The return of an old friend

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by MultiFinder17, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

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    #1
    Back when I was in college, my main computer was my beloved 12" PowerBook. It was the last revision with the 1.5GHz G4 and the scrolling trackpad. The little fella was an excellent laptop for my uses, and lasted me through all my years of engineering school until finally being replaced by an Air after I graduated. Alas, I needed the money more than I needed my PowerBook, so I sold it to the father of one of my friends.

    I recently found out that he found himself with a new computer, and I asked if he still had the PowerBook around. He did, he sent it back to me, and I just got it back today! It's certainly a bit worse for wear; it has a few nice dents that it didn't have before, but it still works like a little champ. It's good to have my trusty little PowerBook back in the fold!
     
  2. Mnowell69 macrumors regular

    Mnowell69

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    Bedford, UK
    #2
    the 12" powerbook was the first mac i ever owned, a little over 4 years ago and it was beautiful. Glad you found yours again
     
  3. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

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    #3
    I know the feeling well, see my thread here of almost identical title.
    Enjoy your old friend and the memories that accompany it.
     
  4. MultiFinder17, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015

    MultiFinder17 thread starter macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

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    #4
    I spent the better part of yesterday tearing the little fella down to give it some much-needed TLC. I banged out most of the dents and dings, and while I had it open, I installed a 64GB SSD. It's looking a fair bit better, and it's running much more smoothly with the SSD. I also ordered a new battery for it, as the original is finally on its last legs. Leopard finished freshly installing in the little guy, now to optimize it a bit.
     
  5. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #5
    I have the exact same machine and I love it. Great machine, size, and pretty quick too.
     
  6. MultiFinder17 thread starter macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

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    #6
    Boy, when it rains it pours! I just managed to lay my hands on a 15" 1.0GHz AlBook for the low price of free! The owner of the local computer shop that I used to work at keeps me in mind whenever old Apple stuff comes around, and someone dropped this off for recycling. It's in beautiful shape, and everything works great! I threw in the old 80GB HDD from the 12" into it and bumped the RAM up to 1.5GB, and it's running great :)
     
  7. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    Oct 21, 2015
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    #7
    I have a 12" PowerBook too. Seriously a brilliant machine except from the smelly keyboard :(
    That 's why most of the time I do prefer the 12" iBook-1.2 MHz (also equipped widh an SSD)
     
  8. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

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    Jan 12, 2015
    #8
    I still use my 12" powerbook all the time! I would be interested to hear about your experience with the new battery. I haven't had much luck with new batteries, so I recently put new cells in an old apple battery.
     
  9. MultiFinder17 thread starter macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

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    #9
    Just an update on the little guy! So far as the battery is concerned, I got a cheap $15 one off eBay, and it's been working amazingly well. I also performed a sizable upgrade with something from a black Friday deal - my little 12" AlBook is rocking a 256GB SSD now :D I've got partitions for Leopard, Tiger, and a general shared storage, and boy is it quick. It's been wonderful putting my little PowerBook back into productive service in my classroom.
     
  10. bobesch, Dec 5, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015

    bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    #10
    Congrats! And a good choice to take a large SSD and partition the disk before installation...
    You'll surely have fun every minute you use that nice little companion!

    When I updated my white iBookG4 I've been a bit of a novice about PPC/iBooks and took a 64GB-IDE from OWC. It's nearly full now (my fault - cramming all the stuff being able to run on Leopard/PPC plus software-archive onto it).
    For my Clamshell Graphite I've been wiser to take a 128GB mSata plus adapter (both much cheaper than the SSD from OWC) to hold my complete music-library. But I forgot to make partitions before installation. As far as I understand I cannot create partitions now without wiping out the whole disk...
    Are you using Tiger/Leopard for separate tasks?
    When I installed first Leopard, then Tiger on my sons iBookG4 800Mhz I was amazed (or disappointed) how much faster Tiger is compared to Leopard.
    With your kind hint about WebKit4Leopard-browser-upgrade (and some additional software I have and that doesn't run on Tiger) I don't want to miss the options Leopard does offer... But when I run a combination of a second iBookG4 1,2GHz at meetings (in combination with a beamer) I sometimes hold breath, when Office or a PPT-File takes a long while to appear on the screen. Maybe Tiger would be a good alternative concerning speed and performance.
    Would be also nice to run OS9 on another partition - always wanted to try that out, since I only used Windows machines until 2009.

    Have much fun!

    PS: did the PB accept the full size of the 256GB SSD or did you create separate partitions due to a limitation to 128GB?
     
  11. MultiFinder17 thread starter macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

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    #11
    It was fine with the 256, I just wanted to chunk it out to have a couple versions of OS X on there, and give me some wiggle room for the future.
     
  12. bobesch, Dec 9, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015

    bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    Oct 21, 2015
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    #12
    After reading your postings I finally couldn't resist the temptation to put an mSata-SSD into my PB-G4 too.
    Compared to the white iBookG4/1.2Ghz (and the Clamshell without any fans at all) the PB-G4/1.5Ghz behaves like a racing car - concerning to speed&sound of the fans...
    Cannot believe the PowerBook's processor runs into that high temperatures compared to the iBook.
    I wonder if it's just my machine (that I've got 2nd-hand) or if it's a general behavior of the PowerBook-G4...
    I'm a bit disappointed now, even if I could have known, since the PB was a bit like that before.
    (as I notice just in this moment: Spotlight is running in the background and the battery gets charged too. Hopefully everything is just related to this additional strain of the processor)
     
  13. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    Florida
    #13
    Spotlight Indexing uses a lot of CPU and RAM, just let it sit for a while and you'll be fine. If the fans still are racing after the Index is finished, I would repaste the CPU. I just repaseted my DLSD the other day and temps are a lot lower. I had previously repasted, but I knew I didn't too to well of a job, but now its nice and settling in around 40 degrees Celsius
     
  14. thescotsman4 macrumors member

    thescotsman4

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    Nov 11, 2015
    #14
    Very cool that you were able to get your old 12" PowerBook back! I snagged one on eBay earlier this week and I'm really looking forward to having a play with it. It's a 1.5GHz G4 as well, so I'll upgrade the RAM and install an mSata SSD later on.
     
  15. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    #15
    What about heat and fans in your device?
     
  16. thescotsman4 macrumors member

    thescotsman4

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    Nov 11, 2015
    #16
    It's due for delivery today, so hopefully tonight I can fire it up and test it out. The seller never mentioned anything about it running hot etc. I repasted my pre-unibody MBP during the summer and it brought temperatures down, I'm assuming I can replace the thermal pad on this PB and get the same results. I've heard the fans can get loud as well, is there a replacement/upgrade part?
     
  17. bobesch, Dec 10, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015

    bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    #17
    Huuh - repasting the processor is something I've never done before... Sounds like possibly putting everything into a mess.
    Running many tasks (Safari, email, Office, PDF etc.) causes the aluminium case to become really hot at the left upper edge close to the ac-adapter and the place, where the copper-tube of the heat-sink ends between "radiator grille" and the fan. That's the place, the heat-sink should deliver the heat coming from the processor, isn't it. It's not the thermal paste a presume/hope but just the fast working G4 processor. (Safari and everything else therefore is responding very quickly :) )
    And it's not a sound coming from a bad fan - the fan is just on high speed.
    When I place the PB onto an aluminium iLap laptop stand temperature better gets off the device and heat and fan are calming down)
    I've encountered the same havy working processor (constantly working at the upper limit on heavy load), after putting an SSD into my intel c2duo 2,4 MB2008.
    Therefore I sometimes use to put the whole device (i2duo) onto a huge flat frozen cool-pad (covered with a towel) when the MB is on special tasks like video/photo-editing etc.
    For the PB-G4 fast web-browsing with the latest webkit-build plus Acrobat/Office/email is certainly a kind of exaggering combination of tasks.
    Compared to the PB the white iBookG4 1,2GHz also fires up it's fan on heavy load, but not as often as the PB-G4 1,5GHz does, even if it's case is made of plastic which is a bad conductor for heat.
    (therefore some tasks, like e.g. writing this reply in webkit do work much more snappy on the PB compared to the iBook).
    I wonder how to underclock the PB's processor down to e.g. 1.2GHz...

    Hope your PB will be shipped in time and in a good shape!
    Cheers!
     
  18. MultiFinder17 thread starter macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

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    Tampa, Florida
    #18
    I haven't had any real heat issues with my little AlBook; I did repaste it when I got it back, simply because I figured that it had been a decade since it had been done so it was about time. I live in Florida, and have never noticed any real heat issues. The fan rarely comes on, and when it does, it's not that loud. enjoy your 12" PowerBook - they're one of the absolute nicest notebooks Apple has ever made :)
     
  19. thescotsman4 macrumors member

    thescotsman4

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    #19
    I'd suggest a fan controller to help with cooling the temps but it sounds like yours is already running at a higher RPM. Whenever the pre-unibody MBP gets a little warm I usually turn the fans up using smcFanControl, that would be worth downloading for your 2008 MacBook (I'm sure what to download for PowerPC).

    Thanks! It arrived at lunch but I'll have time later tonight to open and survey it!
     
  20. thescotsman4 macrumors member

    thescotsman4

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    Nov 11, 2015
    #20
    Did you have to use a shim whenever you pasted it? I know that people have had concerns about gaps since the processor design is different from say the MBP's that come pasted, instead of the thicker PowerPC pads, from the factory.

    Thanks! I'm looking forward to putting it to use for some light web browsing and music.
     
  21. MultiFinder17 thread starter macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

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    #21
    Nope, no shims. I just regooped over the CPU, and replaced the pad over the GPU area.
     
  22. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    Kiel, Germany
    #22
    "just regooped" sound about something I might be able too ;).
    Currently the fan runs on low speed but didn't stopped running the whole evening, when I was working on the PB (Safari/Mail/PDF-Viewer). Currently also feels a bit warmer at the bottom below the CPU compared to the upper left edge
    Hurray, time for Super-Goopy :)
     
  23. thescotsman4 macrumors member

    thescotsman4

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    Nov 11, 2015
    #23
    Ah good. I finally got the chance to play with the PowerBook tonight and it's great; such a cool form factor! I'll need to order a 1GB stick of RAM and an mSata SSD and while I'm installing those I'll do reapply the pastes/pads. I'll have to download a temperature monitor and see what it's running at.

    @bobesch I must have thrown you off with the "repasting" but regooping isn't terribly hard! iFixit have some great guides for taking Apple laptops apart. I used their guides to regoop a 2006 MacBook, 2009 MacBook and a 2008 pre-unibody MacBook Pro! They've got a great guide for the PowerBook as well: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/PowerBook+G4+Aluminum+12-Inch+1-1.5+GHz+Logic+Board+Replacement/553
     
  24. bobesch, Dec 11, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015

    bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #24
    Today I ran both 12" G4-books side by side:
    - iBookG4 1,2GHz, 1,5GB RAM, OWC IDE-SSD
    - PowerBook 1,5GHz, 1,25GB RAM, mSATA-SSD with IDE-adapter.

    When booting up the PB was about 8sec faster than the iBook.
    Starting Office-Word-2004 there was only less than a second of difference.
    WebKit runs much smoother on the PB.
    But temperatur and fan made a uge difference:

    Setting:
    Opened Apps: WebKit (idle), Temperatur-Monitor, Text-Editor (only on the iBook).
    Location: iBook just on the table, PB sitting on the iLeap alu-stand for better cooling

    Here my results:
    iBook: G4 (45°C) / Graphic-Proc (46°C) / no fan activity
    PB: G4 (68°C) / Graphic-Proc (58°C) / fan on high speed :(

    Uups, I really need to fix the thermal-paste/pad to calm that little red hot down.
    In the meantime the PB will take a rest in the drawer 'cause I don't want to ruin the fan.

    Thanks folks for your advise!!! I've really learned a lot by these discussions here on Mac Rumors... :)
    Can you recall what results you did get before/after regooping?

    ---
    I wonder if I could use a 1 mm copper-plate for the GPU, attached with thermal paste on both sides?
    In the comments about thermal paste at fixit (https://de.ifixit.com/Answers/View/27217/Thermal+Pads+vs+Arctic+Silver) pauldoyle98 described this workaround to bridge a 1mm GAP between GPU and heatsink:
    " I could see that the AS5 wasn't enough to bridge the ~1mm gap between the top of the GPU and the copper heat sink surface, so I improvised: I made a heat-conducting shim.
    Using a sharp knife, I cut a nice, smooth, flat 3/8" x 7/16" rectangular piece of aluminum off a thick foil casserole baking pan (about 1mm thick) that I had lying around. I cleaned both sides of the the shim with 91% isopropyl alcohol, applied thin, even films of Arctic Silver 5 to it and the heat sink ("staining" it), and to the top surfaces of the GPU & CPU. I reassembled my notebook, powered it on, and I'm good to go. (pauldoyle98)"
    That seems to be a clever idea since a copper shim is same price or cheaper as the thermal pad and will lead to a full-metal bridge between GPU and heat-sink. Still have to think about the graphic-card components. they are too small and paste&copper-shim might might be a little bit of a hassle ...
    ArcticSilver Ceramic 2 seems to be good choice for regooping, since it is neither electrically conductive nor capacitive (just in case I'll mess around...)
     
  25. bobesch, Dec 20, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015

    bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    #25
    Hi there,
    'regoofing' (I really like this word...:)) unfortunately didn't turn out as easy as expected, since the soldering of one of the screws that press the heatsink against the processor turned out to be broken off the logic-board.
    I guess that it can be re-soldered with just little effort by someone who's got experience in soldering, but unfortunately is not me. I'm really glad my neighbor is the man of the hour and has a lot of electronic skills! But this will give the little project a little bit of delay.
    Time enough to think about how to proceed with the thermal pads for the GPU and the onboard graphic-chips ... The pads I've ordered are too small but could be fitted in a patchwork kind of way. I don't know, if this will inflict the way of heat conduction. I guess, using them is better than reusing those pads which are in place just now.
    The temperature of the GPU had been >10° below the temperature of CPU and I wonder how much heat does comes from the GPU?
    Here's a picture of that screw with broken soldering and another picture of the "dark side" of the heatsink, since there's no picture of it on iFixit and their guide for replacing thermal-paste shows another type of processor.
    The size of the two thermal-pads:
    - GPU 3,0 x 3,5 cm;
    - on-board graphic-chips: 2,5 x3,0 cm
    (For detachment of the Macs I use a bunch of dessert bowl that can be piled one over another and I use to "prick" some of the screws into litte pieces of paper, which allow me to make notes about the fixit-step-#, location, color-mark and more. Currently I've fixed the screws with sticky-tape and put them separately into zipper-bags for "long-time" archiving.)

    Regoofing PowerBookG4.jpeg PowerBookG4 Heatsink.jpg
    I also think about the way how to put Arctic Ceramique onto the CPU (spreaded/central drop/ horizontal line). I guess I'm gonna apply a central drop. There's a kind of a frame of thermal stuff (differs from the actual thermal paste) on the heat-sink that will set borders to all four edges. I'm gonna leave this in place because I think it doesn't seem to be critical for conducting heat.
    Maybe I will go for larger patches of thermal pads. (the idea of using a thin copperplate with thermal paste on both sides instead of the thermal pad(s) turned out the be a bit impractical after all)

    If anything ought to be taken into account I'd be grateful for help.
     

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