Maximum disk size under ATA/66

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by swoolf, Nov 22, 2003.

  1. swoolf macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2003
    Hi -

    I'm setting up my G4/466 as a file server and I'm getting ready to buy internal drives.

    I read that the Ultra ATA/66 bus in the G4/466 limits the maximum disk space it can recognize to 128GB per drive. Is this true?

    If it is, I suppose I could purchase two 120GB drives and be okay for the meantime, but I really wanted to load up this machine with half a TB or more.

    Any recommendations for a solution that uses this machine and is not expensive?


  2. G5orbust macrumors 65816


    Jun 14, 2002
    Re: Maximum disk size under ATA/66

    I believe that 120GB is the highest hard drive capacity ata 66 can handle.

    But, if you really want half a TB of storage, invest in something like this or this
  3. swoolf thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2003
    Thanks, this is just what I was looking for.

    These forums never let you down! :)

  4. Dreadnought macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2002
    Almere, The Netherlands
    However, my B&W also handles these drives (or was it ata 33?) and it can only handle 36GB per drive. It depends on your bios!

    Now that I check Mactracker, I have only 33 :(. Unfortunately it says nothing about the maximum of drives! You can check Apples knowledge base to be sure!
  5. jtown macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2003
    Depends on a combination of factors. If you really want to put big drives in your machine and know that they'll be supported, get an ATA/133 controller card. They're cheap. Put in one of those cards with a 250 gig drive on each channel and you're set.
  6. swoolf thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2003
    Yup, that's the plan, thanks. Going to use Sonnet's Tempo ATA/133 card and two Western Digital 250's.
  7. G5orbust macrumors 65816


    Jun 14, 2002
    That tempo card is a sweet buy at 99 bucks! They should come out with an SATA version soon, but I dont know when.
  8. jtown macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2003
    I've been watching SATA for ages and have yet to figure out the point. You can't use multiple drives per channel so the 150meg/sec speeds are pointless. Even the fastest drives on the market can barely sustain a third of that. SCSI's 320meg/sec bus makes sense because you can attach a bunch of devices to each channel but I'm at a loss to explain it in the world of SATA.

    SATA drives built on ATA drive specs (just a new controller) cost more than their identical ATA counterparts. Why? You don't get anything more for the money. SATA drives built on SCSI specs are faster than ATA drives but you pay a significant premium for the performance. It's like paying the premium for SCSI drives without getting any of the advantages. If you're going to pay the premium price for performance, why settle for the small, 10k RPM SATA offerings and one drive per channel?

    I just don't get it. :p
  9. G5orbust macrumors 65816


    Jun 14, 2002
    I was actually pointing to the fact that it would be nice to have, saying that he will eventually have to use serial ATA when parallel gets phased out.


    All your points are valid. But, Ultra 320SCSI is INSANELY expensive compared with both PATA and SATA. I wouldnt get Ultra320 unless I was making a very high end server, not to mention the fact that Macs cant use it.
  10. Wyrm macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2003
    Toekeeyoe, Japan
    There are plenty of reasons for SATA:

    1) Cable length, can be quite a bit longer than a regular Parallel ATA.
    2) Cable size: Smaller / thinner. Allows for better airflow.
    3) SATA was built with room to grow without having to change the signalling interface. However, it looks like that room is slowly eroding: Some drives can already push 100Mbs.
    A cache hit can be transferred at 150Mb/s, so if SATA was designed with a lower speed of say 100MBs they'd need to change the signalling already to increase speed.
    4) Convergence - SCSI adopts the SATA interface with SAS (Serially Attached SCSI), less unique parts to manufacture, and a SATA cable is a SAS cable.

    Not to mention the SATA interface is more resistant to noise.

    What does the end user get right away?

    Well at least you get #2, no more giant cables to clutter things up. In the future, since an SATA connector takes up less room, a card or even the motherboard could support more interfaces. I'm not sure why the G5s have only 2 connectors, but then there doesn't seem to be any room allocated to more drives in the case.

    There also is a magic possibility that the same connector can be used with SATA and SAS (but we'll probably never see this) - so the controller can decide at power-on which signalling interface is used through the connector.


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