How many HDs can you stuff into a G4 AGP?

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by LimeiBook86, Aug 4, 2002.

  1. LimeiBook86 macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #1
    My dad has a PowerMac G4 450mhz, How many Hard Drives can you fit into one? Without taking out the DVD-ROM and Zip Drive of course. We have two in there already. One 80 GB (Seagate) and one 20 GB (Apple), I know there aren't enough Power and IDE cables for another drive, but could you spilt those connections? I don't want my G4 to explode or kill the power supply. So is it safe? Please reply, but I'm in no hurry to mess with my Dad's G4...;)
     
  2. galstaph macrumors 6502a

    galstaph

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    #2
    Well, i haven't had much experience with the Mac side of IDE's but generally in my knowledge, you can realistically put only two devices on a single ide chain, anymore than that and they start to screw up. So in theory, it all depends on how many ide chains you have, also how much space is available (that should go without saying though). If you want to add another chain try to find someone who sells a Mac compatable pci IDE controller, it will add some extra chains.
     
  3. Beej macrumors 68020

    Beej

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    #3
    4. That's the answer. I don't know how to do it, but the answer is 4. Ha :)
     
  4. LimeiBook86 thread starter macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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  5. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #5
    Actually, five, if you pull the zip drive out and install an ATA controller card.. :D

    I for one, DO know how to do that. :p :D
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #6
    Heat might be an issue, but couldn't you fit 6 drive in there? You'd need to get an ATA controller card and run 2 drives off each IDE chain (2 off the mobo's chain, and 2 off of each of the controller card's chain).

    then just have two drives on the right, two drives in the middle, and two drives on the left. Granted 2 of the 6 drives would be stacked on another HDD (not physically mounted to anything).


    Lethal
     
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #7
    If you can physically fit 7 in there using 3 piggyback drive brackets and the Zip drive bay, what is the limit for drives on the power supply?

    Then there is the heat problem with that may high RPM drives.
     
  8. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #8
    Five drives is the maximum...

    You can only have one two-up drive brackets inside the tower. Unless you know someone at a machine shop that is willing to fabricate two more that will fit inside a tower. They will need to be different then the one that comes inside the tower, since that one is made for that spot (position three).

    I have tried to use additional two drive brackets, and they simply will not fit.
     
  9. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

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    Tacoma, WA
    #9
    You can get splitters for the Powersupply to power more drives. You can get controller cards for your PCI bus to control more cards. Each cord can do two drives (master and slave) so basically you can put as many drives in as you want until it won't start up anymore (because the powersupply is overloaded).

    BEN
     
  10. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #10
    The ATA controller cards can have up to four drives per card, two per ribbon. Just because you can put X number of controller cards and Z number of splitters DOESN'T mean you can install that many drives. You WILL run out of places to put the drives LONG before you overtax the power supply (notice, two words :rolleyes: ) as well as before you run out of ATA bus ports. The ATA controller cards have two buses per card, which support up to two drives per bus.

    IF you were to transplant the guts of your Mac into a pc case, you [possibly] could install more then the five hard drives. You would need to get one of the more expensive cases though, that hold more then two or three hard drives (hidden 3-1/2" drive bays). The case I have for the game pc holds Five hidden drives (hard drives) and can also hold four 5-1/4" drives (optical and such). With one of the 5-1/4" bays filled, I could install up to eight hard drives inside the case. I would need to add another ATA RAID card to do that (I don't see the point of NOT going with a RAID when it comes to that many drives). The 380 watt power supply SHOULD be able to handle all the drives. If not, I could always rip it out and install a larger power supply.
     
  11. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

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    #11
    yeah, they're available at any pc store. Just look for one that has the standard MOLEX connection.
     
  12. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #12
    I didn't say it would be easy ... nor does it have to be hard.

    But 3 drive brackets sure would beat 1 and the foam tape that some have tried in the past.

    Me I'd probably be too lazy, and too cheap to go to a machine shop or even buy another tray from Apple, so I would probably end up using Apple's single drive trays and 2 small thin steel sheets with 4 holes in each.
     
  13. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #13
    You cannot purchase drive brackets that fit in ALL THREE spaces... At least not from Apple. IF you have a machine shop near you, you MIGHT be able to get them to manufacture up some new brackets for positions 1 and 2, but then you would probably end up spending the same amount that you would for a new case.

    Isn't five hard drives enough for you??? With an ATA 133 controller card, you can use all 160GB drives. Granted, you would only be able to use the controller with three of the four drives (unless you get very creative with the ribbon). You still would be able to have a total of 720GB worth of hard drives inside of the G4. How much more do you really need??? If you need more, get two controller cards and don't use the one from the motherboard... that will yield you a total of 800GB of drive space...

    Good luck in trying to back that much up... I hope you have a week/weekend free where you don't need the computer for when you do archive it.
     
  14. iwantanewmac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    #14
    Damn! I can't find that pic anywhere but I swear I saw some1 cramming 12 or 13 HD's in there...just stacking them up. I dont know how he got them all connected. If I find the pic ill post it.
    It was really fun to watch :)
     
  15. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #15
    Go to:

    www.xlr8yourmac.com

    It's somewhere in there, but I think the guy had multiple power supplies. PC Power and Cooling had some pretty good 400 W + redundant power supplies.
     
  16. meta-ghost macrumors regular

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    San Francisco
    #16
    So who makes a good Mac compatible pci IDE controller? And how much are they?
     
  17. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #17
    Go look at Sonnet's web site and check out their ATA133 controllers. They also have a RAID controller card (ATA133) here.
     
  18. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #18
    Try http://eshop.macsales.com/

    Sonnet and SIIG are pretty good and fairly cheap (considering).

    I kinda like the Tempo Trio. ATA/133 for drives over 120GB, USB 2/1.1, and FireWire in one card. I might get one if the new Towers don't have USB 2 and ATA/133.

    Though I've heard OS X.2 will have support for drives over 128-137GB.

    200GB 7,200 RPM Western Digital Hard Drive here I come (when they finally start selling it)!
     
  19. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #19
    You're thinking way too hard, and I must have been way too confusing.

    Think of the cheap and lazy man's solution:

    - Two small cheap thin metal plates -- longer than the screw holes in the sides of the drives and tall enough to hold the second drive a couple/few milimeters above the bottom one.

    - Punch four holes in the correct locations, screw onto side of the two drives.

    - Repeat on other side.

    - Screw Apple's single drive tray into the bottom drive.

    And you may have just converted a single drive tray into a piggyback one.

    Somehow I don't think this would cost a whole heck of a lot. And there is probably something close to useful at Home Depot.

    Put the two plates in a ziplock baggy with 8 screws and a diagram and you could probably call it a piggyback drive bracket conversion kit.

    And you're right, if you used Apple $'s instead of PC $'s, this would probably cost as much as a cheap PC case.
     

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