Getting Difficult To Find

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by rawweb, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    #1
    I've been long searching for a Late 2005 G5 2.3ghz (to replace my dying/dead quad) and have long wanted to get my hands on a 17" PowerBook G4 or early era 17" MacBook Pro. I've noticed scarce inventory and prices on both the 2.3 and Quad units skyrocketing on eBay. No local inventory in my area CL for what seems like years...I'm starting to think I may have to give up my quest! Anyone else long searching for something they just can't get paws on?
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    I will admit that at a certain point prices have started creeping up on eBay.

    What I am finding now for the prices I have paid in the past is true broken, unfixable garbage.

    That said, I did just get my son a 15" PowerBook for $45 a month or so ago. But it's not perfect. Screen is marked on the bottom and it has the lower ram slot failure.

    For the 17" PowerBooks what is your budget (approximately)?
     
  3. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    #3
    I've been actively looking for an iMac G4, but its near impossible with a tight budget since sellers on eBay are selling them with high price points to begin with and then tack on retardedly high shipping fees. To add to the frustration, most of the G4s I have seen are only the 15in 700MHz models, which are very slow.
     
  4. ziggy29 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    I'd say "not difficult to find", but difficult to find at the price points we're used to, particularly on eBay. For whatever reason, the price of this old stuff is rising, and it's getting harder to find entire systems for under $100, let alone $50 (before shipping), even for stuff that was being given away 3-5 years ago. Most systems being sold at a historically reasonable price have significant issues now. And most "vintage" components that are Mac-specific are a lot more expensive even as stuff that isn't Mac-specific is still getting cheaper.
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #5
    It's rising because (my opinion) the market has bottomed out.

    As many PowerPC Macs as were produced over the years there is still a finite level. Many have been scrapped or recycled and the market just for parts is starting to dry up. Then you have the hoarders (sorry, collectors) who find, buy and retain not only multiple Macs, but multiple versions of the same Mac. So those are off the market - or because of their good to excellent condition in a market that is starting to tank they command much higher prices.

    What's left is the truly unuseable junk at the prices we are used to or higher priced but lesser quality machines. The market price is now driving up because there are less Macs of the quality we are looking for available to the same number of customers as before.

    Finding great Macs in the trash or clueless people offering them for nothing is getting more rare. Even the recyclers have caught on though no small amount of that is do to the rise in popularity of anything with an Apple logo on it.

    Just my take.
     
  6. ziggy29 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    Oh, I definitely agree. You don't see too many people actively collecting and rebuilding 15 year old Windows PCs running Win98 or (shudder) Win ME. So you can find a version of some video cards for Windows for $10 or less when it's hard to find a Mac version of the same card for $50.

    That said it adds to the hobby of putting stuff back together by cobbling together working parts of multiple systems, and sometimes they can be resold as a working unit. Yeah, the profit per hour still sucks, but it's a labor of love and any return on spare hobby time is a good return. I've been lucky (mostly) buying cheap units with a few flaws, because the flaws are easily fixable with spare parts i have or because they are easy to live with. It's helped that the dirt-cheap PowerBook laptops I've bought recently (a 1 GHz TiBook and a Pismo) have had working batteries, which on the market are probably worth what I paid for the whole thing.

    But for sure, "dumpster diving" to get good stuff for almost nothing is getting harder and harder. At the very least, it means the stuff we have already has mostly stopped declining in value. :)
    --- Post Merged, Jun 23, 2016 ---
    That all said, to the extent these are hoarders and maybe in some cases, people speculating on continued rising prices, at some point the market will get soft and the people who are sitting on a large inventory may want to dump while they can still profit from it. There may be one more "glut" of stuff on the market coming up if that happens (it certainly happens in many other markets), and while I don't plan to be a hoarder (I love my wife too much for that) I will have my eye on a few things, and find room for them!
     
  7. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #7
    I'm finding it harder to find decent working parts to cobble a system together. Back in 2009-2010 it was easier and the parts I did find tended to last for a while.

    One of the last A1013's I had was a combination of parts that just didn't work out. And this after a logicboard that had only worked for three months. It was fun when I could put things together and have a system that wasn't going to fail on me a few months down the line. Unfortunately, none of the parts out there (or whole systems) are getting any younger and the rate of return is likely to continue diminishing.

    I love PowerPC Macs because they were designed and built to last, but they won't last forever. And as I get older I am discovering I have much less patience in trying to make things work.

    I was PowerPC by default because these systems have always been cheaper than the Intel Macs and any money I threw out them had them last for a while. But that's no longer a guarantee while I am still in the same economic bracket. I can't afford any more to be throwing money into parts and systems that fail quickly. I don't know exactly where I might be headed off to at this point but I suspect there will be more Intel Macs in my home at some point. Like the early PowerPC Macs any bad Apples (hah!) will surely have died off by now leaving the affordable Intels a fairly safe bet. Hell my 2006 MBP is doing fantastic.

    I suppose if I had more disposable income things might be different. I don't mind spending money on making something work but when it becomes a sacrifice of necessities to feed it I have to start drawing the line. I got away with it when the PowerPC market was cheap but that's slipping away now.
     
  8. rawweb thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    #8
    To be honest, I don't want to spend much more than $100. I've been fairly lucky in the past...I agree with Ziggy29.

    Here's my story:
    I was gifted the last ever model run 15" PowerBook. Sadly, I went through a spring cleaning tirade and ended up offloading it. I bought a Quad G5 on eBay last year and it was a complete nightmare. Failed LCS. I originally picked it up for $200 and talked the seller into refunding 75% of it since he didn't want it back. I was able to get my hands on a banged up Quad on CL for $50 bucks and miraculously its LCS was perfect...so I swapped brains. I then reluctantly sold the unit during my crazy Spring fever. That machine was in excellent shape. But in full honesty, all the trouble I've had with LCS units...I really always had my sights on an air cooled 2.3.

    Just for fun...my PowerPC trip through the years...
    • *My first Mac ever* PowerMac G4 500 AGP - I remember thinking I couldn't believe up to that point I lived in a Windows world...FCP was the fruit that made me bite the Apple. I was so elated. Bought new...sold for QuickSilver a few years later.
    • Titanium Powerbook G4 - Bought new as a grad gift – Logic Board died and I never replaced...$$$
    • Quicksilver G4 DP 800 - Destroyed by iBook G4, Apple store replaced with shiny new PowerMac G5
    • iBook G4 - I bought (with the help of student loans) in store the day it was first released, took it home and started dumping files via target disk mode and walked away to the kitchen. Came back to the magnificent smell of burning technology and had a smoking iBook glowing orange. Threw it in the bathtub and let it cool down. QS no longer booted. Put it back in the box along with my Quicksilver and warped back to the Apple store. Was given another iBook and credited a replacement tower which ended up being a DP 2GHz sparkling new G5 to shut me up. A bizarre tale that left me happy about Apple customer service but always very afraid of "FIRE" Wire...heh.
    • That G5 served me all the way until I retired it in 2009 when I first laid my eyes on a 27" iMac...
     
  9. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    #9
    I have a fear of FireWire 800... On my 2011 MBP, I've accidentally touched metal to the FW800 port and had it spark, and cause my MBP to shut off instantly. Since then I've made sure to never touch metal to it again. I've never tried plugging in a FW800 cable, mostly because I don't own a FW800 cable or 400 to 800 converter. Meanwhile, the FW400 on any of my many macs have never sparked or anything, even with accidental contact.
     
  10. oi! Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    #10
    I have been saying for a while a G5 Quad is now an investment, prices are only going to go up.
    Buy carefully and you should make money over time*.


    *note, this is not a get rich quick scheme!!!
     
  11. Johnny365 macrumors regular

    Johnny365

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2015
    #11
    I would check with schools as I am confident some of the older ones (who haven't updated technology in 10+ years) are still using PowerPC Macs to do word processing and other basic tasks. Maybe they will have a computer offload sale, though not sure if those are announced locally or not.

    You can also try a local recycling business to see if they can give you anything for free.
     
  12. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #12
    I actually disagree on that - there's a lot of people out there wanting to relive their early computing years plus retro gamers and musicians - those early Pentiums, 486s and 386s that you literally couldn't give away a few years ago now command premium prices.
    What I find sad, is that as the PPC market dries up and becomes financially inviable, we will inevitably move onto early Intel Macs - which are just primitive iterations of what you can buy in the shops now. PowerPC Macs have a technological, historical and cultural cachet that Intel Macs simply don't have - in fact, I'd say most computing devices past 2008 are remarkably characterless in everything bar function.
     
  13. crewkid89 macrumors regular

    crewkid89

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #13
    I work at a school and can give a bit of perspective on that. On one end, we do have some powerpc machines left. None of them are in active use anymore. I saved my 1.42 DP MDD from ending up in the recycler this way. We have a bunch of G5s which weren't being used. They were donated by a college and a lot of them weren't working. I cobbled the parts from a bunch of them into the 4 best ones with one really maxed out. It gets used for music and video projects.

    One problem is, I cannot give people anything even if it is broken. What happens to it is also dependent on where the funding came from to purchase it. If it was donated or we actually purchased it from local funds, we must hold an auction or send it out for recycling. Auctions get announced through the newspaper. If it was purchased through state funds or shared services (county based) it has to go back to them or to a recycler if it is broken.

    That being said. It doesn't matter what happens to it after it gets "thrown out". We can help out other schools or local organizations by being gentle when it gets put out for "recycling" at a very specific time.

    We have to keep records of everything we get rid of or the state auditors get cranky.
     
  14. ziggy29 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    #14
    It's not a PowerPC Mac and I don't expect it to appreciate in value, but for over 3 years I've had a late 2012 Mac Mini with a quad 2.6GHz i7. I'll be darned if used/refurbished models aren't still selling for what I paid for it brand new in 2013. When Apple decided not to offer a quad i7 option for the 2014 Minis, the resale value of these spiked almost overnight.

    Never can tell with the market.
     
  15. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #15
    Apple just listed a load of NEW 2012 i7quad mini's for $700, they sold out in a flash.
    Actually you'd think this almost panic buying of an up-gradable mini should tell Apple something about what the public really wants.
    People on the mini forum were grabbing them up 2 at a time.
     
  16. MisterBiro macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2015
    Location:
    Orange, CA
    #16
    If you're willing to take a risk on eBay, you may be surprised at what you can get.

    About 2 weeks ago I picked up a 17 inch DLSD/HR, 2GB (A1139) for $50 or so, as 'for parts / untested' as it didn't come with a PSU.

    When I got it, aside from a missing Command key and missing feet, it works perfectly. No imperfections on the screen and pretty minor wear on the case.

    I replaced the HDD with a PATA->mSATA adapter and SSD I had laying around, bought some feet and a new key, unbent an imperfection near the DVI port and now it's a pretty awesome machine.

    As far as I can tell everything works fine, keyboard backlight, SuperDrive, all ports, LCD, etc.

    Of course, it could have been a piece of junk, useful as nothing but a paper-weight but it turned out to be one of the best eBay purchases I've made.

    Pro-tip... If you take it apart, don't accidentally try and screw one of the case screws in the DVI holes... That is somewhat challenging to remove.

    I'll post a pic in the Club 17 thread :)
     
  17. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #17
    I've been there, in fact the screw is still in the :oops: hole, good thing I never use an external monitor.
     
  18. sawpits, Jun 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016

    sawpits macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    #18
    Here is a 17" one: Apple iMac iMac G4 17" Desktop M9168LL A September 2003 | eBay


    NOTE! I am not the seller nor am I affiliated with the seller in any way.

    --- Post Merged, Jun 25, 2016 ---

    Talos.

    http://tenfourfox.blogspot.com/2016/02/more-about-talos-power8.html
     
  19. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #19
  20. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    #20
    Same thing with the iMac, it's have a $50 (maaaaayyyybbbbeeee $75 if it's worth it) budget, so $100 for subpar condition is pushing it. I'm hoping one will fall in my lap like most of my macs have, including my $60 Cube with PSU, keyboard, new ODD bracket for newer ODDs, mouse, speaker, and everything including the cube in great shape; my Dual 2.3GHz G5 I got for free; free 24in LOADED C2D iMac...
     
  21. ziggy29 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    #21
    And with the early iMacs with the CRTs that weigh a ton, you have to pretty much get the machine for free in order to keep it to $50 including shipping...
     
  22. Johnny365 macrumors regular

    Johnny365

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2015
    #22
    What is ODD?

    As with condition expectations, you can clean it up a bit, perhaps buff out the scratches and still make it look great.
     
  23. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

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    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #23
    ODD = optical disk drive
     
  24. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #24
    iMac G3s are and remain some of the most affordable machines to ship-I've had more than one shipped in the $30-40 range.

    eMacs are a different story-for me they are a local pick-up only deal. I finally relented and bought a 17" ADC CRT, which UPS promptly destroyed in shipping. Both it-and the replacement I bought-cost me right at $100 each.

    If only I'd waited a few months, I picked up another of those CRTs in a trade-a first gen Intel Mini got me a Cube with a 1.8ghz Sonnet, the CRT, and the speakers(plus keyboard/mouse/PSU).
     
  25. beanboy89 macrumors regular

    beanboy89

    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #25
    While looking for older Macs, I've found that local computer repair shops are great places to look. One of my local shops does recycling, and the shop owner has a ton of old stuff laying around. Within the past few months I've gotten an early 2008 Mac Pro, two Core 2 Duo MacBooks, and a 2005 PowerBook G4 for next to nothing.
     

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