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Old Nov 5, 2012, 03:08 AM   #1
California
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Best HDD/SSD for Powerbook Optibay?

I have the final Powerbook 1.67ghz DDR2 HRDL blah blah blah machine.

Love it.

Anyway, the OEM UJ 846 is slowly giving up the ghost so I bought an optibay/SATA to the IDE. Actually I don't know if it's a real Optibay, probably a Chinese knockoff, but I don't think it matters much.

I have a new 320gb PATA HD in the powerbook, but thinking about putting in a PATA SSD, like 32gb, and dropping a 1 TB into the optibay.

Or should I put an SSD in the optibay, and keep the 320gb HD where it's at?

Does anyone know if the already slowish IDE HD bottleneck is the same for the IDE optical drive on the Powerbook? I have no idea. Just want to optimize the machine.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 05:16 AM   #2
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Get a SATA PC Card and a SATA SSD if you want maximum performance from an external drive, otherwise look at a PATA SSD from other world computing.

http://eshop.macsales.com/Search/Sea...A+ATA+PATA+SSD

If you go with an internal drive you will be limited to the PATA bus limits of 133mb/s which any modern SSD will outstrip.

Last edited by orestes1984; Nov 5, 2012 at 05:26 AM.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 05:24 AM   #3
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I bought a cheap Chinese SSD for my G5 iMac for $39 [32GB], its' performance has been on par with my $240 240GB OWC Mercury SSD in my G5 tower, apart from sometimes slower write performance.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 05:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orestes1984 View Post
Get a SATA PC Card and a SATA SSD.
You mean a SATA PCMCIA card and an external SATA SSD?
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 05:30 AM   #5
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You mean a SATA PCMCIA card and an external SATA SSD?
Yes if you want the best performance boost. You will see a good performance increase with an internal drive, but you will be limited to 133mb/s bus speed. With SATA you will be able to achieve read/write performance up to 3 times as fast.

As to internal drives, without using a SATA to IDE adapter you will be limited to hard drive sizes of around 320gb you can get a 1TB drive if you work out how to fit a SATA to IDE adapter inside your PowerBook.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 05:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by orestes1984 View Post
You will see a good performance increase with an internal drive, but you will be limited to 133mb/s bus speed. With SATA you will be able to achieve read/write performance up to 3 times as fast.
My experience: I've got a G5 tower with SATA I, and have used both an OWC Mercury SSD and OCZ Vertex Plus [both SATA II] drive as boot drive, and the absolute highest read speed I ever got from them was 131MB/sec. Write speed was similar.

A SATA III Corsair Force 3 drive in my SATA I Macbook was nearly identical.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 05:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jethryn Freyman View Post
My experience: I've got a G5 tower with SATA I, and have used both an OWC Mercury SSD and OCZ Vertex Plus [both SATA II] drive as boot drive, and the absolute highest read speed I ever got from them was 131MB/sec. Write speed was similar.

A SATA III Corsair Force 3 drive in my SATA I Macbook was nearly identical.
SATA1 has a maximum speed of 300mb/s you should be able to achieve this with a modern SSD. The max transfer rate of PATA IDE is 133mb/s, you will be able to achieve this with most any SSD you can fit to a Powerbook.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 06:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by orestes1984 View Post
SATA1 has a maximum speed of 300mb/s you should be able to achieve this with a modern SSD. The max transfer rate of PATA IDE is 133mb/s, you will be able to achieve this with most any SSD you can fit to a Powerbook.
SATA I = 1.5 gigabits per second, which is 192MB per second. And that is at its' maximum *theoretical* peak. If you have managed faster on a slower interface, I welcome any tips to increase my setup
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 06:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jethryn Freyman View Post
SATA I = 1.5 gigabits per second, which is 192MB per second. And that is at its' maximum *theoretical* peak. If you have managed faster on a slower interface, I welcome any tips to increase my setup
D'Oh, you're right, SATA2 was 300mb/s where SATA1 has a real transfer rate of about 150mb/s *****
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 07:03 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by orestes1984 View Post
D'Oh, you're right, SATA2 was 300mb/s where SATA1 has a real transfer rate of about 150mb/s *****
Yeah I'm actually really impressed with the performance that no-name Hong Kong SSDs bring... certainly worth the money if you want to upgrade an old Mac. SSDs are *that* good
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 07:30 AM   #11
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Yeah I'm actually really impressed with the performance that no-name Hong Kong SSDs bring... certainly worth the money if you want to upgrade an old Mac. SSDs are *that* good
I agree, I'm running a Corsair Force 3 in my G5 Xserve, it's a waste but it's a good waste considering it was Firmware incompatible with my SATA3 MacBook Pro.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 12:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jethryn Freyman View Post
I bought a cheap Chinese SSD for my G5 iMac for $39 [32GB], its' performance has been on par with my $240 240GB OWC Mercury SSD in my G5 tower, apart from sometimes slower write performance.
iMac G5's take SATAs, this has nothing to do with Powerbook G4s?

Weird.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by orestes1984 View Post
Yes if you want the best performance boost. You will see a good performance increase with an internal drive, but you will be limited to 133mb/s bus speed. With SATA you will be able to achieve read/write performance up to 3 times as fast.

As to internal drives, without using a SATA to IDE adapter you will be limited to hard drive sizes of around 320gb you can get a 1TB drive if you work out how to fit a SATA to IDE adapter inside your PowerBook.
Thanks. I never thought of using a SATA PCMCIA card for faster bus speeds on the Powerbook. Amazing.

But I do have the SATA to IDE Optibay as well, and I imagine the optical drive bus on the Powerbook 15" 1.67 is limited to the 133mbs as well?

I wonder what the PCMCIA SATA speed actually is on the Powerbook? You said three times as fast?

Wow -- if true.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:05 PM   #13
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Dont bother with the optibay. I had the same thought until another poster informed me the Superdrive connection is very slow. I did some digging on Apple's dev center and the max speed is only 16.7 MBps for your powerbook and mine. Dont know what I plan to do with the optibay. Might return to sender or use a spare SATA drive.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by California View Post

I wonder what the PCMCIA SATA speed actually is on the Powerbook? You said three times as fast?

Wow -- if true.
Cardbus (PCIMCIA, PC card) has maximum transfer up to 1Gbps, i.e. 125MBps (or 132MBps following other sources), what's +/- equal to theoretical ATA 133 speed.

Check barefeats tests, but unfortunately with mechanical drive:

http://www.barefeats.com/hard54.html
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by California View Post
I have the final Powerbook 1.67ghz DDR2 HRDL blah blah blah machine.
Love it.
<SNIP>
Just want to optimize the machine.
Congrats, it's a fine machine.
I've not had that specific model, though that age group is familiar to me.

Quite honestly, I think you have a set of two bottlenecks. One, which people here have mentioned sufficiently, is that a SSD disk is not able to realize it's true potential, as your bus does not offer the bandwidth.

On the other hand, I suspect that even though your machine would have sataII or sataIII capability, your CPU power (and bus speeds etc.) would not quite suffice to make the most of it.

That said, as some posters here have noted, the optibay link is not the place you want to put your SSD. So if SSD it is, it must supplant the HDD.

So, if you want the SSD speed (and dont want to have to put it outside the chassis), you have precisely two alternatives:
- buy a PATA SSD (preferably with a nice return policy), and leave the superdrive in the optibay. You can also move all the data you previously had on your HDD onto an external drive (USB2 for portability or FW800 for performance - some of them are quite nice and take very little space)
- buy a PATA SSD (ditto), throw out the superdrive and put a PATA HDD in stead of the superdrive (please note that this disk will be slower than anything you've seen for years, but still usable for most "storage" purposes)

P.S. In theory a SSD should give you a hefty boost, but I once tried it with a PBG4 12" 1,5Ghz, and my expectations were not met. All in all, in that machine, the HDD was not the worst bottleneck, but your logic board is quite much better and it's quite possible you will feel like the computer suddenly became three years younger. But you will never know unless you try it. That's why I recommend a selecting a vendor with a nice return policy.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 02:13 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by seveej View Post
Congrats, it's a fine machine.
I've not had that specific model, though that age group is familiar to me.

Quite honestly, I think you have a set of two bottlenecks. One, which people here have mentioned sufficiently, is that a SSD disk is not able to realize it's true potential, as your bus does not offer the bandwidth.

On the other hand, I suspect that even though your machine would have sataII or sataIII capability, your CPU power (and bus speeds etc.) would not quite suffice to make the most of it.

That said, as some posters here have noted, the optibay link is not the place you want to put your SSD. So if SSD it is, it must supplant the HDD.

So, if you want the SSD speed (and dont want to have to put it outside the chassis), you have precisely two alternatives:
- buy a PATA SSD (preferably with a nice return policy), and leave the superdrive in the optibay. You can also move all the data you previously had on your HDD onto an external drive (USB2 for portability or FW800 for performance - some of them are quite nice and take very little space)
- buy a PATA SSD (ditto), throw out the superdrive and put a PATA HDD in stead of the superdrive (please note that this disk will be slower than anything you've seen for years, but still usable for most "storage" purposes)

P.S. In theory a SSD should give you a hefty boost, but I once tried it with a PBG4 12" 1,5Ghz, and my expectations were not met. All in all, in that machine, the HDD was not the worst bottleneck, but your logic board is quite much better and it's quite possible you will feel like the computer suddenly became three years younger. But you will never know unless you try it. That's why I recommend a selecting a vendor with a nice return policy.
Excellent. I have a fat 12.5mm 750gb SATA 7200 HD that I may stick in the Optibay with a PATA SSD. Or I might just stick with the 320HD PATA I have plus the 750gb drive for a huge amount of storage.

But I may try the PCMCIA SATA card in the PC slot on the Powerbook to see how fast I can get an external SATA SSD going there, too.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 07:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jethryn Freyman View Post
I bought a cheap Chinese SSD for my G5 iMac for $39 [32GB], its' performance has been on par with my $240 240GB OWC Mercury SSD in my G5 tower, apart from sometimes slower write performance.
Any chance of some benchmarks?
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 09:53 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by 666sheep View Post
Cardbus (PCIMCIA, PC card) has maximum transfer up to 1Gbps, i.e. 125MBps (or 132MBps following other sources), what's +/- equal to theoretical ATA 133 speed.

Check barefeats tests, but unfortunately with mechanical drive:

http://www.barefeats.com/hard54.html
I'm thinking of running a flat cable from the eSata inside the machine to the optibay...why not? Might be a fun mod. Or maybe run it to the regular hard drive bay. Or even the battery bay.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 03:34 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by skinniezinho View Post
Any chance of some benchmarks?
Certainly kind sir: although I much admit an error right now as I re-ran the tests: the cheap drive doesn't not have an advantage when it comes to *write* speed.

Anyway, benchmarks now.

iMac G5 1.8GHz [17" ALS model], 1GB RAM, 32GB KingSpec SATA II SSD.

4-1024KB read/write tests:



2-10MB tests:



20-100MB tests:



********************

PMG5, dual 1.8GHz, 4GB RAM, 240GB OWC Mercury Electra SSD.

4-1024KB read/write tests:



2-10MB tests:



20-100MB tests:



Enjoy

----------

Overall though, for a small cheap SSD in an old Mac, you'll notice a hell of a lot more performance. Accessing the disk for read is much more common for most people. I haven't regretted the purchase one bit.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 04:53 AM   #20
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Think I'll be getting an SSD......
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 05:05 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jethryn Freyman View Post
Certainly kind sir: although I much admit an error right now as I re-ran the tests: the cheap drive doesn't not have an advantage when it comes to *write* speed.

Anyway, benchmarks now.

iMac G5 1.8GHz [17" ALS model], 1GB RAM, 32GB KingSpec SATA II SSD.

4-1024KB read/write tests:

Image

2-10MB tests:

Image

20-100MB tests:

Image

********************

PMG5, dual 1.8GHz, 4GB RAM, 240GB OWC Mercury Electra SSD.

4-1024KB read/write tests:

Image

2-10MB tests:

Image

20-100MB tests:

Image

Enjoy

----------

Overall though, for a small cheap SSD in an old Mac, you'll notice a hell of a lot more performance. Accessing the disk for read is much more common for most people. I haven't regretted the purchase one bit.
Great benchmarks!
Thanks a lot for this =)
Guess I will search for an ssd for my powermac =)
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 07:54 AM   #22
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Ide+hdd=slow

Quote:
Originally Posted by California View Post
I have the final Powerbook 1.67ghz DDR2 HRDL blah blah blah machine.

Love it.

Anyway, the OEM UJ 846 is slowly giving up the ghost so I bought an optibay/SATA to the IDE. Actually I don't know if it's a real Optibay, probably a Chinese knockoff, but I don't think it matters much.

I have a new 320gb PATA HD in the powerbook, but thinking about putting in a PATA SSD, like 32gb, and dropping a 1 TB into the optibay.

Or should I put an SSD in the optibay, and keep the 320gb HD where it's at?

Does anyone know if the already slowish IDE HD bottleneck is the same for the IDE optical drive on the Powerbook? I have no idea. Just want to optimize the machine.
The best idea would be to put in 2 fast caviar blacks in raid zero IDE will be too slow for a ssd.
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