Best hard drive for a 15" PowerBook G4?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by WalnutSpice, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. WalnutSpice Suspended


    Jun 21, 2015
    Canton, Oh
    Exactly what the title says, my current PowerBook hard drive works just fine but it's the original 80GB 5200RPM drive from 2005, so it's a little slow. I'm looking for something 7200 RPM and at least 100GB. Not sure where to buy from either, I looked on ebay but couldn't find any legit looking sellers. Also, I have looked at the SSD options but it's way to expensive to sink into a 10 year old laptop.
  2. Mnowell69 macrumors regular


    Jul 4, 2013
    Bedford, UK
    My Powerbook came without a drive but there was no way i was going to spend money on a drive that cost more than the computer did. I got the fastest I could for the lowest price, which turned out to be a 7k 100gb drive for £15. An SSD may have been faster but i rarely use it having bought it for my collection. I'm not sure you would notice a massive difference if you got a 7k hdd so in your case i would leave it there until you found a good mSATA alternative that was too cheap to refuse
  3. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    Given that the price of PATA mechanical drives over 100GB has been increasing as supplies have been dwindling, the SSD route is pretty much the only affordable show in town.
  4. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2015
    San Jose, CA
    I'd say just get an mSATA SSD and then an mSATA to IDE adapter.
  5. SecretSquirrel macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2013
    I managed to get a 128Gb mSATA and an IDE adapter off Amazon for less than £50. If it's just a showpiece then don't bother but if you're going to use the machine, it's money well spent.
  6. flyrod macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2015
    Yup, SSD is the way to go. With the msata chip, you could always put it in a sata carrier and use it in something else later on if you wanted.
  7. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    The last few 128gb mSATAs+adapter I've done have been around $50-60. You're going to be hard pressed to find a good 7200rpm 100gb+ 2.5" platter drive for much less than that, and IMO the cost difference plus other benefits(much better performance, better battery life) make the mSATA the way to go even if you end up spending an extra $15-20 on it vs. a platter drive.
  8. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    And if you really want to stay with mechanical drives I am highly partial to Western Digital Scorpio Blue drives. They are PATA and available in 80GB, 120GB, 250GB and 320GB.

    They are not 7200rpm drives, but they have an 8mb cache and because of that they are plenty fast.

    Unfortunately now they are getting hard to find, especially the 320GB drives.
  9. Cox Orange, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015

    Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    The biggest 7200rpm drive ever made was a Hitachi 100GB drive that was produced till 2007. There is no bigger one.
    The WD 160-320GB 5400rpm drives already mentioned here are faster or as fast as the 7200rpm Hitachi drive, because they have the younger technology, they were produced till 2012 (if I am correct).
    There is also a Samsung 160GB drive, which is as fast as the WD drive, too. Beware there are two generations of that drive, look for the last two letters on the model number. One of them has 2 and one of them 1 platter. The latter is tiny bit faster and quieter, but you have to google which model number that was, I don't remember form the top of my head.

    When I compare my 320GB WD (2 platters) with my 160GB Samsung (1 platter) the Samsung is quieter (though that might just be because of a different sound characteristic, which is nicer on my ears) and it seems cooler. I did not test a 160GB WD scorpio blue in comparison. I own one, but it is one that was an OEM drive taken from a laptop with manufacturing date 2008 and it had run a long time and is loud because of its age.

    If you compare prices, you might find, that a 320GB WD is the same price as a 128GB mSATA SSD (1,8" important!). Don't take a 80GB WD. Only take a 120GB HDD, if it is not old or has few running hours and is 1 platter design. Better go 160GB or 320GB. This is also, because HDDs tend to get slower in those regions of the platter that are further away and you will have a better experience, even if you only use 1/3 of the big drive. Also those WD with the blue label are most of the time in better shape, because they are retail HDDs, while the scorpios with white label are taken from Laptops and might have run a long time (if the seller doesn't give you a SMART screenshot).

    On SSDs, I tested a 256GB Crucial m4 back then (because at the time it was said that it has the best Garbage Collection, btw. the newer models come with temperature sensor) and I couldn't really see a difference, but all other users seem to see a difference with an SSD in normal life usage. I don't know why that is. :)
  10. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Tracking down a high capacity PATA hard drive is getting harder and harder by the day due to the dwindling stock. Manufacturers stopped building new hard drives a few years ago and migrated fully to SATA. As a result, you will only find NOS (New Old Stock), refurbished, or used drives. By the time you track down a reliable replacement then you may as well go the SSD route.
  11. Dronecatcher macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2014
    Lincolnshire, UK
    On Uk ebay, there are new PATA drives from China around the £10 mark - but as to authenticity, you'd be taking a chance. I've bought various chargers and batteries from China and all have been OK but I haven't been brave enough to go for memory or storage yet.
  12. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    I have bought memory from China and Singapore before. Up to now I have had one stick go bad and another DOA. The latter I got replaced, the former ended up trashing my QS install. Them's the breaks with antique electronics. With regard to the hard drives, given the sky high prices the 'new' drives are probably new old stock of WDs and are likely kosher. If the price is suspiciously below average I would exercise caution as those might be customer returns if sold as new.
  13. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    For 7200rpm drives I think you're pretty much limited to the Hitachi Travelstar 7k100 and the Seagate Momentus 7200.1. I think Toshiba did a GSX range model as well, but I'd recommend the Hitachi and Seagate.

    I'm running a slightly older 7k60 in the TiBook and it's massively quicker than the 4200rpm clunker it shipped with originally. I've owned the drive from new, was originally bought for a Dell Pentium 3 laptop about over ten years ago and cost me a small fortune at the time! I'd be a bit wary of eBay drives though.
  14. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    I agree, because of availability and because the prices of those rare HDDs vs SSDs are similar. I would only say that speed/performance difference doesn't matter that much, if one is deciding between a cheap HDD (with good SMART values) he found and a SSD plus the costs of an adapter. On the other hand the cost difference might be that low, that one will say why not take a SSD, even if you don't recognise the speed difference.
    I have to say that after one (of two) SSDs failing on me and what I have heard about SSDs I am a bit suspicious about them still, I mean the HDD is ripe technology where they didn't feel the need to discover new grounds, like an old automotive motor that has old but proven technology versus a top of the line technology VW motor that fails after 7 years (as happened 1.600.000 times with the Golf, Touran and other models) and you have to pay 6-9000 EUR for repairs, while your old Suzuki car lived 14 years with just one 1000,-EUR repair in the time... :)

    Depending on how much taxes are in the US, maybe buying on european Ebay markets will be an option. The WD 320GB is sold for 70-80EUR per byu it now, but often goes for 55,-EUR in auctions, while a 128GB SSDs go for 50-70EUR and 256GB SSDs for 90-120EUR.
    I have to say however, that sometimes I find it a bit stupid, that my WD 320GB warms my palm especially in summer, so maybe the OP wants to try with a 160GB model or an SSD, but everyone has to see on his own.
  15. WalnutSpice thread starter Suspended


    Jun 21, 2015
    Canton, Oh
    For some reason I completely forgot about that option. I kept looking at the OWC SSDs which are way to much. So yeah, I'll definitely go the mSATA with a converter option.

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