Powerbook G4 - Future Chip Switch?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Stirman, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. Stirman macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2005
    Heya, first post here...been enjoying the site for many weeks now and it's about time I got more involved.

    I'm a mac geek, and don't even own one...yet. heh. I am about to order a 15" Powerbook, but it seems that every time I hear news on the Intel chips, it makes me feel more and more like waiting for the Intel chips would be a good idea, especially after recent news reporting how fast and smooth os x is running on Intel based macs.

    I have been saving for a while to get the Powerbook, and I think I am going to order it anyways, as I can't foresee waiting another year!

    My apologies if this has already been answered, or is common knowledge, is it going to be possible to switch out the processor of a Powerbook, so in a year or two I could put an Intel processor in the place of the PowerPC chip that my Powerbook will come with?

    Also, I would love to hear some responses in regards to the following article regarding a PowerPC based Powerbook G5, the article is convincing!

    Thanks for the great community, I look forward to being more involved.

    -Jason Stirman
  2. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    Not without replacing the whole motherboard which also has the video card on it. I think the sound card is on there too. Finding one that would fit would be close to impossible. Then you'd have to figure out how to hack OS X because your board wouldn't have the chip to allow OS X to boot. If you get this far, you might be lucky and they'll use the same RAM so you don't have to purchase new sticks. Am I forgetting anything else that will have to be replaced? Probably.

    So if you are still wondering, the answer is no. If you buy a PowerBook now, the only way to get an Intel one will be to purchase a whole new PowerBook. Just buy it now though. Who knows when the Intel ones will come out? You may have to wait a year or more. Thats a lot of time without a PowerBook. Plus you don't want a revision A computer anyway. While they are usually fine, they are also usually the most likely revision to have problems. Now you're up to 2 or 3 years. I couldn't wait that long.
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    No, new CPUs (even new PowerPC CPUs) require a new motherboard.

    It is unlikely in the extreme that Apple will offer replacement mobos of the same form factor. They never have before.
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Yes it is possible, but the insanely high price tag might be better spent on buying a brand new Bently -- and using the pocket change to buy a new Intel-based machine.

    aka, possible but not practical -- since it would require designing an entire new machine. And one-off designs tend to be insanely expensive.

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