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Ask Max: My little, used PowerBook is maxed out. Or is it?

Asked on 08/03/2010:

I have an old 12 inch 1.33GHz PowerBook with maxed out 1.25GB ram and a 5400rpm 80GB hard drive. I love this thing as it was the first computer I bought and cant fathom selling it (especially since it runs OS 9 baby! BAM!), but it is showing its age.

I'm wondering what I can do to increase it's power to at least watch YouTube videos or video podcasts without jittery playback. Right now I simply use it for email, project timing and anything non video related (iCal, iTunes, web articles, etc), which it does fine (also a great companion on road trips) but would like to increase it's usefulness with better video and Flash performance.

Would it be worth it to upgrade the HD to a SSD? Is there a way to upgrade the graphics card? Anything else I might want to try? Any help is greatly appreciated.


- Tyler


Used PowerBookThe only thing left for you to do to that little well-used Mac would be upgrade the hard drive to a faster unit, but even that will not change your Flash video playback performance.

To get a performance upgrade for YouTube, you are going to have to move to an Intel Mac. That does not mean you need to retire your PowerBook, but it is doing all that it can now.

- Jacob

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