From old to new: G4 titanium


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 24, 2009
:apple: Hello everybody, this is my first post so I hope I don't mess this up.
I recently got an old powerbook G4 Titanium from a friend that now has a mac book pro. It's from 2001 and the specs are as follows:
- 550 MHz single core processor
- 512 MB ram
- 100 MHz bus
- L2 cache 256 KB
- G4 version 2.1
- built in 2001
- soft ware is 10.2.8

I haven't had much experience with mac's in the past but I have been eager to get my hands on one for a couple of years now. I was surprised that a computer this old is comparable to my new dell in speed. I would like to upgrade it as much as I can with out spending a ton of cash (say keep it under $300 if possible). I appreciate all the feedback and will give any other needed info on the computer (though you'll have to tell me where to find it, as what I gave you is everything I have)

PS - I have no honest clue if this is a worth while venture or not. If it's better to sell it and be (x)% closer to having a new macbook pro then just say so.

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
Bump the RAM to max, upgrade the HD, and upgrade to the best OS for those specs.


macrumors 68030
Sep 3, 2009
So the best I can do is bump ram to 2 gb, put in a big fast HDD, and put tiger on it. Is there nothing i can do for the processor?
Negative. Generally on laptops, you can't exchange any components like that. It's also pre-Intel so it will be locked out of the newest Mac OS, etc. Personally, I'd try to sell it for a few hundred bucks, save that $300 that you were going to put into it, and get yourself a Intel Macbook.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 24, 2009
Sounds like the smart thing to do. Any idea how much this would fetch on ebay? with a few scratchers and such but over all very little use.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2006
Bump the RAM to its max (which is 1GB, not 2 GB for these machines) and install 10.4. The machine will be very much useful for common everyday tasks. My wife has an 867Mgz Ti PB running Leopard and it is still a very nice machine.


macrumors regular
May 24, 2009
You might be able to get $150-$250 for an old 550 MHz on eBay. Other than that, you need 8 ns PC-133 SDRAM SO-DIMM modules. It will not take a SATA drive, you need to look for an IDE HDD. You might also be affected by a 128 GB size limitation, but I'm not sure on a 550. 10.2.8 is one of the better versions of OS X, but not exactly the fastest. You should be able to install any retail copy of 10.4, Tiger. That is the most recent version that you can run without a temporary firmware tweak to convince the Leopard installer to work. Regardless, the processor will be a bottleneck, and I recommend you upgrade to at least an 867 MHz Titanium, a 1.3 GHz Aluminum is preferred, as those have USB 2.0, Bluetooth, a faster bus, Airport Extreme and a 2 GB RAM capacity over 1 GB on Titaniums.

The website that I use for upgrades is Other World Computing. 1 GB of RAM and a 120 GB HDD from these guys is $138 plus very reasonable shipping, usually around $5. All this said, I use a Titanium with a couple of PC cards for the occasional iMovie. It isn't always pretty, but it gets the job done.

You can find info on your particular Mac by going to the Apple menu, About this Mac. Then click on More Info, and it should launch the System Profiler. I don't think the version included with 10.2 (Jaguar) gives you everything, but the rest can be found online here.
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