used imac: G4 or G3

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DarthTreydor, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. DarthTreydor macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    my girlfriends old pc is limping along on its last legs and i'm thinking of buying her an older imac off of ebay or craigslist. she'll be using it just for safari, itunes, and word processing. what i'm wondering is if she can get by on a G3 model (running tiger) or should i step it up and buy a G4?
  2. ClassicBean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2004
    Go for the G4. It will seem blazingly fast compared to the G3 and would be perfectly suitable for her needs. The G3 might seem to lag a bit.
  3. CRAZYBUBBA macrumors 65816


    Mar 28, 2007
    I have an iMac g3, see specs below. It runs jaguar amazing but on video playback it sometimes drops frames. I think she'll be fine with ANY G4 emac/imac.
  4. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040


    May 16, 2006
    Central Florida!
  5. RedDragon870503 macrumors 6502


    Sep 6, 2006
    Agreed; get an 800Mhz 15inch with a good bit of RAM... you won't be spending a whole bunch and it will be a great deal faster than the G3.
  6. eRondeau macrumors 65816


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    Gotta go G4! Still a beautiful machine, far more so in my mind than even the newest iMac's. I keep a "fast" 600Mhz iMac G3 at my mom's place for all the same uses you mentioned, and I used it for a couple of hours today. It works acceptably well, but it's got real issues playing-back video. The G4 not so much. Plus, when you're used to a razor-sharp flat-panel display -- a 15" CRT is a continuous disappointment.

    Yeah, get the G4, even if it's 5x as much $$$. It's worth it in the long run.
  7. SteveG4Cube macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    MontCo., PA
    Consider an eMac, better bang for the buck than a G4 iMac.
  8. DarthTreydor thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    thanks for the advice, guys. I guess I'll go for the g4. They seem to be going for about $250 on ebay, which won't break the bank too bad. Plus I have to say that the g4's are the best looking iMacs IMHO.
  9. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Keep an eye on CL. You can get G3 imacs for $20-50. If it is above 333mHz then it may be worth the little amount of cash for what she needs it for (we have a 333 in the office for the interns and it works just fine for database, wordprocessing, internet, and itunes). You'll want to make sure it has at least 512mb of RAM (Igb is preferable), and I suggest Panther over Tiger, as Panther has all the speed upgrades from Jaguar with less resource drains than Tiger. You'll probably also want to swap out the hard drive, as it is probably a 5400rpm drive. Swap it out with any 7200rpm IDE drive under 120gb (that is the ceiling for the later models; the earlier have a boot drive ceiling of 8gb, but you can create partitions to solve that in larger drives, and you should probably avoid earlier models anyway).

    The easiest way to tell G3 imacs apart is the optical drive; if it is tray-loading, then pass it by. If it is slot-loading and at least 333mHz, go for it!
  10. Tom B. macrumors 65816

    Tom B.

    Mar 22, 2006
    Before you buy, don't forget that Leopard needs at least 867MHz. You might not need it, but it may be useful to be able to run it one day.

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