12" PowerBook G4 867 model possible issues?

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by india349, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. india349 macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #1
    Hi guys! I hope I'm posting this in the right section.

    Got a quick question - I just ordered a 12" 867 Mhz PowerBook G4 for under $200 USD! So excited!

    I sort of left the Mac community when I sold my 2006 BlackBook to get a 17 inch PC laptop...now I'm sort of excited to be back, even though I quasi-backtracked. ;) At that price, it's cheaper than any netbook and from what I can tell, it'll still run Leopard with Firefox, Safari, iTunes, Word, etc, so it would be good for Netbook-esque tasks. Beats lugging my 17 incher around, for sure.

    I've been reading though, that the original 867 model had some heat issues and logic board issues. The laptop I bought is used and I can't imagine that it would have those kinds of issues if they're selling it to me...they've guaranteed a working model, but that's about half of the price I've seen on other sites.

    Anyway, I've been having trouble finding definitive information on this gen's problems, so if anyone has any links or knows about this firsthand, I'd appreciate anything you've got to tell me.

    Thanks
    - india349
     
  2. applefan1997 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Location:
    Koreatown, Los Angeles, California
    #2
    Actually, I think you got a fair price on the computer, congratulations!
    Almost all PowerBooks run hot, so that might be an overstatement. I've never heard of logic board issues, at least not in the scope of the iBook problems, so I really doubt you'll have anything to worry about.

    I personally owned two of these, although they were the last revision 1.5GHz models, and they were both great computers, and fast as well. The only caveat I think worth mentioning is the CD drive, which sometimes gets squashed my the keyboard or some screws, and in the case of my first one, required loosening a screw to allow it to work. My second one would start running with no CD if I moved it suddenly or placed it on a surface hard.
     
  3. india349 thread starter macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #3
    Thanks!

    After doing some reading, I can see that you can run it in "Reduced" processor mode which helps with heat. I also plan to try and keep it on a lap-board rather than directly on my lap and I could use OnyX and disable dashboard and stuff once I get leopard on it.

    I don't even have it yet, so I have no idea how tolerable it will be.

    Ee! I'm so excited! :D I won't be doing too much processor intensive stuff - to give you an idea, the main Mac program I miss is Scrivener, the novel writing software. :p

    Thanks again
    - india349
     
  4. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    looking for trash files
    #4
    all great stuff. had several of these systems, had no heat issues, but running on a stand would always be a good idea. just me, but unless you have a good reason to go to 10.5 over 10.4, i'd run tiger as i find it to be faster on the older systems, and i use several on a daily basis. really old, sorta old, kinda old, sorta new...

    no need to run 'reduced' as it's already slow. don't run/surf flash sights, and you'll be all fine. max out the ram, upgraded the hard drive if you can, and it'll be an awesome netbook. best of luck.
     
  5. india349 thread starter macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #5
    I'm kinda worried about running Tiger because support for it has been dropped by modern versions of Firefox, Safari, iTunes, etc. That, and I only have a copy of Leopard, not Tiger. :p

    I know that Flash performance will be abysmal compared to anything that I'm used to...but does it even run? Is video even playable?

    Maybe at some point, I can swap it out for the 1.5 Ghz model, but that's just not in my price range yet.

    -india349
     
  6. kbfr08 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    #6
    You can watch HTML 5 video, but not @ 720p and higher resolutions. Flash ads will slow down you web browser a bit, so downloadPithHelmet to block ads if you're using safari.
     
  7. india349 thread starter macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #7
    HD Video isn't going to be a huge loss, especially on such a tiny screen. I was more just curious if I could watch YouTube videos, and Flash on CNET, NYTimes and other news sites or would that be too much for the little guy. Like I said, it's mainly going to a browsing, typing, music listening, casual gaming thing. Think iPad but a cheaper, cooler couch surfer. ;)

    I could probably max out the RAM to 1 GB and 128 MB soldered to the motherboard...keep it cool and keep the processor from going nuts. Am I going to be restricted to using Flash when only the browser is open? I've heard that PPC and Flash are not the best of friends...
     
  8. MacTech68, Jul 18, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011

    MacTech68 macrumors 68020

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #8
    They're a great little machine, My GF still wants one. :rolleyes:

    As for Tiger, I'm still running the latest release of Firefox on 10.4.11. See the system requirements here. But yes, v4 beta is 10.5 only but apparently may be able to be compiled from source for 10.4.

    As for RAM, max it out. Best performance will be achieved with 512MB at a minimum. But a 1GB DDR PC2700(DDR333), Unbuffered, NON-ECC, 128 x 64 Module is pretty cheap.

    Also, try to keep the hard drive relatively empty to ensure large areas of contiguous free space for VM swap.

    A 7200RPM drive with 16MB cache would be an advantage, but these are getting pricey these days. Check the model number of the Hard Drive in System Profiler - somebody may have already upgraded the drive.

    As far as common problems, the most common are standard issues with ANY laptop, ie, Optical Drive, Battery, Hard Drive and general wear and tear. Replacing parts in these other than the Hard Drive, keyboard or top case is a real pain in the proverbial. Just getting the optical drive out is a nightmare. :eek:

    Flash won't be great at 867Mhz, especially if there are multiple flash ad animations on a single page.
     
  9. india349 thread starter macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #9
    Yeah, it's really hard to balance buying upgrades with facing the realization that this is an old Mac and I really shouldn't be pumping money into it unless its essential. I found a good price on a 1 GB stick ($42 was the lowest I could find), and if I need a battery, I found one for $45, so I shouldn't have to worry about that. But even together, that's close to $100, so that would probably be the maximum of what I would spend. I'll wait and see how Leopard runs before I decide on the RAM though.

    I might have to be careful with Flash, but I know there are some Flash settings you can get to by right-clicking on Flash content in the browser...not to mention the additional RAM would help things.

    Thanks for the tips and support! I'll be sure to post back once I get it and it's up and running.

    - india349
     

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