17" PowerBook G4 gets new mSATA3 SSD

eyoungren

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So, my new mSATA SSD arrived today. Yesterday I cloned a copy of the drive to a disk image on my Quad. Used that image to clone back to the new SSD.

It's a Zheino 128GB. You can see it below…



I bought the adapter that @AphoticD uses and everything worked perfect.

I am typing this on it right now after booting from the new drive.

Pro tip, don't try to solve problems or make installs under the influence of Benadryl. You end up damaging components that were working perfectly. :(

Tomorrow will be replacing the optical drive ribbon cable with a spare I have. :oops:
 

eyoungren

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Sweet! Glad to see you jumping on the SSD bandwagon. I'll be interested in hearing your review of the performance difference between it and the spinner.
So far it seems to be fairly quick. I am noticing that while my PowerBook still heats up the fan is running less. It seems to be holding right under the temp where the fans trip on. Right now, I'd rather the fans come on because my lap gets warm, but that's okay I guess.

It seems noticeably faster than the old 5400 drive, but not extremely so. Of course, right now it's doing a Time Machine deep traversal (indexing backup) so it may be a bit busy.

I tried an SSD once before, but either the adapter or the drive failed. I mounted the drive once and that was it.

At least now it all seems to be working.
[doublepost=1547843258][/doublepost]Here's what System Profiler says…

Youngren7.png
 

dbdjre0143

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Nov 11, 2017
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I never actually used my Powerbook with a spinner, so I didn't get to compare them. When I bought my first PB to upgrade from my 1GHz iBook G4, I bought an SSD to go in it at the same time. So, although I had a massive speed boost with the upgrade, there were a ton of variables involved in that.

Also, I remember reading some folks on here saying that it takes a week or two for the SSD to "sprawl out" when restored from an image, with a corresponding speed bump once that completes. I didn't experience that, but I did a clean install, so I guess I wouldn't expect it.
 
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amagichnich

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Feb 3, 2017
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It seems noticeably faster than the old 5400 drive, but not extremely so. Of course, right now it's doing a Time Machine deep traversal (indexing backup) so it may be a bit busy.
For me it's not about speed but about the reaction time, and that increases a lot, especially with many apps open simultaneously. If only the IDE controller would be twice as fast...
 

Dronecatcher

macrumors 68040
Jun 17, 2014
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For me it's not about speed but about the reaction time, and that increases a lot, especially with many apps open simultaneously.
Is that in comparison to 5400RPM drives again? Both my Al Powerbooks have 7200 drives so I wouldn't anticipate a huge step up - plus for the cash outlay, I'd rather buy another Mac to play with ;)
 

AphoticD

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So far it seems to be fairly quick. I am noticing that while my PowerBook still heats up the fan is running less. It seems to be holding right under the temp where the fans trip on. Right now, I'd rather the fans come on because my lap gets warm, but that's okay I guess.

It seems noticeably faster than the old 5400 drive, but not extremely so. Of course, right now it's doing a Time Machine deep traversal (indexing backup) so it may be a bit busy.

I tried an SSD once before, but either the adapter or the drive failed. I mounted the drive once and that was it.

At least now it all seems to be working.
[doublepost=1547843258][/doublepost]Here's what System Profiler says…

View attachment 816396
Well done @eyoungren. The boost should be noticeable for boot times, app launches, those Time Machine backups in the “Preparing Backup” stage and other processes which traverse the thousands of system files.

I personally found the fans running less (hardly ever) on my SLSD PB 17” 1.67 after the SSD upgrade. And the system is just generally smooth and zippy.

I’m curious about what your Xbench results will show for the 128GB SSD.

Here are the results from my PB G4 17” with a 64GB SSD:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/post-your-ssd-cf-sata-pata-powerpc-benchmark-results.2063361/#post-25440761

So the DC-in is behaving now? Best of luck with the ODD ribbon replacement - when they say do not operate heavy machinery, there is no mention of fiddly electronics o_O
 

eyoungren

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Well done @eyoungren. The boost should be noticeable for boot times, app launches, those Time Machine backups in the “Preparing Backup” stage and other processes which traverse the thousands of system files.

I personally found the fans running less (hardly ever) on my SLSD PB 17” 1.67 after the SSD upgrade. And the system is just generally smooth and zippy.

I’m curious about what your Xbench results will show for the 128GB SSD.

Here are the results from my PB G4 17” with a 64GB SSD:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/post-your-ssd-cf-sata-pata-powerpc-benchmark-results.2063361/#post-25440761

So the DC-in is behaving now? Best of luck with the ODD ribbon replacement - when they say do not operate heavy machinery, there is no mention of fiddly electronics o_O
I'll have to get Xbench results either on Sunday or Monday. Once the Mac stopped indexing it started a 40GB backup. Over WiFi.

Going to take a day at least.

The DC-In board has been just fine since I took a shot and plugged it in a few days ago. So, there's that.

I'm pulling the optical flex cable from my flattened 17" DLSD-HD. I had the Mac all back together and it started making weird noises. So, I decided to check ribbon cables. Of course, in checking the optical drive cable I separated part of the ribbon from the connector. The kicker is that this wasn't even the problem and had Benadryl not been in my system I would have discarded the thought.

In any case, at least I have a spare. Although I've kicked myself a few times by now.
 
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Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
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Oh, wow. I'm interested in those benchmarks. Your title caused me to lift my brows. Didn't even think this was possible.

Edit: Though one thing to note between the link and yours is that SSD benching improves the bigger the drive. I'm not sure why this is.
 

amagichnich

macrumors 6502
Feb 3, 2017
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Stuttgart, Germany
Oh, wow. I'm interested in those benchmarks. Your title caused me to lift my brows. Didn't even think this was possible.

Edit: Though one thing to note between the link and yours is that SSD benching improves the bigger the drive. I'm not sure why this is.
The bigger the drive the smaller is the track the read head has to follow to the next block.
Could someone please repeat this in correct technical al English?
 

Amethyst1

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Oct 28, 2015
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The bigger the drive the smaller is the track the read head has to follow to the next block.
Could someone please repeat this in correct technical al English?
This is true for mechanical hard drives, but doesn't apply to SSDs. Bigger SSDs are faster than smaller ones because they have more flash chips, therefore the controller can read from (and write to) more chips in parallel.
 

amagichnich

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Feb 3, 2017
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This is true for mechanical hard drives, but doesn't apply to SSDs. Bigger SSDs are faster than smaller ones because they have more flash chips, therefore the controller can read from (and write to) more chips in parallel.
I completely overlooked the term SSD, in fact I could swear there was "HDD" written when I answered...Now of course my answer doesn't apply the least bit to SSDs :D
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
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It's fine. I took a doubletake at the thread thinking I saw SSD but it wasn't there.
 

eyoungren

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@eyoungren: Out of curiosity, does your 2006 and/or 2008 MBP have an SSD?
Neither of them do.

The drive on the 2006 17" MBP though is a 500GB spinner. When I replace drives I prefer to add GBs or at the very least remain the same. So an SSD for this Mac would be costly.

The 2008 15" MBP came with a 250GB HD, so again another cost. I do have a 650GB HD (not SSD) that is waiting for that 2008 17" MBP I want to score eventually. :)

That drive came from my mom's old MB when she was 'told' she had to replace it because it was going bad (it wasn't). My sister's boyfriend believes he knows everything about computers, especially Macs, but I've had to fix quite a few of his messes and mistakes with my mom's MacBooks. :(
 

B S Magnet

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While I don't know which mSATA/IDE adapter you used, an mSATA 128GB card is precisely what I use in my key lime clamshell (different brand, but otherwise identical).

Even with a slow, ATA-2 bus, it still makes a tremendous difference in boot-up and response time.

I bought the adapter that @AphoticD uses and everything worked perfect.

I am typing this on it right now after booting from the new drive.

Pro tip, don't try to solve problems or make installs under the influence of Benadryl. You end up damaging components that were working perfectly. :(

Tomorrow will be replacing the optical drive ribbon cable with a spare I have. :oops:
 

eyoungren

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While I don't know which mSATA/IDE adapter you used, an mSATA 128GB card is precisely what I use in my key lime clamshell (different brand, but otherwise identical).

Even with a slow, ATA-2 bus, it still makes a tremendous difference in boot-up and response time.
Right now I notice a slight difference. But it's still busy making my Time Machine backup so I can't really tell just how MUCH it's improved.

Hopefully it'll be done by Tuesday! :rolleyes:

PS. Here is the adapter (it's from Addonics): https://www.addonics.com/products/adms25ide.php
 

B S Magnet

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PS. Here is the adapter (it's from Addonics): https://www.addonics.com/products/adms25ide.php
Ahh yes. After not having much success with another, but cheaper board, that's the one I settled on as well. I removed the frame and used strips from a roll of rubber to hold all in place (partly for shock protection, even if that's mostly superfluous for SSDs, and partly for saving weight. (Yes, I meticulously weighed components being added or removed from the clamshell, down to the gram.)
 
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bobesch

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Oct 21, 2015
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Great add-on for the PowerBook! Silence. You gonna hear the grass growing ... (after taming the fans with G4FanControl) ;)

The current price for a 240GB SATA-SSD is less than 40 bucks - I'm sure the A1260 would be happy to get one leaving the spinning drive as a nice backup-clone ... It will make a great difference how ElCapitan will perform, whilst a spinner is still fine for Leopard&SL.
The drawback of that SSD-upgrade will be demanding loads for CPU&GPU and thread of thermal death of the GPU. (I don't dare to run my A1260 without an iLapStand)

My most valued aspect of an SSD is the 'Books' brain getting really sturdy and capable of taking bumps and bruises without going amnesia. (I remember the day I tipped over the USB-cable and dropped a possibly mission-critical external backup USB-drive, which was beyond repair afterwards.)

PS: this is another valued add-on of mine for the A1260 lifting the books state of USB-connectivity close to the 2012 models: https://www.ebay.de/itm/2-Port-USB-3-0-ExpressCard-34-Adapter-MacBook-Pro-15-17-OSX-Native-Supported/262393432287?hash=item3d17de08df:g:HaQAAOSwubRXFLH3
Pretty expensive, but a great time saver when it comes to backups etc. And it's hot swappable, "one to rule them all" I didn't regret the expense yet ...
 

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eyoungren

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Great add-on for the PowerBook! Silence. You gonna hear the grass growing ... (after taming the fans with G4FanControl) ;)

The current price for a 240GB SATA-SSD is less than 40 bucks - I'm sure the A1260 would be happy to get one leaving the spinning drive as a nice backup-clone ... It will make a great difference how ElCapitan will perform, whilst a spinner is still fine for Leopard&SL.
The drawback of that SSD-upgrade will be demanding loads for CPU&GPU and thread of thermal death of the GPU. (I don't dare to run my A1260 without an iLapStand)

My most valued aspect of an SSD is the 'Books' brain getting really sturdy and capable of taking bumps and bruises without going amnesia. (I remember the day I tipped over the USB-cable and dropped a possibly mission-critical external backup USB-drive, which was beyond repair afterwards.)

PS: this is another valued add-on of mine for the A1260 lifting the books state of USB-connectivity close to the 2012 models: https://www.ebay.de/itm/2-Port-USB-3-0-ExpressCard-34-Adapter-MacBook-Pro-15-17-OSX-Native-Supported/262393432287?hash=item3d17de08df:g:HaQAAOSwubRXFLH3
Pretty expensive, but a great time saver when it comes to backups etc. And it's hot swappable, "one to rule them all" I didn't regret the expense yet ...
G4FanControl has never worked with my G4. I have tried both the app and the command line version. I have tried in every version of PowerBook G4 I've owned. It's failed every time. I even wrote the developer and he never answered back, only to learn in comments on his website that (at least with 17" PowerBooks) I was not the only person who couldn't make it work.

So, unfortunately, I have to allow the stock programming to continue to control the fans. That said, I've noticed that they have not come on as much, so there is that.

As far as the expense for an SSD it's just not high on the list at the moment. The MBP you sent me is performing very well. If I'm going to drop a new drive in there I want it to be at least 500GB or so. If I can score an A1261 then most likely it will get the 640GB HD and the A1261 will get a 500GB (or more) SSD.

But we'll see. It all depends on how things shake out to what I am using each Mac for. The main reason I wanted an SSD in my A1013 is because I take it to coffee shops. It's nice outside of the house having it be a little quicker when browsing the net. Finally, I've been able to do that.
 

bobesch

macrumors 65816
Oct 21, 2015
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Kiel, Germany
G4FanControl has never worked with my G4. I have tried both the app and the command line version. I have tried in every version of PowerBook G4 I've owned. It's failed every time. I even wrote the developer and he never answered back, only to learn in comments on his website that (at least with 17" PowerBooks) I was not the only person who couldn't make it work.

So, unfortunately, I have to allow the stock programming to continue to control the fans. That said, I've noticed that they have not come on as much, so there is that.

As far as the expense for an SSD it's just not high on the list at the moment. The MBP you sent me is performing very well. If I'm going to drop a new drive in there I want it to be at least 500GB or so. If I can score an A1261 then most likely it will get the 640GB HD and the A1261 will get a 500GB (or more) SSD.

But we'll see. It all depends on how things shake out to what I am using each Mac for. The main reason I wanted an SSD in my A1013 is because I take it to coffee shops. It's nice outside of the house having it be a little quicker when browsing the net. Finally, I've been able to do that.
Not only at the coffee shops - it's a pleasure everywhere. I have an iBookG4 with spinning drive as a companion for a beamer for regular meetings and I always feel the difference, when I happen to 'fire up' that iBook (and blood-pressure is going high waiting for response ...)

Actually G4FanControl is mandatory only on my 1.5GHz 12" PowerBook with mSATA/Converter-combo 'cause fans went beserk after having swapped in the new drive, which runs on higher temperature than the factory-set threshold for spinning drives.
At the 15/17" G4 PowerBooks there's much more internal space and the drive is located below the trackpad and won't burn your thigh (as it might happen with the 12"PB). I didn't encounter critical temperatures...
Maybe G4FanControl was programmed only for the latest G4 Books...

An SSD for the A1260 really would be a great pleasure - but you're right: the price for a 500GB SSD (80$) is more than the total cost of that unit ... strange! But on the other hand: it's the critical component holding all value and it's possibility of usage is versatile ...
I even carry an encrypted backup-SSD on the go, which holds the backups of all of my document-folders located on different machines, so I have all stuff at hands, just in case. Those critical machines additionally have their specific external USB-drives attached holding scheduled bootable CCC-clones. That's much faster and IMHO more reliable than TimeMachine.
More than in the past I feel, that taking care of a paperless-office is more and more demanding compared to taking care of a pile of paper ...
Your all-stuff-on-one-*G3*-server is a pretty nice solution!
 
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DeepIn2U

macrumors 603
May 30, 2002
6,116
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
So, my new mSATA SSD arrived today. Yesterday I cloned a copy of the drive to a disk image on my Quad. Used that image to clone back to the new SSD.

It's a Zheino 128GB. You can see it below…



I bought the adapter that @AphoticD uses and everything worked perfect.

I am typing this on it right now after booting from the new drive.

Pro tip, don't try to solve problems or make installs under the influence of Benadryl. You end up damaging components that were working perfectly. :(

Tomorrow will be replacing the optical drive ribbon cable with a spare I have. :oops:
What is the slot key of this mSata ? Looking for the size and slot key for it. Thx
 

weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
4,684
1,679
G4FanControl has never worked with my G4. I have tried both the app and the command line version. I have tried in every version of PowerBook G4 I've owned. It's failed every time. I even wrote the developer and he never answered back, only to learn in comments on his website that (at least with 17" PowerBooks) I was not the only person who couldn't make it work.
As yours is the 1GHz PB there’s an obvious reason why G4FanControl won’t work; there are no temp sensors for it to latch onto. Lord knows how the PB firmware regulates itself. I suppose it monitors CPU and GPU loads and takes its cues from those.