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Legacy
May 6, 2012, 07:42 PM
I recently purchased a PowerBook and have fallen in love with the thing! I have now upgraded my new PowerBook 12" G4 to 1.25GB RAM and Leopard. I am considering upgrading the hard drive.

I have seen 80-100GB Hard Drives 7200rpm going for about £50 and the KingSpec 64GB SSD's going for £80. Capacity is not too much of a problem - I can make do with 64GB, but is there a significant speed increase over the 7200rpm?

I currently have the stock 60GB drive in the machine (which I am assuming is running at 4200rpm)

Thanks!



Intell
May 6, 2012, 07:43 PM
Where are you finding 2.5" PATA 7200rpm drives for that cheap? They haven't been made in years and are becoming hard to find.

\-V-/
May 6, 2012, 07:49 PM
Where are you finding 2.5" PATA 7200rpm drives for that cheap? They haven't been made in years and are becoming hard to find.

They're not hard to find. They're everywhere online for purchase.

To answer the original question, I'd stick with the 7200 RPM hard drive. With the age of the computer, I doubt you'll be seeing any significant performance increase with the SSD. The SSD is more likely to last longer, however... but that's hardware dependent and hardware is subject to fail at any given time.

Intell
May 6, 2012, 07:54 PM
Feel like posting links? Go with the SSD, any 7200rpm 2.5" PATA drive you'll find will be used and already a few years old.

Legacy
May 6, 2012, 08:04 PM
They're not hard to find. They're everywhere online for purchase.

To answer the original question, I'd stick with the 7200 RPM hard drive. With the age of the computer, I doubt you'll be seeing any significant performance increase with the SSD. The SSD is more likely to last longer, however... but that's hardware dependent and hardware is subject to fail at any given time.

The only issue I am worried about is the rumors that KingSpec drives cause issues for the PowerBook on sleep.

The drive I saw was £47 shipped, but is a 100GB Hitachi refurb 7200rpm. I think the KingSpec is near the £85 mark.

I am going to be loading Logic 8 on the PowerBook, so that is why I am asking. At the moment, it is taking a long time to launch applications and boot the machine, although once the app has loaded, it is Ok.

For example, Office 08 takes nearly 30 seconds to load Word and Powerpoint!

\-V-/
May 6, 2012, 08:11 PM
The only issue I am worried about is the rumors that KingSpec drives cause issues for the PowerBook on sleep.

The drive I saw was £47 shipped, but is a 100GB Hitachi refurb 7200rpm. I think the KingSpec is near the £85 mark.

I am going to be loading Logic 8 on the PowerBook, so that is why I am asking. At the moment, it is taking a long time to launch applications and boot the machine, although once the app has loaded, it is Ok.

For example, Office 08 takes nearly 30 seconds to load Word and Powerpoint!

The SSD isn't going to change that... you're running them on an old system. The limitation isn't the SSD, but your computer. You won't be able to get the performance of an SSD on your old machine, so I still think the HDD would be the best option. 7200 RPM should help a little, but you'll just have to make due with what you have. If you're going to be doing anything processor intensive such as Logic... the G4 is not going be much use. A G5 would be fine... but I wouldn't have high hopes for your little aging system. It's a great novelty item, but I'd recommend getting something newer for audio/video applications. For Microsoft Office... it'll obviously be just fine with that.

Legacy
May 6, 2012, 08:21 PM
The SSD isn't going to change that... you're running them on an old system. The limitation isn't the SSD, but your computer. You won't be able to get the performance of an SSD on your old machine, so I still think the HDD would be the best option. 7200 RPM should help a little, but you'll just have to make due with what you have. If you're going to be doing anything processor intensive such as Logic... the G4 is not going be much use. A G5 would be fine... but I wouldn't have high hopes for your little aging system. It's a great novelty item, but I'd recommend getting something newer for audio/video applications. For Microsoft Office... it'll obviously be just fine with that.

I've got the MB Pro in my sig, but I was hoping this would also serve as a portable system where I could mess around with a few raw Virtual Instruments (bar effects) and/or record a single live audio instrument that I could later tinker with in Logic 9.

So the SSD wouldnt significantly increase app loading times/boot times? I was under the impression it would be a night and day difference. I have been massively impressed by how my Pro is so quick because of the SSD...

\-V-/
May 6, 2012, 08:36 PM
I've got the MB Pro in my sig, but I was hoping this would also serve as a portable system where I could mess around with a few raw Virtual Instruments (bar effects) and/or record a single live audio instrument that I could later tinker with in Logic 9.

So the SSD wouldnt significantly increase app loading times/boot times? I was under the impression it would be a night and day difference. I have been massively impressed by how my Pro is so quick because of the SSD...

It's the limitation of the older hardware that won't be able to tap into the performance of the SSD. Your newer MBP is able to handle the performance increase offered by the SSD which, like you said, has been very impressive. Even some of the newer MBP's can't take full advantage of the 6 Gb/sec SSD's out right now.

I can't honestly give you an informed decision because I haven't seen benchmarks between the two drives. The price difference isn't much, so if you want to give the SSD a try, I'd say go for it. The only thing you have to lose is boot time. ;) Apps may launch faster as well since SSDs generally have faster access speeds than HDDs... often by 40-50 times.

As for just tinkering around with small projects in Logic, that seems reasonable. The extra RAM should definitely help.

California
May 7, 2012, 01:48 AM
I've got the MB Pro in my sig, but I was hoping this would also serve as a portable system where I could mess around with a few raw Virtual Instruments (bar effects) and/or record a single live audio instrument that I could later tinker with in Logic 9.

So the SSD wouldnt significantly increase app loading times/boot times? I was under the impression it would be a night and day difference. I have been massively impressed by how my Pro is so quick because of the SSD...

Having owned about 10 of these 12" Powerbooks, mostly the 1.5ghz models (combo vs. superdrive) I've tested nearly all the hard drives available for them.


Your best bet is to get a new 250gb 5400 or 320gb 5400rpm drive.

I tested the 250gb against my 100gb 7200rpm HItachi back in the day and the larger and therefore, faster platters on the 250gb were nearly equaling the speed of the 100gb Hitachi.

I actually have one of those new that I'd sell but you are too far away. I keep them around for my PPC laptops.

thorns
May 7, 2012, 03:16 AM
I would advise against using the KingSpec SSDs, due to their sub-par controllers. You will run into freezes and other nuisances when this thing handles small files (especially when writing those).

Legacy
May 7, 2012, 05:15 AM
I would advise against using the KingSpec SSDs, due to their sub-par controllers. You will run into freezes and other nuisances when this thing handles small files (especially when writing those).

What about Transcend? They are more expensive (about £90-100).

To be honest, I am tempted by the Hitachi more at the moment, as it is 100GB, 7200rpm, so it would be better for casual Logic use and it is £47 shipped.

I hope it is not too difficult to change the hard drive!

NB: I have just been reading up about heat issues with faster drivers including the fans going crazy in the laptop! This would totally put me off such a purchase, as this thing is incredibly quiet unless I run YouView on it! How have your experiences been with the heat + battery life?

666sheep
May 7, 2012, 01:09 PM
SSD should be better for audio work than mechanical drive due to latency ~0.
Most of PATA SSDs are based on crappy JMicron controller. I have Transcend one in Clamshell and it works well for my needs. But I use it mostly for iTunes and light web browsing - nothing highly I/O demanding.
Of PATA SSDs, only one worth its price is IMO OWC Legacy SSD based on SF controller.
Another option will be 1.8" SATA SSD + SATA -> PATA adapter. 2.5" + adapter won't fit in PB wihout some dremel job.

Whargoul
May 7, 2012, 02:35 PM
The SSD will be far better in your powerbook. It will make the entire machine feel much faster and your battery will last longer.

Legacy
May 7, 2012, 05:50 PM
The SSD will be far better in your powerbook. It will make the entire machine feel much faster and your battery will last longer.

Are people totally against the KingSpec drives, as the only Transcend within reasonable reach is the 32GB? This wouldn't be enough for what I need, so I would really want the 64GB solution.

666sheep
May 8, 2012, 01:51 AM
I use this one: http://www.memoryc.com/storage/solidstatedisk/transcend32gbinternalssd.html - (but mine was cheaper ;))

But Transcend added new series recently - http://www.techpowerup.com/163315/Transcend-Launches-the-PSD320-PATA-SSD.html
Unfortunately I cannot find any info about its controller.

Whargoul
May 8, 2012, 05:07 AM
If you can live without the CD drive, there are hard drive bay converters available.

nickjf20
May 8, 2012, 06:19 AM
The fact SSD won't be fully utilised is kind of a moot point considering it's only a little more expensive for something that will be faster than an old PATA drive.

The reliability will be better, the speed (although not as good as in your mbp) will be better, and if the powerbook ever breaks, you can just shove it in another newer mac and take advantage of higher speeds.

alphaod
May 8, 2012, 08:57 AM
Always a good choice:
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/Mercury_Legacy_Pro

Even though the PATA interface has it's limitation, in terms of random access performance (what your computer does most of the time), the SSD will be loads faster.

However I'm sure about spending this much on a PB.

Legacy
May 8, 2012, 03:22 PM
What about this drive? Is this the cheapest available in the UK? It is a little bit dear, considering I purchased the PowerBook for £110 and I've spent £20 on a 1GB stick for it...

http://www.memoryc.com/storage/solidstatedisk/64gbtranscend25idemlcts64mpsd320.html

I assume Spotlight would be much faster with SSD?

Would it also be better for paging to have an SSD? I would imagine it would be significantly faster to use Virtual Memory right?

GraXXoR
Aug 15, 2013, 11:24 PM
I bought a 64GB CFD branded SSD for my PB12 in 2011 and have been using it daily since.

http://kakaku.com/item/K0000291302/

About $US90 at current prices... About 120 when I bought it 2 years ago.

Installation was a bit tedious but simple nevertheless.
Performancewise... It turned my beloved but sluggish PB into a usable beast.
Notable improvements include:
Boot up. Application startup. Spotlight and Quicksilver search.
Especially, Office 2008 becomes usable whereas I had to stick with 2004 for usability before.
The best thing is multiple apps.
I typically run Safari Scrivener Evernote Omnifocus Busycal Mail.app Terminal Activity Monitor and a combination of the Java stalwarts Tufts' VUE, CMAPTOOLS and Freeplane all on Leopard 10.5.8. Usually with all but one or two simultaneously.
Background tools include Quicksilver, Dropbox, SizeUp window manager and DefaultFolderX.
With an SSD, i found this setup eminently usable, if a little slow. though the real drag being Dropbox. Closing Dropbox for the duration of scrivener use made my laptop completely usable if not buttery smooth.
The poor little thing even manages a wee bit of excel without closing down scrivener et. al. Because the SSD REALLY helps with swapfile virtual memory.

However, I since moved my ssd out of my PB12 and into an old Mac mini on iTunes server duty and put an old 100GB 7200 back in.
Crickey, one forgets just how slow the old dog is with spinning rust instead of silicon...
The thing really is painful. Without the SSD, Dropbox brings it to its knees. I have to disable it to get any work done. Also, spotlight is slow as a really slow thing on a hot day. forget using Scrivener and Excel with Evernote syncing at the same time. Once memory runs out, the thing just beachballs every time you press a button or click an icon for the first time.

Oh, I forgot to mention, my PowerBook flew off a table, through the air about six feet and onto solid concrete during use when a cockroach hit me in the face as I worked at an outdoor café last summer. Despite some serious dents, it continued to work without pause. I'm not sure an HDD would have been as lucky.

battery life? Under normal, single app use, I found some difference, a battery charge lasting easily 4 hours or so. But remember one can also get stuff done quicker without the HDD slowing you down, so it is more efficient in that respect.

All in all... The SSD gave me 2 more years of usability out of my PB. In fact, as I am debating a new Air yet see no need to upgrade any of my software, I might instead plunk for another 64GB SSD and see if I can't get another year or two out of it!

MrPilot
Aug 16, 2013, 02:46 AM
The SSD isn't going to change that... you're running them on an old system. The limitation isn't the SSD, but your computer. You won't be able to get the performance of an SSD on your old machine, so I still think the HDD would be the best option. 7200 RPM should help a little, but you'll just have to make due with what you have. If you're going to be doing anything processor intensive such as Logic... the G4 is not going be much use. A G5 would be fine... but I wouldn't have high hopes for your little aging system. It's a great novelty item, but I'd recommend getting something newer for audio/video applications. For Microsoft Office... it'll obviously be just fine with that.

My loading time with age of empires 3 reduced from 1:40 min to 1 min when I used my external 5400rpm FW800 drive. So yes, At least in my experience using a faster drive will give you some (in my case a lot) benefit.

rabidz7
Aug 16, 2013, 08:52 AM
What speed is the PowerBook at stock?

MrPilot
Aug 16, 2013, 09:02 AM
auto-removed

Goftrey
Aug 16, 2013, 09:05 AM
What speed is the PowerBook at stock?

I'm going to assume you're on about had drives - I believe models running at 1.33GHz & under ran at 4200rpm, where the 1.5/1.67GHz's ran at 5400rpm.

Intell
Aug 16, 2013, 12:04 PM
I'm going to assume you're on about had drives - I believe models running at 1.33GHz & under ran at 4200rpm, where the 1.5/1.67GHz's ran at 5400rpm.

Some of the slowers models had a 5400 drive as an option. The first with such an option was the DVI Tibook. Even 7200rpm was an option for some of the 1.33Ghz+ models.

Goftrey
Aug 16, 2013, 12:17 PM
Some of the slowers models had a 5400 drive as an option. The first with such an option was the DVI Tibook. Even 7200rpm was an option for some of the 1.33Ghz+ models.

I'm on about stock, out of the gate models with no BTO options ticked. Listing every capacity/speed option available for each model spanning a 5 year time period would take an age.

Intell
Aug 16, 2013, 12:20 PM
I'm on about stock, out of the gate models with no BTO options ticked. Listing every capacity/speed option available for each model spanning a 5 year time period would take an age.

Stock is out of the Apple factory box with no user alterations. If the device comes out of the box with a 7200rpm drive, then it's stock. No matter the build options.

Goftrey
Aug 16, 2013, 02:20 PM
Stock is out of the Apple factory box with no user alterations. If the device comes out of the box with a 7200rpm drive, then it's stock. No matter the build options.

Alright now you're nit-picking ;)

If you want to list every single PowerBook G4 model ever released with each corresponding hard drive speed including every BTO option then go wild.

Intell
Aug 16, 2013, 02:57 PM
4200rpm-PowerBook3,2 PowerBook3,3 PowerBook3,4 PowerBook3,5 PowerBook5,1 PowerBook5,2 PowerBook5,3 PowerBook5,4 PowerBook5,5 PowerBook6,1 PowerBook6,2 PowerBook6,4
5400rpm-PowerBook3,4 PowerBook5,2 PowerBook5,3 PowerBook5,4 PowerBook5,5 PowerBook5,6 PowerBook5,7 PowerBook5,8 PowerBook5,9 PowerBook6,4 PowerBook6,8
7200rpm-PowerBook5,8 PowerBook5,9

There's your list, total time about 3 minutes.

Frost7
Aug 16, 2013, 06:02 PM
To answer the original question, I'd stick with the 7200 RPM hard drive. With the age of the computer, I doubt you'll be seeing any significant performance increase with the SSD.
No... no, you'll see a significant difference. I swapped the 5400rpm 320GB WD Scorpio Blue I had in my 1 GHz TiBook (which was already a noticeable step up from the original 4200rpm 60GB Toshiba) for a 480GB OWC Mercury Legacy Pro earlier this year and the difference in performance is night and day. Totally breathed new life into the old machine.

It's bottlenecked at 66 MB/sec thanks to the old ATA/66 bus, true, but as far as random small reads and writes, it ties or beats the already speedy 960GB Crucial M500 running on SATA-I in my MacBook Pro, at least according to Xbench.

Far as real world usage, you can tell the difference there easily as well, and if you use it for OS9 gaming it just blows the doors off of everything.

Only real problem is the price. You need to really want that PowerBook as a hobby machine to spend that kind of cash on it (raises hand).

\-V-/
Aug 17, 2013, 12:49 AM
No... no, you'll see a significant difference. I swapped the 5400rpm 320GB WD Scorpio Blue I had in my 1 GHz TiBook (which was already a noticeable step up from the original 4200rpm 60GB Toshiba) for a 480GB OWC Mercury Legacy Pro earlier this year and the difference in performance is night and day. Totally breathed new life into the old machine.

It's bottlenecked at 66 MB/sec thanks to the old ATA/66 bus, true, but as far as random small reads and writes, it ties or beats the already speedy 960GB Crucial M500 running on SATA-I in my MacBook Pro, at least according to Xbench.

Far as real world usage, you can tell the difference there easily as well, and if you use it for OS9 gaming it just blows the doors off of everything.

Only real problem is the price. You need to really want that PowerBook as a hobby machine to spend that kind of cash on it (raises hand).
That is a horrendous bottleneck for an SSD. :/

Frost7
Aug 17, 2013, 04:46 AM
That is a horrendous bottleneck for an SSD. :/
No argument there, but if you're using old PowerBooks, there's really no way around that ceiling sadly.

That said, unless you're moving big files, most of the "snappy feel" of the machine comes from the ability to make quick, speedy, small reads and writes with near-instant access times rather than large sequential reads and writes. That's where an SSD can shine even with the old, slow bus.

\-V-/
Aug 17, 2013, 08:03 PM
No argument there, but if you're using old PowerBooks, there's really no way around that ceiling sadly.

That said, unless you're moving big files, most of the "snappy feel" of the machine comes from the ability to make quick, speedy, small reads and writes with near-instant access times rather than large sequential reads and writes. That's where an SSD can shine even with the old, slow bus.
I'll take your word for it. :]

robertosh
Aug 21, 2013, 11:47 AM
I would advise against using the KingSpec SSDs, due to their sub-par controllers. You will run into freezes and other nuisances when this thing handles small files (especially when writing those).

I have a KingSpec SSD and i don't have any problem at all. The only important thing is that you need to set the drive as master.(I had to cut the cable for that). If you don't do it, the machine will freeze after waking up from sleep.

mayuka
Aug 22, 2013, 01:30 AM
So the SSD wouldnt significantly increase app loading times/boot times? I was under the impression it would be a night and day difference. I have been massively impressed by how my Pro is so quick because of the SSD...

It depends. Sequential readings won't be faster with the SSD, because the computer bus is the limiting factor here. I think the computer is limited to 30-40 MB/s sequential read spead. The SSD however will show significantly faster random access to small files such as configuration files or plists whatever. Since most instruments and sound files are rather huge, you won't see much improvement. I tried this on my G4 PB 12" and boot times were approx 2-3 sec. faster if that's any help to you.

Andropov
Aug 22, 2013, 06:51 AM
It depends. Sequential readings won't be faster with the SSD, because the computer bus is the limiting factor here. I think the computer is limited to 30-40 MB/s sequential read spead. The SSD however will show significantly faster random access to small files such as configuration files or plists whatever. Since most instruments and sound files are rather huge, you won't see much improvement. I tried this on my G4 PB 12" and boot times were approx 2-3 sec. faster if that's any help to you.

Boot implies reading a huge amount of data (sequential reading). That's not where the SSD benefits would show up against a 7200rpm. SSDs are faster than hard drives, no matter how narrow the bottleneck is.

Applications, in the other hand, are smaller so there you should see an improvement.

seveej
Aug 22, 2013, 01:28 PM
That is a horrendous bottleneck for an SSD. :/

No argument there, but if you're using old PowerBooks, there's really no way around that ceiling sadly.

That said, unless you're moving big files, most of the "snappy feel" of the machine comes from the ability to make quick, speedy, small reads and writes with near-instant access times rather than large sequential reads and writes. That's where an SSD can shine even with the old, slow bus.

I totally agree with Frost7...

As a matter of fact, I strongly suggest that the OP gets himself a decent (forget KingSpec) SSD unless (s)he needs umpteen gigabytes. The *real* real-life difference comes in eliminating seek-times, not in max throughput (BTW, show me a 2,5" PATA HDD which systematically saturates that ATA66 bandwidth).

I've had good experiences with a Transcend SSD in a 12" PB (10.4. Boots in 12 seconds flat - you can almost forget sleep), and a noiseless PB is bliss. :o
Sadly, switching a HDD for an SSD also exacerbates the fan noise - a near constant companion with the 12" PB :(

RGDS,

----------

I tried this on my G4 PB 12" and boot times were approx 2-3 sec. faster if that's any help to you.

I'm no OS technician, so I do not know what files are needed for loading the OS, but my experiences point in another direction. Boot times are generally out of another world with an SSD, even with machines having constrictive buses, and this experience comes based on having supplanted boot drive HDD's with SSD's in a total five computers (MacBook (Alu), MBP 15" (early 2011), MBP 13" (Mid 2010), PBG4 (12") and MacPro (3,1)) (all SSD installations based on cloning, so no difference there either)

EDIT: I knew I had my records somewhere, so I went searching: 12" PBG4 (1,5 Ghz, 10.4.11): Boot time with 60 GB 7200 rpm HDD: 38 secs; Transcend 64 GB SSD, 12 secs flat. So, my experience is more like 3 times faster than 3 secs faster...
RGDS,

Cox Orange
Aug 25, 2013, 12:35 PM
Did one of you test a 1,8" IDE SSD against a 1,8" SATA SSD?

crewkid89
Aug 25, 2013, 04:00 PM
What about running everything through FireWire from an external enclosure? Isn't FireWire faster than IDE?

Intell
Aug 25, 2013, 04:05 PM
What about running everything through FireWire from an external enclosure? Isn't FireWire faster than IDE?

FireWire 400 is about as fast as ATA/33. FireWire 800 can be faster than ATA/66, but not ATA/100. The Macs that have FireWire 800 also have ATA/100 or SATA. Then there's the higher latency and loss of advanced ATA commands. No real advantage in using FireWire as a boottable bus for production.

MisterKeeks
Aug 25, 2013, 06:40 PM
I have a KingSpec SSD and i don't have any problem at all. The only important thing is that you need to set the drive as master.(I had to cut the cable for that). If you don't do it, the machine will freeze after waking up from sleep.

Have you run any benchmarks on it? Is it slowing down at all?

Cox Orange
Aug 26, 2013, 12:13 PM
Originally Posted by robertosh:
I have a KingSpec SSD and i don't have any problem at all. The only important thing is that you need to set the drive as master.(I had to cut the cable for that). If you don't do it, the machine will freeze after waking up from sleep.
cable?

robertosh
Aug 27, 2013, 11:42 AM
cable?


Sorry, language mistake. I meant the wire connector. The reason is that you have to put the drive as master using a jumper but the apple IDE connector is so wide and cover all the pins of the drive, including the four pins for slave/master selection. If you need more information just ask....

Regards

Cox Orange
Aug 28, 2013, 06:52 PM
Ah, I see. Thank you! Didn't remember the size of the connector.