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View Full Version : PowerMac G5 - alternative drive upgrade help!!!


northen
Feb 20, 2005, 02:52 PM
Okay, so I've filled out my poor PowerMac G5 with drives. I don't want to waste my money on hard-to-install drive brackets, so I've come up with:

- cheap, but quality, standard IDE ATA-133 RAID card, 2 cheap WD 40 GB hard drives, in a RAID setup. Flat cables go OUT from a PCI socket bracket opening (i'll pop the metal off). It should work alright.

The OBVIOUS problem lies with the power supply. The PowerMac logic board supplies no standard molex plugs. So I will need to know where the +12V stream is, and hardwire a 12V DC adaptor to the drive with maximum seperation between the cabling (plastic padding?) However, do the drives need +5V too? :(

I'd probably put the drive in 2 seperate cardboard boxes and hide them somewhere.

Sounds feasible?

daveL
Feb 20, 2005, 03:50 PM
External firewire drives sound like a much simpler approach, to me. Why would you want to mess around trying to get power off the motherboard? I doubt you'd be able to maintain your warranty, if that's an issue.

northen
Feb 20, 2005, 03:54 PM
External firewire drives sound like a much simpler approach, to me. Why would you want to mess around trying to get power off the motherboard? I doubt you'd be able to maintain your warranty, if that's an issue.

I were actually contemplating external 12V DC voltage adaptors to boot :) I don't want to pick power off the motherboard - just seems too risky :) The thing is, I want RAID without CPU overhead. Does FireWire offer this yet? :confused:

daveL
Feb 20, 2005, 03:57 PM
I were actually contemplating external 12V DC voltage generators to boot :) I don't want to pick power off the motherboard - just seems too risky :) The thing is, I want RAID without CPU overhead. Does FireWire offer this yet? :confused:
I think there are some self contained firewire RAID boxes out there, although I haven't researched them. You'd want fw800, I would assume.

northen
Feb 20, 2005, 04:03 PM
I think there are some self contained firewire RAID boxes out there, although I haven't researched them. You'd want fw800, I would assume.
Thing is, those cases are horribly expensive :( I mean, it's a redundant array of INEXPENSIVE disks :D I were just curious in constructing such a device by hand - powering it externally, and instead of connecting it using FW800 with CPU overhead, with vanilla IDE :)

oingoboingo
Feb 20, 2005, 04:14 PM
The OBVIOUS problem lies with the power supply. The PowerMac logic board supplies no standard molex plugs. So I will need to know where the +12V stream is, and hardwire a 12V DC adaptor to the drive with maximum seperation between the cabling (plastic padding?) However, do the drives need +5V too? :(

What about a splitter from the optical drive Molex power connector? This type of solution is used for the retail ATI 128MB Radeon 9800 Pro AGP 4x card. I have no idea if you will be able to draw enough juice from this to power your IDE drives though.

Are you sure that the RAID setup you are planning to use will actually consume a noticeable portion of CPU time? If you're only looking at a 2-drive array then I'm guessing you're either thinking about RAID-0 or RAID-1. I didn't think either of those configurations required a significant involvement from the host CPU (unlike RAID-5, where parity must be calculated). Maybe an external FireWire 800 enclosure would be a better overall solution, even if it meant sacrificing 5% CPU time or something.

daveL
Feb 20, 2005, 04:16 PM
Thing is, those cases are horribly expensive :( I mean, it's a redundant array of INEXPENSIVE disks :D I were just curious in constructing such a device by hand - powering it externally, and instead of connecting it using FW800 with CPU overhead, with vanilla IDE :)
I see your point. I'm sure an external 3.5" drive enclosure, with power supply, can be found fairly cheap, given what a PC case and PS goes for these days.

wrc fan
Feb 20, 2005, 04:41 PM
You can also get a PCI card with external serial ata ports, and buy an external serial ata case. I'm not sure where you might find a MAC OS X compatible one, but an example would be this PC only one here: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=17-124-010&depa=1

combatcolin
Feb 20, 2005, 05:28 PM
Get a Lacie 1.5 TB (1500GB!!! :eek: ) FW 800 external hard drive.

Tad pricey ;) but more storage space than the Warehouse they store the Ark of the Covenant in.

northen
Feb 21, 2005, 02:14 AM
You can also get a PCI card with external serial ata ports, and buy an external serial ata case. I'm not sure where you might find a MAC OS X compatible one, but an example would be this PC only one here: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=17-124-010&depa=1
I know the existanc of these, but I am looking for a cheapish solution.
I already have a 120GB USB2 drive, but I am looking for a non-software managed solution (like ATA)

CanadaRAM
Feb 21, 2005, 02:39 AM
What makes you think IDE RAID0 or RAID1 are not software managed? A multi-channel card with hardware RAID will be $$$

You will probably find a net reduction in performance.

drive + power = heat + Cardboard box = ???? This sounds like a very bad idea.

Firmtek has SATA external cards and enclosures OSX compatible.
LaCie has FW 800 drives that incoporate RAID0 controller in the external box.

northen
Feb 21, 2005, 03:23 AM
What makes you think IDE RAID0 or RAID1 are not software managed? A multi-channel card with hardware RAID will be $$$

You will probably find a net reduction in performance.

drive + power = heat + Cardboard box = ???? This sounds like a very bad idea.

Firmtek has SATA external cards and enclosures OSX compatible.
LaCie has FW 800 drives that incoporate RAID0 controller in the external box.
You may be right. I were only contemplating :) The RAID card I was looking at had an Adaptec RAID chip on it, so one would assume it supported hardware RAID.

The cardboard box would probably be mounted with a small fan running at 5V from the Molex plug :)

psycho bob
Feb 21, 2005, 03:42 AM
I am actually thinking of doing a similar thing albeit with SATA drives. I have the controller card/s in the G5 and my solution was to buy a cheap PC ATX case with a quiet PSU. This takes care of the power issue and offers a lot of room for expandibility. SATA cables can be quite long so I can just tuck the box away somewhere. Simply mount the hard drives in the ATX case run the cables (via face plates at if you want it to look really professional) out of the case and connect up to the controller card in the G5. Ideally you would have a card which has external connections but there are obvious ways around it if they are internal.