Buying a G3 iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by grasientus, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. grasientus macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2006
    Personally I'm a completely happy Mac user with a lovely 20" intel iMac but a friend has decided he's after a basic iMac for just word processing and so on. He's not looking to spend much and we've been hunting around Ebay for a G3 iMac which seems to be as much as he needs. No internet access required.

    Anyway, I know my recent Macs pretty well but I'm a whole lot less knowledgeable about Macs from that far back. Wondering if there's anything I should specifically be looking for (or avoiding) in such a computer. Needs to be able to run Microsoft Office. Is there a decent version that'll run on a G3?

    Any advice on the matter will be greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance :)
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Well, those machines came with OS9, so your choices among currently shipping applications is next to nil.

    They came IIRC with Appleworks, which is adequate for WP and spreadheet.

    It is possible to install an OSX on these if you have sufficient RAM and an older, OSX. Do some research on
    But you will have to purchase an OSX (Ebay?) unless the machine is sold to you with a retail OSX CD set.

    Go for one with a Firewire port, ignore the earlier iMac models which don't have Firewire.
  3. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    I had my G3 400 iMac running 10.3 and Office X just fine. Max out the ram and it will be servicable.....I've seen plenty of posts from people running 10.4 on their old imacs, do get one with firewire tho!. I never bothered to update to Office 2004 but it wasn't because of hardware limitations of the either Office X or Office 2004 should work.

    That said, I think your friend should look for an eMac.....the G4 in it means that he'll have software upgrade compatiblity for longer than the G3 especially if he can find one of the faster, later models.
  4. Poncho macrumors 6502


    Jun 15, 2007
    I still have my G3 iMac I bought in 1996. I have put OS X Panther on it and it works fine, though not as snappy as OS 9. Also, OS X and all the updates take up half the hardrive space!.

    If your friend is happy to run OS 9 I would say do this. You will be surprised how snappy it is compared with OS X.

    I ran Microsoft Office on it, in OS 9, and also Photoshop and Illustrator.

    Mine doesn't have a firewire port but I connect it to my wireless router via a long ethernet cable and can see the files on my eMac, on which I am writing this.

    The eMac is much much better though. A fabulous machine.

    I love doing computing on the cheap.
  5. SteveG4Cube macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    MontCo., PA
  6. eRondeau macrumors 65816


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    Two months ago I bought my "second Mac", a 600 MHz iMac G3 "Snow". It came with 128MB RAM and OS9; I bought an additional 512MB online and installed OSX 10.3.9. I love it -- for day to day surfing and email it is perfect. It is also fine for iTunes, although it has a lot of trouble decoding H.264 video.

    Your friend will probably be quite happy with it, although the single biggest drawback is the CRT monitor. No CRT is as sharp as Apple's LCD screens. My iMac's CRT has one gun just *slightly* out of alignment, so everything is a little fuzzy. It is fixable, but it would probably cost more than I paid for the machine.

    Even the newest iMac G3 is four generations old (iMac G4, iMac G5, Intel Core Duo, Intel C2D) but as long as he gets a slot-load with a FireWire port, he should be quite happy with it. I haven't installed Microsoft Office on mine, but it does run iWork '05 just fine.
  7. lsyx macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2006
    My parents have a 450MHz G3 Ruby iMac, and I installed 10.4 Tiger on it, it works just fine. Just make sure you have enough RAM, this one has ~570 MB, and you can pick it up cheap. That is the main bottleneck for these Macs, enough RAM and they will fly through basic word processing and even internet.

    If you can pick up an iMac > 400MHz, you should be fine. Don't even bother with an old version of Mac OS X or Office, the latest ones will work and are easier to find. Good luck!
  8. steamboat26 macrumors 65816


    May 25, 2006
    Arlington VA
    I would look on craigslist or somewhere else, ebay prices for G3 iMacs are inflated.
    My 500 Mhz G3 iMac runs Panther fine, but i think you need 512 MB of RAM to run Office 2004, not sure about the other ones
  9. HughJ macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2006
    Norwich UK
    i have just purchased a 600Mhz G3 iMac with 1Gb of ram for £50 for my partners son, its got 10.3 running on it and runs beautifully, probably the best £50 i have ever spent

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