To buy or not to buy, that is the question. iBook G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by pochopsp, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. pochopsp macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    Napoli, city of sun and pizza!
    #1
    Hi guys I have not been so active on this forum in the last year due to a moving. I moved from the south of Italy to the north of Italy, and now I live in Milan. My dear Power Mac G4 MDD is at my parents' home so, I can't use it anymore except the few times in which I go visit them.

    Well, I have found an ad for an IBook G4 which appears to be in mint conditions, and the seller says the battery lasts at least 1h and a half... He sells it for 40€, which are about 50 US dollars. I am very unsettled about buying it or not, for many reasons. I already have a laptop, it is a 2004 Asus A4000 with a Pentium 4 and 1Gb of ram. Maybe it is hard to believe, but it suits all my needs, so apart from running older Macintosh apps, what I would use it for? Then there's the problem that sooner or later, maybe soon, we will not be able to surf the web anymore on these devices... And that is very discouraging. Last question, how do I know which Gpu it has before buying it? Does the IBook gpus support quartz extreme on leopard?

    Thanks to everyone for your opinions and suggestions :)
     
  2. pl1984 Suspended

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #2
    Only you can determine what to do with this system. We can suggest things it could be used for but you have to decide how to use it. My rule of thumb is: If I don't know what I want to use it for then I don't buy it. I have made exceptions to this rule if the price were really good (I bought a 17" PowerBook G4 for around $18 shipped) or I want to "collect" it.

    As for the GPU is it possible you could ask the seller to provide additional information about the system?
     
  3. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #3
    The GPUs in the iBook G4s all support Quartz Extreme and the last revision (Mid-2005 12" 1.33Ghz and 14" 1.42Ghz) used the 32MB ATI Radeon 9550 GPUs which are also Core Image supported. I personally would be looking for this last revision 12" because I've never liked the 14" iBooks.

    From late 2002 through to about mid 2004 I owned a 12" iBook G3 800Mhz (32MB VRAM) and used it as my daily driver. As well as MS Office (excel) and accounts software in the office, I also put it through the paces as a music recording platform running Pro Tools LE 7.1, Reason and a few different plugins. It was an awesome little Mac, but unfortunately suffered from the known issue of GPU failure. I had the logic board replaced once under warranty and then a second time by a friend working in an authorised Apple service center. It failed a third time and I just discovered I could wedge a piece of cardboard between the GPU and the bottom case to make it work again.. I eventually let it go though once the Airport reception failed due to wearing of the antenna cable at the hinge.

    I remember stripping it down a few times (in the days before iFixit guides) and it was a nightmare to get back together again. As much as I liked my little iceBook, I really didn't like the internal design.

    I've been tempted to buy another white iBook G3 (or last rev iBook G4), but my current lineup of PowerPC Macs is more than suitable for my needs.. It can be tough to resist a good offer though!
     
  4. pochopsp thread starter macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    #4
    I asked him and have more information now.
    It has a 1.33 ghz processor and 512 mb ram with at Radeon mobility 9200 video card. Is it worth the buy? It should be this model: https://everymac.com/systems/apple/ibook/specs/ibook_g4_1.33_14.html

    And the ad with pics is : https://www.subito.it/vi/238966412.htm
     
  5. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #5
    It's your call. The Mobility 9200 can be a bit of a drag though. The 9550 was a cut down 9700 (like the GPUs found in the 15" and 17" PBG4), which is impressively superior, despite having the same VRAM capacity as the 9200.
     
  6. Smeaton1724 macrumors 6502a

    Smeaton1724

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    Leeds, UK
    #6
    I have an iBook G4 1.07Ghz processor, 9200 video card, purchased brand new from Apple a few weeks after release. It is currently running on 10.5.8. Many years ago I replaced the hard drive - going from 60GB to 160GB, also upped the RAM to 1.25GB. Absolutely rock solid machine but never been the fastest, just solid.

    The current purpose is as my home itunes server and file server. I have a 4TB WD Portable drive connected, 600+ movies all visible via Apple TV 4K, I can also stream music to the Homepod! Limitations - it won't play any of the video I have in iTunes but can stream over the network (resolution too high, anything above 576p it won't play). I have it wired in with ethernet - the wifi card can get very hot (always has). I use TenFourFox as the browser but in all honesty never use it for web browsing anymore.

    Battery has over 2200 cycles and approx maximum it lasts on low brightness is 1 hour with itunes open but not streaming.

    Would I buy one now? Probably not, there's loads of Powerbooks and even Core 2 Duo's around for so little money. I wouldn't get rid of mine though!
     
  7. pochopsp thread starter macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    #7
    Thank you everyone! So @AphoticD in your opinion this Gpu will give very low performance? I mean , is it able to run games like Max Payne, tomb raider Angel of darkness or rise of nations? These are games which run pretty well on my MDD with ati Radeon 9000 pro
     
  8. RhianB macrumors 6502a

    RhianB

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    #8
    Well, I think the price is fair but if longevity/performance is a factor, perhaps saving your money & going after an early Intel white or black MacBook might be a better choice? You’ll still have classic on tiger & OS X up to lion & Ive seen em on eBay for anywhere from US50-100 bucks.

    I guess I wouldn’t buy a ppc just to buy it unless it was stupid cheap. As others have already said, I’d be buying ppcs that I really want to collect, have a use for or it’s just too cheap/free to pass up. If it’s not any of those things, I’d save my money.

    Good luck!
     
  9. AphoticD, Feb 17, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018

    AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #9
    Those games should play well. The Mobility 9200 will keep up with any OS9 (Classic) title and early OS X games. I think something like Halo, Tony Hawk 4 and UT2004 etc might struggle a little though (although UT2004 was impressively optimised).

    One up side of this model over the last revision with the 9550 is that the people at MacOS9Lives.com have successfully booted OS9 on many of these white iBook G4s with the 9200. So you might find it useful as a fast and portable OS9 capable Mac.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 17, 2018 ---
    True. As much as we love our PowerPCs, if you're looking for just a cheap portable Mac, then a MacBook is the way to go. My 2008 MacBook is still awesome to use, with 8GB RAM, a 240GB 3G SSD + a 500GB 7200rpm HDD. I carry an extra battery for it so I can swap it out while I'm on the road and keep going for about 5 or 6 hours total. This model is even capable of running High Sierra (unofficial), but I've kept a dual-boot of a stripped down Snow Leopard + a fully loaded El Capitan (with VMWare for various flavours of Linux). It can even drive a 2560x1440 resolution external display (27") over the mini-DisplayPort. The only downside of this particular Mac is it is missing Firewire, but the next rev white 2009 Unibody brought it back.

    Classic was PPC only. Sheepshaver is the only real choice for OS9 on a MacBook if that's a thing you'll need. Be aware also, that any PowerPC-only (non-Universal) games won't perform that well on a MacBook, so if it's those particular games you are after, then the iBook (or a PB 17" :) ) will be your best bet.

    Decisions, decisions...
     
  10. pochopsp thread starter macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    #10
    50-100$ maybe there in the US... But here in Italy even for an early Intel MacBook you would have to pay 160$-200$ minimum
     
  11. RhianB, Feb 17, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018

    RhianB macrumors 6502a

    RhianB

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    #11
    Oops! I meant Rosetta which works up to lion but you’d have to buy that. I love the screen space on my pb17 but the batteries are stupid expensive, so be sure to verify that the battery is solid before you purchase.

    I made this mistake & did not. Trust but verify :D

    I am a fan of the 08 aluminum MacBooks too. I believe Bob, Dan & I have the same model & aside from being a bit piggish on the battery, it is a great all-around portable. I know pricing in the EU is higher, but that to me makes it all that more important to buy well (what you really, without-question, need) as values are higher there. Best of luck to you!
     
  12. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #12
    That's the one. Off topic, but if you are interested in squeezing more battery life out of it and if you can get by with Snow Leopard on that Unibody '08, then I'd highly recommend a little tool called CoolBook. It installs it's own CPU stepping kernel extension which allows you to undervolt (and underclock) the CPU. I've configured mine to run on battery power at 1.5Ghz (dual-core) at the lowest voltage (0.93v or thereabouts), which helps the little hot head to run at around 40°C and makes a substantial difference to the battery drain (plus the fans never need to rev up). When I reboot into El Cap, it runs around 85 - 95°C and the fans are always raring to go.
     
  13. bobesch, Feb 17, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018

    bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

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    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #13
    40€ is a good deal! - You'll certainly won't loose money on the long run!
    14" display looks big, but resolution is the same like on the 12" iBooks.
    It's heavy - you won't like to carry it around the whole day!
    It's slooow compared to your MDD. Especially web will be slow compared to your MDD - even with webkit4leopard or TTFbox. Don't ever expect the performance of a PM G4 dual-core!
    50€ for the mSATA-converter-upgrade is kind of mandatory, if usage should be fun, but 'swapping' the drive is a hassle.
    It's one of it's kind. A workhorse with Office '04/'08, Mail etc. No distraction.
    Nice typing.
    WhatsApp with TFFbox does work. Mail does work.
    No booting into os9. Classic will need an extra Tiger-partition. Extra-hassle...
    Unfortunately (if you consider purpose/specs, there's always another PPC-Mac doing stuff better...)
    Well - it looks like a kind of a collectors item compared to the better options, but maybe it performs as good as the ASUS notebook.
    ---
    For real life and all purposes I'd search for an early-2008 C2D MBP 15" - it's my daily driver now (sorry 12"/15"PB). Got mine for 120€ (plus extra-expense for an SSD), but even 160€ is a good price (200€ when it already comes with a suitable SSD).
    I promise: the 15" 2,4GHz early-2008 MacBookPro will make you forget your current ASUS notebook.
    And I'd go for the iBook, too: 40€ is a good price for a 14" 1,33 MHz iBook in mint condition.
    If you want native os9 and Tiger/Classic for old stuff, the 800MHz iBook G3 is a forgotten device you'll might find as an occasion - well, the 15" TiPowerBook 800/1000MHz is better.
     
  14. pochopsp thread starter macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    #14
    Thank you @bobesch for your post! well my current laptop is the asus a4000 wich has a 15,4 display with the same resolution of the iBook so that doesn't matter to me...
    the asus a4000 has a weight of 4.5 KG versus the 2.7 KG of the Ibook, I suppose I won't bother for that neither..
    My MDD is a single 1.25 Ghz with 1 mb cache, while the Ibook has a 1.33 ghz G4 with 512 KB cache,
    so it will be slower, but I hope not that slower...

    I was thinking about of using it as my main laptop within its limits... If I need some app or service which won't run on it then I'll turn my A400 on. The video card is better than the Asus, but for the rest the Asus beats it in all the ways. It has a Pentium 4 3.06 Ghz with 1 mb cache and 1 gb ram and I still have Windows Xp on it so it is very fast, I don't feel the need to have a newer/faster laptop... It is way faster than the Ibook. but I am used to old, slow PCs and their optimization and I love the Ibook G4 look and feel, plus I really like the UI in Mac os X so... Maybe I'll go for it.

    The price has now lowered to 35 Eur
     
  15. pochopsp thread starter macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    #15
    First pics..
    It looks like brand new... And the battery seems to last a lot. How can I know how many cycles the battery has?
     

    Attached Files:

  16. pl1984 Suspended

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #16
    It can be found under the "Power" heading within System Information.
     
  17. pochopsp thread starter macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    #17
    Great! thank you @pl1984 ! It says the battery only has 48 cycles.

    What use do your suggest to me in order to make it last as long as possible?
    is it good/possible/advisabe to use it without the battery?

    thank you :)
     
  18. pl1984 Suspended

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #18
    My advice is to just use it as your normally would. However if the primary use case will be to use it tethered to a cord then I would say remove the battery. I have a number of Macintosh laptops which never go anywhere. Those for which I can remove the batteries I have. Those I cannot I just trust Apple's power management will take care of it. In the end I've resigned myself they may all go bad just sitting but there's nothing I can do about that.
     
  19. bobesch, Feb 18, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018

    bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

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    #19
    Ha! well done , congrats!!

    A sturdy companion.
    You should spend it an mSATA-converter upgrade ... for speed and for cobblestone roads!
    VirtualPC7+Win2000Pro is fairly good to get basic Win-Progs run with the iBook.

    Tonight I happend to watch this film contributing to your new companion ...
    IMG_7412.JPG
    It was a love-story!
    (tragic - but a love-story!)
    --- Post Merged, Feb 18, 2018 ---
    I wouldn't bother about battery-care. I would not remove it when working at home. Good batteries will last for long, bad ones die, whatsoever you do ...

    Considering the film's progress you should also look for a 'Gooseneck' ...

    IMG_7434.JPG

    ... and a turquoise typewriter ;)
     
  20. pochopsp thread starter macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    #20
    Well, if I'll need more power or Windows apps, I'll just turn on my Asus laptop. As main laptop, I do like this iBook a lot! It is lightweight (compared to the Asus), the screen has beautiful colors, the keyboard is so comfortable, and it is so new that it seems it was pulled out of the box just yesterday! Plus I got another surprise, the battery will last at least 3Hrs with even Airport enabled...

    Welll this is certainly a happy ending :)

    @bobesch I tought about buying this iBook or not for 2 days, so for an iMac it will take much more xD
    nice to see these machines in movies :)
     
  21. pochopsp thread starter macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    #21
    Great experience so far, I updated it to Leopard using a 2.0 Usb stick and a method found on Youtube. I was missing too many updated apps on Tiger, especially Leopard Webkit, which, on such old machines, brings speed on the web!

    Well I have a little problem regarding the Airport Card. It works but, often it happens that the connection just goes away (while being still connected) and the only way to make it work again is to disable and enable Airport with 2 clicks. Has anybody ever faced this issue? Is there a solution for it?
     
  22. RhianB macrumors 6502a

    RhianB

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    #22
    I’ve had this happen on one of my PMG4 QS running 10.4.11. Haven’t found a fix for it yet. It’s like the airport goes to sleep & wont wake up without restarting WiFi. All possible updates (that I know of) are installed.
     
  23. pochopsp thread starter macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    #23
    Hello everybody! Today's a sad day for my iBokk. Green and pink stripes appeared on my screen asI turned my iBook todayb It is a GPU issue, right? Whenever, even if for only 9 months, it has been a joy ofr me to use this laptop. I'm even writing my goodbye message to it on Tenfourfox from it. So forgive any wrinting error. BTW, I am in Italy, if anyone in Italy or in Europe wants it for spare parts or other reasons, i will send it if you pay the shipping costs. It is in mint conditions, no scratches or damages... and the battery still lasts about 3 hours.

    Goodbye my iBook, it has been a wonderful ride.
     
  24. RhianB macrumors 6502a

    RhianB

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    #24
    I think it deserves a Viking funeral. :D
     
  25. pochopsp thread starter macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    #25
    Could you guys PPC experts give me more info on my problem? Is it a GPU issue or a display one? I'm for the former as other than the stripes I can see other "weird" stuff as I click on a window or drag something or open a menu... I have read somewhere that if I'd connect it to an external monitor maybe it will be fine. But even if that will work it won't make sense to me as I want to use a laptop, not a desktop. If anyone needs it, I repeat, mint condition, very good battery (which is rare) and it comes with original charger. Delivery all over the Europe at your charge.
     

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25 February 17, 2018