Faster HDD options for Powerbook G4 Titanium

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ptdebate, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. ptdebate macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #1
    Hello again PowerPC junkies,

    I want to put a faster drive in my Tibook. Here are my options: Paying $60 for an 80GB Western Digital Blue (5400rpm), $34.99 for an 80GB Hitachi Travelstar (7200rpm), or $100 for a 250GB WD Blue. All are brand new and sealed. Does anyone have experience with these drives? Which one would you choose?

    I don't really want to do an SSD because I'm running two very SSD-unfriendly OSes: Tiger and 9.2.2.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    Are you sure these are all PATA/IDE 2.5" drives? The price for the 7,200rpm drive seems a bit low for 7,200rpm PATA drive.
     
  3. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #3
  4. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #5
    I'm partial to WD drives, particularly the Scorpio Blues so I'd say go with the WD. They are dependable and fast drives. I have a WD 320GB in my 17" PowerBook and my wife has a WD 250GB in her 12" PowerBook.
     
  6. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #6
    How much were those drives and where did you find them?
     
  7. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #7
    Well…I'll tell you, but I don't believe you can replicate my experience any more simply because they are not being sold in stores any longer.

    I got the 320 at my local Fry's Electronics for my birthday in September 2009. It was on sale so I paid $109. Fry's is a giant West Coast electronics firm and they were still selling PATA laptop drives then.

    In mid-2011 I think is when I got my wife her 250. Her PowerBook came without a HD so I went back to Frys to get her a 320 and…found nothing!

    After visits to two different Best Buys in the area it became very apparent that the highest capacity I was going to find was a 250. So, I bought one at the second Best Buy for $109 (it wasn't on sale).

    I have of course, visited Frys many, many times since that last in-store buy and on occasion checked to see if they might still carry PATA laptop drives. The last time I checked was maybe a year or so ago and the ONLY PATA drives they had were desktop drives.

    Intell says that none of the manufactures make PATA drives anymore. Any PATA drive you find is coming out of the dwindling stock that was still on hand when the drive manufacturers stopped making them. This is why you can't find them in a store anymore. Finding them online new is getting impossible now too. Pretty soon all that we'll be able to find is refurb/remanufactured or used.

    P.S. When I got my 320 it was for my old TiBook 400. I quickly discovered the 128GB barrier. I was forced to buy Intech's HiCap driver to see the full 320GB. Of course, my TiBook died (the first time) about two months after I got the drive, so the 320 went into my 1Ghz 17" PowerBook when I won my first auction on eBay in November 2009.
     
  8. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #8
    I think I've decided to go with the Hitachi. $34.99 seems too cheap to pass up for a 7200rpm drive. That is, unless anyone has a convincing reason for me to go with an mSATA or IDE SSD instead, but that just seems like a bad idea to me. There have been some negative reviews of the Western Digital IDE/ATA drives on amazon saying that they're actually refurbished, not new.
     
  9. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #9
    Just my two cents…

    The WD 320 I have in my 17" 1.67 PB is much faster than the 5400rpm Seagate drive I just put in my other 17" 1.0 PB about a month ago.

    That said both drives are failing. They aren't new and the Seagate drive has over 7700 hours on it. The WD drive has technically "failed" already, but still works. That's pretty good I think for a five year old laptop drive. I don't turn my laptops off so the drives are always spinning.

    And just to comment on new versus refurb. The stock as I mentioned in my other post is dwindling. Get new if you want to and can, but realize that refurb or remanufactured is soon going to be all you can find.
     
  10. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #10
    True, but even when all of the IDE disk drives in existence are burned up, OWC will still be manufacturing new SSDs as long as the market exists. As a matter of fact, I just read on their site that they offer a three year warranty on their legacy pro models. It may be worth it to buy from them after all. Three years is a long time for an SSD running an old, un-optimized OS. I wouldn't be surprised if buying one drive with that warranty entails getting two or three in all due to their inevitable failure.
     
  11. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #11
    I think this is where you and I may diverge. I like the concept of an SSD. I've even seriously considered one for my 1.67 PB. But the price is what stops me. For what I can afford I would take a serious hit in capacity. So, it remains a theory for me.

    PATA SSDs too are more expensive than SATA SSDs. And with a SATA SSD you need an adapter and a way to secure it in your drive bay. There are solutions, but none I have pursued because of the price factor.

    I think, for me, that by the time we get to where SSDs are all that's left for PowerPC Macs I will probably have long, long since moved on. I love all of my PowerMacs and intend to keep using them for as long as possible, but even I have a limit.
     
  12. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    #12
    An SSD should last just as long as a HDD at least, even if the OS is not optimized for it. I have a 4 year old SSD that has seen some pretty heavy use and it's humming along just fine with a filesystem that does not have TRIM support. That's with software full disk encryption too.
     
  13. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

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    #13
    I've had an OWC mercury SSD in my G4 Cube for more then 3 years now, and it still benches out the same as the day I installed it.
    This very likely depends on how and what you use the system for, but in my case I'm more then happy with the modest speed improvement.
     
  14. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #14
    Perhaps SSDs aren't so bad...

    Wow, guys! That's really cool. Great to hear some firsthand information on the OWC SSDs--sounds like they might be a valuable proposition after all. I had been led to believe that they would wear out faster without any TRIM support and using memory paging etc. Thanks for sharing!

    I'd also like to ask whether the improvement in speed really is what it's made out to be. Did an SSD significantly improve your experience with a PowerPC Mac? Thanks again!
     
  15. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    #15
    I wouldn't say significantly, but it was noticeable. I'm using the Transcend 32 GB PATA. Boot and application launch times are faster. Extracting large archives with tar is faster too. Battery life is a little better, heat is a little lower, but not tremendously so.

    Note that the advertised speed is really irrelevant because the PATA connection will always bottleneck it. One reason why a lack of TRIM won't be too noticeable is because the drive will still be much faster than its PATA interface allows, so any slowdown won't have any effect. As far as longevity is concerned, I have not had any issues whatsoever.
     
  16. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

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    #16
    You must have missed the part of my post where I stated "modest",
    but when you're dealing with minimally specked systems, any improvement is a 'plus.'
     
  17. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #17
    No need for the condescending tone--I was asking for more specific details on how the SSD has affected your experience. Please leave the discussion if you can't contribute anything pertinent.
     
  18. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #18
    You will see some benefit when opening applications, performing disk operations (copy, delete, etc.), and a quicker boot time. Coming out of a 4200 or 5400 RPM drive will show a decent improvement. That being said, the price over the 7200 RPM models is quite a bit more, and 7200 RPM drives with decent cache are going to be great performers. You will never see full benefit of an SSD on a PATA or SATA I interface like you will with a SATA II or SATA III equipped machine, and for the money I do not see the point of dropping it in unless you really have a dedicated reason for it. It is like putting a new crate engine into a Corolla with the standard transmission, the power will only increase slightly and the other parts hold it back from its true potential. I am not saying don't do it, but it isn't something I would do...
     
  19. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #19
    INTEL 80GB 310 mSATA SSD -- $36.99

    So, as the title would suggest, I settled on a brand new Intel 310 mSATA SSD found on eBay because it was virtually the same price as the 7200rpm Hitachi drive of a smaller capacity.

    I also picked up an IDE housing for it, which was about $20.

    I'm pretty excited! The Intel 310 series should be great for Powerbooks since it's SATA 3.0Gbps, meaning that it's compatible with all of the widely-available IDE interface adapters (including the one I bought, which is Minerva). If you're looking for a high-quality alternative to OWC's Legacy Pro models, check it out! I'll post the results when I receive the drive and install it.
     
  20. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #20
    I definitely look forward to hearing of the results.
     
  21. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #21
    Intel inside?

    I can't help but remark upon the irony of outfitting my Powerbook with Intel parts :D
     
  22. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #22
    Definitely a bit ironic at the least. At least they make quality parts to put in it.
     
  23. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #23
    There's a video out on YT of a guy putting an Intel SSD with an adapter into his iBook G4 (with hot glue :eek:). My thoughts exactly!
     
  24. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #24
    Hot glue?
     
  25. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #25
    Yeah. I be all like
    [​IMG]
     

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