Given a G4, want to make Server

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by TrevOwnz, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #1
    Like the title says, I was given a G4 by my boss who said it only needs a power supply and harddrive. I have a harddrive I could use to make sure it works but I need to buy a power supply.

    Once I have that I want to make it a file sharing server. I have a Quad iMac and Quad MacBook 15 and I do a lot of design and want a server for my files.

    I have a few general questions about the set up though.

    Will I need to make the OS a Server OS?

    Will I connect it to my Machines with firewire?

    How well will a G4 be as a server.

    If anyone has any advice like things to add to the system or ways to go about doing it, I'm all ears. Also if anyone has a power supply for this computer I will buy it off of you. It seems like they are $30-50 on eBay which seems like of high when I can buy a working system for not much more than that on craigslist.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    adcx64

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Cudi Zone
    #2
    Could you give us some more info on the model?

    Look into a Firmtek 1S2 (google it) SATA PCI card, and stuff 2 large SATA drives.

    We can help with the OS when you give us more info on the model.

    Yes, you can connect via FireWire, or Gigabit Ethernet.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #3
    Not sure what else I can say. The back says 450Mhz Dp and it has max Ram but I want to replace it all. They mismatch.

    It's this model http://www.nceita.org/wp-content/picture/g4.jpg

    I've built and repaired a few computers and the inside is in great shape so I have high hopes all it needs is a power supply but finding one on the cheap seems to prove difficult.

    Any other info you may need?

    I would like to Max out the Ram with good matching RAM and buy more Harddrive once it's running and set up as a server successfully. I will buy 2TB or so. I will be painting it from the inside and out too. Something along these lines but without all of the hardware customization. http://www.flickr.com/photos/47388109@N07/4420697485/
     
  4. velocityg4, Jan 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013

    macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #4
    You should be able to replace the PSU with an ATX one. You will need to rewire the motherboard connector so that the pinout is correct.

    I would note that as a file server that Dual Processor G4 will suck down a lot of electricity. I've been balking at the idea of building an 18w AMD Server.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #5
    So how much in power are we talking? A refrigerator or a lamp haha.

    I want a server that is for sure. It's possible I may do a Mac Mini Server but I really wanted to use the free Mac and get a set up without spending much if hardly any money. Also I love the look of a tower. A G5 would be way more awesome but I heard they suck up A LOT more power than a G4.

    I don't want to have to remove anything from the motherboard and have to solder a new pin connector. I would think there is a pin to pin adapter I could use though.
     
  6. macrumors demi-goddess

    costabunny

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Location:
    ~/
    #6
    You could Strip its innards and put in a micro atx/itx atom - for file serving its efficient and if yo get a later one will even handle transcoding for media files ;)
     
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #7
    Also let me add that a ATX Conversion can't work because I don't have the original power supply. When my boss gave me the computer it wasn't in it.

    Thursday I will be swinging by the shop and looking through his stuff for it though.
     
  8. macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #8
    Having mismatched PC-100/PC-133 doesn't effect performance at all. Replacing all three or four 512MB sticks with new ones will just be a waste of money.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    blesscheese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Central CA
    #9
    Why doesn't anybody know about this?

    Check out this dude

    He has all sorts of G4 ATX conversion cables.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    seveej

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    #10
    I have basically the same situation, and my solution was similar (see sig)
    If you have no problems with the server needing more power than necessary (compare to a NAS box, which needs on average some tens of watts), then you need to decide:
    - how much storage capasity do you envision needing?
    - do you want it in RAID (mirroring)
    - how snappy does it need to be?

    My solution was a two channel SATA card and two big SATA drives in soft raid. But your mileage may vary. Just keep in mind that PATA drives are constrained and your machine will not accept any big drives (128 GB limit on PATA drives in early G4's).

    If you have the cables and switches, I'd go for hookup through Ethernet. You may want to test the throughput and buy a separate NIC if it does not suffice. My machine gives me 60-80 MBps, which is sufficient, that I can work directly off the server, but if your usage is mainly archiving old stuff, you do not necessarily need more than what you get out of the box.


    If your main usage is file sharing and maybe sharing a printer, you do not need a server OS. Considering the oomph of the machine, I'd say you should not go beyond tiger (althoughI'm sure some leopard-fan will slam me for saying so).

    RGDS,
     
  11. macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #11
    Actually, if you know how to work a soldering iron, the conversion is pretty easy:
    [​IMG]

    What's problematic is finding a ATX power supply that fits the cutouts in the case for the AC connector.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    #12
    Tiger and Leopard (and all other modern OSX versions) both use AFP for file sharing, so the choice of whether to use Tiger or Leopard is purely down to preference. IMO, Tiger would be better simply because it is going to be run as a server and thus the fancy visuals just aren't needed.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #13
    Thanks for the reply guys. Good news, I found the power supply at my bosses job and it turns on. Whether or not the fan is working at full speed is another thing. Maybe I could swop it out of the supply if it isn't.

    I have a 50gb harddrive that is a spare I want to get the OS on to make sure it works before investing in some harddrives for the server. I will just run Tiger and use Firewire to store the files.

    Here is a video of the power supply.

    Let me know if it sounds like it is funny correctly.

    Also where the heck do I plug the motherboard fan at that is connected to the tower.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKkMYvAb120
     
  14. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #14
    - I want to get it working first, then 2 1TB harddrives in it or so. How good are 2TB harddrives? Open to recommendations. I make videos and the files can quickly eat up space.

    - I want it to be a server I can connect to with my iMac or MacBook Pro with a firewire cable and be able to access all of my files. I will store all of my movies, PSDs, Final Cut videos, and photos on it. Can you play a movie over firewire? May be a stupid question.

    - I don't think it needs to mirror. At my job we work off of servers and no files are on our computers and the system is great. My IT guy said we are connected with Gigabit Ethernet which I don't know if that is a lot better but if my system dropped and received files half as good I would be stoked.

    - I will buy a 1TB back up drive which I will back up the server once every month or so. I have my iMac now time machined but I ran out of space so I have to clear my time machine and reback up because it can't hold 2 back ups.

    - I will be tearing down and repainting the whole thing to match the modern day aluminum/black. I did it to my last computer and it looked awesome.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #15
    Hey guys. I got the computer on and running. All I needed was a USB keyboard to finish the installation. So I turned it off and unplugged the power supply and put it to the side. Got a keyboard today and plugged it back in and I don't even hear the fans trying to turn on. Completely dead. Couldn't have be zapped because it was unplugged.

    Is my power supply so touchy that it broke just moving it?
     
  16. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #16
    Is this PSU you've found genuine Apple one? I'm asking, because it should have a short cable with plug for case fan.

    You could see it in top left corner of below image (little white plug).

    [​IMG]
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    #17
    The G4 power consumption is between 80 W / 150 W (idle) and 360 W / 400 W (CPU max). It must be considered as a cheap NAS is around 20 W with spin-down and 35 W with two big drives.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #18
    Are you talking about the G4 he has? My Single 500MHz PowerMac G4 draw 50-60W (with ATI 9200)
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    #19
    I took the stats from the last G4s (2003). Was hard to find the right model based on the screenshot. Anyway, older ones will have a lower power consumption, but... They'll be old as hell :p I would rather spend 150-200$ on a cheap NAS instead of using a such old G4 which will be limited in drive size, drive speed, ethernet speed, well everything. A NAS doesn't require much, but if you want to achieve a good transfer speed, it must be good enough.
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #20
    It's old, but not so limited. Much cheaper than $150-200 NAS and could be comparably useable. Sawtooth ~S20-30 on CL. Gigabit ethernet PCI card ~$15, 2x PCI SATA card ~$35. That way you can build 8TB capable server for ~$80 (not counting drives ofc).
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #21
    He stated, that it says 450 DP, so it was very clear, without the picture (which further indicated an older Mac before 2001), that it is a GigabitEthernet Mac and not a MDD with Dual 1,25GHz.

    Is that so, that you get good transfer speeds with NAS for 150EUR? I read some reviews about a Sonnet NAS, that said it was slow as USB1 with gigabit ethernet (partly due to the protocoll used). I was told taht one has to buy a costier NAS to get at least 60MB/s speeds and more. But I am not that much into that sort of things.
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Location:
    Detroit
    #22
    I know a lot of people with this exact setup. For a home server it is more than capable.
     
  23. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    #23
    Oh, I missed that part :eek:

    Well, with 5400 RPM drives (got them on sale, so...), I get a decent speed with my ReadyNAS Duo v2. I would have to test for a precise speed. But, that's better than a 2.5" 5400 RPM drive in an USB2 enclosure. It's probably not 60 MB/s (not reached with USB2 too).

    Btw. USB1 is 0.188 - 1.5 MB/s...
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #24
    No I meant USB1 :)

    It was a macpower pleiades LAN connected to a PowerPC Mac

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.c...j3.4.0...0.0...1c.1.TRlPy-bSibg&hl=de&ct=clnk (you have to promt "abort" several times, to read the numbers. Though it is german, you will understand it, I think.

    The test I actually had in mind is here https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&...o9A8Do&sig=AHIEtbQESb7FMFf46UUfAKtuh2i7Xb-qWQ (Macpower Pleiades Taurus LAN: 1,9MB/s)
    Here we discussed it http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1260871

    Experiences seem to differ...
     

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