Should I buy a g3 iBook?

conesgnomes

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 28, 2005
7
0
Oregon
I have a few questions about buying a used iBook that i'm wanting to take with me to europe next year on exchange. The main purpose for the iBook will be holding my digital pictures, holding music for my iPod, and basic homework (wordprocessing, slideshows, etc. I'll probably buy microsoft office for mac). Now, chances are my host families will have computers, but i'd personally rather have my own so i don't have to bother using theirs, plus i don't want to fill their hard drives up with my multiple GBs of pictures and music (and then have to worry about copying it over to a new family's computer every few months).

I'm going to be new the mac world, and i figure i could buy a cheap iBook to get my feet wet with, and then maybe get much faster new Intelibook in a few years once i graduate high school. So, my question is, am i losing much by buying a g3 iBook? I've been looking at them on ebay, and it looks like i can get a 12in. 900mhz one with a 40GB hard drive, 384 MB of ram (I would upgrade to at least 512 mb or more), airport card (is there a difference between an airport card and an airport extreme card? This one says "801.11b"), iLife 04 and OSX 10.4 for $575.00, buy it now. Is this a good price? It says the battery holds about a 2 hour charge, will a brand new battery from apple work on this computer even though its not a g4? Also, if i buy office for mac and install it on this computer, will i be able to install it onto a new computer once i upgrade to an Intelibook after high school or will i have to buy a new copy of it?

I guess my main questions are whether or not i'll notice any performance difference buying a g3 processor vs. a g4 processor doing basic things (homework, storing music/pictures, etc.)and is this is a good price for the above computer or one similar. I have no idea on what a reasonable price would be for something as described above. I don't really have much money to spend, $600 is probably my limit (for the computer itself, and a little extra for software). I'd love to be able to take a laptop with me to Europe my junior year of high school, but i really need something affordable. Thanks in advance for your replies!
 

pubwvj

macrumors 68000
Oct 1, 2004
1,897
202
Mountains of Vermont
An older computer can still give you years of good service. I use a PowerBook Pismo G3 500MHz. It is excellent for everything except really heavy graphics games like X-Plane 8, Halo, etc. But it is perfect for Photoshop, Illustrator, Safari, Mail, word processing, HTML coding, programming, iTunes, etc. There is very little speed difference between my Pismo and my son's G4 500MHz PowerMac - maybe 10%?
 
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CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
conesgnomes said:
I'm going to be new the mac world, and i figure i could buy a cheap iBook to get my feet wet with, and then maybe get much faster new Intelibook in a few years once i graduate high school. So, my question is, am i losing much by buying a g3 iBook? I've been looking at them on ebay, and it looks like i can get a 12in. 900mhz one with a 40GB hard drive, 384 MB of ram (I would upgrade to at least 512 mb or more)
640 Mb is the only upgrade (with a 512 Mb SODIMM) and your maximum memory for this unit.

conesgnomes said:
airport card (is there a difference between an airport card and an airport extreme card? !
Yes. Airport is 802.11b 11 Mb/s, Airport extreme is 802.11g 52 Mb/s.. I don't believe you can put an extreme card in the iBook G3.

conesgnomes said:
iLife 04 and OSX 10.4 for $575.00, buy it now. Is this a good price?
$575 US isn't particularly cheap. What is shipping? Which optical drive does it have? Does it come with an original 10.4 DVD or is it (more likely) "preinstalled" (a.k.a. pirated)?

conesgnomes said:
It says the battery holds about a 2 hour charge, will a brand new battery from apple work on this computer even though its not a g4?
You can but it's not cheap

conesgnomes said:
Also, if i buy office for mac and install it on this computer, will i be able to install it onto a new computer once i upgrade to an Intelibook after high school or will i have to buy a new copy of it?
You can install it in another machine.

The downsides here are: no warranty, 1/2 clapped out battery, eBay you don't know the seller.

Have you looked at the Apple Refurbs?

iBook G4 1GHz/ 256MB/ 30GB/ Combo/ E/ 56K/ 12-inch TFT - Apple Certified Refurbished
Learn More
• Save 28% off the original price
Original price: $1,099.00
Your price: $799.00

The iBook G4 will smoke the iBook G3 for performance, if you can budget for the extra money. And it will have 1 year Applecare.
 
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Vster

macrumors 6502
Jan 19, 2005
255
0
Celina, TX
The last models are still available at CompUSA and Fry's (1.2 GHz G4) for $899 also.

So there are many different price ranges to look at, but if you can afford it the newest models are great and are only $949 with edu discount. :)
 
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Rocksaurus

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2003
652
0
California
I'd recommend against the G3 iBook, especially for a first-timer as they've had logic board failures galore. While it's no guarantee it'll fail, you don't want your first mac experience to be a bad one, and neither do we ;)
 
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Dynamyk

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2005
648
0
Toronto
I agree with looking for a refurb of the pre-update G4, you'll get the best value for the money that way. For the tasks you are looking for it will be perfect.
 
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reberto

macrumors 65816
Jul 20, 2005
1,224
0
iBook G3

I just bought a iBook G3 500 for 415 on eBay. It had a 3.5 hr battery, 320 ram, 20 gig HD, CD, Panther. Not a bad deal. :D

P.S, Yes I do own all of the computers in my sig'.
 
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Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
Look into refurb G4s... those iBooks will be quite nice.
OR look at PowerBook G3s. Those are a nice series of laptops. Very good. The iBooks were good too... but the PowerBook is a bit more upgradeable and better suited to Tiger.
 
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