My iMac G4 Hotswappable SSD Mod complete!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by o2sys, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. o2sys macrumors member

    Joined:
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    NYC
    #1
    So after hours of searching the correct part and waiting for them to arrive, the mod is complete!

    What I've done is remove the optical drive completely, used a Vantech hot-swappable tray and made my OWC SSD removable without the need of opening the case all the time.

    At the same time, upgraded my ram to 2GB, new fan, and OEM Bluetooth card.

    The main reason I did this was because:
    A) I have no need for an optical drive (have an external DL drive)
    B) Want my SSD to be portable.

    I initially only purchased an 30GB SSD as a test, now that I know everything fits and works I will eventually purchase a larger capacity SSD.

    The Vantech is a 3.5" external casing with a 2.5" tray. So I used a 3.5 to 5.25 metal mounting brackets to attached it to the original imac's optical bay mounting point.

    Also purchased off Amazon an IDE to SATA adapter.

    (Crappy cellphone pics, sorry)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Installing Leopard:
    [​IMG]

    Now everything is running good except for when I ran xBench for my SSD I was not getting the speeds expected.

    xBench Results:

    > iMac G4 1.25Ghz w/ 2GB Ram
    >
    > Drive Type: OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro SSD
    >
    > Sequential:
    > 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)
    >
    > Random:
    > 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)

    Not sure if its the Vantech, the IDE/SATA Adapter or the fact I'm using the optical drive's IDE port Drive 1 i believe that is causing this slowness (slower than IDE HDD)

    The computer doesn't run slow at all, runs the same if not slightly faster?

    Cold bootup takes 41 sec.

    What could it be?
     
  2. zen.state, Dec 27, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011

    zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #2
    You really need to learn how to resize images.

    BTW.. those HD scores would only make sense if you had a magnetic drive from the 90's.
     
  3. o2sys thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    man people from this forum sure like to bitch a lot...you have a 15" monitor or something?
     
  4. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #4
    Thats because you give us things to legitimately complain about. Like most ignorant people you're oblivious to anything you have done.
     
  5. o2sys thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    You are complaining too much, if you have issue just PM me or report it to the admin then.

    Don't trash my thread with comments that aren't helpful.
     
  6. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #6
    Here's a helpful one.. stop working on computer hardware till you actually learn some legitimate skills.

    I think you're honestly the only person in the history of the world to make a very very fast SSD perform like a magnetic drive from 1995. Congrats!
     
  7. reddrag0n macrumors 6502

    reddrag0n

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    #7
    BOYS!!! CHILL!!!!!!!!!!!

    On my 22" i see the pics just fine, they are not ginormous and they show what is needed to be shown.

    As for your issue, it may sound like that it could be the IDE/SATA controller card that is hooked up to the SSD. I am wondering if that iMac came with 2 different IDE connectors on the logicboard, and if so, i would try a regular 80-pin cable hooked up to the main had as master, the SSD as slave and then hook it all up to the master channel on the iMac. Leave the slave channel empty and see what that does.
    It may or may not help.
     
  8. SDub90 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 9, 2009
    Location:
    Long Island
    #8
    I think your bottleneck is the IDE port itself. I think you need ATA-4 (or something like that) or higher to go faster (not SSD fast). A simple SATA drive would saturate the port, no need for an SSD there.

    Regardless, the mod itself is an interesting concept.
     
  9. o2sys thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 2, 2011
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    NYC
    #9
    Yes the 20" Imac G4 came with 2 IDE ports. Drive 0 and Drive 1.

    Originally Drive 0 has the HDD an Drive 1 had the Optical drive. For space saving reasons the SSD is on Drive 1 and I put a regular IDE HDD on Drive 0 as a data doubler.
     
  10. zen.state, Dec 27, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011

    zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #10
    You don't seem to understand drives and how they function at all. A drives peak speed is almost irrelevant to real world performance. What will make an SSD faster on any bus is that it moves around within the given limitations much faster than a magnetic drive. It's the same idea with how a 7200rpm drive is faster than a 5400.

    o2sys: Things I don't get

    1. Why you would not buy an IDE SSD from OWC
    2. Why you think some sketchy IDE to SATA adapter is the answer. Those things can cause data corruption on Macs.
    3. Was your goal to spend time and money to make your iMac perform worse? Regardless of your intent that is the outcome.
    4. What non-logic do you draw from to decide on things like removing optical drives and fans?

    Sorry if I seem rude at times but uninformed people like yourself make me cringe in horror over what you do to your Mac. All the things you wonder about and ask others to figure out could easily be found out on your own with a bit of research. Things like this are not things you just blindly dive into.

    Why must other people figure out for you what you should have researched first? It's not our iMac.. it's yours. Everything you ask and wonder about already has loads of answers all over the net you can find.

    Edit: I just wanted to add that I have no issue helping you but I'm just really emphasizing how important research is for a project where you were obviously in over your head. You will find a lot more help from a lot more people here if you show you've actually tried to learn yourself and been stuck. This seems like much more a case of jumping in blindly and then asking all us to figure it out for you.

    Too many people here seem to think of those that know more almost owe this info to you. I can only speak for myself but I am here to be part of a community of Mac users and not just answer spoon feeding requests.
     
  11. Subish macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    #11

    He not going to learn anything if he doesn't work on them. I'm sure you didn't know everything when you started but then again I agree that research should have been done.

    Most of the post are here to help "inform" people are are not as skilled as the rest of us.

    Personally you shouldn't care about what they do to their Macs, maybe later down the road he might mod it and turn the damn thing into an iToaster.

    If it really pisses you off that much just stop reading.
     
  12. o2sys thread starter macrumors member

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    NYC
    #12
    To Zen.State:

    1. I'm a newb
    2. I'm a newb
    3. I posted my threads to hear opinions of what others would think, isn't the the whole point of forums?
    4. I tend to leave my computers on all the time and excessive fan noise gets really annoying, so maybe I thought with no optical drive, no hdd, and a new SSD only, it will generate less heat and maybe therefor it might not need a fan. What's so non-logical about that?
    5. I use my iMac for basic web-surfing and watching downloaded contents, thats it. So while I had the imac opened, I didn't like how much space the optical drive was taking up and just not having it in general would allow me to easily work on things better.
    6. Now with pt. 5 being said, I thought of making my SSD removable without the need of opening the imac up because its a really tedious job. So I did the mod in this thread.
    7. The price of an IDE SSD is $149.99 for 40GB, I purchased my 30GB SATA SSD for $54.99 and the adapter for $5 +/-. First of all The IDE SSD would not be removable as easily as the SATA and OWC also sells the IDE to SATA converters as well.
    8. I'm not asking others to figure out my problems, I'm asking for thoughts and guidance/help to see what could be causing this problem. My research for what I wanted to accomplish had been done, the existing issues are problems I did not foresee.
     
  13. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #13
    It's better to spend 150 on something that will work 100% than 50-60 on something that makes things worse. An iMac or any non-PCI expansion capable system is not the optimal choice to try and add SATA capability to. You're better off sticking with true IDE drives.
     
  14. o2sys thread starter macrumors member

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    NYC
    #14
  15. Subish macrumors member

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    Dec 2, 2011
    #15
    Yea from that forum you should be getting faster speeds, I would try switch out your adapter.

    You could test out your drive in a different computer and see how it does.
    So pretty much start testing out each peace till you find your problem.

    could ask the guy in other post what adapter he is using and order that one since he is having good results.

    Don't worry about Zen, His advice is usually sound but I think he is just in a bad mood. hehe
     
  16. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

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    United Kingdom
    #16
    this is definitely normal for zen - he's not in a bad mood, he just hates it (quite rightly) when a simple google would answer the question.

    As far as those adapters go, they will all reduce the speed somewhat anyway (as well as corrupting the data massively if you get unlucky - this is why Ive never used them in a production machine, and don't use them often elsewhere), its just a matter of luck which adapter you get. Worst comes to it ask around until you find someone whose got an adapter that performs acceptably and get one.

    Also, those images ARE annoyingly big. Resize them/ use TIMG tags. (Yes I view MR on a laptop, and its hugely annoying on its screen. If people need to see it bigger, give them the choice, don't force it on all of us)
     
  17. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #17
    G4 iMac's only have one IDE controller, but two ports. The total amount of driver they can use is two. One on each port.
     
  18. reddrag0n macrumors 6502

    reddrag0n

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    Location:
    Canada
    #18
    Intell: Hence why i said connectors, not controllers. I know some macs out there have 2 slots, so i figured since one is a master, the other is a slave, it "may" theoretically accept 4 drives.
    With my old iMac, it had 1 slot which accepted 2 drives.
     
  19. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Poland
    #19
    Your problem lies IMHO in fact that you actually use 2 adapters between SSD and IDE. First one is SATA->SATA, SATA->IDE is second one. It's quite possible that SATA->IDE adapter works poorly with this Vantec thing rather than with SSD itself.
    Try SSD directly with SATA->IDE and you'll know.
     
  20. skinniezinho macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    Portugal
    #20
    I don't know what your problem is but I can say that my powermac g4 with a new 500Gb samsung F3 with el cheapo sata to ide adapter made about 40Mb/s I think...(see values for this HDD here) even a CF card performed better than your ssd :S try another port, and if it stays the same it is the adapter :S
    You should try the ssd in a native sata system to see if everything is ok too..
     
  21. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #21
    This sounds like good advice. Makes a lot of sense.

    You also have more experience than many of us with these interface converters. I personally have no faith in them but maybe you have some tricks that I don't know about to help them offer better performance/stability. Maybe it comes down to brand but a couple of clients of mine in the past have used these and they caused data corruption.
     
  22. ThunderSnake macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #22
    Were your clients using SATA drives in an IDE interface or the other way around? I've been trying to Google for commonalities in data corruption for the past hour or so, but I'm not having much luck. You're probably right that it comes down to particular brands or chipsets.

    FWIW, I've had really good luck with mine in my MDDs, one of which is a very heavy use machine (my living room entertainment system). It has run this way for nearly two years without the slightest glitch. I've only just now put a Firmtek card in that particular machine--Mainly just for an easy way to stick another 2TB drive in the lower optical bay.
     
  23. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #23
    They were both using SATA drives in older IDE Macs. It could very well have been a rare but possible conflict that some have with certain controllers.
     
  24. o2sys, Dec 27, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011

    o2sys thread starter macrumors member

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    NYC
    #24
    Found the chip on my ide to sata adapter, its a JM20330:

    http://www.jmicron.com/JM20330.html

    Ok, so I think the culprit maybe the adapter. But also I originally put the IDE cable in drive 1 just because it fit better there, I moved it to Drive 0 where it says HARD DRIVE on the logic board and improved a bit and got the following results:

    [​IMG]

    Testing with the Vantech bay with/without didn't give me any noticeable improvements, so gonna have to cancel that out.

    Now the numbers seem like a NORMAL IDE HDD, still half of what the other guy got with his SSD.
     
  25. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #25
    ^^^ JMicron is crap :)
    In my PPC Macs I use this one:
    [​IMG]

    It's controlled by Marvell 88SA8040-TBC chip. No problems, no data corruption. Only downside (but not for me TBH) could be that is uses floppy power connector intstead of "regular" 4 pin molex.

    2.5" WD Black 7200 using this adapter performs like this:

    Code:
    Disk Test	71.86	
    		Sequential	123.46	
    			Uncached Write	140.44	86.23 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    			Uncached Write	116.96	66.18 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    			Uncached Read	102.53	30.01 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    			Uncached Read	143.37	72.06 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    		Random	50.68	
    			Uncached Write	18.18	1.93 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    			Uncached Write	155.87	49.90 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    			Uncached Read	92.49	0.66 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    			Uncached Read	149.18	27.68 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    
     

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