G4 Tower Hard Drive Upgrade Question

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by geoffy, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #1
    I have a G4 tower. I believe it is what is know as the Digial Audio model. I want to upgrade/add a large slave hard drive. Is it possible to add a large hard drive, say 500 GB? Are there limitations on the size of the drive because the system is old? I am running OS 10.4.9.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    MIDI_EVIL

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Yes, you need a SATA PCI controller card for drives larger than 120GB.

    Rich.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #3
    Thanks a lot for the tip. These don't seem too expensive at all.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    #4
    They're about the same price as PATA controllers, and will also give your older mac a considerable speed boost when connected to some fast 7200 rpm/16mb cache SATA drives :)
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #5
    I just switched out the hardrive in a 450 mhz tower (ADP Graphics, I think) because it used to lock up incessantly (while performing any variety of tasks). A "Genius" at the Apple Store diagnosed it and said the hard drive was the culprit. We put in a new 150GB IDE drive and everything was just ducky... for about a day. It's now resumed it frequent freezing. So my question is... a.) was the "Genius" full of crap or b.) does that fact that this drive is larger than 120GB have something to do with it?
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #6
    I'm definitely going to install a huge drive in my G4. 500 GB drives are affordable.
     
  7. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #7
    Not true!

    I have been using a IDE/ATA 320GB for a year or so and just upgraded to a 500GB IDE/ATA drive.

    Works fine in my Quicksilver.

    BTW, nothing wrong with getting a SATA PCI controller card. But it is not needed if you want to use a PATA drive larger than 120GB.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    #8
    i had to get a pci card for mine. from what i understand some older models don't accept big drives, but some do.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #9
    Is there a particular PCI card that you can recommend? Will the usual PC OEM versions work?
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    NY
    #10
    I have a Quicksilver 2002 933, I just dropped a large IDE drive in it without a problem... ( in fact I stuck one in the Zip drive slot too... just removed the back flap and slaved it to the optical drive. Total of 3 Hdds now.) So, if you have a later one you should be fine.

    And, should you be considering an upgrade, My G4 is still way more stable than my MAC PRO! It may be slower, but way more stable. If you think about going Pro, hold off until you get a real OS update.

    ~Mike
     
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #11
    I think the Quicksilvers can handle larger hard drives, but my digital audio (733) isn't equipped without a new controller. This weekend I'm making the upgrade.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    MIDI_EVIL

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    The Graphite PowerMac G4 computers, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio etc. require a SATA PCI controller card, trust me.

    Rich.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    #13
    Actually they can use EITHER SATA or PATA pci cards, but since SATA cards are almost the same price as PATA cards, just go for the extra speeeeed & be happy :D

    And yes they must be mac-specific ones......
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    #14
    Large drive support

    The first tower G4 that has "large drive support" (meaning larger than 128 gigabytes when plugged directly into the logic board's ATA bus) is the Quicksilver 2002. If you want a larger drive in a Mac model earlier than this, you can use either a PATA or SATA PCI slot controller card, with a corresponding drive plugged into it. The advantage of SATA is that the drives have become cheaper than PATA, especially the larger you get. SATA is only somewhat faster than a good fast PATA drive, at least with this configuration, unless you install a 10,000 RPM SATA, which is a speed not available for PATA drives. The largest 10,000 RPM SATA drives are 150 gig, but you could make one of these drives your startup drive, and connect a larger, 7200 RPM SATA drive to the controller card for more storage.
     

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