Thinking of picking up a 12" iBook G4 1.2GHz

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ptdebate, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. ptdebate macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #1
    Although I'd usually prefer to get the "best" of a particular PowerPC Mac line (in this case the 1.42GHz G4 iBook), this 1.2GHz model I found on craigslist looks to be in particularly nice condition. According to the seller, the (presumably original) battery has 3-4 hours of life left in it. To me that indicates that it's been well maintained (in terms of keeping the battery generally between 50% and 100%) but not heavily used. It also comes with official OS X Tiger disks!

    [​IMG]

    He's asking $50 for it, but I can probably get it for $40. The reason I want it is a) I have a practically new OEM 60GB PATA HDD sitting around that I have nothing to put in and b) my TiBook, although fast, is a little on the heavy side. I'd prefer to leave it plugged into a monitor for desktop use and have the iBook to take with me on the go.

    Anyone else own one of these who can comment on its usefulness, approximate weight relative to Powerbooks, and capabilities? I know the RAM is a little slower than the 1.42GHz models but it's certainly faster than that of my TiBook.
     
  2. gooser macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    well it certainly beats a thousand dollar new laptop for when you are "on the go" in case someone forgets who it belongs to or if you spill beer all over it. last october i bought a 12" 1.33ghz for exactly the same purpose and i'm very pleased with it. it's not going to be the easiest job in the world to swap out the hard drive. they're great for most anything unless you're addicted to flash. my girlfriend is borrowing mine right now to watch some dvd's in bed and she's not complaining about it. a 1.2 should be similar.
     
  3. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

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    #3
    I'm sure somebody will come along who has one of these and give their experience, but I'll make a suggestion. If you want a 12" PowerPC that you can really get good use of, then go for the last 1.5GHz PowerBook. I've got one and I LOVE it! In many ways it actually feels faster than my 17" 1.67 PowerBook. It has a faster system bus than the iBook, faster RAM, better graphics (which makes a HUGE difference if you ever want to run Leopard) and its a bit lighter and smaller to carry around. One thing I will say about the TiBook is the 1MB of L3 cache makes them feel a lot faster than some of the lower end higher MHz iBooks that came along later. Realistically, I don't think you're going to see a huge performance difference between this iBook and your 1GHz Ti. I've had a number of PowerPC notebooks over the years, and the 1.5GHz 12" PowerBook one is easily my favorite and it really shouldn't cost you much more if ANY more than that iBook. They've all gotten to the age where you won't see a huge price difference. That said, the one you're looking at is a fair deal assuming he's already got a 1GB stick of RAM in it and the battery holds a charge, but if you're going to drop the cash, I'd just go all the way and get the last 12" PowerBook.
     
  4. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #4
    The 12" PowerBook is also one of my favorite portable Macs ever, but they still seem to be in pretty high demand, keeping the price substantially higher than iBooks. I've never seen one on Craigslist in my area, and on eBay they seem to regularly go for over $120 if in good condition. The 12" 1.5Ghz would definitely be a holy grail item for me, but to find one in a desirable state seems pretty difficult. Where did you find yours?
     
  5. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #5
    I have the 1.5GHz PB G4 and will be receiving my 1.33GHz iBook in a few days. They both use the same PC2700 RAM and the iBook has arguably a better GPU - the Radeon 9550 supports CI fully. It was the Hi-Res Powerbooks that had faster DDR2 RAM. The PB has more VRAM - 64MB vs 32MB but the iBook has 512MB of onboard RAM so maxes out at 1.5GB whilst the PB stops at 1.25GB. That might matter if you like to surf with lots of tabs.

    The 12" is nicer to use than I had thought. It doesn't seem to get as toasty as its reputation but I don't really thrash my Mac laptops. That is what desktops with replaceable components are for.
     
  6. Zotaccian macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

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    #6
    40-50USD is not bad for that iBook I think, it's nice to have good battery in addition of the overal condition

    About RAM speed, as far as I know it makes no difference which speed DDR RAM you have because G4 can only take advantage maximum of 167MHz of it (can't remember what bandwidth that means) so any DDR RAM is basically enough for the CPU. Of course many Macs require atleast a spesific speed of RAM and slower may cause instability.
     
  7. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

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    #7
    They're all over eBay.
     
  8. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #8
    Yes, but as I mentioned, they're all generally overpriced.
     
  9. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #9
    They do have a high demand and price. Sadly, I passed up a 1.33Ghz model that ended at $40 in an auction, with 0 bids. It seemed to have stock RAM, but I really wish I had gotten it; they are perhaps the coolest laptops ever, and even smaller in form factor than an iBook G4 12".
     
  10. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

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    #10
    If you say so. I've found more good deals on eBay than I ever have on CL. There are lots of ways to get good deals if you're patent and bid at the right times. I haven't bought a used Mac locally in almost a decade now.
     
  11. J232022 macrumors member

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    #11
    That actually sounds like a great deal , It should make a great secondary machine for basic tasks . But just remember power pc is getting less and less useful as time goes by , but they make great machines for basic things even in 2014 . Anything less than a G4 is really not worth using in 2014 .
     
  12. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #12

    You should have. My iBook back in the day had an immortal battery that never dropped a single % point over its life.

    As for current prices on eBay - sometimes they go crazy over iBooks
     

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  13. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    #13
    If your used to using a Ti as a desktop mac (with external monitor) then you already know the limitations of ppc laptops.

    The 12" ibook is somewhat lighter then your Ti but not sure your really going to notice that much difference (2.2kg vs 2.4kg)

    The 1.2GHz is okay...I find the biggest performance difference on any ibook is to ug the harddrive (even more so then ram...which I would also rec doing)...So if your going to install a new 60g pata drive you should be set! (have you ever taken apart a ibook and installed a new hd?...not all that hard,but first time will seem somewhat difficult)

    If you can get for only $40 (with a legit Tiger disk...always nice to have) I would buy it....
     
  14. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #14
    An update

    In short, I decided to wait for a better deal--and it paid off!

    I'm meeting a guy later to buy a 1.33GHz 12" PBG4 off of craiglist for only $60! Complete in box!
     
  15. gooser macrumors 6502a

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  16. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #16
    I think that the point about a good hard drive definitely valid.

    Easily my fastest iBook/Powerbook is my 12" PB with an mSATA SSD, although my 15" DLSD with a 7200 RPM HDD is not far behind.

    A good hard drive-even if only 5400rpm-can keep these computers very pleasant to use. A bad hard drive-regardless of the rotational speed-can make using them a miserable experience.

    An mSATA HDD+adapter can be installed for around $100, and I'm convinced that it is the single best upgrade that you can make to a PPC Laptop.
     
  17. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #17
    iBook G4s are great and are definitely well-loved computers. I have three 12" models (two work: 800Mhz & 1.07Ghz), and I may inherit a 1.42Ghz 14" model from someone I know, sooner or later.

    These laptops are fine for on-the-go use; they are pretty rugged, have very comfortable keyboards, and have a light footprint (in terms of surface area). I would actually prefer it over a new laptop for simple tasks while not at the desk.

    The part of its footprint that isn't light is its weight. If you are concerned about weight, I'd take your TiBook on-the-go. Although its form factor is larger, it's much thinner and weighs much less than an iBook. You will have an easier time finding a fitting case for your TiBook, as well. Weight aside, iBook G4s are pretty nice laptops. If you really want to experience one, you have one right there for a pretty good price. And although it seems as though you'd be covered with the TiBook as an on-the-go machine, it's worth trying out an iBook G4; many of us here use multiple machines as well!

    ----------

    Oh, wow... lucky! :)
     
  18. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #18
    Which adapter do you recommend? I had a little trouble fitting the one I bought for my TiBook.
     
  19. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #19
    If you're considering an iBook G4 vs. a TiBook for on the go use, one other thing to think about is the WiFi adapters.

    Most(all?) iBook G4s use an Airport Extreme card, while the built-in WiFi card on a TiBook is limited to the original Airport card. Airport cards have issues with many modern networks-mine can't even see the 802.11x networks at school.

    Of course, since TiBooks have a PCMIA card slot, you can get around this limitation by using the correct PCMIA WiFi card(Belkin makes one that several Ebay sellers sell for around $10 as an "Airport Compatible" PCMIA card). I've regularly used both my TiBook and my Pismo Powerbook on the school network with one of these PCMIA cards.

    ----------

    I didn't install the mSATA drive in my 12" Powerbook, but here's the write-up of how it was done in the one I now own. I'm planning on replicating something similar in my 15" AlBook

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1633108
     
  20. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #20

    Thanks for the advice! I have indeed had lots of problems getting my TiBook connected to wireless networks, which is part of the reason why I'm "upgrading" to an AluBook.


    Hmm. It looks like the easiest way for me will be to just purchase one of the Mercury Legacy Pro models since they're guaranteed to be the right form factor.
     
  21. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #21
    Don't. Or at least check reviews of those OWC drives. I read a few bad things about speed slowdowns on those. I would advise going the mSATA route as it provides better performance and will work out cheaper than going for an IDE SSD. By far the hardest part will be dismantling your iBook to get to the hard drive. Having done both the iBook 1.33 and a Powerbook 1.5, the Powerbook took much longer to do.

    If you don't feel confident about securing a small factor mSATA adapter, just go for one of the full size ones, of which there are plenty on eBay. Those replicate the fittings of a laptop drive with screw holes in all the expected places.
     

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  22. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #22
    I just bought one of these a few minutes ago...now I just need to find the right mSATA drive to stuff into it. I'm leaning toward 128gb, even though I don't realistically see myself needing that much space.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/321612695170?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

    I'll report back when I have it in-hand and get it set up in a laptop(likely my 15" A1138), but it appears at least to be a standard 2.5" size enclosure. I guess I'll know in a few weeks when it arrives from China. My plan is to photograph and write it up on here when I get around to it.

    (Note to moderators-no affiliation with the above seller-just reporting on something I bought)
     
  23. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #23
    Nice looking one and even better if it has the Marvell controller on board like the one I linked to. Only worry is the funky GoogleTranslate description but it does say that specs change frequently and what you may receive might differ from that depicted.

    I put a spare Kingston 120GB drive in my A1139 but settled for cheap 80GB drives from eBay for others. I have had no problems with any of my upgrades so far.
     
  24. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #24
    I have a spare 2.5" 60gb SATA SSD lying around, and I'm pretty seriously installing it in one of my Cubes when it gets here. I have several desktop IDE to SATA converters, and I hope it will be a relatively simple drop-in conversion that will cut down on heat in the Cube(since I'm also planning on installing a better/hotter video card).

    I'll also report here on how that one works.
     
  25. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #25
    Thanks for all the useful info, guys. The one bunnspecial bought looks promising.

    In other news, I got the PowerBook 12 home and I love it! Turns out it's actually the 1GHz version but I don't mind. It looks and runs great. I'm installing Tiger as we speak.
     

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