Will the G4 iBook do the job for me?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Siefer, Nov 9, 2003.

  1. Siefer macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2003
    Ok, I'll get right to the point.

    I've pretty much decided to get the 800 mhz G4 iBook (size is important, will not get the 14 in.) this Wed. to replace my tried and true 500 G3 iBook. I have a couple of questions concerning the laptop itself, and then a few others concerncing other things:

    -Although I'm pretty confident that the iBook will handle it comfortably, can it handle these "basic" tasks that I normally do? Surfing the net (using Safari or Mozilla), listening to mp3's, typing up a paper (in Word, or other WP) and chating on AIM? I know it sounds silly to ask that, but my current iBook can barely handle 3 simultaneously let alone 4.

    -I know the iBooks generally haven't exactly been "gaming" machines, and I don't intend to use them for heavy gaming, but can it handle comfortably the following? Ghost Recon, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Warcraft III. These games don't have to be at high settings, I just want to know if it's possible to play any of the following SMOOTHLY...WITH other people.

    -Speaking of games, is it even possible to run UT2k3 on the iBook? I have heard that it won't run on a G4 based processor without lvl 3 cache (which the iBook obviously lacks). I'm not planning on playing this game, but I am curious.

    -Will the iBook be able to mirror on a tv a Divx file (min. 640 x 480 res. 1200 KB/s) smoothly? My current machine can only do this in OS 9, an option obviously not available in the new laptop...but the new laptop has the more powerful video card, processor, and alti-vec help (which should help the multimedia).

    -I have heard that earlier generation slot-drives can actually damage the cd/dvd you're inserting. Is that the case with the current drives? (I realize that just putting ANY cd/dvd into even an optical drive will eventually wear and tear away at the media, but that's not what I'm asking).

    -How "durable" are these new iBooks? I'm not exactly planning on throwing my computer around like a rag doll, but it needs to be able to take the tossing and turning in my bag (which my current iBook can handle without any qualms).

    Price is a HUGE factor to me, so getting a powerbook is completely out of the question. For the computer related tasks, also try to keep in mind something that will require maybe 1-1.5 times more power in the future, and how the iBook handles it then. I WILL be maxing the ram in the iBook. If the above questions aren't answered favorably...I may choose to wait for the next speed bump in the iBook before buying it. I will be buying this machine on late Wednesday evening or Thursday evening, so immediate feedback is important. Thank you for all your time and help.

  2. dieselg4 macrumors regular


    Oct 20, 2003
    Rockin' Pittsburgh!
    I was in a sim. situation with my recent purchase. I eventually settled on a refurbed PB 12" 867/combo from Apple's special deals section. It was almost the smae price ($1199) an supports video spanning. I haven't gotten it yet but It sounds similar to the iBook g4/800, which I almost bought, but I'd rather be able to span the video w/o a firmware hack.
    My eMac handles all the stuff mostof the stuff you were talking about and it is 700 MHz. I don't think eMac have L3's either, so if that's any endoresemnt, I think you'd be ok. My eMac is also runnin10.2.8, and they say 10.3 is snappier. A buddy of mine who has an old Cube (400 MHz G4) says his percieved perfomance is worlds better with 10.3, esp. java chat applications.
  3. heljy macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2002
    Madison, WI

    I am also planning on getting the 12" iBook G4 and just want to add-on to the list above:

    1) I know of the software hack at http://macparts.de/ibook/ that will allow the iBook to extend video to external monitors. But does it allow the iBook to operate in clamshell mode( with lid close and using external mouse/keyboard )?

    If so, I heard that the iBook uses the keyboard to vent some of the hot air out. Will that affect the functionlity of the iBook, like unexpected shutdown when the system gets too hot, etc?

    2) Does it run smoothly with Panther? I know that Panther is suppose to give better performance compared to Jaguar. Does the iBook, any iBook for that matter (since I am assuming that the new iBooks come with Panther installed) noticably benefit from that?

    I used to have a 600Mhz iBook and the reason why i sold it was because it was not able to output to an external monitor at a higher resolution. I planned to get the 12" Pbook, but since the new iBook is out with alot better/comparable specs(combo drive, video card, DDR, etc) and i found out about the exteneded desktop hack, I would like to get the iBook a shot again because of its low price. I want to use it until the 2nd Rev G5 powerbooks are out before jumping on a PBook :D
  4. howard macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2002
    as far as the games go all the ones except unreal 2003 should run smoothly on medium settings...

    on my 700mhz ibook they run ok but not that great, and the new g4s have a lot better vid card in them than mine
  5. MacRAND macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2003
    Phoenix AZ USA
    iBook running Panther

    iBook G3 700MHz since July 2002. Ran very stable on Jaguar.
    After loading Panther on my iBook and my G4 Dual 1GHz, everything was faster and smoother. I've had to work out some printing anomolies and am waiting for some software to become compatible with Panther, but overall very pleased with 10.3.

    Panther definately improves lots of things on a G3 iBook, especially speed. Whether a 12 or 14, Expose does expose the desktop nicely and conviently.

    Don't play games, but am impressed with new DVD player - very smooth.

    Played with a 900MHz iBook running Panther at Apple Store and was impressed with its speed compared to my 700; frankly, thought it was a G4...WRONG, only a G3. The G4 iBooks are awesome, and a great savings alternative to a PB. It has plenty of horsepower for iSight and iChatAV. ;)

    Yes, max out the RAM. You MUST order with Bluetooth INSTALLED otherwise it'll be external. I love interfacing anywhere in my home with my AirPort Extreme Base Station.

    Strongly recommend paying extra $75 to increase size of HD from 30GB to 60GB.

    To protect white case, I bought a $20 black zippered padded sleeve which has served me and it well. I lay a thin oval mouse pad across the keys when closing the lid to keep the keys from rubbing (scratching) the screen - it's a problem otherwise.

    With a Canon i70 mobile printer & optional battery with stand, and a LiDE 30 CanoScan, my iBook is a portable office on wheels. I've bounced my iBook around (dropped it on concrete) and feel it's pretty durable.

    Strongly recommend paying $250 for 3 year extended AppleCare, which does not cover "abuse" but it has paid for itself 3 times over.

    I'd been drooling over a new 15" PB until the "latch" and "screen spots" came out. I can wait. :cool:
  6. lindmar macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2003
    So Far so Good,, Recieved my iBook g4 12" yesterday!
    At first the combo wouldnt read any audio cd's, called Apple care and they said I would have to send it back! I was pissed,,, they said to first try a clean install of the system.

    This did the trick!
    I am now pleased to say, everything is running beautiful!
    The iBook is running soundtrack, final cut pro 4, and livetype, amazingly! Mind you, I have only used FCP 3 on a blue and white g3!

    Also, I still have not upgraded the ram, was supposed to show up today but today is remeberance day in Canada so no mail!
    I imagine the ram will make a nice difference!

    Everything else, is zippy as hell! Safari runs smooth, itunes running flawlessly, graphics are amazing, so beautiful!

    I am one new proud portable mac owner!
    I will keep you updated if anything breaks.

    After the combo scare yesterday, I am considering buying Apple Care for the 3 years. What do you think?
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Re: Add-on

    However, this would void your warranty, which would never be worth it if you buy AppleCare.

    "To each their own", I guess.

    I'm glad I bought my rev B 12" PB. I would have bought it even though the iBooks came out 2 weeks later with decent specs. But since Siefer said that cost was a HUGE! factor, then its obviously not a consideration. I would do what someone else did and buy the 12" 867MHz PB. Its probably faster than the 12" iBook.
  8. MacRAND macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2003
    Phoenix AZ USA
    Always buy AppleCare for a laptop. ALWAYS!

    :D Contratulations! on the new 12" iBook G4.

    :rolleyes: What about the Combo Scar left any doubt in your mind about getting AppleCare to cover you for 2 years beyond the 1st year? However, you have the option of buying it ANYTIME over the next 12 MONTHS. When you have the extra cash, just do it.
    To replace the combo drive is $250 itself! Think, bad combo drive 12 months and 1 day from now; screen goes blank, battery explodes, motherboard frys, RAM goes bad, etc.

    Use your money to Max out RAM first. ;)
    Do you have a Monitor to hook up to when you're at home?
    19-20" CRTs in good condition go for under $100 USD online.
    17" LCDs are cheap as hell, check out local Discount stores like COSTCO or Fry's Electronics.

    Look for a black padded slip-cover with a zipper that fits your 12" exactly, for protection in transit.
    Do you already have a USB Keyboard you can plug in? If you ordered iBook with Bluetooth, you can get the new Apple wireless keyboard too; otherwise, you'll have to buy a Bluetooth dongle to plug into a USB port on the outside.

    Have an iSight or DV camcorder with FireWire port?

    What size HD?
    What printer are you using, any problems?

    Panther gives you Stuffit 7, so be sure to download the .DMG file for Stuffit 8, and DESELECT the .SIT choice - you won't be able to open an .sit file!
  9. lindmar macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2003
    Hi Thanks!

    Yeah. I think I will wait on Apple Care, but will most definetley get it!

    Anyways,, I got , basically the standard iBook expect I upped the HD to 40 gig, and have already bought the ram.
    I am already wishing I would have bought the 60, for anyone who is thinking about it.

    Didnt get bluetooth, GF is buying me the little adapter for my brithday with a wireless mouse.

    I did by the iNcase laptopb back for 39.95 at the Apple store, specifically fit for the ibook. I havent used it yet, since I just got it and havent taken it anywhere. Is this what you mean by Black Padded slip cover? It seems pretty padded inside.

    I am hooked up through my 17 inch monitor from my B/W g3.
    It has worked beautifully! It felt Like I was
    working at my old setup again, expect the computer was alot faster!

    I saw some discussion about the color of the ibook. The color is most definetley differnt than the g3, it is just so beautiful and the little apple lights up, just like the tiBook.

    Today, I have been doing some serious multitasking...Well not serious, but nothing I am used to doing on my B/W g3.

    Writing a paper due tommorow in Office X
    Ripping Songs into iTunes nonstop.
    Constantly checking forums and writing discussing new ibook
    Mixing songs in Soundtrack every few minutes
    Mail is open, autochecking for new mail every other minute.
    Final Cut Pro 4, also open. 10 Minute short film in the sequence and rendering a desaturate.

    Altogether a small notice in spped slowdown but not much.

    Last night before bed, I watched Barton Fink in bed with my headphone!
    Great movie!

    Anyone want to know more?
    Give me a shout!
  10. Siefer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2003
    Thanks for your input everyone.

    I was considering the Powerbook rev. a, but the heat issues and video card (especially when handling video) kept me away from it.

    It looks like this iBook will keep me satisified until I have the money for a more powerful laptop, hopefully it won't have the logic board problems that have plagued the iBooks (except my revision apparently...) recently.

  11. MacRAND macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2003
    Phoenix AZ USA
    Re: Add-on

    I leave my iBook open a finger's width while plugged into external monitor, the screen is blank but it can easily breathe. It stays cool :cool:, especially if I elevate it off the desk just a half inch by putting a couple of strips of wood or something underneath, that's where the heat is.

    G4 iBook is awesome :D and a good choice - unless there is a capability (ie. FireWire 800) that only a PB would satisfy. :p
  12. MacRAND macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2003
    Phoenix AZ USA
    TAKE IT BACK and Get What You Really Want!

    Editing video? You NEED the 60 GB drive!

    :cool: Sounds cold, STOP WISHING and take it back to the Apple Store NO QUESTIONS ASKED (remember the box) - UP the size of your HD, and ORDER Bluetooth so it is INSIDE, not plugged in. Ask GF for a gift certificate or check.

    You already have a CD problem EXCUSE. :D

    "I did buy the iNcase laptop back for $39.95 at the Apple store (accessories @ Apple Store are regular retail, no discount!) specifically fit for the iBook. I havent used it yet... GOOD!
    TAKE IT BACK and save some bucks, unless one for $20 USD at Ultimate, Fry's, etc. is not to your taste.

    Wireless mice are notorious for not tracking well. I took mine back and got a USB Expert Mouse - glad I did. :)
    Instead, have you considered the black Kensington USB Expert Mouse with large Scroll / Shuttle Ring? :confused: http://www.kensington.com/html/2200.html
    Perfect for editing video & audio with FCP4, and you'll love a TrackBall over a mouse!
    Printer? :confused:
  13. lindmar macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2003
    you want me to take everything back
    I am going to stick with what I have,
    Its perfect

    I love the inCase, it looks so cool.
    The 40 gig is fine. I will add a pocet drive in a year or two.

    Is there anythign you want me to keep?
  14. MacRAND macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2003
    Phoenix AZ USA
    TAKE IT BACK and Get What You Really Want!

    Keep your MacSoul, it's perfect!

    One of the hardest things I ever did was take my iBook back to Fry's in July 2002 (no questions asked) to max the HD size and take advantage of the FREE upgrade to Jaguar I had missed by only 5 days!!!
    Had I not taken it back, Jaguar would have cost me another $129. So, I returned it, got another one with a larger drive, and a new invoice.

    You are going to LIVE with your iBook as configured for at least 3 years. Consider it a 3 year marriage and make sure it is indeed PERFECT. Otherwise, step back from the altar and return the bride. Apple will hand you a new iBook NO QUESTIONS ASKED. ;) Currently, you are in the Honeymoon stage of your relationship. THINK AHEAD. (Avoid instant gratification of possession).
    Yes, it takes guts, but it is also YOUR DECISION. What do you want?

    You said you want to get more HD space externally later, but it is CHEAPER to add 20 GB more now, than what it will cost later. And the internal drive is more bus efficient through the board.

    If you love the bag, then it is PERFECT regardless of the price. :D I lucked out when I got a ZR70mc Canon camcorder at Ultimate Electronics, who had given me a camcorder bag FREE with the purchase. While at the AppleStore, I saw the most beautiful Canon camera bag, perfect size and $40 instead of the $20 value of my gift. I hesitated (need orientation) until I saw that one of the Canon bags was still marked $34.95 - like you, I had to have the perfect bag, and I counseled myself that I was really "saving $5". You have to please yourself, no one else.

    All of us G3 iBook owners are a little (no, HUGHLY) envious of you and your new G4. No one wants you to have to take it back, it feels good - right?
    We just want you to be HAPPY with your purchases - over the next 36 months or 1080 days! :cool:
  15. heljy macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2002
    Madison, WI
    Refurbished Powerbook 12" G4 867Mhz

    Apple has refurbished 12" PBooks for $1199. That could be another alternative to the G4 iBook.
  16. sethypoo macrumors 68000

    Oct 8, 2003
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    "-Will the iBook be able to mirror on a tv a Divx file (min. 640 x 480 res. 1200 KB/s) smoothly? My current machine can only do this in OS 9, an option obviously not available in the new laptop...but the new laptop has the more powerful video card, processor, and alti-vec help (which should help the multimedia)."

    Yes, it will, the new iBook has a better video card than your old iBook.

    A word of advice: Go for a refurbished 12" PowerBook G4. It's worth the few extra bucks.

    The PowerBooks have a much more solid feel than the iBooks, which are made entirely out of plasic. You'll notice a huge difference when typing on the 12" PowerBook versus any iBook.

    Save up a little more and trust me, you'll be happy!

  17. sethypoo macrumors 68000

    Oct 8, 2003
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Also, the G4 builds in the PowerBook and iBook are different. I like to think of the iBook G4 as a marginally faster G3, called a G4 for advertising reasons.

    If this is treason, I am sorry.
  18. i_wolf macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    i thought that the processor in the ibook and powerbook were identical bar the fact that the ibook only has half the cache and less MHz than the powerbook. However both laptops are using the same chip essentially since the cache is running full speed in both cases.
  19. dieselg4 macrumors regular


    Oct 20, 2003
    Rockin' Pittsburgh!
    Re: Refurbished Powerbook 12" G4 867Mhz

    I bought one of these and am very pleased. SInce they're in stock, they ship almost instantly, but be aware apple won't alter them from the listed configuration.

    Refurb PB 867 MHz 12" $1199
    Refurb Airport Extreme card $79
    Third Party 512MB ram $98

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