Powerbook G4 - Still a reliable computer today?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by marchellobb, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. marchellobb macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2009
    Hello! I have been offered a PowerBook G4 against one of my guitar amplifiers which is roughly worth around 1000$. His powerbook has 2gb of ram, and seemed really quiet when he brought it over. I've always wanted to get a mac, but I'm not sure if I can rely on a powerbook with all these new 'macbooks' out today.

    I have never used a mac, by the way. Is the Powerbook G4 still a computer I would be able to rely on for a long time?

    I would use the computer mainly for audio recording/mixing, video editing, and net browsing. Would the computer do well, or should I just buy a new macbook (which has a smaller screen)?
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    I've looked at Mac2Sell and configured a 15" PowerBook G4 with 1.5GHz, 2GB RAM, a 160GB HDD and a SuperDrive (DVD-writer) and got a machine that is still 520$ (USD) worth.

    So it would be an unwise exchange, moneywise.

    And the PowerBook is still capable of those things you want to do, I once edited a short movie for one week with an iBook G4 (1GHz) and it was more than alright. But if you can rely on this Mac is up to its condition. The battery will be used up mostly, the HDD could be short before its end, and maybe the logic board will fail on you, and since you have no more warranty, you'll have to pay double, if the worst happens.

    So if you want a 1000$ worth of computer, you'd better go with a new MacBook (white or refurbished Unibody).

  3. marchellobb thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2009
    He's willing to pay the difference, I dont worry about it money-wise.

    But I mean: This would be first mac. I've always used PC's since i was like 10. Will this powerbook G4 be reliable? Any ways I could upgrade it even more to make it better? Even if not, will it last me a fair amount of time before getting slow and buggy?
  4. assassinm4 macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Hong Kong
    i would suggest to to get a mac with intel processor instead,
    for couple reasons,
    1) they are faster. and preferably get C2D not CD since C2Ds are significantly faster
    2) they support bootcamp, so you can put a windows on for gaming or whatever purposes
    3) better compatibility with all kinds of accessories (since some ask for intel chips)
    4) better reselling value
    5) they are not expensive anyway
  5. erratikmind macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2009
    S.F./Las Vegas
    I have 2 PowerBooks, which are still running as new. They both are some 7 years old. I have never had an issue with either one of them. These units are true work horses.

    Having said that and realizing that these 2 laptops were becoming dated, I opted to purchase a new MBP. If you have the option and the means, I would definitely look into a newer model.
  6. marchellobb thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2009
    I just heard it can't run iMovie... That alone has turned me off from it. I'll look into a new macbook in the near future.
  7. erratikmind macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2009
    S.F./Las Vegas
    Hmmm . . . Interesting. Where did you read that? Both of my PowerBook G4s have been running iMovie HD 5.0.2 (111) from day one and without any issues to date.
  8. Mintin8 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2009
    United Kingdom
    I'm sure they can run iMovie. Go for a new MacBook or MacBook pro. I would choose the MacBook for your needs. Look at apples refurbished store for cheap apple products.
  9. pbkiller macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2007
    Puerto Rico
    Coming from someone who has both G4 and Intel laptops, ditch the PowerPC technology... Its old, and it will barely keep up... Get ur money's worth...
  10. steve2112 macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2009
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    According to Apple, iMovie 09 doesn't require an Intel, but it does require at least a G5 or better. I don't know if this is a hard requirement (it checks the processor) or a suggestion, like so many Windows apps. So, even though it doesn't actually require an Intel, the PowerBook wouldn't run it.

  11. Azmordean macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2004
    Silicon Valley
    Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the soon-to-be-released OS X 10.6, aka, Snow Leopard, to ditch support for PowerPC and be Intel only?

    If I am correct in that, that, to me, would be a HUGE reason not to buy a PowerPC based system.

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