Macintosh Processors and the Internet?

Question. Looking to buy basic used Mac laptop for daughter. She’s 15. Her life is viewing streaming video off of the Internet with a bunch of friends, and the usual IM’s with friends.

Is there a serious difference between G3 and G4 processors in terms of being able to manage streaming video? Given a highspeed connection, can one use a G3 with, say, a gig of ram to view video? Not download, just view streaming?

Is the speed of the CPU a choke point for this kind of use, or is it not as relevant as, say, a good highspeed line?


The net connection will be the main factor, assuming the computer is able to run the needed applications.

Real Player 8, for one example, calls for at least a 233 MHz G3 or G4, so unless the computer’s really, really old, it shouldn’t be a problem. It’ll just be a fair bit slower than something running on a Core2 Duo processor.

You’ll probably want to upgrade the OS to Tiger (version 10.4) as all of the assorted little plugins and media players tend to be looking for current operating systems - you might rin into problems if the computer only has something like OS 9.

I don’t think I would want to run OS X of any version on a G3. Even the early G4’s are getting outdated IMO. I think it’s worth it to get a G4 processor. They shouldn’t be too much more expensive used.

It’s amazing how ubiquitous laptops have become on campus. I know she’s only 15, but I expect that highschools will go through the same trend soon. When I fist left for my PhD 5 years ago, they were around but not common. I personally bought an old black and white laptop to serve my purposes. Now, everyone has an iBook with WiFi or the PC equivalent. It’s simply amazing considering when I was an undergrad the most sophisticated peice of equipment was an HP48 calculator. Man I wish they still sold those.

I’ve been running 10.3 on an orange clamshell and it works just fine (I can’t recall, but I may have had to do something to the firmware to do it)-- I think the “G3s won’t run X decently” is a way to sell computers, IMO.

10.4.9 runs just fine on my wife’s iMac DV G3/400 (Slot Loading).

Then Squink knows better than I. I guess a G3 is fine.

Thanks- sounds like I can pull this off with a decent RAM upgrade. I do agree, a G4 would be better.

I’m surprised to hear anyone say that a G4 would struggle with 10.4.9. I am typing on a Mac Mini G4 right now. Spins like a bloody top.

I run Excel, Word, Safari, iPhoto and Skype at once and it’s just fine.