ibook g4 worth it?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by nickel123, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. nickel123 macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2008
    Ok, i am about to make one great transition! going from windows xp to macintosh!!!! i hate how slow and how full of viruses it gets, and i heard apple has very little viruses, and faster speeds. anywho, i want an ibook g4 because it is cheaper than the macbook, i like the style, and other reasons. but, i don't know if i should buy one. if you have one, please state all the reasons why you like it and why you don't like it. also, one more thing is where can i find a brand new one instead of a used one? oh btw i just want a computer where i can surf the web, upload songs onto my ipod, and maybe write papers for school, nothing fancy like photo editing, and movie creating or all those other great things. is it a good computer for those things? i am aware that the macbook has intel processors and the g4 doesn't, but i don't care. like i said i want a computer for surfing the web. sorry if it is kind of long, but i am new to the world of macs! also, i have had great experiences with ipods so i expect the same or better from a mac.
  2. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    welcome to MR forums and the world of no viruses!

    I've used the iBook G4 which got stolen at school last semester. While I did have it, it was a great machine, if you do choose to get one, get the latest revision, the 1.33GHZ 512MB ram version. This was the last revision before intel transition, so it has the least bugs. It's perfect (at least for me) for IM, web surfing (i did this way too often), even a little movie editing with ilife 06.

    I've used it for all the purposes you listed, so I'm pretty sure it will work for you. As for a new one, I'm not so sure, since it is old and chances of finding a new one is slim, but you can try ebay, almost all of them are used. also, the graphics card in that laptop isnt too bad. its ATI Radeon Mobile series.

    ebay, craigslist, these sites are the best bet for used/new alike.
  3. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    they stopped making them a couple of years ago when they started making the Macbook so it's going to be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to find a "brand new" one
  4. iToaster macrumors 68000


    May 3, 2007
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    The iBook was retired in 2006, there are no brand new iBooks anywhere anymore. As for getting the iBook, it's not worth it in a switching point of view because the G4 is really low performing compared to the Intel processors. In a relative comparison using benchmarks between an iBook and MacBook, the fastest iBook scored 774 and the slowest MacBook ever scored 2298 with current models up to 3135. PowerPC processors are most likely to be unsupported in the next release of OS X, but it has already started with iMovie not supported on the G4. You must know of the phrase "you get what you pay for" and that's why the iBook costs less, it's older and much slower. At the moment, you can find some good deals on MacBooks on Apple's refurb store... the refurbished units are essentially new but are repaired DOAs or just quick returns.

    Of course, for your uses, an iBook might be Ok, but with the increased usage of flash around the internet, which is very processor intensive, it can and probably will choke up on some more flash intensive sites (I know my PowerBook does sometimes).
  5. iwuzbord macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    New York City
    well, for your needs, it seems as if a ibook g4 would be fine for you

    this one here on ebay actually goes for 500. Its used but im using it just as an example for the price differences.

    the difference between the ppc processors and intel processors wont really be a problem for wht you want. you really want something basic, and the ibook is great for that, especially because you are saving money.:)
  6. nickel123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2008
    ok great! i think i will go for it and while i have it, i will save up for the next generation macbook, wich supposedly will come out soon. i am in no need for an advanced computer with all the latest things right now, i will get that when i start college, in a few years.
  7. mward333 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 24, 2004
    My wife got the last iBook before the processors were switched to Intel (i.e., she got the 1.42 GHz iBook G4), and she absolutely loves it. We bought it as soon as it was released in 2005, and they were discontinued within the next year, and hers is still going strong.

    Her dad has the same computer too and loves it. These are reliable machines (in my experience), so I think that you will enjoy your experience with such an iBook.

    Some folks will hesitate to buy a PowerPC machine, now that Apple runs on all Intel processors, and that's a fair thing to think about. Just something to consider.......

    Good luck!
  8. nickel123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2008
    ok so how does this one soud? http://www.macunwired.net/Site/iBook_G4_.html

    they have more in their ebay store.

    also, this one http://www.gainsaver.com/gainsaver/app/catalog/Detail.aspx?&CCode=1015^Apple&CCode=1022^iBooks&PageIndex=0&PageMax=40&ActiveCat=&cICode=43735

    Both sites sell them as "refurbished" basically they get the ibooks and restore them and fix any poblems they have. are they good choices
  9. belunos macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2008
  10. Pixellated macrumors 65816

    Apr 1, 2008
    1- The gainsaver thing you liked us to is a scam! Stay Away!!!
    2 - I would go to the apple website and look for a certified reseller.
  11. donga macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2005
    i think an ibook g4 does the basics well. saw a guy in december at the genius bar with an incredibly beat up one, but i guess it's still goin.

    one note though with ppc: you might run into issues like i tried to watch the nbcolympics video but it only worked for intel macs, thus i had to settle for watching it through the pc
  12. Moks macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2008
    My iBook G4 1.2 Ghz is still going strong after 4 years ('cept for a dead firewire port) & I will probably be using it for another year before retiring it. :)

    For internet/email/ipod/word-processing it is fine. I use photoshop elements 6 to clean up my photographs and imovie (old version) - maybe a tad slow compared to newer models but it does the job ok. If you can find a good one for a good price then go for it
  13. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    save your money for a refurb MacBook. The MacBook will go circles around the iBook G4.
  14. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    I agree with the above post. The MacBook will be a better long term investment. A refurb is like new, has has been reconditioned by experienced Apple techs. I have two refurb product, and am happy with both purchases.

    Besides, the MB should last you well into college.
  15. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    I've never purchased a refurb, but from the posts on this forum, they supposedly appear to be scratchless and brand new in all respects, and have been double checked by someone at QC.

    For a few hundred dollars or whatever the case may be, the MacBook is definitely a better investment. Don't forget, Snow Leopard, the next version of the Mac operating system, might be intel dependent, and PPC might not be supported (as far as I know...).

    Just looking ahead, here...
  16. gonyr macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2006
    Niagara County, NY
    Based on your intended usage, an ibook would be perfect. You should be able to track on down on craigslist for about $300, or less if you're lucky. I got mine about a year ago for $200. If you see one cheap, grab it, they are great machines. By the time you're ready for more intensive applications, today's macbooks will also be woefully obsolete. There's no need for the latest and greatest - just get what you need.
  17. nickel123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2008
    thanks for warning me about gainsaver, i knew their prices were to good to be true. anyways a refurbished macbook from apple costs $899. hopefully with the talk of a "new" update on macbooks, these will drop while i save my money. thanks for warning me about gainsaver and i will do some research about the macbook and compare ibook to macbook, but it looks like macbook is winning!:)
  18. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    If you're thinking that far ahead (i.e. today's MacBooks will be obsolete - that won't happen for a while) - why recommend such an old machine?

    Even for things like web surfing, IM'ing, e-mails, etc., the MacBook will execute those tasks a lot faster. The overall interface of leopard will be far superior on the macbook. Plus, it's possible that the iBook will come with Tiger, in which case you're missing lots of great features that Leopard incorporates.

    To the OP - once the new updates come, today's MacBook will drop in price. you could even pick up a used MacBook, and save some money there.
  19. Alfie macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2004
    South Dakota
    I would also recommend holding out for the Macbook. I actually own the iBook 1 Ghz you are looking at. Mine has been upgraded to 1gb of RAM and it works pretty good for basic surfing, etc. However, over the last few months, I have noticed it having a hard time keeping up with even the most basic tasks. I guess time is catching up with it. Plus, I think we'll be seeing more and more software dropping support for the PowerPC chips. Might as well save up a little longer and get something that will server you longer.
  20. gonyr macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2006
    Niagara County, NY
    Mostly because the OP said he wanted to surf the web, and use email and itunes. Any old machine can do those things easily, so why not do it as cheaply as possible. If that's really all he needs, a g4 is more than fast enough.

    Things like email and Im'ing mostly depend on his typing speed. If it takes an extra second or two to send an email, who cares? And tiger will work just fine for everything he wants to do.
  21. Insulin Junkie macrumors 65816

    Insulin Junkie

    May 5, 2008
    Mainland Europe
  22. nickel123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2008
    geez i don't know. i am just going to save up money for another month and see what happens from there but i really want to be up to date with the latest software not the older ones, and fast is what i want. i am a pretty fast typer, but that doesn't make any much of a difference for me. one more question i have is does the macbook have a brighter screen than the ibook g4? thanks everyone for all your help. i just don't know!!:mad: kind of depressing lol.. i will mostly base my decision from now on, on the price, if i find a pretty good deal on the macbook, i will get it, i know that it is well worth the price.
  23. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    Of course Tiger will work fine - but why spend money on not only old hardware but also old software when the newest stuff is right within reach? The iBook will still cost money. Also, in a few years, how much will that iBook be worth? The MacBook will undoubtedly hold its value better since it's a few years newer.

    And yes, I do agree that lots of it depends on typing speed - but i'm talking about the overall snapiness of the machine - in terms of opening apps, actually starting up the machine, switching between apps, etc., - all this stuff will run faster on a MacBook, and it doesn't matter if the user is a new user or a power user - s/he will notice the speed increase.

    Again - it does depend on the price - if I really wanted to go as inexpensive as possible and all I really needed to do was typing and was willing to go used - a $200 iBook would be a good choice over a $900 MacBook, but I don't think the price difference will be that large.

    The MacBook screen is supposedly much, much brighter. Read the early reviews (MacBook, core duo) - as these reviews make more comparisons to the just-then-replaced iBook G4.

    If you want to be up to date in terms of software, the iBook would be a terrible choice since Leopard (or Snow Leopard) wouldn't run well or at all, period.

    If you can, TRY an iBook before buying one - and then go try a MacBook. That will help you make up your mind. Truth is, though, that iBooks are rare now - since back in the PPC days Macs were much rarer than they are now. Now every second person has a MacBook, but back then it wasn't so. My estimate is that at least 90% of Mac owners are running Intel machines.
  24. nickel123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2008
    ok, i will try to get my hands on an ibook g4, and a macbook, i know that the apple store lets you use macbooks before buying them so i will stop by them sometime next week... but, what if i upgrade the ibook g4 to the latest mac osx leopard 10.5? anyways, the value of it won't matter i won't resell it. but i still don't know....

    can someone please list me some reasons that make the ibook g4 bad or worse than the macbook besides the intel proccessors?
  25. Vulcan macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The old design, being slower, and it lacks a warranty. For all you know, you could buy one and it could break the next day and you'd be out $500.

    Believe me, just save up for a new one and you won't regret it.

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