easy upgrades for ibook G3?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ProDigit, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. ProDigit macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2014
    Miami, fl
    I never had the money to buy an apple computer, but felt I needed to also learn how to use osx.
    as I was browsing through the cheap $100 laptops and netbooks, my eye fell on a second hand $75 ibook g3.
    I thought to myself: "why not? Now I can finally learn osx"; being mainly a pc user, and having learned basic Linux (redhat, ubuntu, and later android).

    It's a M6497, comes with 2x64mb ram, 12gb harddrive, and os 9 upgraded to tiger (10.4?)

    The first thing I noticed, was the noisy and slow harddrive, and figured I wanted to spend a minimum of money and time upgrading the device.

    My fear is product incompatibility, so I thought I'd rather be safe than sorry.

    I wanted to upgrade the ram with this one:

    Harddrives to ssd, I have some questions:
    I either insert one of these (what I think to be fitting) SSDs:
    amazon buy link

    or I go with a PATA IDE to Compact Flash adapter, like this one:
    and a cf card like this one:
    Cf transcend 32gb

    What are your thoughts on the upgrades?

    After the upgrades I also need to worry about how to format the drive, and transfer/copy the os to the new drive...

    Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
  2. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    The RAM stick you've identified should work-just remember that you can only put one of them in, as 64mb is soldered to the board. Upgrading to 576mb should help things out a lot, however.

    I'll avoid commenting on the hard drive issue. Many folks here have experience with the CF adapters, PATA SSDs, and IDE-SATA adapters with SATA SSDs, but I'm not one of them and I'm not sure what-specifically-will work in your model or what you have room for.

    I swapped out a lot of Mac hard drives, however, and can tell you how I do it:

    First of all, the easy way to it is with some sort of external enclosure for your new drive. I'll also add that I'm using the term "enclosure" fairly loosely. I have a couple of these in different configurations-most will handle both IDE and SATA. Ones intended for 2.5" Laptop drives generally only have a 44 pin laptop IDE connector, while some 3.5" enclosures will have both 40 pin and 44 pin IDE connectors.

    Depending on how valuable your time is, it might be worthwhile to look for a Firewire enclosure, as Firewire 400 is significantly faster(400mbit/s) than USB 1.1(12mbit/s). A USB enclosure, however, is a probably overall a more useful device.

    I have a couple of these lying around(no relation to this specific seller-I think mine came from a different seller) and they are very handy


    In any case, once you get the external adapter/enclosure you will first need to format the new drive appropriately to use as a boot drive on your computer. Open disk utility, select the new drive, and then go to the "partition" tab. Set the number of partitions you want(I generally just stick to one on laptop drives, although more are certainly useful if you want to install multiple OSs), and also set it format to "Mac OS Journaled(extended)". Be sure the "install OS 9 drivers" box is checked also. Then, click on the main partition, click the "options" button, and select "Apple Partition Map" from the pop-up window.

    Once the drive is set up, I like to use Carbon Copy Cloner(free download with a free 30 day trial period) to clone your old drive over to the new one. It's pretty intuitive. One caution I will add is that if your drive is connected via USB, you will get a warning that PPC computers can not be booted from USB drives(something that's not true for many PPC computers, and also irrelevant for you as you will be installing the drive internally after it's copied). Then, just sit back and wait for the drive to clone.

    If you're doing it over USB and your old drive is reasonably full, the last part may take a while.
  3. ProDigit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2014
    Miami, fl
    Thank you, I will try to find a regular harddrive instead to avoid issues.

    Anyone else care to add on cf cards as harddrive, or ssds?
  4. ProDigit, Oct 22, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014

    ProDigit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2014
    Miami, fl
    Since I wanted this to be a cheap experiment, I went with this $18 harddrive, which, however good or bad it may be for the price, will undoubtedly be better than the stock 10gig hd


    Btw, os is 10.3.9, not 10.4
    I could not upgrade, due to lack of memory. Once the 512mb is installed, I might upgrade to 10.4.11.
  5. ProDigit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2014
    Miami, fl
    The mac costed me $67, with $25 on upgrades (memory, harddrive, firewire cable, ext hd case), anx another $25 for a battery. That's $107, with no guarantee on if the hardware works.

    I see on amazon they're selling the g4, 900mhz, 1gb ram, 40gb hd, for jist $20 more, and with tiger os 10.4.11.

    I should have gone with that one instead, much cheaper, and an actual usable device. This g3 stock, is not really useable without upgrades.
    only good to write text, or play chess.
    any browser activity is freezing the device...
    and airport does not work on most modern wpa2 networks.
  6. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    Indeed the G3 really isn't practical in 2014. Even the G4 will struggle a lot with web browsing.

    I picked up a 2009 MacBook for $199 on eBay in great condition bone stock. And it's far more usable and in fact I'm running Yosemite on it just fine. I put in 4GB of RAM and a cheap 128GB SSD. Sure, it does cost more up front, but not significantly so. And it still has some years left in it with it running the latest version of OS X.

    If you don't need anything portable, older iMac's run around $130 for a Core 2 Duo model, same with the Mac Mini. OWC has some 2006 iMacs for cheap that will run up to Lion. But I'd go with a 2007+ model or a cheap MacBook that can run Yosemite if you want to be current.

    The G3 would make a great distraction free writing device though :cool:
  7. CYB3RBYTE macrumors regular


    Sep 2, 2014
    Hi and thanks for posting!

    To answer your question RAM and Hard Drive upgrades are the only upgrades that an iBook can receive. However I would not pay $75 for a iBook G3, unless it was in boxed condition. You should look at the iBook G4, which are more practical for today's modern world, and there are less limits to what upgrades you can install in an iBook G4 VS. an iBook G3.

    Still, since you already have the machine you should look into Hard Drive and RAM upgrades, I think the max RAM a G3 can take is 640MB, and that is only on certain models... but if you are running tiger you are going to want to max out your RAM so that you have the best performance.
  8. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816


    Feb 17, 2013
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    I've bought/sold numerous G4s and I've been able to get perfect 15" PowerBooks under $100 all day every day. That much invested into a G3 is crazy, but whenever you buy something usually money has to be put into it to begin with. Shoot even when I got my Early 08 MBP last week I had to take the SSD out and put it in a desktop to flash the firmware with MS-DOS! The R/W speeds were horrible, upgrade the firmware and it's a million times faster.

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