external hd significantly slowing down imac g5

excalibur313

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 7, 2003
779
3
Cambridge, MA
I have a 1st generation 17" imac G5 and I bought a usb external hard drive to put my 23gb worth of photos and my itunes songs on it (perhaps 8gigs worth). All of a sudden, it has slowed down significantly from what it was before (even though it only had 1gig free!) even when itunes and iphoto aren't running. I know that a usb2 external isn't as fast as an internal but this is absurd. Do you think that there are any ways I can speed this up?
Thanks,
Stephen
 

California

macrumors 68040
Aug 21, 2004
3,766
41
excalibur313 said:
I have a 1st generation 17" imac G5 and I bought a usb external hard drive to put my 23gb worth of photos and my itunes songs on it (perhaps 8gigs worth). All of a sudden, it has slowed down significantly from what it was before (even though it only had 1gig free!) even when itunes and iphoto aren't running. I know that a usb2 external isn't as fast as an internal but this is absurd. Do you think that there are any ways I can speed this up?
Thanks,
Stephen
Usb sucks power from the CPU. A firewire external hd does not and that is why they are preferable. Also bootable from fw, not usb. That's why you are sloooowing down.
 

excalibur313

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 7, 2003
779
3
Cambridge, MA
Hmmm that is bizarre. Just so I get it right now...would it be preferable to get a firewire (400, 800, or does it matter?) or just replace the internal drive and if i replace the internal one what specifications should it have? I read that it is a serial ata but i'm not sure if its a serial ata 150, the 3gb/s or something else. If i did replace the internal one what is the best way of tranferring over the data? I have another external hard drive that I could use to image the hd but what is the best way to do that?
Thanks again!
 

crazzyeddie

macrumors 68030
Dec 7, 2002
2,790
0
Florida, USA
By sucking CPU power California means that USB2 takes CPU cycles to write to disk. The same is true with firewire, but to a much lesser extent. But... an iMac G5 should have no problem keeping up with iPhoto, etc...

Does it keep happening when the drive is unplugged/unmounted?
Are you running iPhoto or have your iPhoto library on the external drive?
 

excalibur313

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 7, 2003
779
3
Cambridge, MA
It happens even when iphoto and itunes isn't running and it speeds up significantly when I physically unplug the usb cord. The only thing I have on the hard drive are the libraries of itunes and iphoto (the actual programs are still on the internal one).
 

excalibur313

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 7, 2003
779
3
Cambridge, MA
I've been informed by the owner of the computer that she would prefer external. Would I get good performance out of a firewire 400 drive? I was thinking an iomega black series 160gb, lacie porshe 250gb, or owc 160gb. Does anyone have any experience with any of these drives and do you think that I will get the performance I want using this to store the 23 gb of photos and 8 gb of tunes?
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
excalibur313 said:
I've been informed by the owner of the computer that she would prefer external. Would I get good performance out of a firewire 400 drive? I was thinking an iomega black series 160gb, lacie porshe 250gb, or owc 160gb. Does anyone have any experience with any of these drives and do you think that I will get the performance I want using this to store the 23 gb of photos and 8 gb of tunes?
iomega tech support sucks. I like the D2 drives better than the Porsches from LaCie, and all of them are basically a drive in a case... for which you receive 1/3 to 1/5 the warranty you would have on the drive mechanism if you built it yourself.

Consequently, I recommend a MacAlly Aluminum Firewire 400/USB2 combo case, (you'll use the FW only, but it's no more money than the FW-only case) with a bare Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM drive, (has a 5 year warranty), and three minutes with a Phillips screwdriver.
 

adk

macrumors 68000
Nov 11, 2005
1,937
21
Stuck in the middle with you
excalibur313 said:
Just so I get this right...I was looking on newegg and it appears that macally does not make a drive that is serial ata but just ide. This would mean that I would have to take care to get an ata 100 ide drive right?

The combo I'm considering:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817146602
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148062

Thank you everyone for your help!


I'm pretty sure they make SATA firewire enclosures, just look around newegg a bit.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
excalibur313 said:
Hey CanadaRam- I was looking at a previous post you made and there you recommended the opposite (the d2 over the do it yourself option) (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=121031&highlight=usb2+drivers). What made you change your mind on the best route to take?
Ummm... the post from 8 months ago? I recommended the D2 over the Porsche and other brands of external, and then said "If you're more adventurous, you can buy a MacAlly 3.5" Combo case, and a Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 IDE drive and put it together yourself. Won't come with any instructions, backup software or PC drivers, but the drive mechanism will come with a 5 year warranty."

Seems pretty consistent to me.

There's not much advantage to paying extra for a SATA drive and SATA-Firewire case; you are bound by the speed of the FW400 interface. You'll find better sales on the IDE drives and cases.
 

excalibur313

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 7, 2003
779
3
Cambridge, MA
I meant lower when you said:
"I reallly think LaCie is a better choice for Macs than Maxtor, WesternDigital or Seagate packaged external drives.

I have a Maxtor Firewire exterhal here in front of me that's going back for the second time for warranty. Bye Bye data. If you open the case to try to recover the data from the mechanism, Maxtor voids the warranty :-("

I wasn't sure whether you meant an internal drive that was packaged in an enclosure or an external drive by one of those companies.
Thanks again!