors member

    Well, i think what attracts me to the PowerBook G4 is that it employs a design similar to that of the current MacBook Pro's whilst also being relatively low cost to buy. I love that aluminium finish which looks so classy and slick and you would never get that on a PC. So yeah, the reason i think PowerPC may be good is because it will allow me to still get the style, without the cost. I am completely open to suggestions if you can find any PC as sleek and sexy as the PowerBook/MacBook.

    The issue is finding one which is in relatively good nick and the right spec for me. I would definitely not go with the Titanium model as it is known to have issues and I personally don't think it looks as good as the aluminium one.

    I really want to experience the Mac quality, style and operating system at a low cost. Maybe a laptop isn't the way to go to do this?

    Barny :apple:
  17. macrumors 68000


    I am willing to bet most of the people on this board either have never owned a Powerbook G4 or haven't touched one in years. When they are out there saying "it won't do flash" and "its too slow to get online" they have no clue what they are talking about. I currently own and use 3 G4 Powerbooks ranging from 667MHz to 1.5GHz and I can assure you it does what you are looking for. I really think you'll be happy with the performance especially if you're used to an 800MHz PIII system. If you end up buying it and not liking, then at this point in time you can turn around and re-sell it for what you paid and move on.
  18. macrumors P6


    all i know is that my emac 1ghz g4 with 1 gig ram can not play anything on youtube without MASSIVE stuttering

    not to mention it is slow as mud
  19. macrumors 68000


    Depends on the netbook. I benchmarked my 1.5GHz 12" Powerbook against a co-worker's Asus Eee PC and they scored about equal. Powerbook actually edged it out and the Asus had almost double the RAM and an Atom CPU.
  20. macrumors 604


    Yeah, the G4 should be sufficient for your needs. It'll be a bit slow in this day and age but certainly useable. And I'm actually typing this right now on a Mac Mini G4 :)
  21. macrumors member

    Thanks Again for the Advice...to be honest I've never had a computer that runs flash smoothly so it shouldn't be much of a problem. How would a good spec 17" PowerBook G4 cope?

    Barny :apple:
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Few days ago I picked up a 12" PowerBook 1.5ghz 1.25gb ram. Compared to my i5 mbp of course it's a dog but I am growing very fond of it. It runs leopard very well for everyday tasks but I may take it back down to tiger. Great computer and I agree - the PowerBooks look fantastic.
  23. macrumors member

    Ok thanks, what size screen would people recommend getting? Personally i dont really like the 12" because the keyboard goes to the edge and i think this makes it look not as good. I prefer the 15 and 17 inch models with the aluminium bit around the keyboard. Im also not sure what kind of price the individual models cost. Originally i assume the 12" were cheapest and 17" cost the most but now as they are old im not sure as there seems to be more demand for the 12" version.

  24. macrumors 6502


    imo the 12" are the sexiest G4 Powerbooks (possibly the sexiest Apple laptop ever, period)

    I value mobility and 12" is pretty freaking mobile, while still managing to retain the power of their bigger brothers (unlike todays 13" MBP's which are just rebadged Macbooks)
  25. macrumors 6502a


    You can probably get a nice deal on some of the early generation MBP's along the PB G4's price range.

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