Do PowerMac G5s Support New SATA2 Drives?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JasonGough, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. JasonGough macrumors regular

    JasonGough

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    Apr 25, 2005
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    Manchester, UK
    #1
    I'm just about to buy a 2nd internal harddisk for my new PowerMac, and i noticed the the Seagate Baracudas also come in higher transfer speed, SATA2 format now aswell as the normal SATA.

    Any know if the SATA2 will run in a PowerMac, or is it never gonna happen?
     
  2. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #2
    SATA II...no

    >>>The new PMs do *not* support SATA II. I think it's debatable how important that is...though imo disappointing nevertheless. I mean, Apple always has to be behind PCs in some regard...it's a tradition.:rolleyes:
     
  3. JasonGough thread starter macrumors regular

    JasonGough

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    #3
    ah, good old apple then

    So, definatly not gonna get SATA2 working in my Mac?

    Not even i a month or so with a software update? Is it purely a hardware thing that will never support it in the current models?
     
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #4
    SATA is built into the K2 I/O chip -- don't think Apple is going to update it.

    They'd need to add a PCI-to-SATA2 controller to the K2 chips external PCI bus, and that would require a new motherboard, which they just redid.

    A PCIe SATA2 card is always an option, should be several available soon (if they aren't already announced.)

    So it's not too far away from SATA2 on your Mac.
     
  5. JasonGough thread starter macrumors regular

    JasonGough

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    #5
    ha, ok then, i think i'll stick with my currenty motherboard and order a normal SATA drive then :)

    You can get a 200Gig Seagate Baracude for just £64 on microdirect.co.uk! how cheap is that!

    Think i'll order that 2nite, unless you guys have any suggestions of a better hard disk to check out??
     
  6. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

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    #6

    Good call bro, Seagate kicks ass.
     
  7. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

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    #7
    isn't sata2 backwards compatible? ie you could use a sata2 drive on an sata controller with sata performance?
     
  8. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #8
    Yes, I have a SATAII 500GB drive in my PM...no problems.
     
  9. kainjow Moderator emeritus

    kainjow

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    #9
    What are the differences between SATA2 and SATA? Does it use the same connector? Is it just faster?
     
  10. cube macrumors G4

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    May 10, 2004
    #10
    "SATA II" does not always means faster. They could be implementing other features.
     
  11. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #11
    good idea...

    >>>yep...should have mentioned that. Wouldn't be surprised if barefeats.com has suggestions/tests on SATA II pci cards...

    Also...Seagate=good...Maxtor=BAD.

    peace
     
  12. iEdd macrumors 68000

    iEdd

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    Australia
    #12
    Yeah, I mean PCs all have firewire 400 and 800 and macs are lucky to have usb and 9pin serial. Macs also still come in beige plastic cases. :rolleyes:
     
  13. link92 macrumors 6502

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    #13
    SATA2 is fully backwards compatible. SATA2 HDs will work.
     
  14. JasonGough thread starter macrumors regular

    JasonGough

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    #14
    cool, thanx for all your replys.

    Even if a SATA2 drives work in a PowerMac, if they're only working at the same speed as the normal SATA drives, there's not much point paying the extra money for them is there?

    Or will you get faster transfer speeds on the SATA2 anyway?
     
  15. cube macrumors G4

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    May 10, 2004
    #15
    Again, "SATA II" is not equal to 3 Gbps.

    And the answer is no. You might only see a difference if what they implement is NCQ (and maybe for the worse).
     
  16. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

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    USA
    #16
    Just like how SATA is not equal to 1.5Gbps. :) These are just maximum transfer limits specified in the standard - practical speeds on currently manufactured hard disks might be a lot lower.

    :)
     
  17. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #17
    All you are doing with the fast transfer speed is testing the cache, once you burn through that the actual sustained transfer speed drops to the practical HD mechanical limit.

    Buy a HD with a cache not tuned to your drive needs, and the same thing will happen quicker.
     
  18. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    Aug 15, 2001
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    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #18
    People often misunderstand the difference between max and actual transfer rates.

    Currently, the fastest any SATA or SATAII (they're mechanically identical--only the controller is different) drive can get data off the platter is around 75MB/s. SATA I can handle at least 150MB/s (actually, I think it's 1.5Gbps, which would be between 170MB/s and 187MB/s, depending on how it's calculated). SATA II can, but does not always, handle 300MB/s. It also can, depending on the implementation, handle port multiplication (multiple drives per port, useless in the G5) and NCQ (which usually only helps with speed on servers--on some drives it actually slows down desktop operations).

    Point being that the fastest SATA hard drive you can buy won't even use half of the available SATA-I bandwidth, let alone require the doubling that SATA-II provides. The only time this could be an issue is with port multiplication or theoretical future drives, although it's worth noting that even the fastest drives in the world, 15,000RPM SCSI beasts for servers, can't break 100MB/s, and at current rates of transfer increase it will be quite some time before ANY drive can saturate 150MB/s.

    So, basically, although it would be NICE to have full SATA-II on the new G5s, in real world terms it's extremely unlikely to make any difference at all right now. Buy whatever drive you want, but don't pay more for SATA-II just because it sounds better.

    If you want some real-world numbers, have a look at storagereview.com -- very good hard drive analysis site.
     
  19. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #19
    It's not just that. Some "SATA II" drives still have a 1.5 Gbps interface. "SATA II" was the name of the organization establishing the SATA standards, not the name of any specification.
     
  20. tekmoe macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    #20
    FYI: my 2.0 dual-core powermac was shipped with a Western Digital 160gb sata drive. the model number is WD1600JS. upon looking up the model number on the western digital website, it shows to be a 300mb/s drive.

    screenshots can be posted if asked for.
     

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