Buying iBook - what do I need?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by jersey10, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. jersey10 macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2004
    I currently own an eMac but am interested in adding a 12" iBook as well. I'm considering buying a used G3 in order to save money (Ebay seems to have decent deals), but I don't know if it will be sufficient for my purposes.

    In addition to using the iBook for word processing with Microsoft Office, internet, and watching DVDs, I also definitely want to be able to wirelessly access the internet, iTunes, etc. in a separate part of my house. In light of this, my questions are as follows - (i) what features does my iBook need to have in order to do this?; (ii) would a G3 with 500-600 mhz be sufficient for my purposes?; and (iii) what do I need to get along with the iBook in order to have wireless access in my house?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  2. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    You'd need

    • A Wireless Access Point (Linksys has some or you can get an Airport Base Station)
    • An Airport card for your iBook
    • That's it really.

    A G3 iBook should be plenty fine for your purposes.
  3. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004

    I've got 700mhz G3 12" iBook with OSX 10.2.8 and MS Office v.X. I think Officev.X was designed for G4 and higher as it runs painfully slowly. For example it'll pause while i type if i make a typo, it thinks about the correction and then fills in 5-6 secs. of typing. I know it's only a little thing but drives me mad. So much so that I recently completed my final college assignments in TextEdit which is far quicker!
    If your used to a G4 eMac running at 1Ghz or more you might be in for a shock. That said the iBook is great I wouldn't use anything else (unless someone is going to buy me a later model or a powerBook!)
  4. jersey10 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2004
    The slow performance of MS Office on a G3 (that you describe) would be a big drawback for me. Since MS Word would be the only thing I would ever use from MS Office on the iBook, however, do you (or anyone) know whether would it be possible to load just this part of MS Office onto the iBook and, if so, would this help speed up the performance on the G3?

    Any thoughts?
  5. Finiksa macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2003
    Slow performance of Office v.X has nothing to do with the G3 processor, it's more likely due to insufficient RAM. It works fine on my 500MHz iMac with 768MB of RAM.

    Yes you can just install Word but it won't make the machine any faster.
  6. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2003
    New Jersey USA
    I have a G3 Powerbook Pismo model with 756 ram, Office X runs just fine, as do wireless internet aituations.

    I think the raw speed of the G3 iBook will be plenty for net, Office, and school. Where you take a hit is video. The iBook and older Macs in general have anemic video cards. They can play DVDs fine, but not the current crop of games.

    I think a used iBook will more than adequately meet your needs and price point.

  7. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    System requirements are quoted as 256MB for Office 2004 I can't remember what v.X was rated at but it would'nt have been any higher would it? Anyway my G3 has 384MB RAM.
    My Intel P3 800Mhz running Office Similar generation of office wipes the floor with it?
    Is there anything else I should be looking at for a speed boost? It's just office I have a problem with.
  8. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    the great OKLAHOMA....
    deeply consider 512 or above for panther or any X OS. It will make your comp feel like an entirally new machine.
  9. Crikey macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2004
    Spencer's Butte, Oregon
    In what way does the PC version seem faster than the Mac version? Is it in processing instructions when the programs are already running, or in the time it takes the programs to load? When you install Office on a PC, Office pre-loads a bunch of its DLLs (the code of which the Office programs are comprised) every time you boot Windows. So you wait longer for Windows to boot, but when you click that Word icon, BAM! Word just seems to spring to life. Makes the Office apps *seem* faster by redistributing where the wait occurs.

    I get the impression from playing with store models though that Office v.X (Word, at least) is a resource hog. I'd get 512MB or more RAM if I could afford it. Or just do what I do, and someone above mentioned: use TextEdit for any documents that don't require Word's high-end formatting tricks. TextEdit loads fast, and it uses a simple file format that can't carry macro viruses like Word's can.



    Edit: But I'd buy a new iBook over a used one, since I haven't seen any deals that save enough money to be worth the hefty speed improvements of the latest versions and the peace of mind of a warranty.
  10. Finiksa macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2003
    System Requirements listed by companies are the absolute minimum needed to run software. Don't expect good performance with just the "System Requirements" I just upgraded to 2004 it runs perfectly on my 500MHz iMac with 768MB but runs like a dog on my 700MHz iBook G3 with 256MB of RAM.
  11. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    Thanks Everyone!

    Well it would appear more RAM is the answer.

    I'll continue along with TextEdit until I upgrade my PC. My college work's over so the portability issue is not that important and I'm looking forward to the new iMac G5. If it's not all that we're hoping for I'll settle for a new i/powerBook G4, either way with lots of RAM.
  12. paxtonandrew macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2004
    I Come From A Land Down Under
    I can use Office V.x on my iMac, and there is no lack of speed,(it may run faster than my g4 tower), although it is a bit unstable. A G3 would be plenty fast enough for your needs. Look on eBay, and see if you can fing a Pismo powerbook, or an early G4 powerBook. Both computers will do what you want them to do.

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