Appreciate advice: 800MHz G3 enough?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by MacHarne, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. MacHarne macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2005
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    I typically wouldn't ask, but I would like to hear some of your opinions and experiences with my situation.

    The PB in my sig will be handed over tomorrow since I've finished up with the research my school gave me the machine for. Having a G4 has since really spoiled me now that I am returning to an 800MHz G3, see sig also.

    However, now that I am returning to the iBook, I have a lot of software that I received for free from the school due to my help on the project (namely, Adobe Creative Suite and Macromedia Studio MX). These I use all the time now for website design etc. And I have never ran them before extensively on the iBook.

    My situation is this: I am a college student who is on the go all the time. I rarely get back to my dorm, and it's often only to change out books that I couldn't transport before. My iBook is a great and sturdy computer, but I have major issues with the 30GB harddrive that is clearly not enough for me (I have about 7GB of software alone, 21GB of music [much from iTMS :D], and 4GB of photos, not to forget school files). I'd appreciate more storage space, but at the same time don't wish to throw all my money into an aging G3.

    I have been contemplating getting a Mac mini a month or so before the fall semester (I already have a nice NEC LCD monitor and the keyboard/mouse desktop set). Having the Mac mini would give me more performance capabilities (I'd install the 1GB of RAM myself, easy enough).

    Or, I was thinking of buying a LaCie 200GB d2 harddrive and putting OS X on it, so I just boot my iBook from the LaCie drive (via FireWire) and use it like that. I would, in that case, only take along the files I need onto the iBook, same would be for Mac mini purchase.

    Or, also, I could buy a larger 2.5" harddrive for the G3 and have it installed (not sure I could handle that, although I've done similar things before).

    A note of interest: I am in college and have very little extra money to spend. I could manage the Mac mini (thanks to tax refunds; I was thinking about 800$ after my student discount, and that's before the 1GB of RAM) but would try and take that as a last resort if my other options were not going to be beneficial enough.

    I'd like to hear your input on this, and also your experiences in a similar rut.
  2. whocares macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    I'd go for the external HD and us it for back-up and iTunes. Why do you need to carry 21 MB of mp3/aac in your iBook if you have an iPod.

    FWIW, I run Photoshop 7 on a 800MHz G3 iBook, and it works just fine. :)
  3. vtprinz macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2004
    I have the exact same iBook, just with a 40GB HD instead of 30GB. I don't know about MacroMedia, but Photoshop CS runs well enough with 5MP photos. I also edit quite a few 8MP and RAW shots, but I try to limit those as it can be a little slow. Still completely works though.

    I'd get the mac mini if you think you'd need the extra power from time to time, otherwise an external HD should suffice. For that matter, why not sell your 20GB ipod and pick up a 60GB iPod Photo ;) You can hold all your music and photos plus plenty of room for anything else that doesn't need to be on the 'book.
  4. MacHarne thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2005
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    Well, as of right now, I'm not sure how I will handle the music side of things. About 17GB of my music is on the iPod (it maxes at about 18.5GB if I am correct) and the rest has been backed up onto CD-Rs (actually, it's all backed up on CD-Rs and on a PC I have here). I'd prefer to have all of my music on both locations (meaning, when I sync the iPod, it does an automatic full sync). Although, I wouldn't mind an iPod mini, because I never need all of my music; but again, I would be crammed to fit all of the music onto this 30GB hd.

    I heard that it's not healthy for the iPod harddrive to be used as an external drive often (as in, constantly accessing it or transferring data). Also, I'd rather go ahead and get an iPod mini if anything; I prefer the smallest possible music player that still holds a decent amount (4-6GB is fine for me; I tend to sync regularly anyways). But, I'll check out the iPod photos and if the size doesn't bother me any more than my current 3G iPod does (plus iSkin over top of that), then I'll consider that route.

    Wow, two responses and both from people with 800MHz G3 iBooks. How convenient :)

    Thanks for the input.
  5. rtdgoldfish macrumors 6502a


    Jul 4, 2004
    Jacksonville, FL
    I have an 800mHz iBook G3 as well and I picked up a Mac Mini about a week ago. I had used the iBook since starting college in the fall of 2003 and now that I have the Mini, I haven't used an Adobe or Macromedia product on the iBook since. It has become my notepad for class and that is about it.

    I guess the way I looked at it was a 1.42gHz Mini was almost double the clock speed of my iBook and the hard drive was over twice the size (30 gig in the iBook, 80 gig in the Mini). I have never had a CD burner in a Mac and I love having the SuperDrive on the Mini.

    Basically, I would go ahead and get a Mini. You said you already have a monitor. I picked up a KVM just for the monitor. Still using the keyboard and mouse for my PC and got the wireless Apple keyboard and mouse. For a college student, I love the Mini. I don't do any video editing or anything that requires a G5 and it seems the Mini is very good at running iLife as well as Adobe and Macromedia applications.

    Anyway...Enough of my running on and on...It's late, time for bed...
  6. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    my wife ran the older equivalent of adobe cs (illustrator 8, pagemaker 6.5, photoshop 5.5) and macromedia freehand on her 300 mhz g3 ibook (160 mb ram) but that was on os 9.0

    os x and adobe creative suite would be out of the question on that old ibook


    you can probably run adobe creative suite and os x (panther) on the 800 mhz g3 ibook for some time, but apple will eventually bring out tiger and later versions of os x, not to mention newer adobe and macromedia apps, and you may find yourself with a seriously outdated ibook

    if you can get that uncle sam tax refund, get the g4 powered mac mini since it not only will (easily) run your adobe and macromedia graphics apps today, but ensure several years of smooth computing for the rest of college and perhaps beyond

    and yes, there will always be some happy mac user running a computer with a g3 processor and some post-tiger version of os x by only doing light games, word processing, and the internet...but briskly working adobe and marcomedia apps would be highly unlikely in the future with any g3 powered computer
  7. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    My iBook G3/800 performance experiences:

    * Perfect for Safari, Firefox, MS Office, and iTunes. Almost everything I do

    * Photoshop Elements 2 is a bit inhibited for my tastes, probably due to not having AltiVec, so I run it on an iMac G5 now.

    * Lotus Notes is not horribly pleasant; for that I probably should get a new 'Book, since it runs fine on iBook G4s and on the iMac G5.

    * Deimos Rising is okay, for what that's worth performance-wise.

    You can get by with Creative Suite and stuff on a G3/800, but you might want to save your pennies and get a mini or something on the side, if not a new iBook or PowerBook.

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