iBook G4 or Macbook???

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by sbluetruck, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. sbluetruck macrumors regular


    Jul 25, 2007
    Wisconsin der hey
    so basically the question is, which one?

    my uncle is selling his 14" iBook G4, 1.42GHz, 1GB RAM, 80GB HDD for $500. my dad is interested in buying it because we could use a laptop instead of another desktop. origionally, he was interested in, or at least i interested him in a Macbook. now, we're "test driving" this iBook for a week and it is in excellent condition. it seems like a great computer for word processing, internet, email, music etc. but my question is, how would it handle the occasional graphic design work? i would use Photoshop and InDesign on a casual basis and was wondering if paying almost double for a computer with a dual core intel processor, double in graphics memory, even though it's shared and this is 32MB dedicated on a 2 year old comp is worth it. my dad is basically buying the computer for the internet, word processing etc and as a laptop to use outside of the office, so my opinion doesn't matter as much as the $500+ difference, but i am curious to know how it would handle such tasks. so far the iBook has only beachballed on me a couple times for a few moments, nothing big. i had to explain closing windows and quitting programs to my sister so now there aren't any beachball issues anymore ;)

    would a 32MB dedicated GPU be better than a 64MB shared? also, would the added intel speed be a $500+ difference that is "needed" to actually get work done in those programs? i have a friend who used Photoshop CS3 in a TiBook 400MHz whithout a real problem so i'm sure this iBook is fine, just need the extra assurance.

    also, what is the maximum, non Apple documented, amount of RAM this iBook can utilize? currently 1GB seems fine but if a 2GB stick could get 1.5GB, that'd be awsome.

    all thoughts and opinions are really appreciated!!!
  2. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    Thats a pretty great deal for that system. The iBook has 512MB "Non-Removable" add a 1GB stick to max it out to 1.5GB. I recently replaced my iBookG4 w/ 32MB dedi, and it got much better FPS in gaming than my Bros C2D MB does w/ 64 shared. Not to say this applies for everything. Note this was on UB Halo. If I remember correctly, we got ~ the same FPS in WoW. The iBook G4's are quite the workhorses. $500 is quite a bargain i'd say. I ran Photoshop CS2 w/o any problems on my 1.33ghz, so the 1.42 should be even faster.
  3. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I wouldn't go for it. While the iBook was a great machine, it's time has come and gone. Add in a couple hundred more, and you can get yourself a used macbook that will be a lot more capable and better able to go into the future.
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
  5. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    Ditto. I hate to say it, because the iBook G4s are terrific, but as Calboy said, its time has come and gone. Then again, coming from your uncle, I would think you can be very confident in the source. Put it this way--if someone offered to trade me a Macbook for my Powerbook, I'd swap in a second!

  6. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    If you can get a MacBook for about $799 as Eidorian says, i reckon go for that. It'll last you a fair bit longer, its much easier to work with, and it'll handle your graphic design stuff much better than the iBook would.
  7. Xeem macrumors 6502a


    Feb 2, 2005
    The 32MB Radeon 9550 is more powerful than the 64MB GMA 950, but then again a Core 2 Duo destroys the single 1.42 G4 processor. In terms of value, however, the $500 iBook really does hold its own. I have a 1.33 GHz iBook G4 with 1.5 GB RAM and it is quite snappy; it should last me another few years. While having an intel processor should "future proof" the Macbook, the integrated graphics prevent it from playing even low-end (in terms of system requirements) modern games, and also hamstring it in other graphically intense applications. On the other hand, if you do a lot of video encoding, or any similarly processor-intensive task, go for a Macbook. My dad's 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo iMac rips a DVD like 8 times faster than my iBook does.

    Edit: I should also point out that I rip in XVID (so I can watch on my T-Mobile SDA), while my dad does h.264 (so he can watch on his iPhone), so his iMac is almost certainly MORE than 8 times faster at encoding.
  8. Mr. B macrumors regular

    Dec 25, 2005
    I'm going to have to disagree with the above posters about getting the macbook.

    If you are able to get that cheap ibook, then go for it.

    I am currently using a 1.2 ghz ibook g4 with 1.5 gigs of ram and a 14 inch screen, an ibook that is both slower and older than the one you mentioned above.

    I use 7200 rpm 250 gig mybook pro as an external hardrive for all my space needs, and I do routine checkups with onyx.

    I also divided the mybook pro into two sections and use one of those sections as my primary clean scratch disk for both adobe photoshop cs and illustrator cs.

    Both of these run incredibly smoothly. I am a commercial art school student and use photoshop extensively.

    Yesterday I created a file in photoshop that I literally worked on constantly all day long, had around 35+ layers, and in the end was 48.9 mb.

    It is 8.5 x 11, 300 dpi.

    I never had any slowdowns, time outs, etc.

    Worked smoothly and beautifully the entire time.

    So, just saying, the ibook is a very functional computer.
  9. sananda macrumors 68020

    May 24, 2007
    like xeem, i have an ibook g4 1.33GHz with 1.5 GB RAM. it runs photoshop (cs2) very well. but if i were in your shoes i would get a macbook. it's faster than the ibook and it's coming to the time when things are starting not to work on the G4. i bought ilife08 but imovie 08 doesn't run on g4 and i can't get magic garageband to work either.
  10. sbluetruck thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 25, 2007
    Wisconsin der hey
    thanks for all the help guys, but i forgot to mention it has M$ Office '04, iLife '06, Appleworks, Quicken '07, Toast 8 Titanium and it all adds up you know.

    as for the refurb macbook, my dad is only considering this "used" iBook because he knows how well it was taken care of. it's two years old and has almost no discoloration. he'd go new if this iBook didn't fit our needs.
    i can take a beachball here or there, maybe add a gig stick of RAM.
    it doesn't have to be the fastest at the graphic design because i'll use it on a fairly irregular basis and i can take the waiting, i don't have high standards... yet :D

    plus, this is $500 going towards a possible new iPhone for him, or stuff for his new mac, so it's towards a good cause ;)

    i can live with 1024x768, i've never really used much higher and quite frankly, with the 14" screen, my dad and sis would prolly change it so they could actually read.

    thanks again everyone!!!
  11. mac000 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2005
    wide screen macbook is beetter than ibook just given the screen you'll be looking at , plus being able to run windows xp/vista if needs be.

    Virtual pc on the ibook is not comparable to running Apple Boot Camp on MacBook,

    definitely macbook. not that you would want to run XP/Vista, but the MacBook has a much longer lifespan than an iBook would. Thats why your uncle is selling his bc he's prob getting something newer like a Core 2 duo macbook, tell your dad he'd be moving backwards if he got the ibook if he wants to buy a new laptop
  12. GrimmPenguin macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2007
    I would go for the iBook. That is a good software deal with the iBook as well for sucha cheap price. Sure a MacBook will be faster, but you'll never notice that if you never use a MacBook;) And from the sound of things, you won't be doing any major graphic design. I would go with the iBook. You know that it's probably well taken care of, or at least know the condition of it pretty well. Plus you are saving several hundred from buying a new MacBook(which it seems that your dad isn't willing to buy a used one from what you said). I really don't think you aren't going to suffer from missing out on the power the MB has to offer if you are just doing basic computing and occasionally graphic design.
  13. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    My question here is: do you get the discs? Unless you get the CDs themselves, you're not really gaining much value, because once the iBook goes off to live on that farm forever (you know which one I'm talking about), those programs will essentially become useless. Now, the question is whether or not you need some of them, and how long you expect to be able to use them. If, for example, Office is important to you, keep in mind that Office 08 probably won't be so hot on an iBook, but it will probably work pretty well on a macbook. Just something to consider, as it all depends on how long you plan on keeping it.

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