Help With Purchase (iBook G4)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by tw1x3d, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. tw1x3d macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #1
    I probably need to begin by stating that I am not a power-user. I know my way around tech, but I don't care about how fast I can compile an OS from source or how many FPS my games run. I usually only have time for general computing tasks and playing with languages or flavors of linux.

    With that said, I currently intend to purchase an iBook G4. I have two questions regarding this:

    1) Is it worth it?
    I know that I'll be able to run OS X Leopard, but how well? I also know that there are several distros of linux that are developed (or ported) to the PowerPC platform, but it seems like interest in that is dying slowly. The iBook looks like a solid piece of hardware and I have a taste for vintage (I know it's really not old enough to use that word) technology.

    2) Which one should I get?
    Both of my options are from the last generation of iBooks and for approximately the same price. Both have 1.5GB RAM, an ATI Mobility Radeon 9550 with 32MB, and combo drives. The only difference is that one is 12" and the other is 14" with a 1.33GHz G4 and a 1.42GHz G4 respectively. I suppose my real question would be "will that .09 increase in processing power really make a difference?" The screen resolution on both is the same, so visually, the 12" would look higher (arguably).

    Thank you for your help in advance.
     
  2. jchase2057 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Location:
    Detroit
    #2
    I recently sold my g4 ibook 800mhz with 1.12gb of ram and 250gb 5400rpm hard drive. It was definitely worth the money to me but i spent a total of 250 on the laptop and upgrades. I sold it for 300 and bought the macbook in my sig for 420. Its hard to say if its worth it without the price you intend to spend.
     
  3. tw1x3d thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #3
    The price for either laptop is circa $280 and both have a 90 day warranty. Where did you find a MacBook for $420?
     
  4. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #4

    Whether or not it will be worth it is very subjective. The first question that should come up is, how much/what do you need the iBook to do for you on a daily basis? If it does what you intend for it, then you know the answer.

    Leopard will run very well on either one of these machines. 10.5.8 is very stable on PPC. However, you will encounter the lack of support for current and future software for PPC. For example, Flash is no longer supported on PPC. If you use the current version of iTunes and think it runs like a pig on a current Intel-based Mac, imagine that same pig on PPC even with the specs at full throttle! :eek: Even though Safari is still supported, many websites will load very slowly and some are starting to become noticeably unusable.

    I said this in another thread and was nastily flamed for it. Apple will probably and completely drop PPC support by the end of this year and especially once Lion is released to consumers. Once that happens, you're going to be on your own if you plan on using this machine at all.



    That 90Mghz will not even be noticeable. If you want screen real estate then get the 14. Otherwise, get the least expensive of the two.
     
  5. tw1x3d thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #5
    Thank you for your detailed reply, iMikeT.

    I don't intend to run iTunes on it (I only have iTunes for syncing my iPhone currently; I use Pandora for music), but the lack of Flash support may be a problem. Will general internet use be affected to the degree of undesirability? And would the use of Minefield (as I've read Firefox no longer officially supports PPC) in place of Safari help at all?

    Also, my primary use of the laptop would be very netbook-esque.
     
  6. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #6

    No problem. I'm glad someone still appreciates a thought out reply. :)

    When I said that Flash Player is no longer supported I meant the current version, 10.2 and beyond. Flash 10.1 still runs but some sites will require 10.2. So you may run into compatibility issues. Personally, I loath Flash and have ClickToFlash installed so I don't have to deal with it. However, there are plenty of sites out there that are Flash based. :mad:

    General Internet usage is currently not affected, to a point. I'm currently on my G4 and I'm here right? But like I said, if you visit a site that is poorly coded (bloated) or Flash-based, forget it. I'm not familiar with Minefield as I've only ever used Safari.

    If you're looking for a netbook experience I highly recommend putting that $280 towards an iPad instead. It has an HTML5 browser (Safari) which is seeing a wider adoption these days. Pandora runs on it and really, once you get rid of Flash, you hardly miss it. That is, unless you frequent a site that is strictly Flash-based.
     
  7. tw1x3d thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #7
    I intend to purchase an iPad at some point in the future, but to my knowledge, I can't do any of my coding on it (Perl, Python, etc). I doubt any of my frequented sites use Flash, though. I mostly peruse wikis and forums. I only watch Hulu or Netflix on my desktop (which is connected to my television). Thank you for your help, however. I'm fairly certain that I'll purchase the 12" iBook now and start saving for a MacBook Pro. Like I said, I have an interest in older computers, so I may start a collection. I have my sights on a G4 iMac next. They're so aesthetically pleasing.
     
  8. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    looking for trash files
    #8
    OMG no flames?!?

    awesome, an entire PPC thread without a single flame. didn't think i'd live to see it...

    i think it would serve you well since you are looking for 'netbook' performance. i have one that i still use almost everyday and find it to do well for the required tasks. with the coding, having a keyboard is a must.

    to add my two cents, from selling/supporting a LOT of ibooks over the years, i can think of two more things to add.

    first is battery life, 4-6 hours with the 12" and 5-7+ hours with the 14". with new batteries and based on usage, etc. if being away from the charger matters, the 14" will win.

    the second is i have found the 12" to be more reliable, and while i can't prove it with engineering data, i think it's due to the more compact design of the 12" system. the 14" flexes a little bit more if you pick it up by the edge, and that can cause trouble over time. i've had to fix a lot of 14" systems for the wireless/bluetooth board coming loose, and have seen more logic board failures in the 14" systems than the 12".

    just my experience, your mileage may vary. best of luck.
     
  9. jchase2057 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Location:
    Detroit
    #9
    I just watched craigslist until i found a guy trying to sell one quick. I got a great deal on mine but 06 macbooks go for about 400 fairly often. If you go that route id suggest late 06 for the core2duo. Early 06 macbooks had core duo cpus. Good luck with your decision.
     

Share This Page