Low End Mac's Best Deals

Best iMac G3 Prices

2012.04.20

G3 iMacs are well past their prime, and very few dealers offer them at good prices (if at all) these days. Your best bet is Craigslist, so we will no longer be updating this page regularly - although we hope to do so a few times a year.

G3 iMacs are hard to find from online dealers - and in some cases shipping can cost as much as the computer. Because of that, your local Craigslist might be a better place to shop (or not - I bought a used 400 MHz CD-ROM iMac for $20 last winter, but prices vary quite a bit by region). You might also want to check out eBay, but shipping tends to be costly.

CRT iMacs provide G3 power in a fairly compact package - along with the ability to run Mac OS X. (If you want to run OS X, you should have at least a 6 GB hard drive and no less than 192 MB RAM for OS X 10.2, 256 MB for 10.3, and 384 MB for 10.4. More RAM will always improve performance in OS X, as will a bigger and faster drive. Also, the slot-loading iMacs are better OS X machines than the tray-loaders due to hard drive issues, maximum RAM, system bus speed, and graphics chips.)

For more advice on choosing and configuring a CRT iMac for use with OS X, we recommend Is the Tray Loading iMac a Good Choice for OS X? and Why the Slot Loading iMac Is a Good Choice for OS X.

We no longer recommend buying tray-loading (233-333 MHz) iMacs vs. slot-loading ones (350-700 MHz), as memory prices tend to be much lower for the slot-loading models, which are also better OS X machines. The slot-loading iMacs support up to 1 GB of RAM and AirPort (with an adapter). 400 MHz and faster models include FireWire, and you may have a built-in DVD or CD-RW drive, which was never an Apple option for the tray-loaders. (Apple never built a G3 iMac with a Combo drive or SuperDrive, but third party upgrades are available from $149.)

Mac OS X 10.3 Panther works well on G3 iMacs, although it feels dated if you're used to anything newer. Apple doesn't support OS X 10.4 Tiger, which requires 256 MB of RAM and 3 GB of free hard drive space, on tray-loaders (233-333 MHz). Ryan Rempel's XPostFacto 4 facilitates Tiger installation on these iMacs.

Tiger is officially supported on iMacs with built-in FireWire. The 350 MHz slot-loading models are not officially supported but can run it. Tiger normally ships on DVD, but you may be able to find a CD install set. As most iMacs have CD-ROM or CD-RW drives, this is important. (For another option, see Installing OS X 10.4 Tiger on DVD-challenged Macs Using FireWire Target Disk Mode.)

G3 iMacs are not supported by Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, although Leopard can run on G3 iMacs that have a G4 upgrade installed (see our article on Unsupported Leopard Installation for details). For more on the place of G3 iMacs today, we recommend reading The Future of G3 iMacs in the Age of Leopard. We suggest you think long and hard before investing in a CRT iMac.

See our Guide to G3 iMacs for a quick overview of each model and Which iMac Is It? A Quick Guide to Differentiating CRT G3 iMacs for more information on distinguishing the many versions. For alternatives with more power, see our eMac deals, iMac G4 deals, and Mac mini deals.

We try to factor in typical ground freight costs in choosing the best deals. Used Macs usually include a 90 day warranty. All iMacs listed here are used. Mouse and keyboard may be included - or not.

Best Deals

Recent RAM Prices

These are the best prices we have ever seen on 512 MB modules.

Best Mac OS Prices

Unless otherwise noted, there is no surcharge for credit card purchases, and shipping is not included. Vendors are listed in alphabetical order. Prices include mouse and keyboard unless otherwise noted.

Prices limited to quantity on hand. Not responsible for typos.

Buying through some of these links benefits Low End Mac. Buying at these prices benefits you.

Tray Loading iMacs (233-333 MHz)

Upgrading memory requires a fair bit of disassembly, and many tray-loading iMacs won't work with more than 256 MB of RAM (two 128 MB modules). 256 MB modules are not supported by Apple and may not be recognized as more than 128 MB. At current prices, we recommend slot-loaders over tray-loaders, especially for OS X. For an overview of upgrade options, see Upgrades for the Tray-Loading iMac.

Slot Loading iMacs (350-700 MHz)

The 350 MHz iMac doesn't include FireWire; all other slot-loaders do. Memory upgrades are easy with two slots and an easy access door, and slot-loading iMacs all support up to 1 GB of RAM (two 512 MB modules). For an overview of upgrade options, see Upgrades for the Slot-Loading iMac.

See Low End Mac's Quick Guide to CRT iMacs for full specs

MegaMacs

Keyboard and mouse not included. Shipping can add $34 or more. 30 day warranty.

Operator Headgap

Shipping included. Operator Headgap thoroughly refurbishes and tests every Mac they sell. When buying, please let them know you heard about them on Low End Mac when entering your shipping information. Thanks!

UsedMac

UsedMac is located in Sherman Oaks, CA and collect sales tax on California orders. Prices include keyboard and mouse. Shipping can add $20 or more. Fresh OS X install (version not specified). 60 day store warranty.

Wegener Media

Add $35.50 for shipping and handling.

We also track prices G4 iMacs, eMacs, G5 iMacs, and Intel iMacs.

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