Just bought a G4 Titanium Powerbook - my first PowerPC Mac

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by filmbuff, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. filmbuff macrumors 6502a

    filmbuff

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    #1
    Long story short, reading this forum got me interested in some older Macs, so I decided to buy one. I really like the look of the TiBook (and I like that it's made of Titanium) so I started looking around. The prices are surprisingly high - $150+ in most cases on eBay. I managed to get an "as is" Gigabit Ethernet/667MHz Powerbook for $65 with shipping. It's being sold as is because there is no HDD or AC adapter, but the seller did have pictures of it powered on and booting from a disc. The cosmetic condition looks pretty good.

    My plan is to restore it, play with it for a while, and probably resell it which brings a couple of questions.

    1) Since it doesn't have a hard drive, I'll be needing one of those. I want to do an SSD but I'm on a budget here and a $75 PATA SSD is too much money. Would I be better off with an older spinning hard drive, adapter for compact flash cards, or something else?

    2) Which OS? I've heard Tiger is best but I don't want to spend $50+ on the OS. Will Panther for $25 on Amazon run well?

    3) Where to buy a battery? Will an aftermarket battery burst into white-hot flames and burn my apartment down?
     
  2. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

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    #2
    I guess it all boils down to this;

    Before you bought it, you should have researched first the things that you probably need.

    1. PATA SSD, they are faster than a spinning HDD but also more expensive. If you don't want to sink in more money, let's go back to why you bought it? You will be better off with a spinning HDD first get accustomed to powerbook before even thinking of upgrading it.
    2. Installer Disks, again even with Tiger disks you will be shelling out for more if you don't have it yet. And Panther? I'd better be running OS9 than Panther.
    3. 3rd party batteries, it is hard to tell. But you can find some on ebay.
     
  3. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #3
    Unless PowerPC Macs are your passion then it's not worth putting a PATA SSD in there. Find a decent size PATA HD and put it in. Keep in mind some of the early TiBooks have a 128GB barrier on HDs. Not sure if your's in one of those, but it might be.

    Adapters aren't hard to find. Amazon, eBay, you can find some for as little as $9. I tend to go with a brand from mac-pro.com. They are a bit more expensive but they will last three years or more easy.

    Batteries are the same thing. Amazon or eBay. I do prefer a brand called Newertech though. They make a good line of batteries.

    Panther. Don't even bother. Yeah, you might get OS X that way, but you're going to be limited in the software you can run. Tiger is good, but Leopard would be better. There are ways to get it on to unsupported Macs and if you have enough ram it will run just fine. My son's 1Ghz TiBook has 1GB of ram and it's running Leopard just fine.
     
  4. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

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    #4
    That Ti PowerBook's gfx is anemic at 16mb. Leopard would be a PITA to run on it. Imho, Tiger would be the latest that he can run into and OS9 would be the best. Skip the other cats. And besides at 1GB of maximum RAM that you can put in there Leopard will crawl. One bottleneck there is the gfx card which I would guess is not CI capable.

    For some info on your Ti PB GigE 667, refer to the link below. It is always a good place to start if you are into old Macs. Know them very well first. Know your depth before jumping on the water.

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/powerbook_g4/specs/powerbook_g4_667.html
     
  5. Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    #5
    Correct. Hardware accelerated QE, but not CI.
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #6
    I won't argue that at low spec Tiger will perform better. I will even admit that Tiger is better on some systems (my iBook G3 and a G4 at work that only has 128mb ram). I'm just saying that at max ram Leopard won't run as bad as it's always made out to.

    I've had Leopard on a TiBook/400 with 1GB ram. I have it on a G4/450 AGP at work with 1GB ram. I'm pretty sure that a ATI 128 Rage card is not CI compatible. Yet both of these Macs did and do better than expectations.
     
  7. Swampus, Jun 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013

    Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    #7
    Ouch! The Rage 128 doesn't even offer hardware accelerated Quartz Extreme under Leopard. So, yes, Leopard would almost certainly perform better with the 667MHz processor and Radeon graphics.

    eyoungren, get yourself a Radeon for that AGP 450. Seriously, it will be as good as a CPU upgrade under Leopard--Even a lowly Radeon 7000 for $20 on eBay will make you smile. :)

    Leopard even felt slow on my dual 1.42 MDD when I had to run it with a Rage 128 for a few days.
     
  8. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #8
    LOL! Not going to happen! :D

    I say that not because I would not do it (I would!) but the upgrade we are waiting for now is actually another Intel Mac. Once we get that (within the next few months hopefully) this Mac will be relegated to being a print server.

    It keeps up though. We don't need QE or CI for what we do (I work for a newspaper) and all the eye candy is shut off. It's amazing what we've managed to get out of this thirteen year old Mac. Both G4s at work survived the G5 (which is mine now after replacing the logicboard).
     
  9. Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    #9
    They're amazing machines, aren't they. They keep going. And if you can find Altivec optimized code for the things that you like to do, they hold their own for most tasks even against today's technology. They're just fine dependable machines.
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #10
    Totally agree with that!
     
  11. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    #11
    Did you buy this already? Because unless your in love with the Ti ( which if you collect old macs,then makes perfect sense) I would not purchase it.

    Reason:
    -$65 + adapter price + hd price + os price = bad use of money

    Lets say the hd is $50 and adapter is $25 and os is $25 that's still a total of $165

    For $165 you should be able to find a nice 17" powerbook G4 1.33/1.5 with hd,adapter,os...with enough ram and leopard,these pb are still fairly useful and could be used on a daily basis.

    ps: try looking on your local craigslist and don't be afraid to offer a fair amount less then asking.
     
  12. MrPilot macrumors 6502

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    #12
    And playing 1080p sucks somewhat because of complete lack of hardware accelerated video playback, not because of the G4 CPU
     
  13. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

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  14. filmbuff thread starter macrumors 6502a

    filmbuff

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    #14
    LOL it's only been a day!

    I decided to order Tiger because at 1GB of RAM it will probably run better than Leopard. I took everyone's advice about avoiding Cheetah/Jaguar/Panther.

    The AC adapter is on its way which just leaves a hard drive. I am definitely not spending $50 on one. If worst comes to worst I have a bunch of old 8GB HDDs sitting around that will work fine - but I think I'm going to look around for something faster with at least a 48GB capacity.
     
  15. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    #15
    I have tiger and a 100gb and an 80gb hard drive
     
  16. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    #16
    I have replaced a number of harddrives on ibooks,powerbooks ect...trust me when I tell you,that a newer faster harddrive makes all the difference on these older machines (even with it being ide).Just putting back a old 8 or 48 gig drive won't show you the potential of your Ti!
     
  17. filmbuff thread starter macrumors 6502a

    filmbuff

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    #17
    Is there a SATA adapter that will work? I searched around and found a lot of topics asking about that, but I never saw a specific adapter or solution for putting a newer drive in one.
     
  18. Lil Chillbil macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

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    #18
    You may want to check ebay...
     
  19. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

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    #19
    He wants to know if there is one that will fit.
     
  20. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

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    #20
    I have a newertech battery in my PBG4 (aluminum though) and it still works, but they don't look too great and the quality isn't too hot. Still, it works after all this time! That's what matters, right?
     
  21. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    #21
    It's been a while since I did a Ti overhaul,but i would say there's not enough room for a adapter

    [​IMG]
     
  22. filmbuff thread starter macrumors 6502a

    filmbuff

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    #22
    That's what I was afraid of. I guess a 5400rpm IDE drive will have to work.
     
  23. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

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    #23
    If you nixed the optical drive, you could stick the SSD there. You'd have to get a little crafty with the sata adaptor though, especially if the IDE connector for the optical drive is on a slower bus.

    So what you'd wanna do is stick the adaptor in the hard drive bay and then run a thin cable to the optical bay. You could also do a PATA SSD (they exist) but they aren't cheap.. definitely not worth it lol
     
  24. filmbuff thread starter macrumors 6502a

    filmbuff

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    #24
    The Powerbook came today. The only problem is, the AC adapter hasn't arrived yet (and I don't think the eBay seller even shipped it). I powered on the laptop and it appeared to work great - the screen worked, drive loaded the Tiger install DVD, and then I ran out of battery power. It has some cosmetic blemishes but the hinges seem okay which is good since those are apparently very failure prone on these old PBs.

    The seller was even nice and refunded me some of the shipping cost since it turned out to be cheaper than he thought. Cost so far = $45
     
  25. seveej macrumors 6502a

    seveej

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    #25
    OP, I'm keeping my fingers crossed, that you find success.
    I understand your affinity to the tibook. Funnily, I think it's the only type of modern mac I have never had. I was a "mac man" up until 2001 (last machine a lombard PB) and went PC-only for some years until I returned to the mac in 2005-2006.

    I have the impression the tibooks did not sell well over here - I only know two people who had them new. I think the age of the tibook was basically coincided with the low point of Apple appeal over here. When browsing the local classifieds the tibooks are blatantly absent.

    I have a normal wife, which means she does not like it when I have too many pieces of hardware lying around, but I'm still playing with the idea of getting a tibook some day (although I honestly do not know what use I would find for it). Have to wait and see.
     

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