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I was not sure if the Powerbook laptops accepted SATA drives, am I able to use a SATA SSD on the Mac Powerbook G4?

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Those who downvoted this are encouraged to leave a comment as to why they did. – Simon Sheehan Sep 1 '11 at 19:49
Wikipedia article has a nice clear chart that shows hardware specs for powerbook g4, says what drives are compatible: – MaQleod Sep 1 '11 at 20:01
The question is valid due to the appeal of the Powerbook's keyboard form factor over the modern ones. I've had many people ask me about salvaging their Powerbooks due to this, so I'm interested in seeing what the ceiling for upgrading them is. – mt3 Sep 1 '11 at 20:02
Roll back to your original question asking if the G4 can be upgraded to an SSD. The question doesn't work / is partially a statement now. – Dustin G. Sep 1 '11 at 20:05
Valid or not, some info on the exact model in question would have been nice, as well as some info on what you've already considered/tried. That'd be my guess as to the down-votes. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 1 '11 at 20:06

I have just installed a SATA SSD in my 2005 PowerBook G4 17" 1.67GHz running 10.5 Leopard. It is not straightforward swap because you need an adapter which will not fit in the drive bay with a conventional 2.5" laptop drive. mSATA SSdrives are now available and they are tiny. BUT they have a different physical interface to regular SATA - much smaller.

I used an mSATA SSD with an mSATA to SATA converter board and a SATA to IDE converter. I had to cut down the mSATA board so it would fit in the bay - possible because some of the wafer had no circuitry.

The drive was recognized by Disk Utility and I was able to format it APM HFS+ Journaled.

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That looks like a lot of work for a nearly decade old system - and curiously interesting. Some pictures might turn this answer into something epic - heck, I'd even bounty that. I'm curious, I want to see the goods! – Journeyman Geek Jan 16 '14 at 1:02

Powerbook G4's did not support SATA. They used ATA (IDE) drives. The only way to use a SATA drive with it would be to put it in a USB enclosure, or to find an ATA/PATA compatible SSD. Other than that, you would need to get a MacBook to start using SATA.

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... or buy a PATA compatible SSD? – slhck Sep 1 '11 at 19:52
@slhck I didn't think it existed! Added to my answer – Simon Sheehan Sep 1 '11 at 19:53

There are IDE SSDs, therefore you can upgrade your Powerbook G4.

Keep in mind you will get nowhere near the speed of an SSD using SATA.

32GB IDE SSD on Amazon
128GB IDE SSD on Amazon - this one is $370, I would start looking at a new / used macbook

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But these would still be a significant improvement over the 5400 rpm drives? – mt3 Sep 1 '11 at 19:58
2-3x the speed... they would saturate the PATA bus. A 5400 RPM drive at PowerBook G4 vintage would be 40-50 MB/s, the PATA bus on his notebook theoretically goes up to 133 MB/s, so there would be a significant benefit. – Dustin G. Sep 1 '11 at 20:02

I'm pretty sure all PowerBook G4's were PATA (Ultra 100 and 133).

This doesn't prevent you from getting and SSD, as there are PATA SSD drives out there, but they're getting harder and harder to find.

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