Blinking Screen on iBook

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by AppleDuck, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. AppleDuck macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2007
    I have a 14" iBook G4. I got it refurb from the Apple website just over 2 years ago. It was made in 2005.

    The other day the screen started blinking randomly. It'll flicker for a few seconds and then go white with vertical grey lines for a few seconds. Then it will go back to normal. There doesn't seem to be a pattern to it. Sometimes it will go through that process for five minutes and then stop. Other times I can be working on it for hours and nothing will blink or act screwed up.

    The only changes I've made with it is upgrading to Firefox 3 and updating my software through the software updater last weekend.

    My dad thinks it may be issues with the video card/motherboard. If it is, is that worth it to fix? Or should I get a new computer? Anyone know how much it would cost to fix? The warranty expired over a year ago.

    The battery is hardly lasting 1.5 hours anymore. Coconut Battery says 29% of original capacity. I don't want to bother getting a new battery for this if I'm just going to have to replace it.
  2. ElectroGhandi macrumors regular


    Jan 9, 2009
    Baltimore, MD
    Yeah, from your description, I would say with almost complete certainty that your graphics card/logicboard is dying. It depends on how much the repair cost would be and how much you can get a MacBook for. Your G4 is still an extremely capable computer, but it wouldn't hurt to upgrade to a newer Intel MacBook. I would say if your repair cost is $400 or less, fix the iBook. If you can get a refurb or used MacBook for ~$700, go for that.
  3. AppleDuck thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2007
    Thanks. Anyone know the approximate cost of fixing the logic board? And the amount of time it would take?

    I'm looking at either a refurb 13" Macbook for $849, 1gb ram, 120 hard drive. Or a new 13" Macbook for $949 (I get the education discount. :) ), 2gb ram, 160 hard drive. $100 difference, but new and twice as much ram.

    My dad's been looking at Craigslist and he thinks I could get $200-$300 for my iBook even though it has issues. Add that to the $130 I wouldn't have to spend on a new battery for the iBook, I could get the refurb iBook for around $500. New MacBook would wind up being $600.

    Also, does anyone have a guess as to how long the iBook will last before the logic board is unusable?
  4. petermcphee macrumors 6502a


    Aug 20, 2008
    Part it out! You know that there are craigslist/eBay customers waiting for a chance at your screen, keyboard or misc other parts. Get some dough out of that puppy!
  5. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    It's fifty bucks to have those guys in Arizona reflow your video chip on the logic board.

    Cheaper than a new one, especially if you have the 1.42ghz which is a great machine.
  6. AppleDuck thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2007
    Only $50? I thought it was going to be upwards of $400..

    What guys in Arizona? Are you talking about the Apple people or some other repair service?
  7. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Search my old threads, they reflow the logic board's video chip and make it work again. They also figured out the problem on the Powerbook 15" with the memory slot problem.. it is a broken solder joint on the logic board.

    I need to send a 12" iBook logic board to them like this weekend, myself. I believe apple uses them for logic board repair too.
  8. AppleDuck thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2007
    Thanks. I searched and found the link to their site.

    Only problem is, they want only the logic board. I wouldn't have a clue as to what the logic board is, let alone how to open my computer and locate it. Then there would be the issue of putting it back together...

    It's actually been working better the past two days. It hasn't gone white at all and it's only blinked once or twice.

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