Things to Look For When Buying an iBook G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by n0cus, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. n0cus macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Hello Everyone,

    I am looking to buy an iBook G4 to act as my laptop for light purposes such as web browsing and word processing (I know the limitations of these machines, so nobody has to explain that). I was wondering if there is anything I should look for when purchasing an iBook. Since I hope to browse the web with some decently, I am hoping to get a 1.2 Ghz processer or above. Is there a specific model that was bad? Typically how much do they go for (I assume it does vary from model to model). Is there anything else I should know as a first time iBook purchaser?

    Thanks Everyone!
     
  2. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

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    #2
    Just my opinion:

    Forget about the 14" models, a 15" PowerBook will cost abou the same and offer so much more, while not really being any bigger.

    On the 12", just go with the topend/last version (1.33GHz).

    - prices are just the same between 1.2 and the 1.33GHz (if both units are in similar condition)
    - the 1.33GHz can be upped to 1.5 instead of just 1.25GB in the 1.2GHz
    - you'll get the better GPU (but still just those measly 32MB VRAM)
    - you'll get a proper 2 finger USB tarckpad instead of the clumsier 1 finger ADB version

    As for prices, I'll buy nomore than 80Euro for a good condition 1.33GHz 12" .... maybe 100Euro if it has been upgraded (bigger HD, replacement battery).
     
  3. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #3
    Actually, 14" iBooks tend to go for lower prices than the 12", presumably because they are less portable. The last 14" iBook topped out at 1.42GHz and has a slightly faster bus so offers a little more oomph than its smaller sibling. If you are determined to get the smaller one then only look for the last revision as its gpu is the only one to support QE/CI.

    Screens are much dimmer than the Powerbooks but the iBooks are easier to live with. You need to handle the Powerbooks with kid gloves. They scratch and dent so easily.
     
  4. n0cus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Is Ebay the best place to get it?

    ----------

    I have noticed that the PowerBooks are in much worse looking than the iBooks while I was shopping.
     
  5. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #5
    True, I have too. Maybe it's all the dents and scratches, but iBooks and Plastic Macbooks are almost always in better condition, unless the plastic yellowed, or got brittle and broke.
     
  6. n0cus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Yeah, I have noticed a few have cracked cases. Do you know if getting the 64MB GPU is significant enough for the upgrade
     
  7. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #7
    I have a 64 MB GPU in my PowerBook.. and it runs Leopard much smoother than on my iBook which had a 32 MB GPU.
     
  8. n0cus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Is it significant enough that I should run Tiger on the iBook?
     
  9. crammedberry macrumors regular

    crammedberry

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    #9
    I have a 64mb PowerBook with fx5200 as well and it does actually make a difference running leopard. Though I think core image has more to do with it than the actual vram amount. If you end up with a later generation iBook it might do okay, but compared to the 1.2Ghz and below iBooks with non-core image cards, the graphics in the PowerBooks make a huge difference.
     
  10. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    #10
    I have owned more ibooks then one should ever admit! ;)

    Look for a nice 12" 1.33GHz (they come with better ATI Radeon 9550)...also these have 512 soldered to mb and can take a total of 1.5g of ram...try and also find one with 80 or 100mb harddrive (unless your planning on ug hd which is a bit tricky for a novice).

    As long as you understand there web limitations (utube is best with mactubes and I turn off java and javascript) you should be fine for simple internet browsing.

    I personally prefer Tiger on these (mainly because I find it runs cooler and the fans speed up less often) but Leopard will perform just fine also.

    I like to use craigslist over ebay as I find I get way cheaper prices,and I like to see what I'm buying.
     
  11. Zotaccian macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

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    Apr 25, 2012
    #11
    Radeon 9550 is indeed better than what you can get with 12" PowerBooks so that is one thing to keep in mind. It is also the only GPU in iBooks which supports Core Image... so newer is surprisingly faster and better :)

    Altough 2005 model iBooks had some troubles with the Airport connector slot becoming loose leading enabling the Airport causing kernel panics or sometimes the card was not detected at all. I've seen many machines with that problem. Relatively easy "fix" is to apply pressure on the connector but that's indeed not a real fix. Earlier models are more known for their GPU problems but I guess 2005 models also had some of that.

    EDIT: VRAM itself does not bring performance increase atleast in games, I recently did small upgrade for my PC where I switched a card which had 256MB of VRAM to a card which happened to have 1GB. Since both of these are still budget cards I'm not expecting 4x performance :)

    More VRAM is usually worth noticing when dealing with high resolutions and when lots of stuff needs to be stored there. 1024 x 768 is not actually high resolution.
     
  12. n0cus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Awesome, thanks for all the help guys. I will continue the hunt!;)
     
  13. nineteen73 macrumors member

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    #13
    I had great luck finding iBooks on eBay for as little as $30 with free shipping.
     
  14. n0cus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    WOW! Can you give any tips? Most of the iBook G4s I see are in the $50 range with shipping. Do you buy them advertised as not working or something?
     
  15. crammedberry macrumors regular

    crammedberry

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    #15
    Sometimes you just get lucky and have to be patient. I bought a PowerBook G4 for around $20. Deals like that do come up once in a while.
     
  16. n0cus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Did you get it by bidding, or was it a Buy it Now.
     
  17. crammedberry macrumors regular

    crammedberry

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    #17
    Bidding. You usually have to get lucky and not have too much competition but it does happen. I've gotten a few deals that way, I have bought an iBook G4 for under $10. Remember these computers aren't worth much anymore and sometimes there will be a big chunk that will go on sale all at once. This usually happens when there is government/school surplus etc. When that happens they tend to go cheaper than they usually do. I had a chance to buy another PowerBook this past week for around $20 as well but I already have too many PPC macs and a current PowerBook so I passed on a second one.
     
  18. n0cus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Thanks for the tips man, they are greatly appreciated. I will keep my eyes pealed. I was almost going to buy a 12in iBook 1.33Mhz for $50, but after what you said, I will hold off. I currently do not have a laptop in my arsenal (I use my 2012 Mac mini and iPad mini for everything), but after rediscovering the usability of PPC Macs in 2014, I decided it was worth getting one, especially for the price. Thanks for all your help!
     
  19. nineteen73 macrumors member

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    #19
    I happenstanced on an auction where the seller was multiple iBooks for $30/piece at Buy it Now At that time, roughly one month ago, I purchased two models for my daughter and me. Hang in there, those deals exist. ��
     
  20. n0cus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I might have bit too soon. I ended up buying a 1.2Mhz 12 inch iBook G4 for $45. Not a great price, but the reason I thought it was worth paying more was because it had the "install disks" whatever that means. Also, the images show OS X Tiger/Panther while the description says it has Leopard. I don't know what the heck it will end up being. Oh well, I really hope it comes with a Leopard Install DVD. :D
     
  21. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #21
    Install disks will either have Panther or Tiger on them with one or two meh free programs (Comic Life! etc) plus a version of iLife with the later iBooks. My July 2005 iBook also had a trial of iWork '05. The Install Disc should double up as an Apple Hardware Test disc, which is a cut down version of the Apple Service Diagnostic discs floating about the internet.

    If you intend to run Leopard, then you are not missing much. Certainly not worth paying a big premium for. About the only Install discs worth getting are for the DVI TiBooks (867Mhz and 1GHz) if you want to run OS9. Those came with a later modified version of 9.2.2 than the retail disk, which won't install and dragging and dropping from a retail copy does not activate all the hardware, such as Firewire. Those discs are very hard to find.

    The same issue obtains for the MDD and later Quicksilver Powermacs and one of the eMacs but disks are easier to come by for those.
     
  22. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

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    #22
    I have the same machine... I got mine for $20 shipped, but it was a parts/repair model. I had to add a hard drive (free since I had one, but would've been at least $15) and an airport card (I paid $7), so all told we're about the same.

    Out of the box, I installed Leopard... and last night I wiped it and installed Tiger. This machine is SO much faster with Tiger than with Leopard! I know a lot of people on here will tell you otherwise; I had disabled EVERYTHING in Leopard that I could - 3D dock, dock animations, Dashboard, transparent menu bar, etc. and it was still WAY slower than it is with Tiger. I''ll be sticking with Tiger on mine. That said, its now a quite usable machine. :)
     
  23. n0cus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    I am a bit suspicious of it actually running Leopard. From the pictures it looks like it is running Panther even though the description says Leopard, but I thought it was worth the small risk. If it isn't running Leopard, I will contact the eBay seller, and try to get a discount or something. It shipped today, so we will see. I really hope it has Leopard, as I don't want to have to spend the extra money on a Leopard install disk.
     
  24. n0cus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #24
    I've got an update guys. I haven't got the iBook yet, but I contacted him, and he said it is coming in the original box. I feel so much better spending $45 on the thing. It should be here between 15-18 September. I can't wait. I looked at the pictures again and it seems the keyboard is pretty worn. I figure it is an easy fix, right. Also from what I see the keyboard should cost about $10. I'll be sure to update once I get it.
     
  25. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #25

    The keyboard is an easy to replace part on iBooks.
     

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