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Old Nov 2, 2012, 04:24 PM   #1
PowerPCMacMan
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Fusion drive for PPC machines

Everyone,

Lets try and chip in some ideas how we can get an equivalent form of fusion drive for our aging, but performing PowerPC machines. The thought just came across my mind.

Anyone with ideas on how to achieve this?
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 04:28 PM   #2
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You can't install an SSD on a PowerPC (No SATA on PowerPC). So not really sure what the point would be.

Otherwise you could just RAID 0 some IDE drives to sum all of the storage together.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 04:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GimmeSlack12 View Post
You can't install an SSD on a PowerPC (No SATA on PowerPC). So not really sure what the point would be.

Otherwise you could just RAID 0 some IDE drives to sum all of the storage together.
They make PATA SSD's.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 04:35 PM   #4
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They make PATA SSD's.
This is true, but I thought they were throttled or bottlenecked by the IDE controller. Can't imagine it being worth the price.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 04:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GimmeSlack12 View Post
This is true, but I thought they were throttled or bottlenecked by the IDE controller. Can't imagine it being worth the price.
They are very worth the price. While they can't be used to the SSD's full speed, they are much faster than even the fastest PATA HDDs. The biggest gain comes in random read/writes of small files.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 04:55 PM   #6
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They are very worth the price. While they can't be used to the SSD's full speed, they are much faster than even the fastest PATA HDDs. The biggest gain comes in random read/writes of small files.
Fair enough then. Not sure how a Fusion Drive can be used on a PowerPC though (at least the official Apple version). PowerPC's only run up to 10.5 last I checked.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 05:09 PM   #7
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Why don't you emulate a Fusion drive? Get a hard drive and a small SSD. Install Mac OS X on the SSD. Make a shell script that runs once a day/week at 2:00AM to do the following: Log out of the current user, get a list of all open files for blacklisting, copy files from the SSD to the HDD into the same directory structure that haven't been touched within X amount of days, delete the SSD copy, make a symlink to the old location on the SSD, if the HDD copy has been touched within the X amount of days, put it back on the SSD.

There will be some limits to this approach. It will have to be done when all users logged out to prevent data corruption. It must have a blacklist that includes the core OS files. It must be done as root to preserve the file permissions and have access to everything. The hard drive's directory must not be altered, better yet the hard drive should be mounted so that it is hidden to Finder. The script must not move files that are currently open. Spotlight may have to problems with this setup.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 05:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GimmeSlack12 View Post
You can't install an SSD on a PowerPC (No SATA on PowerPC). So not really sure what the point would be.

Otherwise you could just RAID 0 some IDE drives to sum all of the storage together.
No SATA on PowerPC???? Explain the iMac and PowerMac G5s.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 06:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by GimmeSlack12 View Post
You can't install an SSD on a PowerPC (No SATA on PowerPC). So not really sure what the point would be.

Otherwise you could just RAID 0 some IDE drives to sum all of the storage together.
Please do not tell this to my G4 Cube running off an OWC mercury SSD, or my G5 powermac using the same type of SSD.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 07:04 PM   #10
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I found some cheap optibays for my powerbook G4, early 2005. I bought one this week from Hong Kong on Ebay. Do a search using "ide to sata 12.7." 12.7 meaning the height of the DVD drive in mm. I measured the one in mine and it's about 12-13 mm. One of the listings indicates it supports Powerbooks and ibooks, but the pictures indicate that some are identical, so of those choose the cheapest one.

I plan on sticking in a SATA SSD and will report back if it works or fails. Obviously you will lose the DVD drive which isn't a big deal for me since mine is dead. Also, you will need to boot from USB to install OS X.

So yes, it seems like getting a SATA SSD is possible.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 09:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GimmeSlack12 View Post
You can't install an SSD on a PowerPC (No SATA on PowerPC). So not really sure what the point would be.

Otherwise you could just RAID 0 some IDE drives to sum all of the storage together.
I am sorry but all of my Powermac G5's do have SATA SSD drive for boot.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 10:55 PM   #12
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You can't install an SSD on a PowerPC (No SATA on PowerPC).
I'm sorry What? I mustn't have a SATA attached SSD boot drive in my G5 Xserve, it must not exist That's a complete and utter furphy.

I am actually 100% certain that this could be done given that its just a formatting trick to see an SSD and a HDD as one logical drive. This actually sounds like JBOD as one logical drive.

I do not know how to do it, but I'm sure with the right kind of formatting tricks you could do it. Maybe not with an APM partition table, but definitely with a GUID partition map and PPC Macs already recognise GUID, they just can't boot from it.

I would almost eat a hat if a PPC Mac could not recognise a fusion drive out of its box, but that's a wait and see until someone else tries it first.

Last edited by orestes1984; Nov 2, 2012 at 11:22 PM.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 01:30 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by GimmeSlack12 View Post
You can't install an SSD on a PowerPC (No SATA on PowerPC). So not really sure what the point would be.

.
Wrong, iMac G5's, Powermac G5s and XServes all supports SATA 1

But an Apple fusion drive it pointless, it needs 10.8 to work.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 02:27 AM   #14
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It needs 10.8 to work.
It's a formatting trick that I'd bet my left nut could be replicated without 10.8.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 02:46 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by GimmeSlack12 View Post
You can't install an SSD on a PowerPC (No SATA on PowerPC). So not really sure what the point would be.

Otherwise you could just RAID 0 some IDE drives to sum all of the storage together.
Epic fail here, sir.

I've got a G5 tower, adding a 240GB OWC Electra 3G SSD as a boot drive has made me cry tears of joy every time I reach for my keyboard.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 03:19 AM   #16
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Epic fail here, sir.

I've got a G5 tower, adding a 240GB OWC Electra 3G SSD as a boot drive has made me cry tears of joy every time I reach for my keyboard.
Got G5 that boots in less than 40 seconds to the desktop? I do...
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 07:13 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by orestes1984 View Post
I am actually 100% certain that this could be done given that its just a formatting trick to see an SSD and a HDD as one logical drive. This actually sounds like JBOD as one logical drive.

I do not know how to do it, but I'm sure with the right kind of formatting tricks you could do it. Maybe not with an APM partition table, but definitely with a GUID partition map and PPC Macs already recognise GUID, they just can't boot from it.

I would almost eat a hat if a PPC Mac could not recognise a fusion drive out of its box, but that's a wait and see until someone else tries it first.
It isn't a JBOD or a RAID. Those are dumb arrays that can't move the recently used data to the SSD drive. A Fusion drive does. It uses CPU cycles to determine where the data belongs and it moves it, likely using the kernel process to do it. No formatting is able to achieve this because formatting isn't smart enough to move the data between the two drives depending on its use. While a RAID theoretically could be configured to do, no standard within the RAID spec outlines it. You better start looking for a small hat to eat because no Mac running anything older than 10.8.2 will be able to see the Fusion drive as a mountable drive. They'll see it as two unformatted or corrupted drives.

Quote:
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It's a formatting trick that I'd bet my left nut could be replicated without 10.8.
It isn't a formatting trick. See my response above and schedule an appointment at your local hospital.

Quote:
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Got G5 that boots in less than 40 seconds to the desktop? I do...
I do as well. And its boot drive is a WD Green drive. I don't know why people say those drives are so bad.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 11:03 AM   #18
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Fair enough then. Not sure how a Fusion Drive can be used on a PowerPC though (at least the official Apple version). PowerPC's only run up to 10.5 last I checked.
Yeah I get it guys, there is SATA in some PowerPC's. But I've already been corrected on that.

Regardless, you can't run 10.8 on a PowerPC.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 03:54 PM   #19
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Ok, I am closing this thread

Obviously, it can't be done though I believe with combined effort it CAN be done. We in the PowerPC community have to help each other out, come on, guys! We can do it!!

IntellMR already outlined the framework for a fusion like drive under PowerPC.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 07:58 PM   #20
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Though not actually what is discussed here, but while I was searching for another Applications, I stumbled upon those two (to make a RAM-Disk):
http://mac.majorgeeks.com/files/details/iramdisk.html
http://mac.majorgeeks.com/files/deta..._ram_disk.html

Other thing I was thinking: Isn't there a Drive from Seagate that has a flash chip as Cache-Buffer in a normal hard drive disk?

Quote:
Originally posted by bteam
I found some cheap optibays for my powerbook G4, early 2005. (...)
which would be the slower of the two IDE controllers (slower on the optical drive). One could also just use SATA-to-IDE-Adapter (there are slim ones for Laptops, though I do not see them in big numbers on Ebay).

For IDE desktop Macs, SATA can also be achieved through SATA-PCI-Controllers (not sure about the actual transfer rates with overhead and all this stuff over PCI).

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I do as well. And its boot drive is a WD Green drive. I don't know why people say those drives are so bad.
First bad image people have of it belongs to reliability, which comes from the first days, it was new, when there was a certain production series failing a lot, I guess.
I wonder, too. I did not test them, but I wondered, because they often are used in mediaplayers and such, but I had a 2,5" 5400rpm Drive hooked to my mediaplayer (part of a satelite Receiver) and it would start to stutter (an older 7200rpm SATA drive I had spare then did the job), so I asked myself, why then are Caviar Green Drives pictured as very slow? I searched a bit and got the impression that though they work for mediaplayers, people get frustrated using them as Drive for "media" editing, making a connection in their mind like "use in mediaplayer -> photos and films are media -> Drive for mediaediting".
I would really like to test them once out of curiosity, but I guess like with most hard drives I do not see a real difference in real life use (or I will think it is my old Mac, when something slows down). The cases were I (myself) can really see, that a drive is slow are few (I am not doing intensive stuff). Using Xbench, just to know the numbers, would be interesting, if Xbench wouldn't produce phantasy speedvalues (I saw this, testing the same drive over and over again. Just not comparable).

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Old Nov 4, 2012, 01:42 AM   #21
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It's a formatting trick that I'd bet my left nut could be replicated without 10.8.
Its much more than a formatting trick, its how OSX 10.8 handles the files on the drive ( Windows 8 Pro can do it on hybrid drives as well ), its a matter of software.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 01:52 AM   #22
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It's two physical drives seen as one logical drive, aka JBOD spanning. As for moving files between the two drives. With a little work and some software it could be achieved pretty simply, at worst you could schedule files to be moved using cron scheduling, at best you would work out how to implement it on the fly.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 04:51 AM   #23
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Eh I still like to do my own thing with SSD + mechanical, that way if a drive fails I can actually diagnose what's wrong and fix or replace it.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 05:04 AM   #24
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Eh I still like to do my own thing with SSD + mechanical, that way if a drive fails I can actually diagnose what's wrong and fix or replace it.
I do agree, that's one of the worst things about these Fusion drives and something that goes against every grain of IT logic and common sense in having 2 points of failure.

It's too early for it to raise its head yet but there will be massive issues with a lot of angry calls to Apple Care and a lot of geniuses who are going to cop the flack when peoples fusion drives start failing in the way a striped set does without a parity drive.

Fusion is actually a worse solution than straight out striping of a drive and it's a PR disaster waiting to happen.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 08:45 AM   #25
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It's two physical drives seen as one logical drive, aka JBOD spanning. As for moving files between the two drives. With a little work and some software it could be achieved pretty simply, at worst you could schedule files to be moved using cron scheduling, at best you would work out how to implement it on the fly.
I can actually already think of ways to do it easily, with two separate drives and a simple script loaded into launchd. Fusion has to be more sophisticated than just JBOD though. Not much more mind you, but more. My guess is that they implemented something like lvm. At least I hope they did, because as you note it's actually appreciably worse than striping and represents two potential points of failure.

Additionally, the processing overhead for this kind of thing would be enormous and the disk activity would in all certainty be crippling for most machines. Anything less than a quad G5 and you'd probably slow your PowerPC machine to a crawl. This is also definitely not a Pro feature. If you're working with large files, I don't see this being of much benefit since that's not where SSD tech shines.

In short, I'd certainly be uncomfortable with a Fusion drive in my machine. I'll stick to a more mundane implementation of the combination of SSDs and spinning rust for the foreseeable future.
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