Might get Sawtooth, what to do

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by macsForLife, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    macsForLife

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #1
    Ok, so I found this sawtooth that the guy is looking to just dump for $40 :)eek: I know!) and I thought it would just be a good machine to mess around with, what the hell, right? So, I know the onboard ATA controller has a limit, how much is that and I thought I read something about increasing that, how do I do that? Also, it has a half gig of ram, which is fine for now, and the stock GPU. Can I just put in a generic WiFi card or use a USB module? I have a new Airport base station at home, running G so I can't really use the old-school Airport cards, lol. Also, can I just put in a generic PCI HD controller if possible? I have been a Mac user for a couple years, but I just wasn't too solid on these old ones, thanks in advance for all the help.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    jodelli

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    Windsor, ON, Canada
    #2
    The ATA is limited to 128g drives, but you can use a PCI card for larger drives.
    And a vendor such as OWC would have a wifi that would work.

    My point is going to be that it's fine at a bargain price but don't spend much on add ons because the Sawtooth is too slow even with upgrades.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    macsForLife

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #3
    Lol, +1 on that, one of my concerns is finding myself dumping too much money into it, but it could be decent with a few upgrades, now that storage is so cheap. Thanks so much.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #4
    You can save money on hard drive controller by getting the SpeedTools ATA Hi-Capacity Driver, $15. For your boot drive you will need to set the boot partition at 128GB for the install. Once you are booted and have the driver installed you can format the remaining space as a second partition along with any additional hard drives at their full capacity.

    Looking at the prices the best deal seems to be for a PCI Wireless N card it requires Mac OS 10.3.9 or higher.

    If you want USB 2.0 support most generic cards will work though they do not mention OS X as compatible. Looking at the manufacturers web site this Koutech card uses the generic drivers and is OHCI compliant so it will most likely work. This Trendnet specifically mentions OS X support but is more expensive.

    You can save money by getting generic hard drive controllers, wireless cards and other expansion cards. However you must do your research to find out if there are generic drivers that will work and if they are PPC compatible. Like generic Atheros drivers work for many wireless cards but the driver was only made for Intel Macs, as some iMacs use Atheros chips in their airport card. Even if you do find a compatible card you need to see if there are multiple revisions, as two cards can have the same model number but be different revisions using different chipsets.
     
  5. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #5
    You must not straddle the 128GiB border with HiCap on any drive.
    Otherwise, if the driver fails to load, you will trash your disk.

    According to the instructions, the lower partitions must add up to 127.99 GiB actually. This means that Disk Utility will create an unused Apple_Free zone straddling the border.
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #6
    I have a Sawtooth that I bought off ebay several years ago
    for very little money. I have a relative using it.
    I had some extra ram that I put in it to bring it up to just
    over 1 gb. I did add a better video card for it.
    I have it running OS 10.4, it is mainly being using for internet,
    email & iTunes & it does that well enough.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    macsForLife

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #7
    Thanks! So just check for generic drivers and I should be fine. Speedtools looks great, never knew about that. If I did want to buy a card, though, do most support OS X? I'm guessing its the same as with the USB and Wifi cards.
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #8
    No most WiFi cards do not support OS X many do but you must research the make and model of each you are interested in. If several versions of that make and model have been made you will need to find if all are compatible as you will not know which one you have until you open the box and see the card.

    There are also many more compatible with Intel Macs than PowerPC Macs due in part to the OSx86 project. But these modified drivers are usually Intel only.

    Most USB cards and Firewire are compatible. Basically if they can use generic drivers built into Windows then the generic ones in OS X should work. The cards to be wary of are the ones which require specialized drivers from the manufacturer.
     

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