Can I speed up my Powerbook G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by jacatone, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. jacatone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    #1
    Even though I've got 1.25GB of RAM and a 1Ghz CPU on my Powerbook G4, it runs kind of slow. Is there any way to tweak it by disabling processes or using a program? Thanks.
     
  2. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #2
    Onyx is good. Another way to go about that is disabling spotlight and dashboard. once you do that, then it should run faster. Which version of OS X are you running?
     
  3. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    Aug 22, 2014
  4. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

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    #4
    What version of OS X are you running?
     
  5. jacatone thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 7, 2010
    #5
    I'm using OSX 10.5.8. How do I turn these features off?
     
  6. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #6
    How much RAM do you have? If you have only 512MB then you should add more. If you do have more then it is probably Leopard too heavy for your Powerbook. Tiger may be faster.

    See this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_oNb6zlS0Y
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #7

    You can check out the Leopard speed improvements guide that eyoungren, Intell, and I wrote a few months ago.
     
  8. repentix macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    #8
    Have you still got the original HDD in there? Perhaps it would run quicker with an SSD?
    I also advise to max out the ram to 2GB, ram is cheap and you would surely get a performance boost. Also get the dock set to 2D black with the secrets app for the system settings, it sped up my G5 massively!
     
  9. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    Aug 22, 2014
    #9
    "RAM is cheap" hell no it isn't. Maybe some old low-capacity ram for an old computer would be fairly cheap, but in general, ram is not cheap.
     
  10. repentix macrumors regular

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    May 26, 2013
    #10
  11. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    Aug 24, 2009
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    UK
    #11
    OP. I have my PB G4 (1.33GHz 17") running OS X Tiger with 2GB of RAM. It screams. Consider both upgrading RAM and downgrading OS (unless you have an app you use that requires OS X Leopard).

    And ignore the poster who said RAM isn't cheap. I maxed out this baby for £20 which is cheap enough for me.
     
  12. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Aug 31, 2011
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    Phoenix • 85037
    #12
    No offense to you or to the OP and while an SSD is a solution (at least in part), I doubt that it is a practical solution.

    First the OP would need to understand that there are two ways to go about this and the differences between them. SATA SSD with an adaptor, both capable of fitting in the drivebay together, or a PATA SSD. Based on another thread as well as this one, the OP is limited in their knowledge about PowerBooks. Which is why the OP is posting questions here, to increase their knowledge.

    Then the OP would either need to examine the procedure for hard drive replacement or hire someone else to do it.

    Your statement assumes the OP posesses knowledge they have not yet acquired. And in the end, while an SSD is more than likely to help it is an expensive solution that simply masks the overall problem.

    I get you are trying to help and your other suggestion about ram is spot on. But eliminating much of the graphic eye candy that Leopard has would be a much more immediate solution versus just dropping in an expensive SSD.

    Or maybe you were suggesting it as an overall sort of thing and not as an immediate solution to the problem?
     
  13. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #13
    With 1.25gb of RAM, I'm guessing that you likely currently have a 1gb stick and a 256mb stick. As others have said, upping your ram to 2gb(by replacing the 256mb stick with a 1gb) will make a big difference.

    Currently, there are a bunch of 1gb PC-3200 SO-DIMMs(which should work fine even though your computer will officially call for PC-2700 or PC-2100) for $15 and under on Ebay including shipping. There's at least one right now for $8.90 with free shipping. If you want to be completely correct and use PC-2700 or PC-2100, you might need to shell out $20 for a stick.

    Whatever you decide to do, I think that this is a good and inexpensive place to start.
     
  14. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #14
    The community might be able to give you more targeted advice if you could explain a little more what, specifically, is slow. Browsing? Playing videos? Spreadsheeting? Email?

    As far as generic advice goes: You'd seem to have a goodly amount of RAM for a machine of that vintage, so that would leave the hard disk as ripe for improvement. As others have mentioned, going SSD is a great idea on paper but finding and installing a compatible unit might take some doing, and it's not a cheap solution either, amounting to a significant percentage of the price you'd pay to toss your old machine and get a new Macbook Air. But for a hundred bucks or so, if you're still running the original hard disk in your machine, upgrading to a 7200rpm unit with a decent amount of conventional cache might make a world of difference by itself. (I would not expect a hybrid drive--a spinning drive with a big flash cache--like Seagate's Momentus XT to work well in this device... they didn't start behaving until Mountain Lion, in my experience.)

    But, it's a very old computer, doubly so considering it's a laptop. I wouldn't want to see you spend too much on an upgrade, knowing the machine is likely to conclude its earthly journey before much longer.
     
  15. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #15
    Those hybrid drives that you mention all use the SATA interface. PowerBooks use a PATA interface which is a different style connector than SATA.
     
  16. repentix macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    #16
    I get what you are saying and I know the problem of people not really understanding why their computer is running slow (just experienced this myself, a colleague replaced their laptop because it was booting slowly). Normally people just buy a new mac or PC do deal with the issue instead of posting in this forum, thats why I assumed that the OP had some kind of experience on the subject and on Powerbooks in general.

    As for SSD's, I am very familiar with them and I have got about 5 of them installed into my machines altogether (2 in raid 0 in the machine I am writing this on). The first thing I do when buying a new laptop is check that its got a HDD so that I can get a cheaper price without the HDD and get an SSD for it ASAP, I then get a 120GB kingston SSD for 60$ and install it for better performance. To me its a totally normal procedure and feels natural to me (installing a pata SSD and installing Leopard is not that hard is it ;)). The reason why I suggested it is because most of the time people complain about their computer booting slowly and starting apps slowly, an SSD is perfect in those situations and solves the problem pretty easily (along with a ram upgrade) and in addition it future-proofs the machine even more. So more of an automatic thing from me :D. Normally that does the trick (along with putting the dock in 2D mode as already mentioned).

    By the way have you got an SSD in your powerbooks?
     
  17. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Aug 31, 2011
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    Phoenix • 85037
    #17
    Got you!

    I just brought it up because while opening up a PB and replacing a drive is not anything us users here find complicated, new people with old Macs might find it a little daunting.

    Streamlining Leopard can have an immediate effect though and adding an SSD on top of that would be even better.

    As to an SSD for my PowerBooks, no. But that's not because I decided I didn't want one or any for them.

    Right now, it's been about price and capacity. I've been waiting for them to jump to a capacity equal to or more than the current size drives I have while coming down in price. Currently, the two drives I'd need to replace would be a 120GB HD and a 320GB HD. Doing this will more than likely be an option in the new year with our tax refund. Right now, short of someone giving me an SSD, or it costing less than $40 (after taxes) it's not doable at the moment.

    I have a laundry list of things to do for my Macs once I get that refund. Currently, everything is dead or is waiting on parts/repairs except for this iMac G5 I am typing this on.
     
  18. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    #18
    Wow! When I made a similar statement people jumped down my throat:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=19331115#post19331115
     
  19. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Phoenix • 85037
    #19
    I wouldn't say jumped down your throat, but as mentioned in that thread the difference is in the system. You won't notice much of a speed increase on a G5 because it already has a fast SATA bus and SATA drive.

    But on a laptop, even with the fact that speed is limited by the interface, you are much closer to the theoretical speed of the interface than you are with a mechanical drive. Hence you will probably notice a speed increase.
     
  20. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

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    Oct 30, 2008
    #20
    You are certainly correct. Okay, so that's out.
     
  21. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Elkton, Maryland
    #21

    That being said, PATA hard drives are no longer in production and any drive you buy is left over stock, "refurbished", or used. KingSpec still makes some new PATA SSDs today!
     
  22. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    #22
    Yes, they jumped down my throat. After people went tattle telling to the mods some of the comments were removed.

    With that said my experience is with more than just the G5 (it just happened to be the first example I used). IMO installing an SSD in such an old system doesn't make much sense. It makes more sense to save the money and apply it towards a newer, relatively speaking, system. Which is what you and sjinsjca are effectively saying.
     
  23. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Aug 31, 2011
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    Phoenix • 85037
    #23
    Allright. Well, I wasn't involved in that thread so I'll leave that where it lays.

    Well, I was more trying to indicate that installing an SSD might be a difficult process for someone not well versed in swapping out hard drives on PowerBooks. It would, however, in my opinion speed the machine up. But it's not an immediate solution to the current problem. Things like turning off icon previews, Beam, and various other things that can be done right now are far more practical to implement at the moment.

    In general though, an SSD would increase performance in a laptop.

    As far as being worthwhile, that's kind of beside the point. All of us here posting on the PowerPC section are way beyond any kind of return on our investments. What we do makes no sense financially, pouring our money into machines that are 8 years or more old. So, it's something else driving us to put SSDs into PowerBooks.
     
  24. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    #24
    The question isn't: Do SSDs increase performance? The question is: Is the increase in performance worth the cost to obtain it?

    This is an excellent point. It's my take many people in this forum are using these systems because it's what they can afford. For these people it is my opinion the money is better spent on a new system as an SSD can cost about half what a used MacBook would cost. If they're using the system for other reasons you make a great point.
     
  25. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #25
    My first Mac(and for a while my only one) was a Macbook Pro that I bought new in the Apple Store in the spring of 2012(I bought it after my Windows 7 laptop crashed hard right before a very important assignment at school).

    I got into PowerPC Macs as a hobby. Money went out the window a long time ago-I've likely spent enough on PowerPC machines-and upgrade for the same-in the past year to likely buy a brand new Macbook Pro. I also bought an Intel-based Macbook in that time, and paid less for it than I did for my DLSD Powerbook.

    I enjoy squeezing as much performance as I can out of my old PPC computers, even if at times it doesn't necessarily make financial sense. My DLSD is peppy with a relatively new 7200 RPM hard drive, but also is loud and I feel like the fast drive is a big drain on the battery. I'm pretty seriously considering dropping an SSD into it for those reasons, as it's a otherwise a perfectly useable computer.
     

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