Mac Daniel's Advice

Beige G3 a Good Value?

Korin Hasegawa-John - 2001.08.27

Q: I've seen beige G3 desktops (the 233 MHz ones) going on eBayfor $400 or less. Are these a good value?

A: It all depends on what you want to do. For simple database, spreadsheet, and word processing, they're fine. You can also play some games, although we're talking Marathon II (remember that?) and Quake (the original). They will run OS X (however, it's painfully slow), have PCI slots for video cards and the like, support cheap IDE drives, some have AV in and out, and they support inexpensive ZIF processor upgrades.

However, they also have a slower system bus (66 MHz) and don't have very fast IDE controllers. They also don't include newer ports such as USB and FireWire, although these can be added with a third party card. The built-in video is lousy (Rage II+ or Pro) as well, so if you want to play games such as Unreal Tourney, you need a third party card.

If you're looking to do a bit more, a better value might be the Power Mac G3 "Yosemite." These are the blue and Yosemite designwhite minitowers. They have all the new ports, a much better video card - the ATI Rage 128 (similar to the iMac's video card) - and a faster bus (100 MHz). They include a faster IDE controller as well.

Some of them include a DVD drive with a hardware decoder, allowing you to use a DVD movie as a dynamic desktop background, something you can't do with any other Mac (exception: WallStreet PowerBooks with DVD). Very cool.

Speeds range from 300-450 MHz, and they also support ZIF upgrades. Prices are about $750 for a Yosemite with a DVD drive.

To get similar specs for a beige G3, you'd need about $100 for a video card, $70 for a USB/FireWire card, and $200 for a processor upgrade, putting you in roughly in the same neighborhood. And you don't get the nifty DVD drive with it, either.

The beige G3 is a good computer, but in terms of bang-for-the-buck you may do better a little higher up on the scale - especially if FireWire, video, and overall speed are important to you.

Related Links

Editor's note: In recent months, the beige G3 has become the most popular Mac profile on our site. For more on that, see The Low End in Low End Mac. Recent sales on eBay have closed between $250 to $500. The blue & white G3 typically closed at $700-900.

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Not sure if you should upgrade your old Mac or replace it? Check the Mac Daniel index to see if we've already addressed your problem.

Today's Links

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Custom Search

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Favorite Sites

MacSurfer
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
MacInTouch
MyAppleMenu
InfoMac
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
RetroMacCast
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
DealMac
Mac2Sell
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

Affiliates

Amazon.com
The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac
eBay

Low End Mac's Amazon.com store

Advertise

Open Link