Repair and upgrade a Powerbook G4 1.67 17"

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by WedgeH, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. WedgeH macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2014
    Hello guys,

    Short story, my girlfriend bought this Powerbook back in 2006 in France. She later dropped it for a newer model because the motherboard(logicboard?) died.

    The thing is, I'll be travelling for a few months and my big ass desk computer won't do. But I'll need a computer to process images (via Adobe Lightroom) and do some video editing (via Premiere).

    So considering my need, I thought it was a good idea to repair and upgrade her Powerbook. It's the last one, 17"DLSD/HR - Al.

    I came around the fact that I need to :

    *Change the logicboard
    *buy some RAM (2x1GB)
    *Change the Hard Drive
    *Buy a External Fire Port Hard Drive to stock photos

    My questions are :
    1) Should I invest in a SSD Hard Drive ? Wich one do you recommand ?
    2) How much the logicboard is going to cost me ?
    3) What other things can I change to make it faster ?

    Thanks a lot, I can't wait to start working on this little guy.


    PS: Pardon my french.
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    A few things. I'm not so sure you can run Lightroom (is that an app or a website). I've heard of it, but I don't use it.

    You'll need a version of Premiere that will work on PowerPC.

    Now, that said if you are aware of the limitations and are working inside of them you should be ok.

    1. SSD. There are PATA SSDs, but they are rare and generally low capacity. If you get a SATA SSD, you'll need an SSD that can fit in the drive bay with a SATA/PATA adapter.

    2. I would not pay more than $50 for a logicboard for the A1139 (your model).

    3. Hardware wise not much other than ram and a fast hard drive.
  3. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    No more than 50 bones for the Logic Board. Skip the idea for an SSD and get a good 5400 RPM or 7200 RPM hard drive. Max the RAM at 2 GB. Simply the best options...
  4. WedgeH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2014
    After your comment I looked a bit for compatibility with Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Premiere.
    And it seems that I'll be stuck with Tiger since Leopard won't run Premiere without a Intel CPU.

    I'll look for a SATA SSD+adapter combo or a 5400 RPM / 7200 RPM HDD.

    Thank you for your help. I'll keep you updated.

  5. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    I'm all about PowerPC Macs, but I'll also be honest when needed. Don't do it. It is a waste of money and effort on a machine that will not perform up to your needs. You're really rolling the dice on finding a good logicboard that hasn't been damaged and will all function properly when installed. You're also limiting yourself to CS4 for Photoshop and Lightroom and Premiere will leave you clear back at CS2 I believe. This really just isn't the right machine for you. You can find yourself a nice MacBook or MacBook Pro for a lot less than it would cost you to rebuild this machine.
  6. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    It is possible to get a SSD, but the benefits aren't nearly as noticeable on an IDE connection because you will be limited to 133 Mb/s. It will typically draw less power and generate less heat though, so battery life may be a little better. I use a 32 GB Transcend SSD in my PowerBook.
  7. WedgeH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2014
    Thank you for your help.

    I'll start with the logicboard, and see if the whole thing is working.
    If it's the case i'll go for the ram and maybe keep the existing 120Go.
    A good external drive should be enough for videos and photos.

    The big problem will be comptability with Adobe Softwares. So I'll make sure that everything is working fine before investing in a bigger or faster Hard Drive.
  8. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    It is a good machine, don't get me wrong. But if you are expecting huge photos on this thing it may be underpowered.
  9. hamis92 macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2007
    Lightroom 2 will definitely run on G4 and Tiger. Later versions require an Intel processor and Leopard. However, at least in my opinion version 2 is still very capable in doing everything, as long as the RAW files produced by your camera are compatible.

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