iMac 233 for 80 bucks. Is it worth it?

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I have a friend in New Mexico who wants to sell me his iMac 233 with cds, keyboard and mouse and all for 80 bucks +s/h. The only problem is the network adapter every once in a while does not work, but otherwise it is fine. Ideas/feedback would be greatly appreciated, as I only know about the DV and up models. Also info about upgrades, etc, is also cool.


Forgot to say the whole reason for this thread. Is it worth it?


  • Reply 1 of 13
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Sounds fine to me, but make sure it's legit. i.e. is the only thing wrong the network port? it might be his plug.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    kennethkenneth Posts: 832member
    Gee.. 80 bucks? I remembered that I sold one 9 mons ago on eBay for $3xx.

    Like model said.. double check the iMac before giving out any ca$h.
  • Reply 3 of 13
    Everything else about the iMac is fine. I am hoping it is simply his cable that is the problem. Now, I heard that it has two IDE channels. I have a dvd drive from one of the slot loading iMacs, so I wonder if I can use it in this...
  • Reply 4 of 13
    marcusmarcus Posts: 227member
    I had a 233 iMac a few years back when they were released.

    Ran Quark 3.32 like a dream...
  • Reply 5 of 13
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    Uh, at $80, it's a steal. Do it. Make it a 24/7 XNap server, run linux on it, whatever. Stream pr0n and warez to your friends. Hack orbiting military satellites and blow up the white house. For 80 bucks, you can't go wrong (unless it doesn't work).
  • Reply 6 of 13
    spartspart Posts: 2,060member
    They have two IDE channels, yes, so you could put a dual HD ATA cable on the one the HD uses, get a power splitter, and hook up an internal drive on the outside. That's what I plan on doing.

    Oh and BTW, if you do buy it, and want to replace the HD, do not follow the instructions at Those people are smoking some laced crack. Find an Apple service manual and go off of that, and avoid completely tearing apart the logic board/drive assembly for nothing.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    mrmistermrmister Posts: 1,095member
    That rocks. With that little investment it might even make sense to put a cheap CPU upgrade on it.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    ...And go to and max out the ram on the cheap. 2x 256MB so-dimms at $59 each. It also has a free PCI slot.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    No, it has a free Mezzanine slot. The mezzanine is far less useful than PCI. There were very few cards you could put in it, none of which are supported in OS X. Basically, you can add either SCSI or Voodoo 2 graphics (Voodoo 2 graphics are unsupported in OS X).

    I'd say go for it. That's a great deal. If you make the hard drive bigger you could use it as an iTunes server for your house. Or an email server. Or another computer that can run Unreal Tournament or Starcraft if you ever hold LAN parties (it should run UT fine at minimum settings). Maybe as a computer for the kids. Or a recipe server for your kitchen (although even an old Mac Plus, SE or Classic would work for that).

    Right now there are plenty of upgrade options for the tray-loading iMacs. There are G3 and G4 upgrades. The Sonnet HARMONi G3 is 500 or 600 MHz and also adds Firewire to the computer, for $250 or $350. PowerLogix has the iForce G4/500 for $370. And TechnoWarehouse has a G3/500 for $200 and a G4/433 for $300. I think you might even be able to remove the 233 MHz processor and put in a pulled 333 MHz processor from a later tray-loading iMac. That would give you a little boost in speed for even less money. Another option is to just sell it immediately, I'm sure you could get $200 if you sold it on eBay. I don't know if it would be worth spending so much money on it, but it really depends on your situation.

    Also, even if the onboard ethernet doesn't work, you can get a USB to Ethernet adapter. I think there's only one that is currently Mac compatible, but I looked for it and I couldn't find it anywhere.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    spartspart Posts: 2,060member
    You can also put a burner in it, MCE sells upgrades that slide right in. From what I hear, however, they look like crap. The faceplate is hot glued onto the front of some Sony drive!

    What I'm going to do is use the previously mentioned dual HD ATA cable trick and hook up a Lite-On drive. Much cheaper, and faster too...and doesn't destory the looks of the machine itself.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    stoostoo Posts: 1,490member
    If you plan on playing (3D) games on it, even old ones, you'll probably want an extra 4MB of VRAM for the iMac's Rage Pro (the ATi card before the Rage 128).
  • Reply 12 of 13
    spartspart Posts: 2,060member
    Actually, if its a Rev. B (which mine is) it came with the Rage Pro, and had the SGRAM slot filled with a 4MB module for a grand total of 6MB of VRAM. If it's a Rev. A, it came with the Rage IIc, and only had 2MB of VRAM and an empty SGRAM expansion slot. Both machines are 233MHz.
  • Reply 13 of 13
    mattyjmattyj Posts: 898member
    I had an iMac rev.a It ran Quark, and other apps pretty darn well, all apart from Photoshop, where it was slow. Damn thing could even run Quake 3, and gets reasonable frames, bare in mind that it did have maxxed out SG RAM and 160MB of normal RAM.

    It died on me in September though. It was a great workhorse while it lasted, on every day for four years.
Sign In or Register to comment.