iBook G3 memory upgrade

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by BlueRevolution, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #1
    My current laptop is a 500 MHz iBook G3 Dual USB, the oldest model that it's still possible to buy batteries for (not accidental). It has 320 MB of memory and a 10 GB hard drive. I like it because I can get over 6 hours of battery life from the thing, well over what Apple's specs show.

    However, I have it running Tiger, and it's obviously a little slow. What I'm wondering is if I should spend the $70 or so to max out the memory and maybe replace the hard drive before that dies. Will it perform significantly better than it does now on 576 MB of memory, or will the processor and graphics card just slow things down? I don't need to do anything fancy, just get online and take notes, maybe run Coda, but it's pretty sluggish for that. I'd like to be able to run Pages rather than having to take notes in TextEdit.
     
  2. Cboss macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    #2
    I would suggest saving the $70 and putting that toward a new macbook. There are many places online where you could buy a refurbished macbook for a good price.
     
  3. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #3
    It will definitely help. I find even 256MB to be usable, so 640 MB (right?) should do pretty decent.

    The hard drive is a different matter though, I wouldn't attempt doing it yourself.
     
  4. BlueRevolution thread starter macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #4
    Yes, but I am a student and can't afford "a good price". This is strictly my secondary computer; at home I have an iMac that gets all the upgrades. I don't need two zippy computers, just one and something I can take to class. For my purposes, my iBook is preferable to a brand new MacBook. The battery lasts longer and it's old enough that I don't have to worry about it being stolen.

    Yeah, there's definitely a lot that can go wrong in cracking a laptop open. I won't touch the hard drive until it dies. It has a slight click right now, but everything on there is mirrored on my iMac so I'm not really concerned. I'll pick up a new drive when that time comes.

    It's 576 MB, actually: 512 + 64 onboard.
     
  5. sine-nomine macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Finer stores everywhere.
    #5
    I used to have a 600MHz model that came with 256MB (128 onboard) of RAM and Jaguar. I maxed it to 640MB after a year, and it helped significantly. The machine was able to perform as my primary machine for the two following years. At that point, the display cable started causing issues, so I ripped it apart to replace the cable, and decided to upgrade the hard drive to a 120MB Seagate while I was in there. I installed Tiger on the new drive, and it worked well enough that I would still be using it had the logic board not died back in November.

    It did most of what I needed it to with no issues, which meant it was just fine to surf the internet, write school stuff in Word 2004 or LaTeX, write a few numerical simulations that got sent up to the university cluster to actually do their running, and it even ran Maple decently. The only area where it was really inadequate was with video. You Tube would sometimes be skippy, and music videos or shows on NBC.com would very often have a huge number of dropped frames. If I could have spent $70 to get that little machine up and running again, I would have considered it money very well spent.
     
  6. BlueRevolution thread starter macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #6
    Awesome, thanks for the response. Yeah, YouTube isn't a big deal. If I really need to watch YouTube videos, I just use my iPod.

    I'm also considering downgrading to Panther, but I'll do the memory upgrade first and see how that goes. My biggest aim is to be able to write school papers on it, since I don't want to be doing that in TextEdit and it can't run Pages. It'd be nice to be able to physically and psychologically remove myself from my iMac with its games and distractions.
     
  7. BlueRevolution thread starter macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #7
    Okay, upgrade complete. Unfortunately, the computer still can't run iWork '08 decently, and in fact isn't noticeably faster. Happily, I bought an as-is 900 MHz iBook G3 from eBay. It's missing some parts, but nothing I can't cannibalize from my current machine. Hopefully that'll have more of an effect, and will make better use of the memory as well. (From my research, I don't think there should be any compatibility issues between the machines. Worst case scenario, I get to upgrade the hard drive and optical drive and so forth on my old machine.)
     

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