PowerBook G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by lacoste-rocker, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. lacoste-rocker macrumors regular

    lacoste-rocker

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #1
    Okay so I might be getting a powerbook g4 as a back up computer to my pro. But I want some opinions on the idea first. Do any of you guys use one, I know that they aren't Intel macs so are they obsolete? Just what are your opinions on them.
    here are the specs
    15" Powerbook G4
    1.33ghz
    2 gigs of ram
    60 gig hdd (will upgrade that if need be)
    comes with the osx 10.3
    The battery is pretty shot they say it lasts about 30 minutes; I will just replace it if it's not to hard to find one.

    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. mrobison macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Location:
    AR
    #2
    Honestly, a powerbook g4 is good for word processing, iTunes, and casual surfing. That's literally about it, especially if running Leopard. I'm currently using a 1.67 GHz 15" with 1Gb of ram and a 250Gb hard drive. I've been using it for school for the last couple of years. It's good for typing and having portability, but I just ordered a new 15" 2.66 GHz i7 with the High Res screen, and I'm really excited about having several times more capability and power. I wouldn't give more than about $300 max for the computer you've described.

    Bottom line, if you don't need much, it's fine. If you will need it for anything even remotely processor intensive, no way.
     
  3. lacoste-rocker thread starter macrumors regular

    lacoste-rocker

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #3
    Yeah I would only use it as a back up to my macbook pro 13"
    I would only use it for typing essays/surfing and maybe putting some music on there. No gaming or anything like that.
    Do you know what the newest OS I can put on there I know I can't put snow leopard on there because that requires a Intel processor.
    And I am not paying that much
     
  4. nicksmac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
  5. agbot macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #5
    I have an old 1.5Ghz Powerbook G4 with 10.5.8, 2GB RAM. iTunes, iPhoto, Photoshop CS3, Office 2008 are all functional, just not fast. Safari is slow, especially with any Flash - in fact some Flash stuff is downright impossible to use. If you want to encode/burn anything with iDVD you'll need to let it run overnight. For a lightweight extra machine though, you'd survive.
     
  6. Wehrwolf macrumors 6502

    Wehrwolf

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #6
    The latest OS is should support is Leopard (10.5) If you can get a copy of Tiger that might run a little smoother though.
     
  7. mrobison macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Location:
    AR
    #7
    In that case I think you should be fine, especially since you have 2 Gbs of ram. I would also recommend a new hard drive; I put my 250 in mine for about $75 last summer when the original failed. It will run Leopard; just not crazy fast. I'm glad to hear that you're getting it fairly cheap. One thing that they do have going for them is durability, the aluminum enclosure is worth a good chunk of what you're paying.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #8
    The Powerbook G4 is a fantastic laptop.

    My 15in is now 4.5 years old and still going strong.

    Its a 1.67ghz model with 1.5gb Ram, 80gb HD, and SD. It runs multiple programs, handles all day to day tasks without a hitch. Its slow starting up but once I have it going it still runs quite well. I am going to get a new MBP because I need to play HD stuff, and need more speed in general. But as a fall back laptop its a champ.

    Even has PCMIA which is actually very useful for people who shoot video on P2 cars.
     
  9. MWP macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    #9
    That's almost the same PB I'm currently using, I have a 100GB HDD in my 1.33 GHZ/2GB RAM PB G4 though. It has been going strong since Summer of 2004 and I'm more than satisfied with its reliability almost 6 years in. For the simple uses you listed it will work fine, HD video is absolutely impossible,re-encoding takes half a day.

    Just ran Geekbench for fun, iTunes and Firefox were running and it scored a whopping 759 :). Arrandale has finally arrived and I'm counting on being pleasantly surprised with the performance upgrade this week.
     
  10. lacoste-rocker thread starter macrumors regular

    lacoste-rocker

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #10
    Okay thank you all for your answers! It sounds like I would be very happy with a powerbook G4 as a back up computer! :D
    :apple::apple::apple: FTW
     
  11. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
    #11
    I use my PB G4 1.25Ghz as a backup to my MBP 2.53GHz. The other day I had to use it because I totally forgot that my Camcorder Hi-8 firewire chord doesn't work on my MBP (too big). So, I uploaded the footage to my PB and then used my jump drive to transfer the files. Other than that. I use the PB for watching movies and surfing the web.

    I still like Tiger over Leopard/Snow Leopard. Yeah you can do the finger swipe. But Tiger's Address Book is better. I used the PB as a caller I.D. for my cell phone while I'm in the studio. WHen I get a call, the number pops up on the screen. I wish Apple will bring that feature back. Everyone can't own a iPhone. :mad: ((lol end rant))
     
  12. bbrobozio macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    #12
    How to Speed up Powerbook G4

    I just upgraded my MacBook to a MCP but my poor husband is stuck with a used G4 we bought from our neighbor. It is perfectly fine for him, but he is having issues with our wireless dropping, however, that's not happening with the rest of us. His G4 is also a little slow, but that just may be the way it is. Our wireless is sketchy, as we live in the mountains, and even mine is not speedy. He's running Mac OSX 10.5.8, the processor is 1.5 GHz, the memory is 1.25 GB. It says it has 256 MB built in RAM and 1 GB DDR SDRAM with an unknown manufacturer, etc.

    As you can see, I'm just a year in to getting to know Mac's and still figuring mine out, so his is VERY foreign to me. He's pretty computer illiterate on any type, so I'm trying to help him out. I didn't think Snow Leopard could run on his, but I'm hearing conflicting information. Also, it sounds as if he may be better off running Firefox and not Safari? Any tips that would help make this computer run along a little more smoothly and quickly would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks so very much for you time!!
     
  13. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #13
    Running Flash? Not a chance. I'm able to play most 320p videos on Youtube on my 1.25ghz SP PowerMac G4, and that's pushing it!

    Also, you want word processing? I just fixed up and sold a dual USB iBook from 2002 with a 800mhz G3. I used it for a few days for JDarkRoom and Bean, which are word processors. Yeah...easy to see, it won't have trouble there.

    Even more encouraging, I just received an iBook Clamshell 366mhz that I will be using for the same purposes ;) I do not dare cary my beautiful MacBook Pro on a job site. One spot of hot tar and I'd flip!
     
  14. flat five macrumors 601

    flat five

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    newyorkcity
    #14
    putting tiger back on there (or even panther for that matter) would be my first step in smoothing things out.

    idk, it seems 10.5+ needs 2-3 gigs of ram to really start working well.. i put leopard on a 1.33 powerbook with 1 gig of ram and immediately went back to tiger.
     
  15. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #15
    Um...Leopard runs circles around Tiger on my PowerMac G4 with 768mb ram...
     
  16. flat five macrumors 601

    flat five

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    newyorkcity
    #16
    really? seriously, that's exactly opposite of my experience.. everything was so sluggish with leopard on my powerbook.. i saw more beach balls that day than all my visits to coney island combined..
     
  17. aliasfox macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #17
    Avoid flash and you should be fine. I'm running an 867 MHz PowerBook 12" on Tiger, and it's good to do everything except flash (which eats up memory and processor cycles faster than anything else on a G4).

    Let's not forget that a 1.33 GHz G4 wasn't too shabby just a few years ago - on vintage 2005 software, you should be able to do anything in iLife, MS Office, etc. Original Halo is even playable on that machine, given that it has both a processor and gpu that should each be ~50% faster than on my machine, which got 16-17 fps at 1024x768 on that game (barely playable, but I finished it!).

    Alternatively, if you want to take up the challenge, you could do a Hackintoshed Netbook for about $300 as well - would be slightly faster, but significantly less elegant. And this is assuming you find a "perfect" match, too.
     
  18. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #18
    Maybe the PowerMac has a greater bus or...something. Also I use 7200rpm drives in my PowerMac :p

    I play Halo, Call Of Duty and Quake III Arena GREAT on me mac!
     
  19. SaaGua macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #19
    My 8 year old PowerBook, running Tiger, is still running great. And the exterior is pretty much in mint condition as well. Not a single dent, only a couple of knicks. (Even after hundreds of thousands of miles of frequent flying)

    I only have 10gb left on my 80gb hd. 512mb ram. Oh and my battery life is still about 2.5 hrs!

    I agree with everyone about viewing flash web pages. I actually have flash blocker installed, which makes browsing much faster. I can manually choose which flash window to activate. Usually, Hulu is too choppy for me to enjoy.

    Still waiting on anti-glare option on the 13" MBP.
    Hey, I've waited 8 years, I think I can wait a bit longer...
     
  20. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
  21. frank.deale macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    #21
    Got mine around 2002. Just put 4.11. on it. Still a great computer that gives me a solid 2:30 of battery life when I use it mostly outdoors in the summertime.
     
  22. cyberone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    #22
    I have the last G4 17", as an earlier commentator said for word processing and basic internet use OK, but if I'm editing photos or watch a video you need a lot of patience.

    And the machine requires maintenance (regularly use Cocktail and Disk Warrior).

    I'd save more money and get something newer. Or, as said, if you're only browsing the net and do some word processing then you'll be fine for years to come.
     
  23. Tottenham4Life macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #23
    I just purchased a 17" Powerbook with a 1.67 processor. I know I can up the ram to 2 GB easily but I also want to replace the hard drive with a 320 GB or 500 GB drive. How hard/easy is that?

    Also maybe want to add a Magic Mouse as well perhaps.
     
  24. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #24
    Rather simple. I'm so envious of people with a PowerBook G4, even with my MacBook Pro :(

    Guide for Hi-Res 1680x1050 17" model

    Guide for normal 1440x900 17" model

    Step 9 on the hi-res model can be tricky dicky. I don't recommend it unless you have prior experience.
     
  25. Mike Macintosh macrumors regular

    Mike Macintosh

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Location:
    Washington State
    #25
    It's great for everyday tasks like reading email, surfing the web, and listening to Itunes, I still use mine currently as a partner to my iMac, and is a great "Out of Room" computer otherwise.

    But if you want to watch flash on youtube you will be highly disappointed, the lowest you can watch vids is 360P on a good day, and I mean literally on a good day, and even that runs crappy on most vids.
     

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