For awhile now, I have been debating on getting a PowerPC G4 upgrade for my PowerMac G3 B&W, but I either couldn’t find it or they were too expensive. Since I kind of wanted a portable PowerPC Macintosh to run my older games. While I saw the unsupported Mac OS 9 boot hack, I wanted something that worked, so I decided on the iBook G3 that I picked up for $22 on eBay plus a power adapter for it, which is about $8.
Of course, I took a chance and apparently, it had a bad GPU due to flexing, which in turn causes the GPU to become loose. Also, it had a bad Firewire bus. With that, I eventually had to get a replacement logic board. While I could put any logic board since they are compatible, but I decided to replace it with the same one. To prevent it, do not lift the laptop with one hand. Use both hands. Also, a cooling mat will help too, especially if you plan to do some graphic intensive gaming.
As expected, taking part the iBook G3 is no easy task since you have to take off the bottom cover, the top cover, shields and other components. To me, this is worse than installing a new hard drive on the original Macbook Pros before Apple switched to the Unibody construction, which is a lot easier to upgrade.
Although I had a hard time installing the logic board due to the IO shield screw being stuck, I managed to get it through with two minor damages with two clips coming off. It shouldn’t be a big deal since it’s hold into place by extra screws. I also replace the HD with an 80GB hard drive, even though it’s hold in by only two screws since I couldn’t take off the other two due to having a cheap Torx 8 screw driver. Since it’s going to be on a flat surface most of the time, it’s not a big deal.
End result? The computer runs perfectly and the battery still has some capacity.
Overall, the iBook G3 runs a bit faster than my PowerMac G3, even if I under clocked the GPU by 10% to make it run cooler and reduce the chances of GPU failure. It gets a 139 in OpenMark and 14.46 in XBench, a bit faster than the PowerMac G3 B&W (17.3% faster even if the GPU is underclocked) due to having a better PowerPC G3 CPU and the GPU using AGP 2x opposed to PCI.Both approximately have the same GPU (a Radeon Mobility is basically a mobile version of the ATI Radeon 7000). Also, TenFourFox runs pretty fast despite the machine only having 256 MB.
Future Upgrades? I will probably max out the RAM and install an MSATA SSD with an 2.5 ATA adapter since SSDs are readily available compared to PATA 2.5 Hard Drives. While there won’t be TRIM support due to it being an old operating system, Garbage Collection should be good enough.For now, I have to get some stick on rubber feet/bumpers, since it’s missing them.