Lowering PowerBook G4 Clock?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by iModFrenzy, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. iModFrenzy, Jul 30, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017

    iModFrenzy macrumors 6502a

    iModFrenzy

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    #1
    After re-thermal pasting my PowerBook G4 12", temperatures got a bit better than before. Not amazingly better but that's understandable being it's PowerPC.

    Which then made me wonder if it's possible to lower the clock from 1.5ghz to 867mhz(base speed of Leopard) for better heat output?

    I'm not sure if energy preferences does this already, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

    Bonus Question, why do the iBook G4s take heat so much better than the "superior" PowerBook G4? I've always heard the metal casing is a help with dispersing heat but it seems like I'll hear the fans a lot less on my iBook G4 1.33ghz than a PB G4.

    Future Viewers: PB G4 12" Guts on #12!
     
  2. AphoticD macrumors 65816

    AphoticD

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    #2
    Change Energy Saving settings to "Better battery life" or "Reduced" CPU speed and the G4 processor in your PowerBook will step down to 749Mhz.

    I find that regardless of the CPU load, Leopard causes the fans to run more often than Tiger on my 1.5Ghz 12" AlBook. It must be the added graphics processing required for Leopard creating more heat. Step down to Panther and heat and battery conservation improve even more.
     
  3. Dronecatcher macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

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    #3
    I've thought exactly the same with my 1.33 Powerbook and iBook - must be the internal architecture and the fact that the iBook is thicker but you would logically think all that metal on the Powerbook would help!

    The one thing I don't like about my Powerbook 17" DLSD is with the introduction of the automatic speed stepping on the revised G4 you no longer have the option to set the CPU to 'reduced' speed.
     
  4. iModFrenzy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iModFrenzy

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    #4
    Sadly, I've kept it on and it still seems to get a bit hot. I guess my fear is confirmed, but good to know for sure that it down clocks it. Thanks.

    Tiger is definitely much nicer on it than Leopard, but the lack of software made me move to Leopard.

    What's even more funny is the fact the iBook's have ATI GPUs and more ram! The perfect 12":p, for cheaper the price at the time.

    You can set the CPU speed manually on older G4s but not the DSLD is what you're saying?

    EDIT: It's 6 am, I need some sleep LOL
     
  5. AphoticD macrumors 65816

    AphoticD

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    #5
    I didn't realize that. I've got the non-DL (standard res) PB17" 1.67Ghz and it does have the stepping options. One thing I noticed about this colossal 'Book is that it doesn't get hot to touch and I've only had the fans come on when under constant heavy load. It is much better at heat dispersion than the 15".

    I think everyone would agree that the 12" is a little hot potato though. I won't try running Linux on it anymore, it ran constantly hot, and even caused a few forced overheating shut-downs (which is better than a melt down!)

    I've ordered in a few new parts for my little baby though;
    - 64GB mSATA Kingspec SSD
    - Lindy mSATA<->IDE 2.5" caddy (the red one)
    - Replacement CPU fan (the original sounds like it has worn bearings).
    - Replacement 2mm thermal silicone pads for the GPU.

    The parts have arrived and I'll drop it all in this week (along with another thermal pasting on the CPU).

    Not bad for a machine which was destined for the trash. I won it on a bid for AU$6.50 as it wasn't booting and the original owner didn't know how to bring it back to life.. Just needed a clean install and some blocking of bad sectors.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 30, 2017 ---
    Is it the CPU running hot or the GPU? Using iStat Pro and Temperature Monitor I've seen the CPU sitting around 42 to 45C, while the GPU is up around 60C during minimal load in Leopard. I'm going to try some new thick thermal pads for the GPU/VRAM chips because when I pasted the CPU earlier in the year, I just kept the original 12 year old heat pads in place.

    I totally agree. But, if you can designate a role for your PB12 in your setup then you can get away with installing just the minimal software.

    I love the form factor and size, so I've been taking this little 'book out with me on my motorcycle for daytrips out to the wilderness for focused writing and/or coding sessions.

    The battery life is great on a minimal config under Tiger or Panther. (With a new battery that is).

    I know. I was working as an Apple retail salesperson back when these things were brand new and it was a tough sell to convince someone to buy the PB12 over an iBook. There was a difference of about a thousand bucks iirc. I can't remember the details, but I think the line was basically that the PowerBook was a pro machine and the iBook was for entry-level users, students, blah blah blah.

    "Spend spend! You need to buy the expensive option! You'll be a better person, revered among your peers!!"

    There really was nothing to justify the price hike more than quality of materials. And despite plastic vs aluminum "build quality", time has proven that they are both still alive and kicking. Apple are so good at marketing BS. :apple::apple::apple:
     
  6. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

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    #6
    There used to be a pref pane that allowed the processor to nap. I honestly think it was just called "Processor" or something like that. It came with XCode a long time ago.
     
  7. iModFrenzy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iModFrenzy

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    #7
    Very cool, really need to get around to an SSD. I guess I could throw some copper shims where the thermal pad is, I have shims lying around from another project.

    I'll check temps and let you know.

    I would do Photoshop but CS2 is too old for me and I need to find a copy of CS3. I also tried coding on my G4 but Python coding didn't really work out too well, mostly because I couldn't test what I was writing. I use it for various things, sometimes browsing if I'm up to it, to games.

    That sounds like a pain to do, I don't think I would've been able to convince anybody in that position. And yeah they are , Good Ol' Apple.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 30, 2017 ---
    Nap? While running? I'll look around for that, thanks. Maybe Onyx has the feature? It has a processor tab I have yet to unlock with Xcode tools.
     
  8. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

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    #8
    This makes no sense. If you want a slower PowerBook, just go buy one.
     
  9. AphoticD macrumors 65816

    AphoticD

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    #9
    Anything which can help draw out heat will do. The GPU arrangement is not very well designed. There's quite a gap between the Nvidia components and the main heatsink.

    Photoshop CS3 performs really well on the G4 and as for Python, you can use Tigerbrew to install the current versions of both 2.7.x and v3.x, including IDLE. (Also works with Leopard)

    The Nap setting is on by default. The processor settings installed via Xcode/Onyx allows you to disable Nap, which means full speed all the time. It does have an option to disable the L2 cache, but I don't think that will decrease heat by much at all.

    Sure it does. If you can slow the Mac right down to reduce power draw and in turn reduce heat, then you'll get a better run out the battery, with less strain on the components. Then when you want, plug it in and bump it up to full speed for raw G4 processing power!

    There was a pre-Lion tool for the C2D MacBooks called Coolbook, which provided options for reducing CPU frequency, I used to use it to get a massive battery improvement out of my MB unibody.

    I believe in trying to make the most out of my Macs. The longevity of these machines (both PPC and Intel) is simply amazing.
     
  10. amagichnich macrumors 6502

    amagichnich

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    #10
    Additionally to the mentioned options to reduce heat you can also lower the graphics and graphics memory clock on ATI PBs with ATI Accelerator.
    But that is a bit inconvenient as the app doesn't support presets
     
  11. iModFrenzy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iModFrenzy

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    #11
    I don't want a slower one, I just want a cooler temperatures. When I need more performance, I could switch to high performance (1.5ghz) which a slower PB couldn't
    Got a post coming up on it!

    Good to hear, and I'll take a look thanks!

    Oh, wouldn't wanna disable that! and I don't think it would either, just hurt performance.

    Exactly! and yeah I tried out cookbook with my MacBook, didn't get very far with it as I didn't understand it well. I have a MBP 2010 & MBA 2015 now though, so I don't need to worry about it.

    And very amazing indeed
    --- Post Merged, Jul 31, 2017 ---
    Sadly my PowerBook G4 12" uses the Nvidia FX 5200 Go, I might give it a shot on my PB G4 15" 1.25ghz with a Radeon 9600 though.
     
  12. iModFrenzy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iModFrenzy

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    #12
    So I decided to open my PowerBook G4 12" back up, my motivated self realized half way that I'd have to remove quite a bit of screws after the keyboard but I kept going(I've done it before):p

    Anyway, I had some copper shims. One large shim that would fit over the North/South Bridge chip, fits great(Just made it too)
    IMG_1266.JPG

    I pasted that under and above of course and continued onto the FX 5200, it's in a tight spot and the copper heatsink doesn't reach very far either(only half way about). The other two ram chips are beneath the plastic/metal shroud(not sure what it's called) are just covered by a silver ledge with a thermal pad. I ended up cutting up the thermal pad and left it for those two ram chips, and ended up packing in the leftover thermal pads into the center of the GPU to hopefully absorb more heat.
    IMG_1264-2.JPG
    The remaining thermal pad on the heatsink covered the hidden chips. Next was adding copper shims.
    IMG_1270-2.JPG
    They cover the two ram chips great, pasted both sides and the heatsink fit on nicely. The moment of truth was seeing if the shims helped, I ran a Youtube video at 360p (pretty taxing) and the PB G4 temps came to around early 70s celsius. Not sure if this is much of an improvement but glad it didn't hurt the PB G4 at all.

    Bonus Shot:
    IMG_1268-2.JPG
     

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