Hard Drive Questions

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by FireAttack37, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I am looking for a used PowerPC of some sort to use as a home networking and storage center.

    All the hard drives (3) I currently have an plan to use use the SATA interface. Is there a PowerPC that will handle 3 SATA drives?
     
  2. macrumors member

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    #2
    You could get a G4 with a SATA PCI card or a late model G5 (early models don't have the bay space). Either one should be able to handle 3 SATA hard drives.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    I would rather have something that would carry the SATA to the motherboard instead of a PCI SATA/RAID card. I haven't ever had good luck out of them.
     
  4. Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    I guess I will have to build a small PC and run a windows operating system. That sucks.
     
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    balamw

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  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    balamw

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    #8
    If your clients are all/mostly Macs, you'd be better off with a unix based solution so you can easily serve via AFP instead of just SMB.

    Or just run FreeNAS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreeNAS which is FreeBSD based and is a quasi-appliance.

    B
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    I have 1 MBP, 1 PC based laptop, and a XBox360 in my house currently. Getting my wife to use a MB will be like pulling teeth; she likes her laptop and don't want to spend the money to buy her a Mac.

    I have looked at FreeNAS, but I need to be able to stream music, videos, and pictures to my XBox360. That is the main reason I am now leaning towards building a PC for the job.
     
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    balamw

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  12. Cox Orange, Jan 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2011

    macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Hello,

    if you still want to use a Mac... you can put two SATA drives in every (not only the last models like someone mentioned above) PowerMac G5. Up to 5 Drives are possible if you use a SATA-PCI/PCI-X/PCIe controller card in those Macs. Sonnet had one of these cards (available with PCI-X and PCIe).

    Here is a link, how it looks http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...g5-how-to-install-additional-hard-drives.html

    On http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/powermac_g5/index-powermac-g5.html you can look what interface they have. The PCI versions only have 33MHz Slots, the PCI-X have one 133MHz and two 100MHz Slots.
    So, if you do not want to buy the lowest PCIe G5 (2x2GHz, late 2005), which is arround 250EUR, you could still take one of these PCI-X models for 100EUR.
    The downside is, that the SATA-PCI-X Cards are expensive.

    But wouldn't be a PowerMac G4 with PCI-to-SATA Card be fast enough for a home-server?

    Cheapest solution: buy a 1,6GHz G5 for under 100EUR and rout one of the 2 native internal SATA-ports to the outside (with an SATA-cable through one of the PCI-Port-Holes on the back) and connect it to an eSATA chassis, which can hold your other two drives (since one of your 3 iss allready in the PM G5).

    ...or 2 Drives connected via internal SATA, 3rd one via IDE-SATA-adaptor to optical bay (losing the optical drive).
     
  13. mr1970, Jan 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2011

    macrumors member

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    #13
    I have both a G4 and a G5. The G5 runs as a desktop in the study and is mainly used for word processing and web browsing. Nice machine and, as others have said, takes 2 SATA drives straight out of the box. Also runs Leopard, which may end up being important to you - more of which once I explain the server.

    The G4 (AGP 500) runs as the server. It has gigabit ethernet which means it's up with the rest of my network. Boots off a newish 120GB Seagate IDE drive and has a Sonnet PCI SATA card with 2 ports; each port has a SATA drive attached - if you're really keen, the G4s can take 5 hard drives; there is literally nowhere to put more than 2 in the G4. It has 2GB of RAM, 2TB SATA storage and quite happily serves multiple iTunes clients (ATVs and laptops). Runs like a dream, no performance issues, even off a 10 year old 500Mhz machine.

    I built the server on my desk (hard drive upgrades, RAM etc) and run it headless in the attic where it's nice and cold - it runs 24x7.

    Now, all went fine until this Christmas when we got my son a new Apple TV for his bedroom. Wouldn't connect or even see the server. Eventually I worked out the following:

    - ATV 2 can only stream from iTunes 10
    - iTunes 10 can only run on Leopard or above
    - the server was running Tiger
    - and theoretically couldn't be upgraded to Leopard as Apple imposed a minimum performance standard of 867MHz

    So, bit of Googling (and indeed hunting around here) later and I have managed to upgrade it to Leopard and all's well again. But that's something you have to be aware of if you go G4. Also, frankly, they're old machines. If you want to run it as a server, do that. But don't plan on humping the thing around, doing lots of upgrading, multiple power cycles a day etc etc - just set it up, hit go and let it do its thing.

    If you go G5, it's a newer machine. It can run Leopard straight out of the box and it looks great. However, it's also bloody loud - you really, really don't want one of these in your lounge. In addition, I seem to remember that the power consumption is a fair bit higher on the G5, which is a bit pointless if you're only using it as a server - particularly if it's one of the faster dual processor jobs. And, as others have said, it'll only take 2 SATA drives.

    Ah, it's that time of night - "there is literally nowhere to put more than 2 in the G4" should have read:

    "there's literally nowhere to put more than 2 drives in MY G5"

    ...later ones did have more drive bays.

    Apologies.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Thanks for the info.

    I think I am going to build a PC with Windows 7 Ultimate on it. That will allow me to use Carbonite for offsite backups as well to make sure I never lose anything in event of a hard drive failure.

    I am going to put mine in the basement where it is a constant 60*F year round. My attic would be good in the winter, but in the summer it gets pretty hot up there with the 90-100*F days. Besides, the basement is where my modem and router is.

    I may pick up a G4 and use it as a guest desktop since the wife and I both use laptops at home now.

    Thanks for all the info guys, it has been great.
     
  15. California, Jan 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2011

    macrumors 68040

    California

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    #15
    Uh, the G4 Powermacs sounded like jet engines.

    The G5 Powermacs were very quiet. I have owned nearly every single revision. I have no idea what you are talking about, unless the G5 Powermac you heard was on the blink.

    Also, you can put up to 16gbs or 8gbs in the different revs. of the G5, whereas the G4s maxed out at 2 gigs of ram. Also G4s have the 128gb PATA/IDE limiter on their hard drive maximum. So you were stuck with, at max, a 120 gig PATA/IDE hard drive.

    Sonnet sold a spare drive kit that fit inside the Powermac G5s, but you could just run a line there yourself. G5s could take up to five hard drives internally. You can find the final revision G5 very cheap now. I miss mine.
     
  16. Cox Orange, Jan 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2011

    macrumors 68000

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    #16
    You owned nearly every revision, so you could answer me a question. I once bought a PM G5 2x 2,3GHz (early version), it was loud as a PC, but still ok. Then I had a Quad, that got terribly loud doing bigger tasks. I later asked myself, whether this just could be due to the fact, that some Quads are to the end of there lifetime and only then get very loud, since there are other people that told me, that the Quad is actually a quiet one (regarding workstations). So could my thought be right? Or is it more likely just subjective, if one finds the Quad loud?

    I thought that a long time, too, until I stumbled across an official apple statement, that all Macs pre2002 can see more than 128GB, if you have OS 9.2.2 installed (you have to make partitions less than 200GB each) or install OS X higher than 10.2.8 and you can put in whatever HDD-size you like. It seems to not be the hardware-controller that is limiting (like in PCs), but the ROM.
    See here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2544?viewlocale=en_US


    But the RAM expandability is something to consider indeed, though I still do not know, if more than 2GB od RAM are needed on a homeserver.

    allready mentioned ;-) with a link

    Though taking the optical drive out of the PM G5 and using a third HDD in there (perhaps with an IDE-SATA-adaptor), would be cheaper, if one only needs three drives, since the sonnet Jive is quiet expensive.
     

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