What can I do to speed up my old iBook? More RAM?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by joefinan, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. joefinan macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK
    I simply can't afford a new Macbook and my old iBook G4 is getting very sluggish. I've cleared off a load of files onto an external drive but is there anything else I can do?

    I'm currently running OS 10.5 and was wondering if I can put more than 768MB RAM in it. My friend has an old, broken PowerBook G4 with 2GB - can I use that RAM?

    Any help, ideas or suggestions appreciated.

    Also, why is the Model Identifier "PowerBook6,5" when I have an iBook??

    Attached Files:

  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    I don't think that you can use the RAM from your friend's broken PowerBook, but if he's willing to part with it, I'll pay shipping!

    Yeah, you could conceivably get more RAM for that, but Leopard won't be a speedster. I'm not saying upgrade, as your laptop is still powerful enough for a while; if your specs had been in the megahertz, I'd have said to upgrade.

    Do what you feel is right. Of note, the refurbished, last rev MacBooks will be cheaper now that there's another generation out there, and they're powerful enough to do anything that iBook can do without breaking a sweat.

    Edit: MacTracker says that the 12-inch PowerBooks used the same RAM as your iBook. If he has one of those, try it. Again, if it's any size and he wouldn't care to part with it, tell me!
  3. MacDann macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2007
    Can see the end of the Earth from here
    More RAM would definitely help, although you are going to reach a point where you're not going to get any more performance out of the machine.

    You might also consider a faster hard drive, but again, I suspect the increase in performance will be negligible...

  4. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    256MB of your iBook's RAM is soldered onto the logic board and there's only one RAM slot.

    You should be able to use one of his 1GB RAM chips to give you 1.25GB.
  5. Nukemkb macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2006
    Columbia, SC
    Bumping your RAM will surprise you with how well it runs. Going over 1 gig seems to be key to a faster/smoother use (note that I am running Tiger though)
  6. iMpathetic macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    I am in your same situation. I have a 1.33GHz 12" iBook G4 with 1GB RAM, running Leopard 10.5.2. It runs as slow as molasses in Antarctica. I think the problem might be the pathetic hard drive. It's a 4200RPM disk, with perhaps 4MB of cache.

    If you could muster enough courage to open your iBook up and replace the hard drive with a newer, 7200RPM unit, you'll see a huge increase in snappiness.

    For more, see my thread on the same subject, kinda, here.
  7. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    I'd go back to Tiger or Panther. The newer the OS you use, the more resources it will demand to run as well as the prior OS.
  8. Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    Because your machine is older I would downgrade from OS X and upgrade your RAM. You can still do everything you need to with your machine being faster. Also, make sure you have ample HD space as it's needed for your machine to run smoothly.
  9. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    My old iBook G4 is the 1.0 GHz one with 768 Megs and it was just fine.

    Maybe in your case, you can try a totally clean install to see if that fixes things. Also, make sure your on 10.5.2 WITH the Leopard Graphics update.

    See how that goes before going out to spend any money. The next thing to try after this is a RAM upgrade.
  10. The Flan Bandit macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2007
    This has sort of been discussed here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=334908&highlight=iBook+fast

    I think the specs are different.

    I have a similar iBook:
    PowerPC G4 @ 1.42Ghz

    I upgraded my RAM to the maximum and ran (and continue to run) Onyx and those things have helped quite a bit. There's also a program called ATIcellerator that I use; it might give you a tiny speed bump if it's compatible with your system, though I think for me it's mostly a placebo effect. Anyway, try some of the suggestions the guy in that post makes. I did notice some improvement, especially with the 1.5 GB of RAM.

    Also, I agree that Leopard won't make your computer run faster. I like it a lot, but overall things are just a tad more sluggish than they were in Tiger.

    Good luck and Godspeed.
  11. bstreiff macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2008
    Austin, TX, USA
    The model identifiers for all machines from that era were PowerBookX,Y (for laptops; both the PowerBooks and the iBooks) or PowerMacX,Y (for desktops; the iMacs, the Cube, even the PPC Mac mini.)

    It wasn't until everything went Intel that we saw more 'descriptive' prefixes (MacBook, MacBookPro, Macmini, MacBookAir, iMac).
  12. joefinan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK
    I can't downgrade my OS as I need the higher OS and iTunes for my iPhone (although I did jump from 10.3 - 10.5, perhaps I can go back to 10.4 - although that is a waste of £80 for 10.5).
  13. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    You don't need 10.5 for iTunes/iPhone support; 10.4. and 10.3 both work.

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