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Is it possible? MacBook/17" PowerBook hybridization


Well-known member
I have a MacBook and a 17" powerbook in various states of disrepair, and before I try to hack them together, I would like to know if the screen for the powerbook would work on the macbook, or if it would just short out the video connector if i tried to make it work. I think it is impossible, but it would be really cool, so I just figured I'd ask.



LC Doctor/Hot Rodder
I wouldn't even be game to try - LCD panels are only designed for use with a specific controller, built into the logic board. And each controller can only support a specific LCD.



Well-known member
Having worked on both these machines more times than I could possibly remember (and still counting!), I can safely say there's absolutely no chance of sticking the two together. Not to sound as though i'm not up for some good old fashioned hackery, but you'd have to do the equivalent of re-engineering several key components, hacking away at the cases and making some incredibly complex adapters just to make the thing power on, let alone bootable. Even if you were to go that route, it would cost more than a new MacBook Pro 17" by at least five times over and still wouldn't have anywhere near the performance and battery life of one of those newer systems.

If you're referring to a MacBook Pro at 17-inches, it's less hacking but if I recall the display circuitry is quite different at the logic board level. Nowhere near as much hacking required but at the end of the day, it still won't work. The hinges don't look to be the same either.



Staff member
Not to foster false hope or anything, but... it's a bit unclear what you're asking. Is it literally a "MacBook", or is it a 17" Macbook Pro? If it's the latter the LCD panels *may* be compatible if it an early-ish "low res" MBP and a last model high-res 17" PB. They used panels with the same physical dimensions and resolutions.

But, yes, if what you're asking isn't *that* then you're pretty much boned without at *least* some custom cabling, and obviously there's no way to bodge the cases together.

If it's "low res" 1440x900 resolution Powerbook I'll give you $20 for the panel. It would fit an AMD laptop with a broken screen I fished out of the trash some time ago. ;^)