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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

PowerBook - upgrade logic board?


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splat

 
Member Since: Apr 25, 2007
Location: Baltimore, MD
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Mac Specs: powerbook 12" Aluminum 867mhz

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I purchased a used g4 powerbook 12" 867mhz last summer, and the only thing keeping me from using it more often is it's lack of speed. I upgraded the hdd to a 5400rpm drive and the ram is maxed at 640mb (max as far as I know). I noticed there are some places selling new (used) logic boards online, and I was thinking it might be worth it to simply swap in a new logic board instead of buying a whole new laptop.

I noticed one site said that the 1ghz logic board will work in place of the 867mhz, while the 1.33ghz and 1.5ghz won't work, but the 1.33 and 1.5 could swap with each other. Other sites only say that they can be replaced with the same logic board. After looking at all of the pictures I can find, I can see no significant difference in the layout of each board that would keep me from being able to upgrade to a 1.5ghz board. I do see that the "rib frame" for each model of the 12" pb has minor differences, but nothing looks like it would cause a problem.

So my question is: is there a specific reason that I would not be able to drop a 1.5ghz 12" pb logic board into my 867mhz case? Has anyone tried this before?

Thanks.
bryphotoguy

 
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I can't say for sure but I think they Powerbooks switched case styles between the early G4's and later. Your best bet, if no one has tried this, is to go to ifixit.com and give it look. It's a site devoted to fixing Mac laptops and iPods yourself. If gives step by step breakdown, even proper screw placement. I think they sell piece you could need there to, so you may be able to search the site, say 12" G4 Powerbook and come up with the fastest logicboard for your laptop. Their prices are high, but get the model or speed of the logicboard and find it on eBay. That's how I picked up a superdrive for my iBook. It sells for $200 on there. I took the part# to eBay and picked one up for $60.
As for easier fixes, your laptop can actually support a 1GB stick. Apple says it supports only the 640 or something because they did not have a 1GB stick available when the laptop was out. It does actually work. A 7200RPM drive would help a ton as well. It's sounds minor but makes a pretty decent difference.
Hope this helps. PM me if you need more assistance or just ask here I guess. I haven't upgraded G4 Powebooks but tinkered under the hood of a half dozen G3 Pwerbooks, G3 iBooks and soon my first G4 iBook.
Bryan


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technologist

 
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Mac Specs: 12" Apple PowerBook G4 (1.5GHz)

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I don't know if it would work or not, but where are you planning to get the faster motherboard?

Are you sure that getting a new board, and all new memory (the faster PBs use faster memory) wouldn't cost more than just selling your PowerBook and buying one of the faster ones?
splat

 
Member Since: Apr 25, 2007
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Mac Specs: powerbook 12" Aluminum 867mhz

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I was looking in to possibly selling this powerbook and buying a new one, but then I saw these logic boards for sale. There are a few sites that sell them, macrecycling.com, ifixit.com, powerbooktech.com, and welovemacs.com are all that I found. And as I said, from the pictures on the sites, the boards only appear to have minor cosmetic differences. The 1.5ghz and 1.33ghz appear to use pc2700 ram while the 867mhz and 1ghz use pc2100. Judging from my experience with desktop machines, the pc2100 ram stick i have now should work in the 1.33ghz or 1.5ghz, but it would slow the onboard ram down to match the pc2100 speed...if i wanted to go that route.

For the 1.5ghz board on ifixit.com, it says: This part will NOT work as an upgrade for an 867 MHz, 1, or 1.33 GHz 12" Aluminum.

for the 1ghz board on powerbooktech.com it says: This logic board works in the 867MHZ and 1GHz Aluminum G4 12" PowerBooks.

If I had to buy the new logic board from iFixit.com, it wouldn't really be worth it since they cost more than I paid for the laptop to begin with. But if I can find a logic board cheaper, it might be worth it if it is possible to make the switch.
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eBay I assume will be the cheapest route. If they say it works, then it has to. Or you should be able to get a refund. A lot of people offer DOA guarantees.
Bryan
How much are you looking to spend? And why the Powerbook over the iBook? If you choosing price over power, iBook would be the cheaper way to go. You should be able to get more bang for your buck.


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splat

 
Member Since: Apr 25, 2007
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Mac Specs: powerbook 12" Aluminum 867mhz

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ideally, I'm looking to spend $0. Realisticly, I'd like it to be less than $300. I think if I'd have to spend over $300, it wouldn't really be worth it...and definitely if I'd have to spend $500 or more it wouldn't be worth it. And why the powerbook over the iBook - because I have the powerbook sitting at home right now.

I take it no one has actually tried this before so they can't say whether it works or not from first hand experience?
bryphotoguy

 
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You can research sold listings on eBay. Check and see how much a Powerbook like yours has sold for. Add that to the $300 you have to spend and find something in that price range. I assume you could sell it around $400 or a little more. And with $700 you should be able to easily pick up a iBook G4 1.2GHz or so for that price. A 1.42GHz just sold on the board here for $600 something. I picked up a 1.2GHz for $400. It needs some work though, luckily I don't have to dump money into it.
Bryan

Or save $50 a month if possible and do the above but you've enough money for a new Macbook.


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simonhead666

 
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the 867 is VGA and the 1gig-1.5gigs are DVI,
therefore the bottom tray is different on the left side..(external monitor connection)
the display has a different pin configuration to the top side of the logic board.. you could fix this by dismantling the display.. but that is a really tricky thing to do by yourself with out the right tools. It's not worth it, I learnt the hard way!!

I am posting fall of 2008, so you could pick up a 1.5 gig 12" G4 for $500 working.. this would be the route to go

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