Any Tech experts confirm if this HD will work in my G4?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by bluetooth, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    I am shopping for a new HD for my G4.

    Can any tech experts confirm if the following HD will be compatible or will work in my 2001, Power Mac G4 (Quicksilver), 733 Mhz.

    The HD I am interested in is the following:

    Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAJB 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

    Can anyone also explain what the difference is between the "Interface" types, IDE, SE and SATA? and if this relates to the compatibility with older Macs (G4's)?

    I would like to purchase this HD but want to be sure it will work in my G4. Any insight or knowledge in greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much!
  2. macrumors 6502

    it'll work
  3. macrumors 68020


    It will work. IDE is the older connection type present in computers, SATA is the newer.
  4. macrumors 65816


    I remember there being something about a 128 GB limit on the G4s thanks to their IDE controller... Actually, here is a person with the same problem. They got a Sonnet Tempo card for their G4, which in turn allows them to access data at the rate the drive is capable (the G4 uses ATA/66 as compared to the ATA/100 drive). Anyways, you can use the drive... only the first 128 GB.


    IDE(PATA); Parallel data transfer. uses a lot of wires, thus the ungainly cable. Not to mention its speeds were rarefied because it had to send "down" information and then send "up" information along the same wires.

    SATA (And SAS); Serial interface. No need to sync everything up (practically), thusly capable of using a thinner cable.

    SE; :confused:
  5. macrumors 68020


    Thats for earlier G4's. Powemac MDD's can see it all from my research and from here at link
  6. macrumors 65816


    The OP had a 733 MHz QS G4. Blue Velvet in the other thread had the exact same machine IIRC.

    Of course, it could be OS-decided from the your lowendmac link. I was just covering bases; the OP did not mention what OS he/she would be running.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Hey, I am running OS 10.4 (Tiger) so then chances are it should work ok? I noticed that the post from Blue Velvet was from back in 2004 so not sure what she was running in terms of an OS...
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Well, just heard from Blue Velvet and she said it will only read up to 128 no if's or but's. :confused:

    She put a Sonnet Tempo PCI ATA card in there to use a 320Gb drive with, although she said if she was doing something similar today, she'd put a PCI SATA card in there just to give a bit of longevity and drive choice.

    I am a little confused with this card stuff.

    Can anyone reccommend which card I should get? There are so many different types and I am not sure which will work for the intended purpose and in my spedific machine (2001, QS G4, 733 MHZ).

    Clearly I am looking for the most inexpensive route or card as the HD itself was only $80! (taxes and shippin inc.)

    Any specific links to specific cards is greatly appreciated.

    I came across this link but so many different kinds, I have no idea which would work with my G4 to read the HD...
  9. macrumors 65816


    The most inexpensive route is to simply buy a drive with 128GB of space.

    Unfortunately, I would stick with Sonnet's offerings; MacIntosh compatible hardware is harder to find then regular stuff :(

    Just remember, PCI and PCI-Express(also known as PCIe) are two seperate beasts. Your G4 should only have an AGP (graphics) slot and PCI slots... so no PCIe cards.

    Also... SATA is the new standard, wheras IDE is dated and becoming more obscure, ergo the SATA route. Even now, there are two forms of SATA. SATA I and SATA II - the card I'm linking to here is SATA I. Most, if not all, SATA drives today are sold backwards compatible with SATA I. Furthermore, the only drives that could outpace the SATA I standard are solid-state drives.

    So, from there, its all up to your choice for SATA drives, and any one from the Egg should do. Generally the drive will be faster with higher sizes (and the same RPM).

    And if its any solace, I am running a SATA II drive on a SATA I connection. Works just dandy.

    The card I linked to is about $80 before tax+shipping from Sonnet.... I'm sure a search would garner more info. $60 at Provantage
  10. macrumors 6502a


    IDE hard drives have all the pins that get broken and bent so easily, and use 4-pin molexes for power that are so hard to remove.

    SATA are faster drives without pins to bend or unwieldy molexes for power. You will see these drives marked with "Serial ATA".

    The SE he mentions could be SCSI or "scuzzy" format. Those drives are sometimes found in G3s and G4s as well. SCSI is an older interface you don't see in newer machines.

    So, regarding that SATA PCI card: PCI cards plug into the white PCI expansion slots on your computer's motherboard. Most likely your G4 has an AGP (accelerated Graphics Port) slot for video. It's a different interface, usually brown, always at the very top of the expansion slots on your mobo.

    Underneath of the AGP, they're all PCI slots. The PCI card your friend mentioned plugs into one of those slots. On one part of the card, there are connections for a SATA hard drive's data and power to connect and thus interface through.

    Basically The SATA PCI card allows you to add an additional SATA format hard drive to your machine.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Great thanks for the info. $60 isn't too bad. Does this then also allow you to possibly control 2 HD's on your computer if so desired?

    I was also thinking if I were to upgrade and put a 1Ghz dual processor or even a 867Mhz processor in my machine, would that also allow my machine to read a bigger HD without the PCI card? Just curious because I can find those processors tested and working online for $80 and $30 respectively.

    Thanks again for the info and help.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    No, the IDE-controller is the limiting factor and it's not on the CPU (which you would swap).

    And yes, there are two ports on that Sonnet SATA card. => You can control two drives with it.

    If you look into MacTracker (nice little app that lists every Apple/Mac product ever built), your choices are 800Mhz, 867MHz, dual 800MHz, 933MHz, and dual 1.0GHz. All these should work in your QuickSilver.
  13. macrumors 68020


  14. macrumors 6502a


    flatfoot, thanks for the info, much appreciated.

    Very interesting, thanks for the link. I wonder how well this has worked out for people in my position? It would save me about $30 from buying the $60 PCI card, although I was thiking that with the PCI card I could purchase a SATA based drive which would be a little better in terms of performance/speed.

    Something I will keep in mind, thanks again.
  15. macrumors 6502a


    So after some consideration and much needed advice (thanks again to those who have helped) I think I am going to go with the suggested PCI card and am now thinking that since I have this card it will be better to go with a SATA based drive as this would allow for optimum speed and performance, correct? It would also give me the ability to run 2 drives if desired.

    So if any of the tech experts can confirm that my 2001, Power Mac G4 (Quicksilver) will read this PCI card:

    Sonnet Tempo Serial ATA

    whiich will allow me to fully read and run the following HD:

    Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAJS 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

    I just want to again, double check with the tech experts that this specific drive will work ok in my G4 with the PCI card. Also, this drive comes with either a 8MB or 16MB Cache, which would be better or optimal for someone in my position with my computer?

    Thanks again for all input and advice. :cool:
  16. macrumors 68020


    Any cache follows the rule the bigger the better.
  17. macrumors 6502a


    Thanks for the info. But will a 16MB Cache SATA HD work ok with the above mentioned PCI card and in my 2001, Power Mac G4, Quicksilver?

    Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAKS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
  18. macrumors newbie

    Hope you don't mind if I piggyback on this thread. I'm faced with a similar question and I think I might be able to provide some additional info to help advance the discussion.

    The Sonnet Tempo Serial ATA only states that it supports SATA, but makes no mention of SATA II. The Western Digital drive you're asking about has SATA II speeds of 3.0gb/sec, not 1.5. It leaves you and I with a similar predicament.

    Some drives have a jumper setting allowing you to switch from 3.0 to 1.5 for the sake of backward compatibility. Most of the drives I find on retail sites are SATA II, so let me pose this question. If I were to buy a backward compatible SATA II drive like that and attach it to my system with the Sonnet Tempo Serial ATA PCI card, would it work just fine as if it were SATA 1? Or should I just buy a SATA 1 drive?

    Not sure if the WD drive you're looking at has the switch I mentioned. I'm looking at Seagate myself. The good thing about this PCI card is that it allows the drive to be a boot drive, not just extra storage. If either of us had PCI express, it would make the decision a lot easier because there are a lot of PCI-e cards out there that explicitly support SATA II.

    My system is a tad older than yours. G4 Sawtooth AGP. Still plagued by the 128gb blindness, so to speak.
  19. macrumors 68000


    yes, it will work fine. as the other poster pointed out, the bigger the cache, the faster the drive will work.

    all SATA drives are backward compatible. some scale back automatically, and others require you to move a jumper to 'force' the drive into 150 mode, but all will work just fine.

    the increase in performance on both of those older systems using a SATA vs. the onboard IDE is dramatic. if you want the extra speed and don't mind a little bit of noise, you can always find the older raptor 10k rpm drives around at a good price. best of luck.
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Well, that is some great insight and info Sawtoof and it looks like we will be just fine going by 4JNA's response - thanks for that.

    So I think I am set and will go with the above WD mentioned drive (16MB Cache) and the Sonnet Tempo Serial ATA PCI card. Good to know that all SATA drives are backward compatible and that some scale back automatically, and others require you to move a jumper to 'force' the drive into 150 mode, but all will work just fine.

    Great to hear about the boost in performance when switching from an IDE to a SATA.

    The only think I forgot to mention is that I hane internal zip drive so wondering if that will throw a wrinkle into any of this? I wouldn't think so. I never use it anways even it had to be removed for whatever reason.
  21. macrumors 68000


    I have a Sonnet tempo SATA card in my old G4 PowerMac (older than yours), it's worked great (I also have a zip drive in there too, no probs I've noticed, not that I use mine much either nowadays)

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