1TB Hard drive in an iMac G5?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by orangejedi, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. orangejedi macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2008
    Hi, I recently found out that my iMac G5 (Ambient LS) can support a hard drive of up to 144 Petabytes. Wow. So I'm looking around for the biggest drive I can get my hands on.
    I know that the computer uses SATA II, but I'm not sure if there are other factors such as the height of the drive or maximum interface speed?
    Would a hard drive with these specs work?

    1 or 1.5 Terabyte Capacity
    Serial ATA 3.0Gbps Interface / SATA300
    32MB Buffer Size
    7200 RPM Rotation Speed
    Seek Time: 8.9 ms
    Data Transfer Rate: 300 MBps
    Dimensions: 4in x 5.8in x 1in or 1.028in

    (Here's a link to the drive:

    If not, what should I look for?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. armoguy94 macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2007
    I'm in the same situation. I want to get a new internal hard drive for my iMac G5 (17" 1.8GHz, Rev. B) but I don't need it nearly as big as 1TB, maybe 250gb as I won't be using it much (I have a new aluminum iMac I'm using now, just trying to fix this G5 as the hard drive failed.)

    So, are there any requirements I must look for in purchasing a new internal hdd for my G5 iMac? Are you completely sure it's SATA II? Anything else I should know?
  3. geerlingguy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2003
    St. Louis, USA
    A drive of that size (or anything smaller) will work, but imo one of the most important things to think about is the heat. A lot of iMac G5s have been fried due to heat problems... the one I use for work has a fan that blows loudly almost continuously, and it's not because of dust! Look for a quiet and cool drive if you can. Sometimes this info can be hard to find, though, because drive temps aren't listed in the specifications.

    It might be best to find a model or two you like, then look them up in Google to see if some forums have details like the drive's normal operating temperature. If it's hot, avoid it.
  4. armoguy94 macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2007
    I just opened up my iMac and found out it's using a SATA Seagate Barracude 7200.7 hard drive. The model number is ST380013AS.

    That is it. It says it's "SATA (1.5 Gps)", what does the 1.5 Gps mean? Basically, now that I know that my iMac takes SATA all I need to search for is a SATA drive with the same dimensions as the HDD it has now and it'll work?
  5. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2003
    I have put into my 20" ALS a 1TB hard drive

    model SAMSUNG HD103UJ

    I have not seen any great temp swings
  6. armoguy94 macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2007
    Sorry, what's an ALS?
  7. bizzle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    Ambient Light Sensor.

    Before you drop any money into a non-iSight iMac G5, you should take off the back and see if you have any bulging capacitors on the logic board.
  8. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2003
  9. armoguy94 macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2007
    Well I'm not too good at this stuff and I don't really know what to look at and see what's normal and what's not inside the machine but when unscrewing some screws around the hard drive one of the wires disconnected from one of the boards, so now there is some random cable on my hard drive and I have no clue what it's supposed to plug into. I'm having trouble finding videos or pics/instructions of iMac G5 17" als disassembly instructions.
    Edit: Nevermind I see they're on the apple website.


    It says (pg 8) "leave the cables attached to your logic board" one of them disconnected and I can't find where to plug it back in, is it possible to get plugged back in easily?
  10. bizzle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    Lay it screen-down on a table. There are three screws on the bottom with the RAM door, unscrew and the back panel lifts off.
  11. armoguy94 macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2007
    Yeah I knew that but I didn't know how to specifically get the HDD out safely, but I did anyways and a cable got disconnected from the logic board, but its still attached to the HDD. I have no clue where to plug it back in. I made a little video showing which cable exactly and I'll upload it to youtube now.
  12. bizzle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    Just post a picture and I'll show you where it goes.
  13. armoguy94 macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2007
  14. wheezy macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Alpine, UT
    I have Seagate, WD Green and Samsung F1's in my Mac Pro, the 1TB F1's are much much cooler than the other two drives. If you need a cooler running drive, I'd opt for a Samsung.
  15. bizzle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    Take out both RAM modules and see the connector circled below.

    The plug will only fit in one way.

    Attached Files:

  16. armoguy94 macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2007
    Thanks a ton :)
  17. macintouch macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Any 3.5" Internal SATA hard drive will work fine.

    I heard someone comment about only needing 250GB. Remember, with storage space it's always better to have more than not enough! It's harder to add on later after you've transferred all your files and used up some space.

    With the way prices of hard drives have dropped in the past few months, there's no reason you shouldn't get a 1TB in there. You can get a great 1TB drive for just around $100 at Newegg. GREAT deals.

    The install is easy too---don't fret. If you follow the directions perfectly you won't mess anything up!
  18. armoguy94 macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2007
    Okay, I searched 3.5" sata on newegg and it came with these 3 results:

    1TB Samsung - $94.99

    750GB Samsung - $79.99 (special limited-time sale)

    74GB Western Digital - $99.99

    They're all basically the same price (almost) but the thing that really makes me confused- why is the 74GB one so expensive? What's the best bang for the buck? Any other recommendations? Not looking to spend more than $100, preferably $30-80
  19. macintouch macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    That drive is a 10000 RPM drive. More commonly used in servers and gaming PC's, although you could use it if you wanted to. You could get a small internal drive for your operating system and most of the applications you use, and then use an external drive for your documents and media. Raptors are sweet drives but the 300 giggers aren't cheap enough for me yet.

    Most desktop PC's have 7200 RPM drives these days.

    Personally I'm not a fan of Samsung drives, I like Seagates and Western Digital's. I had a pair of Samsung 160's about two years back and they were fairly slow drives.

    This right here is probably one of the best 1TB drives out right now. It's $104.


    Here's a 750, a bit cheaper.

  20. orangejedi thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2008

    Okay, so the Seagate 1.5TB Drive reportedly has an operating temperature from about 0 - 60 degrees Celsius.

    Does anyone know if this is too hot for a G5?
  21. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2003
  22. orangejedi thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2008
    iStat Pro reports my current drive (original from Apple) to be running at around 65 degrees.
    ...and the fan is not running on high speed or anything.
    I guess if you think about it this old drive is now 4 years old... maybe new tech has brought temps down, and a hot drive today would have been a cool one four years ago (when 250GB was massive! :rolleyes:)

    Or iStat could just be way off.
  23. Mr. Giver '94 macrumors 68000

    Mr. Giver '94

    Jun 2, 2008
    :eek::eek::eek: Petabyte!!!!! Do they even make a drive that size???? Obviously it wouldn't be available for consumer electronics but WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!! that's a lot of space! :eek:
  24. dharpo32 macrumors newbie


    Jul 27, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Need to upgrade my iMac G5 (early 2008) to 1TB

    Is there any documentation on how to replace the hard drive? I noticed Apple does not provide a proper manual just a user guide.

    I noticed the you tube videos but wanted to see some documentation.

    Also any suggestions on a brand of hard drive to put in for the 1TB upgrade.

    it has a seagate 320GB now
  25. skeenen macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    Changing HD on G5 Mac

    Send me a request via E-mail, and I'll attach an outstanding pictorial on how to change the SATA HD on your Mac.

    Shawn Keenen

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