A Proposed G5 SSD Setup

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by robertdsc, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. robertdsc, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014

    robertdsc macrumors regular

    robertdsc

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    Jan 28, 2014
    #1
    After bringing my G4 Dual 1.0 GHz to the end of the line in terms of usage, I'd decided on not buying another PPC machine for a while. In reading through several posts of folks here, I was hit with the bug of intrigue and thought of a proposed Mac that I could build for the purpose of re-encoding my own DVDs into portable MP4 formats that play on PowerBooks, iPhones, and on my Playstation.

    I have a workflow for this kind of conversion that works flawlessly on my current G5 and older G4 Mac setups, but this is what I'm considering:

    -A G5 Dual 1.8 or 2.0 found on Craigslist.

    -Two SSDs in the drive bays: a 40GB for a stripped-down Tiger setup with programs and codecs; an 80 GB for extracting relevant data from DVDs and outputting finished files. The finished files would then go via network to my G4 400 acting as a storage server.

    -3 GB RAM

    For those with SSDs, what kind of performance increase could I look for with the two SSDs? I am well aware of the 1.5 GBps block and that's fine for me. Most movies convert on the G5 within 90 minutes or less. Would the SSDs make that faster? What brands of SSDs should I be on the lookout for?

    Any input would be appreciated.
     
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #2
    Does the G5s even have SATA?

    I assume your DVd drive will be a bottle neck, so no need for a secondary SSD for ripping and temporary storing movies.
     
  3. robertdsc thread starter macrumors regular

    robertdsc

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    #3

    I usually extract the contents direct to disk for faster encoding and quieter operation. Hence the second SSD.

    The G5 has two drive spaces for SATA drives, yes. I've had experience in mounting a SATA 2.5 inch notebook drive into one of them without problems.
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #4
    Most DVD decoding done on a G5 takes upwards of three hours for a standard length 120 minute movie when encoded to MP4 or h264. Even an early Core2Duo would reduce that time by about half.
     
  5. robertdsc thread starter macrumors regular

    robertdsc

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    #5
    With my current mechanical setup, I can do two movies in four hours. What I'm asking is if the SSDs would increase that speed.

    Extraction to disk is usually taken care of the day before so when I get home, I plop the extracted contents into the workflow and the G5 takes care of it as I do other things on a separate Mac. I've done it this way for years and the contents play well even on the G4 400 Mhz. More importantly, the finished files play flawlessly on my Playstation and the locked Windows machine I have access to at work.

    So I know this setup works. My question is if I use SSDs instead of mechanical drives, will things get faster?
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #6
    No, you'll always be limited by the G5's lack of raw power to decode DVDs.
     
  7. robertdsc thread starter macrumors regular

    robertdsc

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    #7
    I don't understand. My Dual 2.0 processes extracted video files at a rapid clip. It takes roughly 90 minutes for a 2-hour film to process. The genesis of my idea was to use SSDs in place of mechanical drives since I've seen other folks write that they've used SSDs and seen performance increase. So I'm aiming to build a Mac that can do that.
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #8
    The speeds that you're stating of 90 minutes per DVD are only possible on newer Core2Duos and Intell's ix series CPUs. G5's top out at about 10-15 frames per second when decoding a DVD. Because of their limited decoding speed, the bottleneck is the CPU itself. You could put in a 10 terabyte per second drive and see no gain because the CPU is maxed out as it is.
     
  9. goMac macrumors 603

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    #9
    A DVD disk is far, far, far slower than even a traditional hard disk, and that's your ultimate source material. I wouldn't expect to see any gains from an SSD for this workflow.
     
  10. robertdsc thread starter macrumors regular

    robertdsc

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    #10
    OK. Perhaps I'm not being as clear. I am not using a DVD disc at all. I extract the contents to my hard drive, then use a conversion program to compress the contents into an MP4 file.

    This is what I do for my movies:

    [​IMG]

    The movie being compressed is the extracted data from The Two Towers Extended edition DVD. No disc is in the drive. The contents were extracted yesterday onto my recording drive hooked directly into the G5's lower drive bay. The boot drive with the program on it is in the upper drive bay.

    What I want to do is use two SSDs in the place of the mechanical drives.

    My question is this: will I see a performance increase from the use of the SSDs? I anticipate that I will.
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #11
    No, you would still be limited by the slowest link in the chain, the G5 CPU.
     
  12. wobegong Guest

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    #12
    A Proposed G5 SSD Setup


    No.

    The CPU will be the bottleneck and will not supply or require a fast enough data flow from/to the drives for an SSD to make a difference. Standard mechanical SATA drive will not be taxed at all.
     
  13. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #13
    Any SATA hard drive that is 7200 RPM is going to be as good as it will get in terms of the on board chipset on a PowerMac G5. In fact, save your wallet, time, and energy and just get some SATA hard drives. They are a dime a dozen, and are pennies compared to some SATA II SSDs. Plus, you can jumper them to work with the SATA I controller.
     
  14. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #14
    I have to agree with the remaining people here, I also believe the G5 will be the bottleneck. You should look into getting a used Mac Mini - A 2 year old Mac mini will be MUCH faster.
     
  15. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    #15
    I put a older 64 gig ssd into a Imac G5 (1.8GHz) I have...although quieter and less hot then the default 80 gig sata drive I had in there,it really didn't make that much of a speed difference!
     
  16. tampasteve macrumors 6502

    #16
    These Macs are not in the Tampa Florida area are they? I happen to be selling two PowerMac G5 systems (one dual 1.8 and one dual 2.0) on Craigslist. If they are I can give you a better deal than my add.
     
  17. wobegong Guest

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    #17
    I disagree for my PM - It made a very significant difference to app loading and general responsiveness though it will make zero difference to video encode times.
     
  18. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    #18
    Could be due to the fact your ppc dual core is a lot more powerful then my Imac G5 and therefore get's a better overall increase. (geekbench puts your score around 2100-2200 where my Imac only gets about 980)....I'm not taking the ssd out,it's just on this old Imac it didn't make as big of difference as I hoped.
     
  19. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    #19
    I know, it does not help much about the SSD question, but I tested exporting a iMovie project to a *DV file. My believe was, that it would just have to save the file again, instead iMovie is calculating and it takes time.

    On a Sonnet 1,2GHz CPU it went with 16MB/s (drives connected via SATA-PCI-card, which has a max throughput of 62MB/s)
    On a 2,3GHz G5 DC it got to 20MB/s (drives connected to the two on board SATA1)

    Well, yes, that is transfer speed, not access time (as in what the strenght of a SSD is) but, if that test above even did not show a big difference and transfer speed alone is not going beyond even ATA-66, I suspect one can not expect more from h.264 conversion, just because of SSDs.

    The nice side note was, that giving the Watts used, the G4 was more effective, though it took longer. :)

    ---------------
    On App launching:
    because I didn't want to open my ibook and had issues with my recently acquired SATA-III SSD in my PM G4, I tested the SSD via Firwire. My thought was, ok, if it is not about transfer speed, but access time, this Firewire-test should at least give me a hint.

    Opening Apple Works from an internal WD3200BEVE took 7seconds at first launch.
    From SSD via Firewire it was 4second at first launch.
    When I quit Apple Works and opened it again on the WD it was opened in 4 seconds and on the SSD in 3seconds.

    I do not know, if the money is worth that.
     
  20. robertdsc thread starter macrumors regular

    robertdsc

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    #20
    Sorry, no. I'm in Los Angeles.

    Just for the lulz, I did a test of my 4 Macs and the same clip extracted from a DVD. I did everything the same on all 4 machines and it was interesting to see all 4 Macs doing the same thing at different speeds. If only I could link them all via XGrid.

    The clip is the first 12 minutes of the movie Gladiator.
     

    Attached Files:

  21. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    #21
    Ah, this is good. I actually thought about doing the test for you with my 2,3GHz DC G5 and two SSDs on a SATA-II-PCIe-card. Now that you have done it: good, so I do not have to do it. :D
     
  22. AmestrisXServe macrumors 6502

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    Feb 6, 2014
    #22
    Any performance benefit would be from write, and seek times on the SSD, which you should compare to whatever drives you use at present.

    I think you would see the best price benefit at the 120/128GB mark, as smaller SSDs seem to have not decreased in price in contrast.

    You have sold me on OpenShiva, and I will be trying that in place of my normal tools the next time that I need to transencode a disc.
     
  23. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    #23
    Do you mean the OP or me? I'm afraid I don't know OpenShiva.

    On the SSDs: but didn't the OPs 4 tests include write and seek times? And proved that there is no advantage, because the CPU limits it?

    My thought, for example, was, that acces time would increase and iMovie would have quicker access to every bit and little chunk of a file. Quickly getting it, encoding it, quickly passing itnon to the destination drive. But I saw that iMovie only uses 16MB/s on a 1,33GHz ibook G4 and 20MB/s on a 2,3GHz DC G5. Both would be capable of more, but they do not even break ATA-speeds.
    I could imagine, though, that, if someone work with multiple pictures in Photoshop, that it might be positive. But I am actually not very knowledgable on these things, so I am quiet now. Better it is. :)
    I can only see whether it feels faster, no matter what benchmark numbers say. If I do not notice the difference, hm....
     
  24. Umbreon macrumors newbie

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    Jan 20, 2013
    #24
    Elgato Turbo.264?

    While on the topic of transcoding, have you considered Elgato Turbo.264 hardware/software? This is a hardware USB dongle with software that accelerates the conversion of video to H.264. The current version for sale by Elgato is Intel-only, but you could check E-Bay, etc. for the PPC version (I have version 1.4 running on my G5, which may be the final version for PPC).
     
  25. robertdsc thread starter macrumors regular

    robertdsc

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    #25
    I've sort of scrapped the idea for SSDs given the info in this thread, but the image i posted above regarding the time it took to make a movie was a test of all four of my Macs doing the exact same test the exact same way at the exact same time.

    OpenShiiva is a remarkable program for transcoding discs, but a separate program will be required to extract the contents of the disc you wish to transcode. I still use YADE.

    On a few discs, but not many, OpenShiiva will either not be able to handle the audio or handle the subtitles. Otherwise, it works very, very well. I use it conjunction with the 3ivx D4 4.5.1 codec. The 3ivx codec, for my money, is the very best codec to use for movies of this kind. I'm sure there are other codecs and other programs, but the OpenShiiva/3ivx combo has produced spectacular results for going on a decade. I'm very happy with that.

    I also use ffmpegx for some movies that OpenShiiva can't handle. I also use MPEG StreamClip to extract AIFF files for MP3 conversion. These programs are old but they work. And I *know* they work.
     

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