Powerbook G4 867MHz upgrade advice

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by millar876, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    I have rescently aquired a Powerbook G4 12" 867 MHz in a game of chance, well I fixed a friends TV and he gave it to me as a thankyou, because he knows I'm a mac head and he said it didn't work anymore. Long story short, the AC adapter was frelled, so i fixed it and it works great.

    I'm looking for upgrade advice. At thew moment its almost completly stock Hardware (867 G4 / combo Drive / 40GB HDD / 384 MB RAM / 10.4.11)

    I've ordered an airport Extreme card from apple (£32.12 inc VAT & delivery), I plan to swap out the HDD for a minimum 80GB, and plonk in a 1GB PC2700 DDR333 chip (max crutial says it can take) and OS 10.5.

    can anyone think of anything else, how do you reckon it will run?
    My wife will be using it for office (word/excell either Office 2008 or neo office) mobile web browsing (USB Dongle and WiFi hotspots) and she'll have a partial clone of the iTunes library on my Imac on it. No photo/video editing, but maybe some family photos in iphoto. and I might steal it back for watching DVDs on when work sends me away places.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. macrumors newbie


    for what it'll be doing, that setup should run decently, definitely do the upgrades...

    one question: if you're ordering the airport extreme card, why will your wife be browsing using a USB dongle?

    have fun with the 12" (wish i had one)
  3. macrumors 6502a


    its a USB 3G / Mobile broadband thingey, for when shes away from Wifi hotspots
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Office 2008? Good luck - you will have to start it up overnight to have it loaded by lunch time the next day, if you are lucky. Office 2008 is practically unusable because of its slowness in my 15'' G4 PB 1.5Ghz 1Gb Ram, and yours will be only worse. Any chance of getting Office 2004 instead?
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Yeah probably, but her work sometimes uses .docx and .xlsx files. Can 2004 read those? There is always Neo/open office as well. can that read them?
  6. macrumors 6502a


    another thing, can this model of powerbook boot into OS 9. If it can then I can resurect some antient games that don't work under classis.
  7. macrumors member

    Hi - I would agree Office 2008 struggles on a G4, go with 2004 if you can. Microsoft have brought out a converter for office 2007/8 files, so you can use them with Office 2004, which you can download here -->


    Just as another thought as an upgrade, when I pensioned off my G4 Imac, I bought a Slingbox and the machine now sits in the spare bedroom and is mainly used as a TV. Even better with a laptop, as you can watch your TV from anywhere providing you have an internet connection. I think the Slingbox is great value for money, it only cost me £60 from Expansys.

  8. macrumors 603


    Yes, it can boot OS 9.

    I would personally run Tiger and not Leopard on a 12" PB (which I did, right up until I sold it a few months ago).

    You could easily buy a 160 gig or even a 250 gig hard drive, they're so cheap nowadays. (I just bought an external 250 gig USB 2.5" HD, for $99).

    These are really great machines!
  9. macrumors 6502


    you might want to take a 7200rpm drive, they are a little bit more expensive but you will definitely notice the difference. Good luck with it!!
  10. macrumors G5


    Yes it'll improve performance a lot, however, harddrives are VERY DIFFICULT to change in 12" PowerBooks / iBooks.
  11. macrumors 6502a

    I find the converter very crappy.

    You might want to try iWorks as it'll open docx natively and runs lighter than Office 2008.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Second that, for the most part. The problem is, Numbers is not adequate as Excel substitute for most cases, so they might want to tough it out with Office 08 after all :(
  13. macrumors 6502a

    I agree, Numbers is not up to par with Excel whatsoever.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Thanks for the replies, I'm willing to give the hard drive change a go myself, I've seen and printed out the guide from ifixit.com and it looks OK, fiddeley but OK. and besides there are 17 IT techs living in my street, if i get really stuck. The reason that I'm going for an 80GB drive is that i have one in the house lying around doing nothing with a windows install on it, that was bought as a stopgap whilst my work laptop was waiting for a replacement.
  15. macrumors 68040


    Would be faster machine with a 100gb 7200 Travelstar PATA if you can find one or an almost as fast 250 gig Western Digital hard drive that are cheap.
    Sell the 80 gig on Craigslist and get a new warrantied hard drive.

    Just go slow and use an egg carton for the screws when swapping the hard drive in the 12" pb.

    Not that hard.

    I actually use 2001 Word for OSX instead of 2004 word for speed reasons. Yes it will boot into OS9, too.
  16. macrumors 68000


    just so you know, a 250 GB 5400 RPM HD is a little faster that a 7200 RPM of a lesser capacity due to the larger one's data density being higher. I've got a maxed 12" 1.5 GHz with a 250 GB HD and it runs pretty well. Leopard won't be pretty on this, as its minimum requirement is the speed of your processor, so I'd recommend you stick to Tiger as that will run much faster on your PB. Other than that, everything else should be fine (though I should mention DVDs can get a little shaky every now and then)... ah, you might want to pick up a new battery for it if that hasn't already been done, I'd imagine the original is pretty bad by now.
  17. macrumors member

    I found this very interesting. I am about to give some opinions that do not give with what most here have said. That doesn't mean I want to call anyone out, only that I have had a different experience.

    First, I have Leopard running on a Sawtooth and a Quicksilver, both under the minimum requirements of leo for chip speed, and with 384 RAM. I run iTunes, Office 2008, and email. Both machines do jst fine. The drives are 40 GB ATA (5400).

    I also have Leopard on my 1.5 PB, and run Office 2008, and 10 other apps at the same time, and I never have trouble. I have 2GB RAM.

    I also have Leo on my wife's 867 Ghz iBook, running email, Office 20008, iPhoto, and occasionally CS2. 780 RAM. That machine hasn't been turned off in 3 years, I think. Runs great.

    Now, I do not play games, and II do not hack, and I run utilities regularly. Hope this helps.
  18. macrumors regular

    Well, I just bought a 867mhz 12" Powerbook recently and i have replaced it with a 1GB RAM. It has Leopard installed and I use Neo Office for my work. I'm planning to replace the original hard drive with a 160GB 5400 hard drive. Hopefully that'll speed it up and provides me with more storage options.

    I would love to further upgrade my 12" PowerBook but I'm not too sure what else I can do further now. I have done almost everything i can.

    Does anyone knows if it run Aperture 2.0?? Thanks.

    p/s : The reason I'm using Leopard instead of Tiger is because I like the easy "Back to My Mac" feature.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Well, I've swapped out the HDD for the 80GB one I had. Thuns out it was a 7200rpm hitachi drive. The swap was nowhere near as scary as i thaught. I printed out the guide from iFixit.com and followed it. For screw managment I had a sheet of A4 paper covered in chunks of bluetack, one for eack step in the guide (the egg box wasn'y big enough, only 1/2 dozzen).

    Fitted the 1GB RAM and airport extreme card that arrived today and installing Leopard at the momment. I think I'll stick on every office type I can and let the wife pick and choose the components of each that suit her needs.
  20. macrumors regular


    My computer's specs are below. As for office 2008, I run it on my computer, and it works well. Granted, it's noticeably less responsive than 2004, but overall, the experience is fine. The comment above is rash.
  21. macrumors 6502a


    incidently, anyone know where (in the UK) i can get a bus powered Firewire enclosure for the old 40 GB Hard drive, I can only seem to find USB2 ones and as the powerbook only has USB1 I'd rather avoid using USB.
  22. macrumors G4


    Agreed, a 7200rpm HDD will provide a nice speed boost. I installed a 160GB 7200rpm HDD in my 12" 1.5GHz PowerBook G4 and it is quite fast. *EDIT* Sorry, just noticed you replaced the HDD already. iFixit is a great source for working on Apple computers.

    MS Office 2008 works fine on my PowerBook G4, but it does take a little while for it to open for the first time.
  23. macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    Well, as the owner and operator of two G4s (a PowerBook and PowerMac), I would say that your plans are sound - except for the choice of OS. I have avoided upgrading to 10.5 because of other people experiencing slower performance than 10.4 on G4s.

    I would recommend installing Tiger unless you absolutely must have the new features that come with Leopard.
  24. macrumors 6502a


    Ummm, 2004 was on the verge already, and "noticeably less responsive than 2004" brings it way over. What kind of files do you use with the Office 2008? Excel is very slow with decent size spreadsheets, and Word chokes (and in my case frequently crashes) with 60-80 page files containing embedded pictures. Wors 2004 handles the same files ok.
  25. macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    I wrote my masters thesis on my 1.33 GHz PowerBook G4 w/ 1.25GB memory. By the end I had a nearly 200-page document with pictures (should have broken it up into one doc per chapter :rolleyes:), but at that size Word flipped out and I had to do the final editing and formatting on a G5 tower.

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