suggestions for old 12.1" PowerBook G4 867MHz

Posted by: ryk

suggestions for old 12.1" PowerBook G4 867MHz - 09/03/08 12:28 AM

I just recently got a new macbook pro, and im not sure what to do w/ my old powerbook g4 (12.1", 867 MHz).

it runs fine, but its kinda slow, and the cd drive doesnt work (it plays dvds just fine though)

poking around on the web, ive found guides for swapping out the hard drive and the optical drive, so i might consider doing that, but im not sure if there would be much point if i cant upgrade the cpu..

I think it might be nice if i could upgrade some of the stuff, and use it as a 'travel' computer, but again, im not sure there is any point unless i can get it to speed up a bit.

so if anyone has any ideas or advice, i would greatly appreciate it.

thax
Posted by: RadioC1ash

Re: suggestions for old 12.1" PowerBook G4 867MHz - 09/03/08 06:03 AM

I'm not aware of any G4 laptop cpu upgrades. Such a thing would be highly unlikely at best. You can max out the RAM, put in a faster hard drive, and maybe put a fresh install of Tiger on there with all of the unnecessary stuff removed. Be sure to do your research on the hard drive, often faster means hotter, but you'll be able to find something suitable.
Those laptops run remarkably well for their age. It's possible through a bit of tweaking to get Leo on a pre 1Ghz laptop, and I think you'll find it's really quite snappy. Certainly, you could use it as a secondary, travel computer.
Posted by: JaysAtomic

Re: suggestions for old 12.1" PowerBook G4 867MHz - 09/03/08 12:36 PM

You can go up to a 1GHz processor by swapping the logic board. Thats the highest that model can go. You would also jump from 32MB of Video RAM to 64MB as its on the board as well. I would probably be close to a free swap, as I constantly see the 867 and 1GHz boards for about the same price, so you could turn around and sell your 867 board after you install the 1GHz.

Either board, 867 or 1GHz, will run Leopard as both are within the system requirements. Although, I would probably stick with Tiger with either of these.

I personally would do the HD swap and max out the ram and replace the optical, and not worry about the processor. The 867 G4 is a very useable machine.
Posted by: ryk

Re: suggestions for old 12.1" PowerBook G4 867MHz - 09/03/08 11:30 PM

thanx for the input.

If I ever do this, it probably wont be for at least a couple months, ive definitely got enough other stuff to keep me busy for a bit.

I already have the ram maxed out, so ill look into switching out the logic board, and ill see if the solid-state drives come down in price a bit.

also, i noticed one of the sites (mce maybe?) had an optical drive bay to hard drive convertor, so i might consider doing that instead, as i dont really use the optical drive all that much, and having 2 solid state drives would make that a much more affordable option.

i loved the 12" size (although it made some web browsing a bit tedious) and i got a lot of use out of the computer, i wish their current line of macbook pros had a 12 incher...

thanx again for the input, ill keep lurking around on here to pick up additional ideas and info
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re: suggestions for old 12.1" PowerBook G4 867MHz - 09/04/08 01:21 PM

man, that 12.1 is such a sweet machine... It would make a great travel companion...
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: suggestions for old 12.1" PowerBook G4 867MHz - 09/04/08 02:42 PM

Right, you can put ANY 12" logic board you like in it as long as you get the matching DC to DC board for it. The part numbers are different for all the DC to DC boards even though some of them look identical. I think I managed to use an unmatched one once, but I don't recall which version it was from or which it went into, so just stick to getting a matching pair. The DC to DC board is not actually that expensive if you have to buy one. Its the board the battery connects to so don't go and buy another DC-in board as these are all the same.

Solid state drives are coming down gradually. I was quoted about $350 for a 32GB SATA 2.5" one just today. The 64GB version was double.
I imagine the ATA ones might actually be a little more expensive since they should be rarer.
Has anyone seen any benchmarks for the drives in the MacBook Airs? I really don't see how a parallel ATA bus can give you any speed increase using SSD over mechanical. Unless you are happy paying a massive premium solely for reliability, I would stick with mechanical drives. For the price of two SSDs, you could fit a pair of 500GB mechanicals and mirror them. (You'll need the new Samsung 9.5mm ones)
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re: suggestions for old 12.1" PowerBook G4 867MHz - 09/04/08 04:35 PM

I saw a comparison and there were no speed advantages to the SSD. The benefits only come in battery life, and even still, I don't think it added that much.
Posted by: JaysAtomic

Re: suggestions for old 12.1" PowerBook G4 867MHz - 09/04/08 05:58 PM

Originally Posted By: "Waragainstsleep"
Right, you can put ANY 12" logic board you like in it as long as you get the matching DC to DC board for it..


Are you sure about this? I was told by several sources that the 867 and 1ghz were the same family and neither below those clocks or above are swappable. I dont recall 100%, but in the 12" isnt it VGA out in the 867 and 1Ghz and then changes to DVI in 1.33? So wouldnt that limit his choices to the 1GHz for an upgrade? Please let me know as I have heard so many stories on this its hard to determine whats right...
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re: suggestions for old 12.1" PowerBook G4 867MHz - 09/05/08 04:55 PM

I dunno about this, I am kinda with you Jay. I think war meant that it would fit and technically work, but you would have to do some modding...
Posted by: RadioC1ash

Re: suggestions for old 12.1" PowerBook G4 867MHz - 09/17/08 02:54 PM

Originally Posted By: "oojacoboo"
I saw a comparison and there were no speed advantages to the SSD. The benefits only come in battery life, and even still, I don't think it added that much.

I've done quite a few benchmarks and although allot of the numbers don't look all that great, real world performance is actually very much improved using an SSD. I think part of the problem with many of the existing benchmarking tools is that they are measuring the wrong things, or at least, not all of the right things. Don't poo poo the SSD's just yet, I think there's more to be learned about them.
Posted by: flippy10

Re: suggestions for old 12.1" PowerBook G4 867MHz - 09/17/08 05:09 PM

I can confirm that the 867/1Ghz family motherboards are NOT compatible with the 1.33Ghz. I've used and replaced both of them (My mod for the GMMC this year was based upon both an 867Mhz G4 12 and a 1.5Ghz G4 12.) and the 1.5Ghz contain the support skeleton in which the motherboard mounts to (Or half at least), my 867Mhz did not, the motherboard screwed right into the case. The DC-Jacks are compatible, the DC to DC boards are not. Also, heatsink wise they differ.
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re: suggestions for old 12.1" PowerBook G4 867MHz - 09/17/08 07:20 PM

RadioC1ash, don't get me wrong, I love SSD. It just doesn't offer considerable benefits at the moment. Maybe there is a bit of an improvement on seek time, battery performance, and stability. However, its not worth the extra money right now.

But, believe me, I got a watchful eye on the SSD market. I can't wait to replace these stupid mechanical drives!
Posted by: RadioC1ash

Re: suggestions for old 12.1" PowerBook G4 867MHz - 10/01/08 12:33 PM

Yeah, I've been noticing that write times are often slower on SSDs, while both seek and read times a good deal faster.