Would it be worth to upgrade from the 800 Mhz to the 1 Ghz?

This ibook g4 12" 800 Mhz laptop was given to me for free. And I was wonderning if I could upgrade to the 1 Ghz? What exacly would I have to do to upgrade? The program that I run Cubase 4(audio production), the minimum requirements is an ibook g4 with a 1 Ghz processor, and 1 GB of ram. If I could upgrade to the 1 Ghz then I could record bands mobile. I do not have the money to buy a macbook or anything, I just have the money to upgrade the ibook that was given to me. Please help.

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Please see my answer below for a piece-by-piece analysis.


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Everything is different between the iBook G4 800Mhz 12" and the 1.33Ghz 12": Metal frame, modem, top case (trackpad and trackpad connector), upper metal shield, inverter cable, LVDS cable, airport cable, reed switch board, airport card, hard disk connector and bracket, optical drive ribbon cable, ram shield.

So no you cannot swap the two boards.


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Hah, yeah, I was forgetting the 35 other items that won't cross over. The best way to upgrade to a 1.33GHZ is to buy a 1.33GHZ.

The 12" display is swappable but you have to replace the internal cabling. You can also swap the optical drive, the hard disk, the bottom case, the bottom metal shield, the DC in board, the sleep light.


Here's a complete (to my knowledge) breakdown from incompatible 800 MHz to 1 GHz:

  • fan: different connector orientation and cable length. You would need the 1 GHz fan
  • heatsink: different shape. You would need the 1 GHz heat sink
  • modem: different connector. You would need the 1 GHz modem
  • frame: extra screw hole in fan area. You would need the 1 GHz frame

Parts that have different part numbers but I've found to be compatible are as follows:

  • upper case
  • top shield
  • dc-in board

Now for the 1.2 GHz:

  • Upper case: has different connectors. You would need the 1.2 GHz upper case
  • modem: different modem entirely. You would need the 1.2 GHz modem
  • frame: "bump" to accommodate optical cable. You would need the 1.2 GHz frame
  • Fan: cut out of top right screw bracket. You would need the 1.2/1.33 GHz fan
  • optical cable bracket: more gradual bend in the bracket. You would need the 1.2/1.33 GHz bracket
  • optical cable: completely different. You would need the 1.2/1.33 GHz cable

Parts that have different part numbers but I've found to be compatible are as follows:

  • top shield
  • keyboard
  • heatsink
  • dc-in board

The 1.33 has even MORE incompatible parts, so no, we can't go back to discussing whether or not you can upgrade to that.

Does this help?


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I believe it would physically fit in the case, but one thing to think about is that the A1133 1.33GHZ board has an internal Airport Extreme wireless card, i.e. it's different than the standard user-replaceable wireless card that your 800MHZ machine has. The internal Airport Extreme on the 1.33MHZ model has two connectors (like a MacBook's wireless) instead of the single connector of the standard Airport Extreme card. And the plug that connects the card to the motherboard is totally different, so you can't re-use your older Airport Extreme on this board. Therefore, if you want to have wireless, you'd also have to replace/upgrade the wireless antenna cabling inside your existing screen enclosure, which means you'd have to remove the screen and hinge, and mess with the cabling inside the hinge, which is not fun. Plus, lots of people who sell the 1.33GHZ board do not include the special internal Airport Extreme it requires, so that's something you'd have to make sure to get. And the custom screen cabling as well.

My two cents is that it's not worth it, unless, of course, you're doing this just for fun. The only practical scenario in which this would even be close to worthwhile is if your 800MHZ is fried, and a free 1.33GHZ board just fell into your lap. Otherwise, it's a ton of work with a lot of risk for not much gain, and you'd probably be spending $200 which should really be put toward a MacBook.


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Well, people see the light.

Notebooks / laptops are generally not upgradeable - maybe RAM and Diskspace ...... that is why years ago I did not have one.

Ahh the Champagne is working - its apples (not oranges) so you could not mix and match the components as we did in the PC world for years.

my bad

I think with enough champagne, any laptop upgrade becomes possible! :-)

no, only imaginable - reality bites!

No, not upgradable at all!

(If you ignore the hard drive, RAM, optical drive, the addition of airport, bluetooth etc, battery life, repair of case components, feet, keyboard and so on.)


Since you're considering this so that you can run Cubase, you might want to find out if 1GHZ is absolutely required, or just a recommended specification. Have you tried installing and running Cubase on the 800MHZ machine? It may be that it does work on 800MHZ, just slightly slower, and who knows, you may find the speed acceptable. A 1GHZ G4 is really not substantially faster than an 800MHZ G4, and maxing out the RAM and making sure you're running Tiger instead of Leopard (Tiger is more resource efficient) would probably give at least an equivalent boost.

Again, although most of the parts match and it is possible, I'd just hesitate to recommend it due to the cost and effort involved. But if you've done this kind of thing before, can get a 1GHZ board cheap, and 1GHZ really is the magic number that makes Cubase work, then hey, go for it!


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