View Full Version : How should I upgrade my Quicksilver?

Jul 3, 2003, 02:26 PM
i have an 867 quicksilver with a partioned 80gig hard drive and 256MB ram. I have been using final cut a lot recently and the other day i was exporting a 2 minute short back on to mini DV tape. When it got to the end it startined skipping frames and jumping...what should i do? how should i upgrade? i don't have the dough for a new system...I have about $300 i can spend.


Jul 3, 2003, 02:54 PM

I think I have an answer for you. You machine is plenty fast enough, it sounds like you have a few bottlenecks when it comes to Read/Write.

One, get a little more RAM, as much as you can with the money left over from my next suggestion:

Get an additional Hard drive - physical partition.

Yes, I know you have created logical partitions within your 80gigger, but remember, you are still limited by the platters of the 80Gig drive being accessed by one armiture. And that armiture has to continually read OS and FCP/X functions in addition to the media streaming you require. The answer is two heads (pun intended) being better than one.

Get the second drive - doesn't have to be absolutely huge - and expensive, say 40GB - go with me here, it'll make sense in a minute.

The intent here is to turn the 40 into your primary drive, the one with the user accounts, OS and Apps. Then to use the current 80GB, which is most likely a 7200RPM drive, as your "Composition HD".

Use the money left over to get as much RAM as you can.

Now, how to 'flip" the drives...

-Put the 40GB into the IDE chain, making sure it's set to 'Slave' or 'Cable Select'. Make sure it mounts on your desktop. Partition it as you wish. (I don't know why you would though)

-Get Carbon Copy Cloner.

-Clone your Primary Partition (OS, Apps, etc) to the 40GB - make sure you 'bless' the clone so that it will be bootable.

-Select the 40GB as your startup disk.

-Shut down.

-Flip the drives: Turn the 80GB to 'Slave' or 'Cable Select', and the 40GB to 'Master'.


-If your new 40GB does indeed boot, you're set. And now all you have to do is perform cleanup. Moving whatever you wish from the 'Slave'ed 80GB to your 40GB Primary.

-Oh, and when done, repartition the 80GB to one partition.

Jul 3, 2003, 03:01 PM
I don't use Final Cut, but I can tell you that adding some RAM to your system is probably the first thing you ought to do. You can bring your machine up to 768 MB for less than $80, and I think you'll experience benefits in all sorts of areas, not the least of which is video editing.

Given your budget, a CPU upgrade is probably out of the question. You can find them for around $300, but at that price, the best you'll get is about an 800 MHz G4 or so -- hardly an improvement over what you've currently got.

One final suggestion: if you do a lot of work with digital video, you might consider setting up a RAID array (set to configuration 0, aka "striping"). This will require you to get a second hard drive, and to completely reformat your system (unless you get two additional hard drives, keeping your OS on the original one). This will dramatically improve your system's performance in disk-intensive operations, and these days you can pick up decent-sized drives for around $75 on sale.

If you do decide to set up a RAID, you'll get the best results from installing a hardware RAID controller, but this will cost at least $130 or so, and it's not a requirement, since under OS X you can set up a software-controlled RAID that works fairly well.

[edited due to a typo]

Jul 3, 2003, 03:10 PM
I would agree, you need to add more ram. a 512 stick for a 100 bucks would do the trick. Add a dedicated HDD for the DV work too, a 80 gig with 8mb cache would run around 120 bucks and would do wonders. If your really adventures you could get 2 more drives and raid 0 them. I wouldnt do that with the boot disk because if one of the 2 fails, your in trouble. But ram and a extra HDD would do the trick i'm sure.

Jul 3, 2003, 03:54 PM
patrick0brien sugested just what I would have.

I have a 867 as well... I have two 60GB drives. I have it partitioned like so:

disk0:p1:/ = 40GB
disk0:p2:/testDisk = 2GB
disk0:p2:/space = 18GB

disk1:p1:/workspace = 58GB
disk2:p2:/swap = 2GB

I found that I got great proformance working on one drive and exporting to anopther drive when I was done.

Jul 3, 2003, 05:04 PM
thanks patrick0brien i will do that...but i have a few questions.

when the drives are flipped should i install FCP on the 80 gig(the one without OSx)?

have you done this before?

any recomendations on Hard drives?

how many HDs can the quicksilver hold?

and to everyone else, thanks! RAID might be a little to expensive...but i will think about it...if i can find a good deal on 2 40gig drives i might give it a try.

thanks a ton


Jul 3, 2003, 07:39 PM
you will want a PCI controller card if you want more than two hard drives in a quicksilver. don't do what i did and put a third in the zip drive spot. the performance is horrible.

there is absolutely no reason that you should install final cut on your secondary drive. it may actually be better to have it on your main os drive.

Jul 3, 2003, 08:31 PM
i just bought a 60gig HD for $50 and i put it in there but it isnt showing up on my desktop. it recognizes it in disk utility though. what should i do?


Jul 3, 2003, 08:43 PM
Originally posted by codycartoon
i just bought a 60gig HD for $50 and i put it in there but it isnt showing up on my desktop. it recognizes it in disk utility though. what should i do?


Sounds like it's not formatted (initialized). Disk Utility has an option to do this. Format it either HFS+ or UFS, but remember that UFS is not recognized by OS 9.

Jul 3, 2003, 09:16 PM
Sounds like it's not formatted (initialized). Disk Utility has an option to do this. Format it either HFS+ or UFS, but remember that UFS is not recognized by OS 9

how do i format it in disk utility?


Jul 3, 2003, 11:38 PM
Originally posted by codycartoon
how do i format it in disk utility?



In OS X, select the drive in the left pane, then hit the "Erase" tab. That'll do!

And in answer to your question, yes, I've done this quite a few times.

And no, you don't really need a RAID array unless you are a pro, and if you were, RAID level 0 won't cut it, it's not really RAID (not Redundant). You'd need to go to Level 3.

If you wish to exceed two drives in the future, I recommend the Sonnet TempoATA133 (http://www.sonnettech.com/product/tempo_ata133.html) to do it. (Hey mnkeybsness, we seem to do this conversation often)

As for installint FCP/X ont your "Composition HD", absolutely not. The only read/writes you want to that drive is for the composition itself. Leave the OS and Apps on the Primary HD.

Jul 4, 2003, 11:31 AM
hmm erasing it doesnt seem to be doing anything....


Jul 4, 2003, 09:18 PM
i put the hard drives on cable select...and its not doing anything...i tried erasing but still nothing...


Jul 6, 2003, 12:43 AM
i fixed it! i had to go to disk utility from the jaguar startup disk...

carbon copy worked great!

new system specs:

G4 867MHz
OS Hard Drive: 60gb Maxtor 7200($50)
DV Hard Drive: 80gb Seagate 7200
1 gig RAM
running Jaguar

I still have $200 left to spend...and can get what i really want, another display! does anyone have any recommendations for that?

thanks everyone

Jul 7, 2003, 08:38 PM


I know it was funky, but you got it!

Let us know how it works for you. You should see any more bottlenecks.