7200rpm PATA vs SSD PATA

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Legacy, May 6, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #1
    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!
     
  2. macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    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.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    \-V-/

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    #3
    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.
     
  4. macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #4
    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.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    #5
    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!
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    \-V-/

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    #6
    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.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    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...
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    \-V-/

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    #8
    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.
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    #10
    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).
     
  11. Legacy, May 7, 2012
    Last edited: May 7, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    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?
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #12
    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.
     
  13. macrumors member

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    Denver
    #13
    The SSD will be far better in your powerbook. It will make the entire machine feel much faster and your battery will last longer.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    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.
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #15
  16. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
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    Denver
    #16
    If you can live without the CD drive, there are hard drive bay converters available.
     
  17. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    #17
    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.
     
  18. macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    上海 (Shanghai)
    #18
    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.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
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    London
    #19
    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?
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #20
    I love my PB12+SSD

    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!
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    #21
    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.
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

    #22
    What speed is the PowerBook at stock?
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    #23
    auto-removed
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

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    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #24
    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.
     
  25. macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #25
    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.
     

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