Reducing weight on a PB G4 12"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by coupdetat, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. coupdetat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #1
    I really love my PB G4, but lately I've been entertaining the idea of cutting down weight and turning it into a true ultraportable. Even 4 years after its introduction, I can't find a single computer that feels as solid and can just plain get work done. In fact, I've spent the last few weeks looking for a new laptop and couldn't find anything that would justify replacing the PB.

    Anyways, here's my idea. I want to remove the optical drive, since it never gets used. Does anyone know if that's an easy task, and if there's any connectors inside that need to be covered up, tied off, whatever? And also, are there any potential drawbacks to replacing the original 60gb drive with a small (~8gb) IDE SSD? A 2.5" IDE drive weighs around 4oz, and a quick Google search tells me an optical drive is around 6oz.

    I'll load Tiger instead of Leopard, because I find 10.5 a bit slow. I figure this might get me to under 4lbs which would be fantastic. Is there anything else that could be removed to save weight? Is this a really stupid plan?
     
  2. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    What?

    Seems kinda nutty to me. That's a huge drop in usability with such little hard drive space. It's the form factor that needs work, not the weight.
     
  3. rolex54 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #3
    so your gonna cut a little more than half a pound and completely ruin the usability of the computer. It really does not make any sense, you would probably notice no real difference at all
     
  4. coupdetat thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #4
    Nah, if you actually use a computer for work (err.. again emphasizing "work") the 8gb is really enough, and I don't use an optical drive. Tiger + Office 2004 + space for documents is all I need. tdhurst, you're a writer, you'd understand right?

    Losing .5-.75lbs would be a noticeable difference, and there isn't much room for improvement on the form factor. Even the most expensive Sony Vaios have similar dimensions to the 12" PB.
     
  5. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #5
    might just be easier to get a netbook to be honest. sure no OS X but smaller, lighter and easier to handle imo.
     
  6. AppliedMicro macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    #6
    ..or a MacBook Air (unless you are one the fervent PB12 lovers despising the Air).

    Back to topic: Removing the optical drive seems to be the only viable thing you can really do. The difference in weight of the hard drives should really be negligible. If you have two PB12s with the only difference being the hard drive and you can tell which one outweighs the other, you should get a life (bluntly put). ;)
     
  7. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #7
    Weight reduction?

    Strip the dash.

    Carbon fiber for the entire case.

    Don't forget stickers for the sides.
     
  8. RGunner macrumors 6502a

    RGunner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Midnight Sun
    #8
    If serious....

    Check out this... a pair of OCZ SSD's or Samsung SSD's would be neat!!



    http://store.mcetech.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=STORHDOPTIBAY


    * Note for 12-inch PowerBook G4 owners: MCE does not include an installation guide for the PowerBook G4 12-inch, and so highly recommends that your drive be professionally installed by a qualified technician. The installation of the MCE OptiBay Hard drive into the 12-inch PowerBook G4 involves the removal of some 40 plus screws and parts and is not for the faint of heart. Only an experienced technician should attempt this upgrade into the 12-inch PowerBook G4.


    The procedure to follow if you choose to have MCE perform the installation:
     
  9. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #9
    I agree with you about the 12" PB's solid build and great size.

    However, taking the optical drive out requires the MOST work on the machine you can imagine.

    You really have to take the WHOLE machine apart.

    Not like replacing the hard drive, which is relatively easy in comparision.

    Also, there is a risk of breaking some part -- I can't remember which -- with moving the optical drive.


    This difficulty factor is why I upgraded from the 1.5ghz COMBO drive PB 12" (which came with a 60 gig hard drive) to the 1.5ghz SUPERDRIVE model PB 12" that came with an 80 gig hard drive.

    I upgraded to the biggest pata 250 gig hd you can get for this.

    It only weighs 4.7 pounds, right?

    Most of this is the logic board and the topcase, In my opinioin.

    Maybe get a carbon fiber topcase? You'd save some weight?

    But really, it is a great machine. That optical drive swap is a real bitch and believe me, I've thought about upgrading to the dual layer one.
    Mine came with the UJ 845.
    P.S. I suppose you could save an ounce or three by putting in a solid state drive instead of the hard drive...
     
  10. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
  11. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    eh

    I can see replacing the optical drive with another hard drive. I can see that being pretty useful.

    And yes, I'd take that over an Air any day. The 12" PB can be used as your only machine, the Air, not so much.
     
  12. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #12
    You've done it? I'm impressed.

    Wish I had the guts to do it.
     
  13. AppliedMicro macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    #13
    Why not?

    Don't get me wrong... I have had a 12" PB and I liked it very much. Still, I wouldn't want this as my only machine. Single-Core PowerPCs don't quite cut it anymore. Not even for internet usage (Flash!). Also, the MacBook Air has got a 30% higher resolution. I'd definitely prefer it as my main machine.
     
  14. coupdetat thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #14
    Yikes! I didn't realize the optical drive was that big of a pain to remove. And yes, a half pound difference is noticeable when you carry it around campus all day.. plus, it would be a cool psychological difference to have a sub-4lb PB :)
     
  15. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #15
    I don't know how much an optical drive actually weighs.

    But you could also lose the battery and just plug it in?

    Try a SSD drive instead of hard drive?
     

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