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Old Jan 8, 2013, 10:57 PM   #1
zackkmac
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Should I get a different SSD?

Hello all. I am wanting to install an SSD in my iMac G4. Currently I have a Crucial v4 that I would be removing from my iMac G5 in order for my G4 to have an SSD.

I would like to get the maximum read and write speeds possible for my G4. Would the v4 be sufficient? On my G5 I do not notice much difference over a standard HDD. So part of me thinks it won't help the G4 very much either. Would it benefit me to buy a different SSD, and if so, which one?

Your opinions are appreciated.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 11:15 PM   #2
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What does your iMac G5 have, a SATA or PATA HD, keep in your mind the G4 does not have SATA so it will not make that much of a difference.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 11:27 PM   #3
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The G5 has a SATA I interface. And with the G4 being PATA, the speeds are limited to 100MB/s right? I am not sure what my current speeds are as I don't have a benchmark app, but does anyone have an idea of ballpark before and after speeds? Or other aspects that make a difference?
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 11:45 PM   #4
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The G5 has a SATA I interface. And with the G4 being PATA, the speeds are limited to 100MB/s right? I am not sure what my current speeds are as I don't have a benchmark app, but does anyone have an idea of ballpark before and after speeds? Or other aspects that make a difference?
The difference would be substantial vs. a hdd
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 11:52 PM   #5
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I was sure hoping so! Should the Crucial v4 be sufficient in achieving max speeds since I can't utilize its full SATA II speeds anyways? I know it's not the best drive for SATA systems but since this is PATA I am wondering if it will be able to get to 100MB/s or whatever the limit is. Since it is rated at "up to 270MB/s".
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 12:02 AM   #6
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I was sure hoping so! Should the Crucial v4 be sufficient in achieving max speeds since I can't utilize its full SATA II speeds anyways? I know it's not the best drive for SATA systems but since this is PATA I am wondering if it will be able to get to 100MB/s or whatever the limit is. Since it is rated at "up to 270MB/s".
You will see a difference but not a huge one, R/W does not say it all though, I learned from other people here SSD's have much higher IOPS and this will make a difference.
Max R/W is not that high and will not reach 100Mb/s.
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 12:10 AM   #7
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You will see a difference but not a huge one, R/W does not say it all though, I learned from other people here SSD's have much higher IOPS and this will make a difference.
Max R/W is not that high and will not reach 100Mb/s.
Like justperry says, you will not ever get theoretical throughput in real-world scenarios. Run some kind of disk performance speed test on the mechanical hard drive first and compare to afterwards, that way you'll have an objective measure of what your R/W are.

In my opinion, SSDs are a tremendous upgrade regardless of your drive interface. Though PATA will be handicapped as far as the actual capabilities of the drive, it should still provide a noticeable and substantial upgrade in performance. I am curious as to why your G5 didn't see a big boost; did you do a clean install? That is ALWAYS recommended when it comes to SSDs.

Also, I want to clarify since there is sometimes a misunderstanding with notation. Lowercase b as in Mb ≠ uppercase B as in MB. The lowercase stands for bit, or 1/8 of byte, which is uppercase B. Your G4 iMac likely has either 100MB/s or 133MB/s, but given that it is PATA, your Crucial drive will not be compatible without some kind of bridge to adapt the connection. These bridge adapters are fairly cheap on eBay, but I'm not sure if they will fit in the G4 as I've never serviced one. Alternately, you can look for a PATA SSD but the price per GB leaves much to be desired given the age of the interface and relative scarcity of options.
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 12:12 AM   #8
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Definitely taking note of that, thank you! I will try the v4 when I get home and run some speed tests.

I am using this G4 as a kitchen computer for web surfing and iTunes. With 1.25GB RAM (other 1GB stick on its way) and the 1.25GHz processor, it still feels a bit "sticky" as the HDD is always the last component to catch up on what I'm doing. I'm hoping the SSD will speed up the small lag the system has.

The G5 has not had a clean install ever. Been meaning to do that anyways as unfortunately the Mountain Lion PPC theme has done some irreversible damage to the OS interface. But it is at a different house and not used nearly as much as my G4.

Also thanks for the clarification on the MB/Mb! I do have an adaptor that is currently in my iMac G3 that I do not use.
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 12:16 AM   #9
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Like justperry says, you will not ever get theoretical throughput in real-world scenarios. Run some kind of disk performance speed test on the mechanical hard drive first and compare to afterwards, that way you'll have an objective measure of what your R/W are.

In my opinion, SSDs are a tremendous upgrade regardless of your drive interface. Though PATA will be handicapped as far as the actual capabilities of the drive, it should still provide a noticeable and substantial upgrade in performance. I am curious as to why your G5 didn't see a big boost; did you do a clean install? That is ALWAYS recommended when it comes to SSDs.

Also, I want to clarify since there is sometimes a misunderstanding with notation. Lowercase b as in Mb ≠ uppercase B as in MB. The lowercase stands for bit, or 1/8 of byte, which is uppercase B. Your G4 iMac likely has either 100MB/s or 133MB/s, but given that it is PATA, your Crucial drive will not be compatible without some kind of bridge to adapt the connection. These bridge adapters are fairly cheap on eBay, but I'm not sure if they will fit in the G4 as I've never serviced one. Alternately, you can look for a PATA SSD but the price per GB leaves much to be desired given the age of the interface and relative scarcity of options.
Agreed, and those SATA to PATA adapters aren't always that good, and PATA SSD's seem to be expensive, hell, try to find a big 320GB PATA HD, they are expensive too.
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 04:31 PM   #10
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I guess it all depends on wich HDD you have on the G4.
In my Powermac G4 I have a sonnet tempo pci sata card (sata 1), this is the benchmarks from
500Gb Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ and OCZ Vertex 2





The SSD in real world is a little bit faster, but I don't know if it is worth the price.
In my case I already had a good hdd, and a very tweaked installation os OSX.
IF I had to buy a new HDD, I would buy an SSD , there are lots of good opportunities for low end/not latest technology SSDs, for example, my vertex 2 120Gb was bought new about 64eur, I don't know if 64eur can even buy you now a good 500Gb HDD new.
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 07:11 PM   #11
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Those results did not show hardly any difference in speed at all.

Thanks for the info though. I still can't justify buying another SSD just for this Mac due to these facts. I will just move the SSD from my G5 to my G4.
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 07:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zackkmac View Post
Those results did not show hardly any difference in speed at all.

Thanks for the info though. I still can't justify buying another SSD just for this Mac due to these facts. I will just move the SSD from my G5 to my G4.
Here is another bench:





In your specific case don't buy another SSD, it won't get you any more speed (than the crucial one), the SSD that you have now,will outperform the IDE bus.
If you have a nice mechanical HDD on the G5 and almost don't feel the difference from a SSD, give the SSD to the G4, maybe it produce a speed increase because it has and old hdd.
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 09:40 PM   #13
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Those results did not show hardly any difference in speed at all.

Thanks for the info though. I still can't justify buying another SSD just for this Mac due to these facts. I will just move the SSD from my G5 to my G4.
Again, I want to point out that your SSD will not work in the G4 without some kind of bridge. It is a SATA drive, and therefore, the port is NOT compatible with PATA (aka ATA/UATA/IDE).
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 09:54 PM   #14
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Again, I want to point out that your SSD will not work in the G4 without some kind of bridge. It is a SATA drive, and therefore, the port is NOT compatible with PATA (aka ATA/UATA/IDE).
Thank you, but I know. As I posted earlier, I have a PATA to SATA adapter that I will try to use. Not sure if it will fit though. It was the smallest/thinnest I could find but when I tried installing it in my previous iMac G4 back in May, it didn't fit. But since I will be using a 2.5" drive and 2.5" to 3.5" brackets, it may fit this time. On my other G4 I was attempting to install a 3.5" HDD and with that adapter it did not fit.

It looks like this one:
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 11:58 PM   #15
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Thank you, but I know. As I posted earlier, I have a PATA to SATA adapter that I will try to use. Not sure if it will fit though. It was the smallest/thinnest I could find but when I tried installing it in my previous iMac G4 back in May, it didn't fit. But since I will be using a 2.5" drive and 2.5" to 3.5" brackets, it may fit this time. On my other G4 I was attempting to install a 3.5" HDD and with that adapter it did not fit.

It looks like this one:
Image
Ah, okay, sorry, sometimes I skim things over without reading too carefully. Let us know how it goes! Good luck.
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 09:41 PM   #16
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Got around to installing the SSD and 2GB RAM. Here are the results according to xbench. To me these seem correct for an SSD running on an ATA interface. What do you think?



Also noticed the SuperDrive has failed - it doesn't read any DVD or CD I insert. So I snagged a DL SuperDrive off eBay for $12.
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 09:42 PM   #17
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Got around to installing the SSD and 2GB RAM. Here are the results according to xbench. To me these seem correct for an SSD running on an ATA interface. What do you think?

Image

Also noticed the SuperDrive has failed - it doesn't read any DVD or CD I insert. So I snagged a DL SuperDrive off eBay for $12.
Looks good to me! It seems you're close to the 1.5Gbps max for SATA I so at least you know the SSD is working well. How does it feel in actual usage?
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 11:00 PM   #18
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It's great! For a ten year old computer it is handling everything nicely. The SSD made a bigger difference here than it ever did on my iMac G5, which is odd but fine with me since I plan on selling the G5 soon anyways.

I would really like to add internal Bluetooth as I already have the card but can't find the antenna wire any cheaper than $30. It's a bit much for an accessory for a computer that only cost me $95 to begin with, but I'm hoping to find one listed on eBay or something for $10. I would also be highly interested in somehow upgrading the 17" LCD to a higher resolution in a similar fashion as the 12" PowerBook G4 LCD mod but who knows how much work that could take finding one with a similar connector.

Really love this iMac though.
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 11:12 PM   #19
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Glad to see you got it to work. I actually just finished a 1920x1200 mod for a friend's 17" PowerBook. Makes a world of difference, if you can find a display panel, I say go for it.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 12:08 AM   #20
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Sure would be awesome. What kind of work did you have to do for the PowerBook? I bet members here would love to see a write up on that. Unless there is one that I have not seen or something.

On a different note, I've been running my iMac as a WiFi router (long story) and I just came back to it and saw it had a kernel panic. I shut it down, rebooted it, and I just got a black screen.

The computer chimed, the fan runs, I'm sure the SSD was accessed and the ethernet light on my cable modem started blinking, but no activity on the display. Sucks that this happened right after I got all excited about the SSD.

I tried it again after letting stay off for a while, and it booted normally. The only thing I can think of is maybe I didn't apply enough thermal paste? I'm assuming I should leave it off until I get some more to add in there.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 12:13 AM   #21
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Sure would be awesome. What kind of work did you have to do for the PowerBook? I bet members here would love to see a write up on that. Unless there is one that I have not seen or something.

On a different note, I've been running my iMac as a WiFi router (long story) and I just came back to it and saw it had a kernel panic. I shut it down, rebooted it, and now I just get a black screen.

The computer chimes, the fan runs, I'm sure the SSD is being accessed and the ethernet light on my cable modem starts blinking, but nothing on the display. Sucks that this happened right after I got all excited about the SSD. The only thing I can think of is maybe I applied too little or not enough thermal paste - would that have caused permanent damage? Or would adding/removing some allow the iMac to work properly again?
PPC processors are strong processors, not only that, if the Temps hit a certain threshold they automatically shut down.
This is something else, I don't believe you damaged the CPU.

Edit: Sometimes Airport gives problems or kernel Panics, also saw you updated your post, good it's back.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 12:23 AM   #22
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Yeah I had to edit my post a couple times to get it right, but I am glad it came back as well. I'm a bit afraid to boot it though. I kind of thought that I went pretty light on the paste, so I will crack it open, clean it off and reapply an amount I feel good about.

I'm glad it doesn't sound like CPU damage. But hopefully it's not the display either as I'm sure that would be a pain to work on or replace. Maybe it's something that'll never happen again.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 02:57 AM   #23
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Sure would be awesome. What kind of work did you have to do for the PowerBook? I bet members here would love to see a write up on that. Unless there is one that I have not seen or something.
It was my first *modern* Mac and I kind for forgot about it until a weeks ago when I found it in my parents' garage. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures during the rebuild process but I have some. When I have time, I'll consider writing things up if I can find enough accompanying pictures. There was a lot wrong with it -- dead PRAM battery, dead main battery, low RAM, dying HD, some friend chips inside, dead fans.

But it's squeaky clean now and working great. I just put the SSD in a few moments ago, in the middle of reinstalling Leopard. It's nothing special, in fact, it's a sketchy budget one, but I'll post some numbers shortly.

----------

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Yeah I had to edit my post a couple times to get it right, but I am glad it came back as well. I'm a bit afraid to boot it though. I kind of thought that I went pretty light on the paste, so I will crack it open, clean it off and reapply an amount I feel good about.

I'm glad it doesn't sound like CPU damage. But hopefully it's not the display either as I'm sure that would be a pain to work on or replace. Maybe it's something that'll never happen again.
It could just be some kind of configuration or internet related crash. I wouldn't worry about the CPU or the thermal paste. You really need next to none. I put about a rice grain sized amount and sort of spread it out to cover the entire chip and that's enough.
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