Laptop case compatibility
July 16, 2009 7:11 PM   Subscribe

Will the lower exterior case and optical drive from a mac powerbook G4 12inch 867 MHz be compatible with a mac powerbook G4 12inch 1.5Ghz?

My powerbook G4 12inch aluminum 1.5Ghz has some issues. It is going to need a new optical drive and lower exterior case and power adapter (looooong story). Costs a lot to get the replacement parts individually. I found someone nearby offering a powerbook g4 12inch aluminum 867MHz for cheaper than ordering individual pieces would be. Before I go rearranging my schedule to see it, I'm wondering if the case and optical drive are compatible?
posted by silkygreenbelly to Technology (4 answers total)
Optical drive probably, case, not sure. If no one answers tonight I will check the pull-a-parts tomorrow.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:19 PM on July 16, 2009

Weren't the 867MHz models VGA-only, and the higher speed ones DVI-only? This site has them as 2 different part #'s (VGA, DVI), presumably with different cut-outs for the video socket.
posted by Pinback at 9:11 PM on July 16, 2009

Optical drive yes

Here is the DIY service guide for the 867.

Here is the guide for the 1.5.

They don't look drastically different from the outside, but the fact that iFixit felt they needed to make two distinct guides for the machines, means that there may be some significant divergence, especially if you are removing the very bottom case. That is held on with thermal paste, so you will need a heat gun or a very hot hair dryer to loosen it before you will be able to separate it from the the logic board. I know seasoned Apple Service techs who loath working on 12" G4s (and the 12" powerbooks), something around 50 screws just to get to the hard drive.

On the plus side, the new 13" MacBookPro is only $1199.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:15 PM on July 16, 2009

I checked and they list four separate bottom cases with different Apple part numbers for the 12" PowerBook: 1.5GHz, 1.33GHz, DVI, and just 12" PowerBook (believe it's the VGA only that Pinback mentioned). I can't tell from the pictures but presumably there are differences or they would have the same part numbers and wouldn't be listing them separately. Whether those differences are significant enough to make the 867MHz bottom case a no-go, I don't know.

It's $129 for the 1.5GHz bottom case there, btw. I have no idea if that's a reputable place but I personally don't think the PowerBooks are worth putting much money into these days, especially since MacBooks are dropping below $500 now on Craigslist, at least near me. Unless you need to run Mac OS programs in Classic on a non-Intel machine.
posted by 6550 at 11:02 PM on July 16, 2009

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