PowerBook G3 Series I and II

code name: WallStreet

PowerBook G3 SeriesThere were two different sets of WallStreet PowerBooks. Series I was introduced in May 1998; Series II (also known as “PDQ”) replaced it that September.

These were Apple’s first notebook computers that didn’t automatically ship with a floppy drive, although it was a popular option. These were the first PowerBooks to offer displays larger than 12″.

In the field, a single battery typically yields 2.5-3 hours of use with Apple’s original 49 Watt-Hour battery. Using two fresh Apple batteries could increase that, possibly boosting it into the 5-6 hour range, and NewerTech’s 64 Watt-Hour NuPower battery should extend those times by 25% – close to 4 hours with one fully charged battery and 7.5 hours with two. (Running DVD movies will run your batteries down much faster.)

The PowerBook G3 Series computers support up to 512 MB of RAM (note that most low profile 256 MB modules are not compatible – be sure the vendor specifies WallStreet compatibility) making it feasible to run OS X on them. However, there is one big caveat: Drives over 8 GB in size must be partitioned, the first partition must be under 8 GB in size, and OS X can only be booted from that first partition.

  • Got a G3 PowerBook or iBook? Join our G-Books Group or PowerBooks and iBooks Forum.
  • Our Mac OS 9 Group is for those using Mac OS 9, either natively or in Classic Mode.
  • Our Early OS X Forum is for those using OS X 10.0 through 10.3.
  • Our Puma Group is for those using Mac OS X 10.1.
  • Our Jaguar Group is for those using Mac OS X 10.2.

WallStreet PowerBooks require System 8.0 or later (8.1 or later recommended) and offically support Mac OS X 10.2.x and earlier. Versions 10.3 and 10.4 can be installed using XpostFacto 4, but the demands of OS X 10.4 lead us to recommend against it. OS X 10.2 or 10.3 should work nicely on all G3 Series models except for “Mainstreet”.

Series I

The first series ran at 233, 250, and 292 MHz and was available with 12″, 13″, and 14″ displays. The entry-level 233 MHz Series I model had no level 2 cache, which kept it quite a bit slower than its siblings. It also goes by the nickname MainStreet.

The 12″ display was 800 x 600 resolution; the 13″ and 14″ screens both displayed 1024 x 768. The routing of the cable between the base and screen was problematic with the 13″ display, and it’s best avoided.

Series II

Four months later, Apple updated the line, eliminated the 13″ display, and made some other minor changes. The Series II models, also known as PDQ, all have level 2 caches and were available in 233, 266, and 300 MHz speeds. Except for an entry-level 12″ 800 x 600 model, all Series II WallStreets include a 14″ 1024 x 768 display.


According to Accelerate Your Mac, many WallStreet owners have reported problems with IBM/Hitachi Travelstar drives where the computer will not wake up from sleep. This is due to a magnetic sensor that responds to a magnet in the Travelstar drive. This problem does not impact other PowerBook G3 models, only WallStreet.

According to the Road Warrior, the drive controller in G3 PowerBooks is incompatible with some ATA-6/Ultra ATA-100 hard drives. When replacing the internal hard drive, you should be sure to obtain an ATA-5/Ultra ATA-66 compliant drive or an ATA-6 or ATA-7/Ultra ATA-133 drive known to work with WallStreet.

Online Resources

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