View Full Version : Buying Older iBooks - anything to look out for?

14th April 2005, 02:13 PM

I'm looking at getting an older iBook for surfing, a bit of web stuff, email etc. I've got a MDD G4 which is my main work machine, so this one is purely for playing with.

I've been looking at the old 500mhz ibooks on ebay which are around $500-600 (which is about my budget). I've got an extra airport card at home already. After hearing all the horror stories about the 800mHz model logic boards, I thought I'd see if the was anything I should look out for? This'll also be my first laptop, so any other useful stuff to be aware of would be great :)



14th April 2005, 02:16 PM
the 500's were very nice systems
the main things to be careful with..

Battery-a system that old will have a low life battery but try and get one that gets 2 hours or so.

Charger-the 500's used the yoyo charger which has a design flaw and some of the wires that connect the cord to the yoyo part break and the charger is worthless.

Thats about all i can think of from when i owned a 500mhz ibook

14th April 2005, 03:01 PM
Thanks for that islayer :) By the looks of things the battery is pretty expensive so hopefully I can find one which still holds charge. I'll keep my eye out for the yoyo also... cheers!

14th April 2005, 03:23 PM
maybe logic board, i'm not sure if problems were extended to the 500mhz models but i had a friend who had a 500mhz ibook and its logic board failed (not covered by the logic board thingy)
check the serial with the apple site just to be sure

14th April 2005, 03:28 PM
i wouldnt worry about the logic board to much because they generally fail within 12 months so if its lasted this long it should be fine

14th April 2005, 03:37 PM
If you're after a 500mhz model I'd also look at the PowerBook G3 Pismo. They have firewire, and are airport capable as well, but are generally more reliable then the older iBooks.

I'd have a look, there is a 400mhz Pismo on eBay with 512mb RAM going for just over $400. So, if that floats your boat, then check it out.

14th April 2005, 04:18 PM
The Pismo is a great machine, but not as nice to use (having side mounted ports on the iBook is a great plus), and will not officially be supported by Tiger - while the snow iBook will :thumbup:

Seems 500 and 600Mhz iBooks don't have too many problems with them, and if they've been going for a few years now, it's very unlikely the logic board is about to die. When buying, check obvious things like moving the display back and forth - does it flicker/distort at all, a common problem is the DC power plug becoming loose - does it still charge the battery when you move the plug around, and check that the CD/DVD drive works as they're hard to replace, and the only way to install software apart from the network.

Batteries for iBooks aren't too pricey, around $120 - 140 on eBay, and you can use any iBook battery (that is, 500Mhz G3 --> 1.33Ghz G4 all use the same battery, albeit slightly different capacities.

A good upgrade for an early iBook is to pick up a 512MB stick of So-DIMM SDRAM, enough for Tiger when released. Hard disk upgrades are a no go unless you're familiar with pulling apart a notebook and knowing where 30 different screws go. Hence an external FW hard drive case works well if not.


14th April 2005, 05:02 PM
Cool - thanks guys. I will have a look at the pismo, but prefer the 'looks' of the newer iBook! ;) Good to hear about the logic board also. Fingers crossed I'll find a good'in!

14th April 2005, 05:06 PM
Originally posted by napes@Apr 14 2005, 05:02 PM
Fingers crossed I'll find a good'in!
and don't buy Roto's :P

14th April 2005, 11:55 PM
If you ask me... Steer clear of all G3's....

*this is based on my 2 G3 900MHz iBook's I had for just over 12 months.

Read my sig, if you haven't allready... click on the iBook Saga.


15th April 2005, 12:57 AM
Heya Pipsqeek :)

Yes.. have read through your saga! Figured that the 800 - 900 mHz models were the 'nasty' 'lil buggers. Haven't heard too much bad about the 500-600's... it's all I can afford right now anyway!

cheers though. You story is most painful... enough to make me steer clear of the 800's/900's at least!



15th April 2005, 08:40 AM
Actually, from what i've heard, all the machines from 500 Mhz -> 900 Mhz were the nasty buggers, i've heard lots of horror stories about them all.

15th April 2005, 08:43 AM
ive had both a 500 and 800 and havent had probs with either.
the logic board probs affected a small percentage of people and its unlikely it will affect yours if you get one.

15th April 2005, 09:17 AM
If its any consolidation... one of our #apple (IRC Channel) members has a 14" 600MHz G3 iBook... riddled with issues also.

I'd hold back, save up some more money and get yourself an older G4, or better still, snipe up some older G4 Powerbook on ebay. :)

pipsqeek :thumbup:

15th April 2005, 12:02 PM
Actually, the 600Mhz & 700 Mhz models are the ones that fuck up the most. In the past two weeks of work experience at an Apple Service Center, I've seen about 50 logic boards from iBooks replaced. Almost of them are from the 600 - 700 Mhz range. There were one or two 800s but I haven't seen 500 or 900s here. ;) I actually think the early ones were pretty solid and the ones that were released in 2002 were just crap. Oh, and The Pismo is great, but it's huge compared to the 'cute' iBook and it doesn't support Tiger.