To upgrade my powerbook or not? Decision time...

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Smileyguy, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. Smileyguy macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2004
    Hi everyone,

    I have a big decision (well, big in computer terms anyway, nothing really serious) to make. About a year ago, I bought a secondhand 12' Powerbook (1.33Ghz, 768mb RAM) from a at a good price (€550) from a member of this forum, who was very helpful and sincere.

    As happens with computers that are four years old, a few things have started to go wrong now, and I now have to decide whether it's worth upgrading (In reality, I may not have a choice, as I don't think I can afford a new machine, even a refurb or secondhand).

    If I decide to upgrade, here's what needs to be done:

    1) A need a new disc drive. I've managed to get one for about €25, and I'll try (or risk, rather) the installation myself.
    2) I need a new Airport Card, at least I think I do, because it's been dead for a while and fiddling around with it hasn't been able to get it working. I might be able to get this cheaper, but the Apple store lists an Airport Extreme Card at €50.
    3) I need a new battery. The Apple Store lists them at €130, whereas there's compatible ones on eBay for about €50. I'd probably go for the cheaper one for now.

    That's all the essential stuff, but there are few extras I think I need to keep the machine running efficiently.

    1) I have 768of ram, but could do with more as I tend to run a lot of apps. Upgrading to 1.25gb will cost €70.
    2) I'm still running 10.3, but I'm starting to notice a lot of apps require 10.4. I'm not sure whether to upgrade to leopard or just to tiger (cheaper), so the cost will be between €50 - €130.
    3) I'm going to need for hard drive space very soon. I've done little research on this, but I did see a 2.5 160GB hard drive advertised for €140, so I'll use that as an estimate. I can fit it internally at the same time that I'm installing the CD-RW drive.

    Okay, so the total varies between €380 - €540, depending on whether I opt for the cheaper optios when it comes to the operating system and battery. More likely I'll go the cheaper route.

    So, my question is obviously: Is it worth doing? By 'worth doing', I mean, will it last for another 2 years?

    Obviously, that depends on what I use the machine for. I'm a journalist, so word processing is a given, and I also use the internet fairly intensively. When I'm working, I'll tend to have Mail, Adium and iTunes open too. I use Quark XPress regularly enough too, and Photoshop too.

    My main concern is that I'm starting to get more interested in film and playing around a little with video editing now too. This is probably something that will grow over the coming few years, and I want my machine to be able to handle it.

    The reality now is that I can't really afford a new machine, or a used or refurb one. If I decide that this machine has reached the end of it's life, I'll probably make minimal essential upgrades (disc drive only perhaps) and wait 8-12 months before I can afford to buy a new machine.

    Ideally, I'd like to just go out and get the upgrades done, but if it's not going to last a couple of years I won't bother.

    Keep in mind, if I do upgrade the laptop I won't necessarily want to upgrade software much over the remained of its lifespan. Once I have Tiger or Leopard I'll be more than happy to run the equivalent level of third party apps for the next couple of years, I've never really felt the pressure to upgrade everything all the time, mainly because I can't afford it.

    Sorry for the long-windedness, any advice would be really appreciated..

  2. Reflow macrumors 68000


    Mar 30, 2005
    Well I have the next model up. So if your really handy you can do most repairs yourself. So if you plan on replacing the cd drive you mind as well replace the HDD since you need to almost remove everything in the machine. As for price it really up to you and how you want to handle this. Granted there are cheaper ways of upgrading like eBay or second hand shops. As for the machine you have I as in the same boat then I bought a bronze G3 laptop. I upgraded the hell out of it and in the out come later it was I really over spent my funds. But keep in mind there are a lot of online instructions on disassembly on that model. My word of advice would get an ice cube tray and label what size screws if you do remove on the repair work. This way you know what screws are what.
  3. Smileyguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2004
    Thanks for the help and advice, it's really appreciated.

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