Anyone here using a PCI SSD with their G5?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by macmee, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. macmee Suspended

    macmee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    I'm fixing to buy a quad core G5 and I'm looking at methods to get a 6gb/s SSD. I read online that this PCI card works with the G5:

    https://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonnet Technologies/TSATA6PROE2/

    I was wondering if anyone has used this particular card and if so how bootable / usable it is in their G5.

    I assume it's slightly inconvenient that it only gives you external ports, but I suppose you could drill a small hole in the metal casing of the card and feed a cable back inside of the mac.
     
  2. Eriamjh1138@DAN macrumors 6502

    Eriamjh1138@DAN

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    BFE, MI
    #2
    It says it's compatible with the last gen G5 and MacSales is a very Mac-centric supplier. $30 is a reasonable price. It must be the AHCI compliance that allows it to work without drivers.
     
  3. macmee thread starter Suspended

    macmee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    So it should be bootable, right?
     
  4. Eriamjh1138@DAN macrumors 6502

    Eriamjh1138@DAN

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    BFE, MI
    #4
    Bootable? I didn't see that. Better search to confirm.
     
  5. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #5
    According to the supplied info, not bootable in OS X, Windows 7 only.
    --------------------
    Highlights
    • Cost-effective solution for adding two high-performance 6 Gb/s eSATA ports to your Mac® Pro or desktop PC with PCI Express 2.0 slots
    • Supports single SATA drive enclosures and multi-bay SATA drive enclosures enclosures Superior performance
    • Perfect for use in Sonnet's Echo™ Express Thunderbolt™ Expansion Chassis for PCIe Cards
    • Supports drive hot-swapping under Mac OS X
    • Supports booting from attached drives under Windows 7
    • AHCI compliant-no drivers required
    • Supports Sonnet-exclusive locking eSATA data cables
    • Sonnet Technology 5 Year Limited Warranty
     
  6. Lil Chillbil macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #6
    I have an OWC adapter in my Mac Pro


    Course that's a Mac Pro, but it would be interesting if this would work in a G5
     
  7. Eriamjh1138@DAN macrumors 6502

    Eriamjh1138@DAN

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    BFE, MI
  8. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Location:
    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #8
    The PCIe card would need to support booting in a PowerPC Mac in firmware. As it stands, it appears there are zero PCIe cards with such firmware available. Simply put, these cards became popular when PowerPCs were already a dead platform, so no one took the time to make it bootable on those. Once in the operating system, the OS will be able to talk to the PCIe card via the standard AHCI protocol, and thus use whatever drive is connected without drivers. It's simply not the same when the Mac is still in Open Firmware.
     
  9. macmee thread starter Suspended

    macmee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    Dang it. I was hoping to get something 6gbps going in a g5.
     
  10. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
  11. macmee thread starter Suspended

    macmee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
  12. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #12
  13. SuperKerem macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Location:
    London, England
    #13
    I wonder if it'd be possible to initially boot from a regular SATA drive which then offloads to the PCIe bus to load the OS. I know that the Linux boot process on G5s does some stuff (maybe along the same lines?) in Open Firmware in order to boot. (And this has been done before on other computers, IIRC.)

    I have no doubt that someone with the right knowledge could get this working, theoretically allowing us "boot" G5s at SATA 2/3 speeds via the PCIe bus (after a few seconds of initial delay). We just need someone with the right skill-set! (and yes, I am being hopeful) :cool:
     
  14. macmee thread starter Suspended

    macmee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #14
    On my powerbook g4 I know there's a way to boot from usb from open firmware. I wonder if the same approach would work from booting from this non bootable drive?

    My first guess would be no and that the drive wouldnt show up in open firmware, but I have no idea!

    I wonder if there's a way to make OS X boot off of another drive and then do some hack to swap drive identifiers or something
     
  15. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Location:
    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #15
    You'd be correct. Again, the firmware of the PCIe card needs to be able to communicate with the PPC's Open Firmware to identify itself correctly so the Open Firmware knows what the drive is, and how to boot from it. But again, these cards do not have such functionality in their firmware to do so, as a matter of fact, most don't even have the capability of talking to an Intel Mac's EFI, thus preventing booting on an Intel Mac.
     
  16. SuperKerem macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Location:
    London, England
    #16
    Firstly, I am almost certain that it would be "possible". There is nothing that directly prevents this as a theory. Anyone who knows how OF works in detail could attempt it - allowing PowerPC to become *that* much better. The G5 won't recognise the PCIe bus as bootable by default, but with software loaded onto a regular SATA drive which executes on boot, it would be possible to start some kind of chain. Maybe someone who actually knows the specifics could chime in. Intell? :D

    Quad G5 + 16GB RAM + PCIe SSD = :eek:
    --- Post Merged, Jan 17, 2017 ---
    A regular SATA drive (recognised by Open Firmware) could be booted, which then executes *something* to enable offloading to the PCIe bus. Seems a bit outlandish but crazier things have been done before!
     
  17. macmee thread starter Suspended

    macmee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #17
    yeah I am wondering if we could boot into something like GRUB and have it recognize the drive, and then boot OSX off of it
     
  18. SuperKerem macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Location:
    London, England
    #18
    Maybe. The theory is there, it's just up to someone to attempt it. ;)
     
  19. macmee thread starter Suspended

    macmee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #19
    I just ordered a G5, if it comes and works and everything I might buy it and mess around as I also have a sata 3 ssd, but I don't know what I will be able to accomplish - I will read more about it I guess!
     
  20. SuperKerem, Jan 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017

    SuperKerem macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Location:
    London, England
    #20
    Nearly all modern SATA III drives are unfortunately incompatible with G5s due to a link aggregation issue. Looking for certain models of SATA I or II SSDs will be your best bet to achieve SSD performance.

    You will be limited by the G5's SATA I bus though, and speeds will not be comparable to what a PCIe drive *could* achieve.
     
  21. macmee thread starter Suspended

    macmee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #21
    I heard the OCZ vertex 2 is a good drive to buy because it's SATA 2 and has garbage collection. I've been having trouble finding one for a good price though as they're quite old.

    Also about the SATA I thing you mentioned - I DID find this PCI-X SATA 2 card which claims to be bootable on the G5 powermac:

    http://www.firmtek.com/seritek/seritek-2se4/

    are you aware if this card would also be limited to sata 1 speeds in the g5?
     
  22. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Location:
    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #22
    No, because it is not going through the SATA I controller of the PowerMac G5. From what I know, the 133MHz PCI-X slots should have theoretical data speeds of up to 1GB/s, and the 100MHz slots should go up to 800MB/s or so. SATA II goes up to 300MB/s, so the PCI-X card even on a bad day should not be a bottleneck, although I'm not 100% sure if the system actually ever runs the PCI-X cards at such high datarates. But I'm sure it does atleast allow for the full SATA II specification speed, thus being faster than what the internal SATA controller can offer.
     
  23. macmee thread starter Suspended

    macmee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #23
    Hmm, now finding one of these cards to buy is the new challenge :p
     
  24. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #24
    Right at the bottom of this webpage there is a "buy link" that appears to be working.
     
  25. macmee thread starter Suspended

    macmee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #25
    Ah, thanks for that. The buy button on my link just went to yahoo.com!

    Ok so this is $99.... I guess I should try and figure out if this card + SSD would be cheaper than just getting two SSDs and raiding them in RAID 0!
     

Share This Page