How long would an iBook G4 last me?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by blink56k, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. blink56k macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2006
    Rita Repulsa's Moon Palace
    Hey all. I'm a college student currently saving up for a new ibook (or alternatively, macbook) to get rid of this thinkpad (which actually has served me well as a pretty decent computer).

    I know the consensus among many of you is just to get the ants out of my pants and wait for the intel iBook/Macbook but I was still curious as to how long an iBook G4 would serve me if I were to get one now/in the near future. Would it be able to run Leopard when it comes out? My current computing needs don't go beyond basic wordprocessing, web surfing, etc. (possibly some very minor movie editing later on).

    The reason why I'm even considering an iBook G4 (though not disqualifying a Macbook purchase) are for the following reasons:

    1. I need (well not so much need since I already have this thinkpad) this computer by August of this year, right before I start school. If the Macbooks come out by then, they might still be in early revision stages (and after going through these forums, I've become paranoid of anything less than rev B or even C haha)
    2. The very slight chance the Macbook won't fit my budget (which is about $1000 for a base system, not counting the extra upgrades I may plan to add on)
    3. PowerPC nostalgia

    Not to answer my own question but maybe this decision really depends on how the Macbooks turn out.

    But if I were to get the G4 iBook, how long do you guys think it will be sufficient/satisfactory for my needs?

  2. thehype31 macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2006
    Well, for basic wordprocessing/ web browsing, the latest iBook is an awesome machine. You should definatley be able to get at least 2-3 years of use out of it before PPC support is dropped... after all, it's a zippy little machine now especially with maxed out RAM, and its not going to get any slower over time after all. The speed it does what you need it to do now will be the same speed it does it at in 3 years, and if you are happy with that speed(which everyone should be IMO), then it would be a worthwhile purchase, especially if you can nab one of the latest revisions refurbished for $799.
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I'm not sure that this answers your question well enough, but I often use my old Lombard PowerBook (400MHz G3) when I'm in the basement, and it works fine. And it was built in 1999. Tiger isn't officially supported on it, but it runs fine. On 384MB RAM.

    Yeah, it's a wee bit pokey compared to my 1.5GHz PB and my 2GHz MacBook Pro. But it's still usable.

    I suspect an iBook will be usable for some time to come.
  4. jamesi macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2005
    Davis CA
    oh man, getting an ibook right now is literally a stupid idea. it wont last you long, unless you compromise what applications you use. it will prolly be good for about 3 years max before you just start crying for not having waited for an intel macbook
  5. yoda13 macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2003
    I have a Pismo that is only of slightly newer vintage than the Lombard and it runs great, or at least it did, until I killed it upgrading the hard drive:eek: . My PowerMac is an October 2001 model and is still going strong. My guess is it will work well for some years to come. If you want it, get it. ;)
  6. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    A current revision iBook G4 could/would last you for years to come should you so choose. It has plenty of speed for basic computing tasks. That said, I am planning on replacing mine shortly with either a MacBook Pro or a MacBook when they are released. :)
  7. Play Ultimate macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2005
    Not to be flipant, but it should last for a very long time, doing exactly what you would be doing today with it. (Heck I still see old DOS machines running great still)
    If you are asking if you could stay current with new software etc. I'd be a little more concerned. You should be good for the next 2-3 years. Afer that I'm not sure that it would be supported.
    However, whatever you could do before you could continue doing.

    (I hate those "I bought my computer last week and now it's obsolete" threads!!)
  8. Deepdale macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2005
    New York
    Reminds me of people who get frazzled when they see a new generation of cell phones hit the market and act as if their "old" phone will no longer be able to connect to another human being when the same number they called last week is called again.
  9. luminosity macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    for heaven's sake, a new machine would work for 5-6 years, so long as it was kept in good condition and such. It might not be as productive as newer stuff, but it does what it's meant to do, and does it well.

    I like mine a lot.
  10. rishi macrumors member


    Mar 29, 2006
    If you have basic computing needs, I would suggest that you could buy an iBook if it is available at a discount.I think Apple has some clearance sale ?

    I have a 1.2 Ghz iBook and I am very happy with it, although I am planning to purchase an intel iMac (simply because I can run windoze on it.) in next one week.
  11. PROhan macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2006
  12. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    after about 3 years either of them will start to seem to be kinda slowish....
  13. BrewCityGirl macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2005
    I got mine in Dec. and was told to wait even then, and look what waiting would of got me? Nowhere since there is still no intel ibook out. So if you want it I say get it. I love mine, and I think it'll last me for a couple years. You can probably get one on ebay for a decent price. I am glad I didn't follow the whole waiting advice I got from everyone.
  14. sk1985 macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2006
    Apple will support the G4s for some time. However smaller developers (most notably freeware developers) won't. Some freeware developers no longer support PPC chips. VLC player won't support PPC chips on it's next release. This seem somewhat premature, but I wouldn't be surprised if this becomes a common trend in the next year or two.
  15. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    I had the ibook in my sig for 1,5 years, and it still works great. I think it will do so for another couple of years. I got the iMac because I do some editing and need to burn DVD´s.
    You can run Final Cut on an ibook, but the screen is very tiering to work on for long periods.

    But since we "know" an intel version is due soon, I would wait if I could
  16. ImNoSuperMan macrumors 65816


    Dec 1, 2005

    Since you are replacing ur thinkpad you might regret wen your G4 wont allow you to run windoooooze. No matter how great OSX is, still we do need a crappy windows now and then. And the situation`s gotta get worse for PPC. Less and less developers will be writing for PPC. Since you have a thinkpad, I think it`d be better to atleast wait till august. If MacBook launches and you like it then buy it. And in case, some how MB doesn`t arrive or you dont find it affordable then you can still get a Refurb iBook G4. It`ll be listed on apple site until stock clears. The prices of refurb too will only drop if anything.

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