Would You Buy a Clamshell that was Faster than a MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Epsilon88, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Epsilon88 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2009
    Hi guys,

    This is probably a ridiculous question. But anyway, I have money to spend, and I'm looking for a Clamshell iBook or even 12" G4 iBook that has been upgraded to be suitable for modern use (word processing, power point, Internet). Maybe not as fast as a MBP, but you know, more than 128 of RAM.

    Anyway, is there any website or place that sells souped-up old Macs? I would love to carry around a Macbook that was different than everyone else's (pretty much everyone where I live has a Macbook or Macbook Pro 13").

  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I don't know of anywhere that you can find stuff like that. A lot of the old and new technologies really don't match, especially since the clamshells are about 10 years old, not to mention their weird shape
  3. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Why would you want to buy a clamshell in 2010?

    ... unless you are a collector.
  4. TheWatchfulOne macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2009
    There is no "clam shell" that's faster than a MBP

    powermax.com sells old Macs and they even provide a warantee.

    However, the G4 chip will never be suitable for modern use. A PowerBook is still a good computer in and of itself, but the newest Mac OS it will run is Leopard and it will be sluggish. Snow Leopard will not run on a G4 at all. On a PowerBook or iBook I recommend you stick with Tiger.

    As long as you only run software on it that was made for it, you would be good to go. And by "made for it" I mean you will have to find older versions of some software. For instance, you would want to run iLife '06 and not iLife '09.

    It would not be a bad computer. It just will never run all the most up-to-date software. Hope that helps!:cool:
  5. Epsilon88 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2009
    Thanks for the link! That would be my dream website, if they shipped to Canada (apparently Apple doesn't allow it). Anyway, I investigated the Clamshell further, and the main problem is that it weighs more than the 17 inch Macbook Pro and offers only an 800 x 600 resolution! So I may be going for a 12" iBook or Powerbook instead.
  6. ShiftClick macrumors regular


    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles
    There are lots of ways to customize a mac. You can get a see through case, or put stickers on it. There are even websites that can do a custom paint job, turn a macbook into a tablet, engrave designs into the aluminum case.

    If you have money to burn, why not use current technology customized your way?
  7. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I've seen people still using Clamshells. They would be OK for light (text) browsing such as here on a forum, email, writing. Frankly, though, I sold my old G4 iBook this Spring as it was too slow to keep around. We still have an early G5 iMac, but even it is only good for light use. Job's hype about PowerPC performance aside, these were real dogs compared to what Intel had at the time. The iMac had replaced a 3 year old Dell Desktop and the iBook replaced a 3 year old Dell notebook and in both cases the older Dell systems were faster in benchmarks.

    Best bet for a standout notebook that's useful is the black Macbook. MUCH faster and will run the latest software.
  8. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    I would stay away from the ibook G3's. Yes they look cool, but the low resolution is a real killer for modern day use.

    I would keep my eyes peeled for a 1.5ghz (the final release) of the 12" Powerbook. It still has enough power for everyday tasks, especially if you max the ram and upgrade the HDD. Installing an SSD would make things fly!

    You may need to install a new battery since the original is probably close to dead. But since you say you have money to spend on this kind of project, I assume it won't bother you much.
  9. PhelpsiPhan macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2009
    New Jersey
    I basically rebuilt an iBook Indigo Clamshell and upgraded it to max. Loved it! but i do agree it is useless these days

    If Apple brought out MacBook Classic (clamshell shape) and iMac Classic (G4 shape) but with modern components and Resolutions i would buy them straight away!
  10. Goldenbear macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Well, in benchmarks and real-world usage, the PPC was faster for one thing: number-crunching. Aside from that, yeah, the Intel (and AMD) processors ran circles around the G4.

    I still use an iBook (the last model made) for daily email/web/finances/misc stuff. Sure, it cant' handle HD video and can be somewhat slow, but it does the job just fine. My Mac Mini is used mainly for iTunes (since you now need Leopard minimum) and occasional Bootcamp. It's just a lot more convenient to have a laptop that I can use anywhere than have to sit down in front of the TV to use the Mini.

    That said, I'll probably upgrade to a MBP within the next year. Too much software requires Leopard now, but I want to keep Tiger on the iBook for a few Classic apps I still use. At some point, I'll get sheepsaver running on the Mini and dump the iBook.

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