Buying an old school mac (ibook G3 maybe?)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by stina44, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. stina44 macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2010
    Hi! I'm new here and am considering buying my first Mac but I'd really like to get a used one.
    I gravitated towards the old school G3 clamshells but they are harder to find than say the ibook G3's that came after that one which is my second choice.
    I ran a search for them on Google and the G3's come as cheap as 100 dollars and go up to about 200 or 250 from reputable sites that refurbish them first. I was just wondering though what OS I should expect to get because a lot of the sites have been vague about that. I was hoping for OS 9 because like I said I want to experience an old school mac.
    Also I was wondering if anyone who has owned an ibook G3 or still does can tell me how they've liked having it? Are there any common problems I should be aware of? Thank you in advance for your time and I'm sorry if this post was too long!
  2. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    Well the dual-usb iBook G3s were pretty good back in the day up till about a few years ago. $250 can get you a decent late Powerbook G4. I wouldn't spend more than $125 on any iBook G3. They did have a common problem with them where the graphics card would separate from the logic board or get micro cracks in the solder joints and making the iBook boot with no video.

    $250 can buy you a decent G5 desktop or iMac which would be very good if you want to get your feet wet with a Mac. They can run Leopard which is still a great OS.

    I've had many iBook G3/G4s and were very nice computers. Nice and compact and you still had a DVD drive/burner in them. Tiger 10.4 was basically it on the G3 iBooks while Leopard 10.5 was it on the iBook G4s granted that you had at least 1gb of memory.
  3. Johnny7 macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2010
    A while ago, I did a lot of research on the G3s and as far as I can tell, the logic boards don't last and with today's laptop standards I really don't see much use out of one(don't mean to be a buzz kill :p). If you want a good, long lasting first mac do what I did:D(just last week) I searched ebay for a powerbook G4. Powerbooks(aluminum) last a long time, I did a lot of research and people still use them to this day and using mine, it really impressed me, especially for its age. I was able to get a 12" powerbook g4 1.0ghz for $215 Total on ebay. A great investment as far as I can tell. As for the os, go for tiger or better(if getting anything G4+). Remember that mac os x 10.6 and newer will not run on any of the powerpc processors. This is my opinion from my personal experience ;).

    Good luck,
  4. stina44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2010
    Cool! Thanks for replying I'll keep that in mind OrangeSVTguy. If I do get one of those ibooks that had a video card that cracked away from the main unit would it be easy to get a repair shop to soulder that back on? Also would it be possible to "down grade" the OS from 10 to 9 or would that cause problems?

    And Johnny7 I will look at the G4's as well I've only just started looking so I'm glad that I came here to ask ya'lls advice!
  5. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    the iBook G3's are still pretty usable for surfing the web , but just dont expect them to play youtube direct, but if you can wait and download the video you want to watch then even that works ,

    i would not recommend a iBook or Powerbook as a first Mac really as good ones cost really money and the good ones are harder and harder to find
    too many crappy ones among them and it really depends on how well it was cared for , little scratches are normal , but cracks should not happen when carefully handled ,and are often a sign of a drop , same for the powerbooks , scratches are normal tiny ones , but dents mean hands away it was dropped

    i would recommend getting a eMac 1.42ghz model ,they had the G4 processor and a 512mb L2 cache they had the ati 9600 graphics card with 64mb vram they can take 2Gb ram , the 1.42 models had been top end of the line and the last ones shipped in 2006 they are known as indestructible , i have three of them and they are fantastic problem free Mac's and in my opinion you cant get a better Mac for the money they even have really good speakers inside
    and eMac 1.42's are cheaper then a iBook if its in good working condition with a working battery ,
    they are just much underrated because they have a crt screen and
    not the fancy but often failing lcd screen like the iMac G5 which all to often develop stripes in later life and are expensive to replace

    the other Mac's i can recommend are the iMac G3's slot loader they are cheap as chips now , but they seem to last forever really ,they are the reason why apple got the reputation to produce high quality forever lasting computers, i have 2 of them and refer to them as pets who just dont wee on the carpet

    i you really want a Gem on your desk then get a iMac G4 usb 2.0 model 1 ghz with a 15 inch screen and 1.25 with 17 inch or 20 inch screen ,
    the best looking Mac's of all times
  6. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    Seconded - awesome machine, especially if you get one with built in airport extreme/bluetooth. Really stood the test of time
  7. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    I would personally stay away from all ibook G3's. The white ones had quite a lot of problems, and the clamshells are limited by an ancient 800x600 resolution - you certainly don't want to browse the web like that.
  8. raysfan81 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2009
    North Carolina
    Why don't you get an iMac g3? They look great and are silent because they had no fans.
  9. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    and cost next to nothing any more and are far more reliable then any iBook
    as the iMac g3's are desktops and sit on a desk all their life and didn't get thrown around in backpacks
  10. bobbytomorow macrumors 6502


    Nov 10, 2007
    Left Coast
    Yeah I wouldn't mess with an iBook G3, unless it was for collector reasons only. They are basically useless now for any kind of day to day use imo.

    Like others have said a great way to get a taste of Mac is a G3 iMac simply because they go for $20 on craigslist, they also boot into OS 9 or OS X too.
  11. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    the thing with PPC Mac's are useless has always been there since the intel Mac's came , and i would not say useless , it depends what you need them for , and what programs you want to use
    you can still do basic internet surfing , just use clicktoflash as flashplayer does not like ppc Mac's so if it sees a ppc Mac it tries to crush it
    you can happily send emails
    listen to your itunes

    and if you are happy with using programs that had been around the days when the particular Mac was around then they will happy do the job

    measuring the usefulness of a computer by using 1 task it cant do as good is a bit unfair

    its like when i would say the new iMac 27" i7 is useless because can not install
    claris works in snow leopard among lots more of my old OS9 programs
    because they dont have classic support in snow leopard , and thats annoying too , i love the simple old programs ,
    thats why i stick with osx tiger too

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