How to Install RAM in a PowerBook G4

  Matt Cone       March 28, 2007      Tutorials Mac Hardware

Installing RAM into your PowerBook G4 is the easiest way to breathe new life into your aging portable. This inexpensive upgrade can be performed by anyone in a matter of minutes, and after you’re finished, your Mac will run like new!

Installing RAM in a PowerBook G4

RAM, or “Random Access Memory,” is a type of data storage used by your computer. RAM is a little like your hard disk drive, only there are no moving parts, and RAM is faster - a lot faster. Your Mac uses RAM to store information that needs to be accessed quickly and easily. Applications are usually loaded into your RAM, as are files you are working on. The more RAM you have installed in your Mac, the faster your Mac will run. You’ll be able to run more applications simultaneously, and your Mac won’t slow down after you’ve had it on for extended periods of time.

But is RAM really important? Why do people need it? When your Mac uses all the available RAM, it starts to put the information that was supposed to be stored in the RAM directly onto your hard disk drive. If that happens, you’re in for some serious waiting (not to mention hard drive-grinding noises). Your system will slow down, because the hard drive is much, much slower than RAM (RAM is like 100,000 times faster than a hard drive). This is called “swapping.”

So, the more RAM you have in your system, the faster it should be! That’s because the Mac won’t need to swap information, and that will make your system run better.

Before You Start: Things You Should Know

How to Install RAM into a PowerBook G4

  1. Flip your PowerBook over and set it down on a desk. You should be looking at the backside.

  2. Turn off and unplug your Powerbook. Take out its battery (this allows you to touch the innards of your Powerbook without being shocked). After you do this, it doesn’t hurt to push the power button couple times, either.

    Installing RAM in a PowerBook G4

  3. With the #0 Phillips Screwdriver ($4.36,, take out the four screws that are holding the cover of the memory slot.

    Installing RAM in a PowerBook G4

  4. Take off the cover.

    Installing RAM in a PowerBook G4

  5. Now you’re ready to install your memory module. Make sure the gold pins are facing down at a 30º angle, and make sure the pins are positioned correctly (i.e., line up the groves on the module with the groves on the slot).

    Installing RAM in a PowerBook G4

  6. Push the memory module down until the clips snap onto the module.

    Installing RAM in a PowerBook G4

  7. Now the only thing left is to put the cover back on again. Turn on your newly upgraded Mac and take it for a spin!

    Installing RAM in a PowerBook G4

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