Lightening 12" PowerBook

AQUADock

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 20, 2011
1,049
37
I have my 12" PowerBook that i to carry with me to uni some days but the problem is that it is a bit heavy i was wondering if it would make much difference if i removed the optical drive and replaced the hard drive with a flash card. Do you guys think that it would make much difference?
 

Detig

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2008
11
0
I did the following to mine:

i) took out the optical drive and put in an optibay bought from ebay (with no drive, just to keep structural integrity)

ii) took out the modem

iii) replaced the hard drive with a 1.8" SATA SSD + IDE adapter.

Saved around 200 grams in total, give or take a few. Considered taking off the airport card as well and replace it a wireless N usb adapter but that spiked the cpu usage.
 
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mike457

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2010
278
0
Ontario
I did the following to mine:

iii) replaced the hard drive with a 1.8" SATA SSD + IDE adapter.

Saved around 200 grams in total, give or take a few. Considered taking off the airport card as well and replace it a wireless N usb adapter but that spiked the cpu usage.
I'm interested in the SSD and adapter. I wouldn't have thought there was enough space in there. What did you use?
 
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Detig

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2008
11
0
There is space if you use a 1.8" SATA SSD and not a 2.5" one. Bought the IDE adapter and a X18M G2 Intel SSD off ebay. You can also find some older samsung 1.8" SATA SSDs but I would probably stay away from those.

The issue with my combo is that you need to find something to keep the smaller SSD in the right place as you cannot screw it obviously. I used some foam from an OCZ SSD box to do the trick. Be careful when putting in the foam as it is very easy to either obstruct the vents *or* disrupt the airflow that is supposed to go through the GPU and into the CPU.

Furthermore, every so often the powerbook freezes when coming up from sleep.

If you want to save yourself the hassle of using the smaller SSD just buy an OWC IDE drive with a Sandforce controller. This is a more expensive option obviously.
 
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mayuka

macrumors 6502a
Feb 15, 2009
588
61
Replacing the hard drive with an expensive SSD makes not much sense. In sequential read a SSD won't be much faster than a normal hd. It speeds up starting applications, though, but only a little bit, maybe twice as fast. That's not worth it in my eyes. Compared to SATA in modern notebooks the speed-up would be 10x.... Just buy a decent hard drive and you're fine. My Powerbook 12" has a 320 GB Western Digital inside and runs pretty smooth. The only thing that bothers me is that it has no illuminated keyboard...
 
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comatory

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
Replacing the hard drive with an expensive SSD makes not much sense. In sequential read a SSD won't be much faster than a normal hd. It speeds up starting applications, though, but only a little bit, maybe twice as fast. That's not worth it in my eyes. Compared to SATA in modern notebooks the speed-up would be 10x.... Just buy a decent hard drive and you're fine. My Powerbook 12" has a 320 GB Western Digital inside and runs pretty smooth. The only thing that bothers me is that it has no illuminated keyboard...
hmmm... that'd be a cool project :)

maybe there would be a way to use one of those usb led lamps - use one usb port for powering and have 2-3 small leds built under the keyboard. if there was a way to elegantly put it together, it might be worth it.
only problem is, i cant see how you would turn it off/adjust... maybe via some software hack.
 
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mayuka

macrumors 6502a
Feb 15, 2009
588
61
maybe there would be a way to use one of those usb led lamps - use one usb port for powering and have 2-3 small leds built under the keyboard. if there was a way to elegantly put it together, it might be worth it.
only problem is, i cant see how you would turn it off/adjust... maybe via some software hack.
A while ago I read that someone tried to use the backlit keyboard from the 15" Powerbooks in the 12"... They won't fit. That's really sad. It's the only thing I really miss in the old 12" model.

Yeah I know. Booting times are very slow with a hard drive. But how often do you boot your notebook?
 
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Detig

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2008
11
0
Yeah I know. Booting times are very slow with a hard drive. But how often do you boot your notebook?
Pretty much every day.

Regarding the SSD not making sense, I don't agree. I would argue the main advantage of a SSD on a old Powerbook is the access times which drop to near 0 and not the read performance. That makes a big difference on launching applications for example. Write performance also gets pushed to the limit of the IDE controller.

At the end of the day you are replacing a bottleneck (the HDD) for the CPU and the max bus speed of the IDE controller.
 
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