Modding a Black Mac book (3,1 or 4,1)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by a13094463, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. a13094463 macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2011
    Hello all!
    I'm in the marker to acquire a black macbook, and I'm seeking advice as to how to modify it.

    I'm planning to purchase a used black macbook, (3,1 or 4,1).
    My main goal is to add an additional firewire (800) port.

    I see it like this:
    1-swap current firwire 400 port for a firewire 800
    2-swap one of the usb 2.0 ports for a firewire 800 port
    3-somehow add a firewire 800 port

    Personally option 3 is the most desireable.
    Can I just add a firewire 800 cable to the pcb or something?

    In addition to the firewire port, I'm also planning to swap the HD for a solid state harddrive, and if possible, remove the optical drive and replace it with another harddrive.

    Oh, and I'm going to max out the RAM (is it 4GB max or 6GB max?).

    Are my desires feasible and can I do this modding myself, or should I rethink this and/or give up?
  2. a13094463 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2011
    Can you tell me why it's not possible?
    I don't want to give up, that's a last resort.

    I forgot to explain my purpose with all of this; I want to use this as my "default" computer, and take it with me when I need to.

    I also want to use it as part of a mobile recording studio.
    The firewire 800 port is so that I can store HD consuming programs on a separate external drive, but still run them smoothly (Probably Pro Tools and other memory intensive creative programs).
    I also need a firewire 400 port so I can use an audio interface/da-ad converter.
    That is, use the external HD and the audio interface concurrently.

    So, I suppose my primary question is, how can I remove the usb 2.0 port from the pcb, and replace it with a firewire 800 port?
  3. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    It's just not possible - don't waste your time. Just buy a newer computer that suites your needs.
  4. a13094463, Dec 9, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011

    a13094463 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2011
    That's kind of the problem; the newer macbooks don't even have firewire ports.
    And it seems that none of the macbooks had two firewire ports of any kind.
    The closest is the 13" mid 2009 model; but the lack of separate analog audio inputs is worrysome.
    (I'd also like it to be all black).

    If that macbook is the closest I can get then I guess it's m only choice :/
    Disappointing to say the least.
  5. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2010
    The proper connections just are not on the logic board of that series of MacBooks for FW 800. You might be able to swap out the port, but you'd only be able to connect 6 pins (FW 800 is a 9 pin connection) If it worked at all, you'd just have an 800 port that only operated at 400 speed.

    I would really consider the new MacBook Pros. The Core i processors are a lot faster than the Core2Duos and the graphics capabilities are light years ahead of the models you're exploring. Also, the Thunderbolt ports on the new systems will make adding more connectivity or ports as simple as plugging in a small adapter. Both Balkin and Sonnet have announced products like that and they should be out not too long after the beginning of the year. That same thunderbolt port opens the door all sorts of new devices and audio tech that isn't available to older machines. It is definitely the most future proof notebook line Apple has ever had.
  6. a13094463 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2011
    Oh, I see. So really, I'd need to rebuilt the computer and software.

    I guess a 2011 13in pro + +
    Would give me a few extra firewire ports

    I'm trying to save money (because my budget is $1000, really)... this mb would have been ideal, but now it's out of stock, haha.

    Well, thanks for everyone's help!!, I didn't realize how stupid my question was!

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