Mac Now or Mac Later?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Phillip, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. Phillip macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2003
    I really need your help!

    Yesterday, i made my final plans to buy a mac. The g3 i have chosen from before. My parents were not keen about buying the AU $800 computer an offered me a chance of a liftime... and NEW mac.! I was excited but the problem is they say i would be able to get it next year when get have a holiday in Hong Kong. I should them online the iBook and the Powerbook which my mum like becuase she like the LCDs. I would be able to get it next year for my 15th Birthday in May.

    The real problem is i will not be able to buy the g3 now and wait nearly a year to get a new computer. 1 year is a long time...

    I wanted to buy the g3 as a computer that will do most of my work and when to learn more about my favourite computer the Mac. It would last me to about year 11 when i get serious about graphics design (if i get into it). Right now i am in year 8 so the g3, if i buy it would have to last 3 years. If i buy the new mac next year, i would be be certain to not buy anthing until uni... 3 1/2 years!

    The g3 specs are here...
    PowerMac G3
    400Mhz G3
    640 MB RAM (2 x 256 + 2 x 64)
    60 GB Hard Drive
    Internal Zip drive (plus 6 zip disks)
    External SCSI CD Burner
    4 MB Grpahics
    Altec Lansing speaker setup
    OS 9 and Jaguar (orignals) and PANTHER!!!
    Alot of really good software

    All for $800
    AU$800 = USD $518.001 = GBP$323.18

    What should i do? Should I buy the g3 now or wait a year to get a new mac? Throw me your thoughts about anything!

    Thanks for reading the long post and thank you so much for your help so far.
  2. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    um... jag is gonna be a bit sluggish with the 400 MHz. not sure if panther will run on it. panther isn't out yet, so it must be a developer's copy. you should ask and get a clarification on this.

    did you tell your mum how much more money a new mac will cost? $500 isn't all that much to spend on a computer... do you need a monitor too?

    if at all possible, you should look around for a refurb/used eMac. i bet there are some out there for about that price and that will last a heck of a lot longer.

    that said, a year is a long time to wait. i can imagine how you want to play with your computer now and not a year later. i'd be a little skeptical about a 400 MHz g3 lasting 3 more years. it's fairly antiquated now, but of course, depends on what you'll be using it for. another point is the graphics card. what's in it? 6 MB?
  3. Phillip thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2003
    its a 16mb card. sorry but i made a mistake.

    maybe i didn't make myself clear but i am switching from a pc to a mac. I have a pretty good pc but i really love macs and i want to get one.

    I considered the g3 because i wanted experience on a mac before i bought a brand new one which does cost a bit. I have seen panther and jaguar run on the g3 and it runs pretty good. Photoshop and illustrator runs well as well. Maybe because it has 640 mb ram...

    The thing is if i buy the g3 now, i can't get the new mac later. so i dunno what i am going to choose. I need some experience on a mac first before i can buy a brand new one...

    i have looked out for used emacs... but they seem a bit expensive... and i don't really like the looks. I have already got a pc moniter but, as a mentioned, my mum (mom) wants to get a lcd because i wear glasses and lcds have less radiation...

    i really dunno what to do.
  4. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    well... i wouldn't subscribe to the idea that you need to start with an old mac to "switch" to a mac. in fact, it's not like learning to drive a manual transmission car - you won't potentially damage the machine during the learning process.

    i switched after playing with OS 9 machines (G4 PM and G3 beige PM) and learned that Macs aren't all that bad. i was used to Unix/Linux and was looking for an alternative to Windows so I decided to switch... but i learned OS X on a new PB 12"...

    i do feel your pain, though. you'd want to play with computers as soon as possible... but if a year (really? a year? or until "holidays" like you said? december?) is the difference between an antiquated G3 PM and a brand new iBook, say, i'd wait...

    i guess you have your own standard... i can't imagine a G3 400 MHz running Photoshop or Illustrator "well" but that depends on the perspective... if you think they run "well" on that PM, you'll love how they will run on a G4.
  5. mwpeters8182 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2003
    Boston, MA
    The G3 can always be upgraded to a G4 in time -- I hear they have 800 MHz zif chips coming out for the Blue and Whites. I have a B&W and an iBook, and the B&W [now a 400 G4] is a good enough machine to do office stuff, listen to iTunes, surf the web, etc. It did all this well with the G3 in it too. I have 512 RAM, so that helps a lot, and since you have 640, you should be in good shape. If you are going to be using the G3 as a secondary computer to learn the mac on, and maybe in a while get a newer model (G5 when the prices start coming down, perhaps). the G3 would make an excellent computer for you. It complemented my PC, which I have replaced with the iBook, well.
  6. LuvAussies macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2003
    I have a 300Mhz G3 b/w, and am running Jaguar. It might be a little sluggish, but if you can live with slight hesitation of things, it sure still does the job!

    I'm getting a new G5 only for digital movie editing. Otherwise I know I'd get another year or two out of my G3! And that'd only be because I like to keep up with operating system upgrades. If I left it the way it is it'd be fine for a long, long time!

    I have 512MB of RAM in it at least, that helps. A year is a long time to wait!
  7. Vlade macrumors 6502a


    Feb 2, 2003
    Meadville, PA
    USD $518.001 is WAY to much for that system, and getting a new CPU is useless, because of the memory bottlenecks (the G3 is probably 66 or 100 MHZ).

    I suggest wait, and get a g5
  8. LuvAussies macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2003
    I think it could last you 3 years, but it's hard not to drool over the new macs! Plus it depends on how badly you have to have the new stuff! If you want to do video, forget it, get the new one!

    If you can wait until May it would probably be worth the wait in the long run.
  9. cubist macrumors 68020

    Jul 4, 2002
    Muncie, Indiana
    Agree. To be more specific, the system itself is worth around $300 USD. The zip drive, disks and SCSI CD-burner are worth almost nothing. The speakers may be nice. Try to talk the seller down to $350 USD equivalent.

    Forget about upgrading the CPU later - the CPU upgrade costs $300 and isn't likely to get cheaper.

    You should be able to get a G4 Sawtooth for $500 USD. It'd be a little faster. Don't get a Yikes. You may be able to find a Quicksilver at 700 or 800 MHz for not much more money.
  10. rueyeet macrumors 65816


    Jun 10, 2003
    I'd hold out for a better system than the G3 you're considering. Consider that whether you buy now or later, the computer you end up with is supposed to last you three years: If that G3 seems outdated or questionable now, how much more so will it be in three years? Plus, the others are right: that's a high price for that system...and by the time you're done with it, it'll have NO resale value.

    If your PC is pretty good and it's not giving you headaches, stick with it, and spend that year saving whatever cash you can add to what your parents are willing to spend, reading up on your new platform, and playing with any retail display Mac you can find to satisfy your Mac cravings. Or work to convince your parents that a better computer will work out better down the road, so you might as well have the new one to begin with.

    You really don't need to play with an older Mac first to get your bearings on the Mac as a Windows switcher, not in OS X: I went straight from Windows ME (shudder) on a ThinkPad to Jaguar on a then-new TiBook with very little trouble, and no regrets. The two biggest shifts in thinking were that closing all a program's windows doesn't quit the program on the Mac, and the differences in installing programs. Everything else is just which command shortcut corresponds. *shrug*

    I think Low End Mac's advice is good here: Buy the best you can afford.
  11. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
    That G3 you are considering is slow, and you will out grow it very quickly with OSX. When I wanted to buy a Mac I held out and I did consider getting an older used system, but I decided quickly that it would not be the computing experience that I was looking for.

    Either wait that year, or wait a few more months and see if you can get a better system for a little more.
  12. iDesigner macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2003
    North Carolina
    mac later

    You should wait until you have a little extra money.

    eMacs start at $799 here in the US. As for as speed and stability, it's really a better investment to get a brand new G4 eMac. That G3 is just too old for what you want to do.

    Plus, the price of G4 computers might drop once the G5 hits stores.

    Give it some thought. It's your money, but I hate to see bad investments.
  13. Phillip thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2003
    I want to wait, but i want some experience on a mac first. I wanna by a very cheap iMac or iBook.

    Here are some specs:

    G3 iBook Graphite
    128mb ram
    OS 9.2

    For $600 AU (a bit too expensive)
    $395 USD

    IMac g3
    350 mhz
    129 ram
    slot loading cd rom
    bondi blue
    os 9

    For $425 AU
    $265 US

    What do u think?
  14. Phillip thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2003
  15. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    Definitely go with a used or refurbed, yet newer, computer. The longevity-usability factor is greatly enhanced if you can creep up the G3 speed scale or even break into the G4 range. If you can't get over a 500Mz G3, save your money for a better day.
  16. jove macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2003
    St. Louis MO
    Bondi Blue iMacs were only available at 266 MHz and didn't have a slot-loading CD. The iMac you're looking at is probably Blueberry. Yeah, it's a small difference but I thought you should know.

    That said, I wouldn't buy an old iMac. Low-end computers are meant to be cheap when new and resale value is usually pennies.
  17. Dippo macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2003
    Charlotte, NC
  18. Vlade macrumors 6502a


    Feb 2, 2003
    Meadville, PA

    No, I bought the first 233MHZ Bondi blue imac, then they added a 266 one right after that

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