iMac G4 USB2 upgraded to SSD and 2GB RAM

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Bkxmnr, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Bkxmnr macrumors regular


    Feb 9, 2009
    Wichita, KS
    Hello, just upgraded my iMac G4 to 2GB RAM and an OCZ Agility SSD. The local computer store had three kinds of PATA-SATA converters, two that plug into the motherboard and one that plugs into the drive itself. The one that plugs into the drive was the one I ended up using as there was not enough room on the MB. I cloned the computer to the SSD using Carbon Copy and it worked like a charm. Here are some xbench results:

    Agility SSD Seagate 7200/7
    Sequential Write (4k blocks) 90.03 MB/sec 52.55 MB/sec
    Sequential Write (256k blocks) 83.61 44.33
    Sequential Read (4k blocks) 22.09 20.52
    Sequential Read (256k blocks) 80.89 44.49
    Random Write (4k blocks) 8.60 1.19
    Random Write (256k blocks) 84.51 21.13
    Random Read (4k blocks) 17.45 0.60
    Random Read (256k blocks) 79.37 21.31
    (I hope the text formatting works)

    I was surprised that sequential 4k reads weren't that much faster.

    Wouldn't want to edit video on this old thing but it's a great Internet/email machine.

    Attached Files:

  2. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    Excellent job! There is no better way to give some power to old Lampshade :)
    Except read/write speed you got almost 0 acces time.

    BTW, text formatting works when you'll use CODE tag.
  3. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    What was the name of the store? I ask because I helped sell one of these to someone yesterday doing the exact same project to the same computer.
  4. Bkxmnr thread starter macrumors regular


    Feb 9, 2009
    Wichita, KS
    That was likely me you helped. It was Ribbit Computers on Maize Rd.
  5. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    It's the nature of most SSDs, especially lower end of the scale SSDs such as the OCZ Agility series.
  6. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    Yup, sure was! Glad that it works for ya. Maybe one day I'll have to stick one in one of our G4's. More than likely I'd put one in my G4 Cube if I could find some way to make it fit.
  7. No ice please macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2009
    Oooohh that would be awesome for a cube!!
  8. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    Cool. But are you still only limited to the PATA/IDE interface speeds?

    Is this the 20" 1.25ghz iMac G4? :D
  9. Bkxmnr thread starter macrumors regular


    Feb 9, 2009
    Wichita, KS
    Mine is the 17". Yes, you are limited to the ATA interface speed of 100 MB/sec. Some of my xbench results hit 95 MB/sec, which is close to saturating the ATA interface.
  10. JYF macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2007
    Is there a step-by-step guide?

    Very nice job, congratulations. I'd like to do the same on an old iMac G4 1.25GHz but I'm not so tach-savvy. Is there a step-by-step tutorial out there?
  11. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    Hahahaha, that poor G4!

    I hope you gave it justice and cleaned out all the dust inside of it.
  12. holmesf macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2001
    Congrats on breathing some new life into your iMac G4!

    I am considering a similar project on my 800MHz iMac G4, which we use as a kitchen computer to look up recipes.

    I realize that the interface in the older model of iMac G4 is Ultra-ATA/66 which limits it to 66MB/s and so I am looking into low end SSDs. Also looking into low capacity SSDs since we only use about 6GB of storage on this machine.

    I found this drive, which states that it is specially made for Acer Aspire One. Yet the interface states PATA/IDE, so it seems like it should (might?) be compatible with the iMac.

    Super Talent 16GB 1.3-Inch IDE ZIF Solid State Drive

    Can anyone help me determine if this drive would work correctly in the 800MHz iMac G4?
  13. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    The iMacs used 3.5" IDE drives soyou will need an adapter. You can go the IDE>Compact Flash adapter route. Just buy a fast 16gb CF card and an adapter. You will spend half that price.
  14. holmesf macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2001
    Thanks, I didn't realize that IDE connectors had different sizes (probably because 2.5" and 3.5" SATA drives use the same connectors).

    Thanks also for the suggestion about using a CF card. High speed cards actually seem expensive, but it does give me more options.
  15. Gustav.A., Jan 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011

    Gustav.A. macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2010

    Really great upgrade!

    It would be great if you could fit a 2.5" storage hard drive in there as well. Perhaps using a USB or Firewire adaptor maybe?
    There are 2 IDE ports on the logic board. Could these run two drives each maybe?
  16. v-i-c- macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2004
    Would be nice for my mother's iMac G4 800. Is it really worth it? Does it feel faster?
  17. MacHamster68, Feb 7, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    nice upgrade, and a great chance to do the very often forgotten cleaning inside, and by the looks it was forgotten a long long time ,one of the main causes of a early death of any computer really , as dust creates more heat by blocking the ventilation holes ,so make sure you clean it now regular inside , the iMac will thank you ,hope you reapplied heat compound too where its necessary

    just had a g4 mini 1.25 here from a mate he bought it cheap of ebay and i did the same upgrade but only a 16gb ssd
    in it as he bought a external harddrive from newertech for underneath for storage and yes it feels faster ,
    but .....
    ...god i did not know there is room for that much dust inside this small mini case , i wondered that the fan was actually able to turn at all , one of the main downsides of apple making their consumer models inaccessible for most users..just wonder how many iMac's and Mini's died over the years just because of dust inside
  18. trickyred macrumors member

    May 17, 2010

    I hear ya. I opened my 2003 iMac 17" 1.25ghz a few weeks ago for the first time ever (after gaining confidence from this forum) and the results were shocking. I have pics that I will post when I get home, but they don't do it justice. I upgraded the RAM and cleaned it out and thermal pasted it, and it seems very happy!!

    It is sad to think of all the dead machines caused by such a trivial thing, but I'm sure Apple's bazillion dollar bank account isn't weeping too many tears over it ;)
  19. MacMoritz macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2011
    less noisy

    Hi I want to do the same to an iMac g4 17" and 20" inch. Why I want to do it ist not because of the performance, it's more because I want the iMac to be less noisy. To all of you who upgraded to SSD is your imac less noisy?

    And and anybody post a lonk or a pic of the adapter which is suitable? Because I am down under, I'll have to order it online and would be great if I order the right adapter straight away.

    Thanks for your comments and help. Cheers
  20. o2sys macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2011
    Getting slower speeds with my OWC SSD

    From xBench:

    iMac G4 1.25Ghz w/ 2GB Ram

    Drive Type: OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro SSD

    Write 10.76 MB/sec (4k blocks)
    Write 8.82 MB/sec (256k blocks)
    Read 4.71 MB/sec (4k blocks)
    Read 9.59 MB/sec (256k blocks)

    Write 7.53 MB/sec (4k blocks)
    Write 9.71 MB/sec (256k blocks)
    Read 4.39 MB/sec (4k blocks)
    Read 9.87 MB/sec (256k blocks)
  21. mobimation, Jan 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012

    mobimation macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2011
    I upgraded my G4 20" to 2GB and a more silent fan. It is not fully able to keep up with getting heat out and the fan is still audible.
    So I will do a more complete makeover by removing the entire Superdrive and 3.5" hard drive.
    They contribute some heat also. This hardware disappearing won´t be apparent from the outside.
    The recipe will be a SSD and a big diameter low profile fan on top of the mother board that whisks along
    at low revs so it isn´t audible but still moves heat out the upper vents. Getting the two rectangular blocks
    of big HDD and DVD drive out also creates space for air to move upwards.
    That should do it and create a super silent G4 for use as music jukebox. The iconic swivel LCD
    adds some aesthetics to such a setup that few other computers can match :)
    Then let´s see for how long the Powerpc Mac client for Spotify is going to continue working.
    Spotify have abandoned further powerpc upgrades so any future server side API change could render it inoperable.

  22. Sputnik76 macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2014
    Hi! I would like to do exactly the same HD upgrade on my dad's iMac G4. The only difference is I bought a Samsung 3.5 SSD drive. Could you please tell me which converter you purchased?

    This would be very helpful.

    Thank you in advance!
  23. CowCrusher macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2015
    One of my neighbors left one to be disposed as trash for pick up day. The power cord was missing so I got one on Amazon. Works fine but is slow as noted. I do have a 128 GB SSD that kept my old Gateway going before it bit the dust. I am going to try and do the same with it next month.
  24. zjfroot macrumors newbie


    Jan 3, 2016
    I know i am replying an old thread but I just want to say thanks for motivating me upgrading my G4 Globe to SSD.

    The improvement for me is quite exciting, the sequential reads/writes are 2x faster and the random reads/writes are 17x faster! The old IDE disk must be almost worn out. Here are xbench benchmarks:

    IDE disk:

    SSD disk:
  25. olytuck, Mar 12, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016

    olytuck macrumors newbie


    Mar 12, 2016

    @zjfroot I followed your blog post along with the iFixit guide to install a SSD into my iMac G4 and can't make it work - always get this '?' error.


    I purchased the same IDE to SATA adapter and the SSD as you have.

    I've drawn up the following image to show how I currently have the jumpers setup on the DVD drive and the Adapter.


    Any help or advice on how to get the mac to read the drive would be fantastic.


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