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Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Dronecatcher, Mar 26, 2017.
Never heard of one of these before...
Anyway, yeah, that is an actual Clamshell iBook retrofitted with a G4 processor. As some of you might be aware, when the AIM (Apple IBM Motorola) Group designed the first G4 processors, they made the first models, IBM's 7400 and Motorola's 7410, completely pin compatible with the 750 G3 processor to ensure a smooth, easy switch over. Due to this, some Mac processor upgrade manufacturers offered to upgrade certain Macs, like the iMac G3 and PowerBook G3, to a G4, by unsoldering the 750 chip and replacing it with a 7410.
Now, this is done with BGA soldering, but with the right tools, anyone could do this with enough care. Some sellers on eBay and AliExpress offer 7410 chips ready to solder in, and the idea to do these mods have been circulating a while. As a matter of fact, in the Slack groups, we've talked about the possibility of it since last year, if not even earlier. At some point, @LightBulbFun did this with his Pismo, and got it to run reliably at 600MHz, although the cache has been a bit of an issue. Meanwhile, 68kMLA user Max1zzz started a thread about this exact modification, and from there the ball started rolling further and further. And then Max did this with an iBook Clamshell, the first documented time this has ever been done, since such a service was never available for the Clamshell. This mod only works with the earlier Clamshells, as the later ones have 750cx processors which are quite different. These, and the 750fx, were used in later Macs, specifically for Macs made in or after 2001. Another user on 68kMLA, belgaonkar, had a large lot of Clamshells he was selling, and he and Max teamed up to mod several of his Clamshells to G4 processors, and sell them on with shared profits. The person making this video was the buyer of the first Clamshell G4 they sold.
iBook G3 with a somewhat powerful G4 processor would be a Mac I'd use quite often... I love the clamshell design but need Leopard/Tiger to run at decent speeds.