After the disappointing and bizarre 'sleep induced' death (died after putting the computer to sleep mode instead of shutting off) of my new 9700 Pro graphics card for my PowerMac Dual 533 Digital Audio for reasons unknown, the next hardware upgrade arrived yesterday, a Sonnet dual Sata PCI card. I just completed using CCC to clone my previous two 40GB drives onto a new Western Digital 500GB "green" Sata 7200 RPM drive and then removed both 40GB pata drives and installed the sata into the drive carrier and booted up from Tiger (Leopard is also installed on a 2nd partition, but it's a good deal slower on 512MB of ram compared to Tiger so it'll have to wait for further upgrades before being employed in regular use). I've also already added a USB 2.0 PCI card and replaced the internal ZIP drive with a 3.5" dashboard hub device that gives it 4 front panel USB 2.0 ports (connector inside connects to the PCI card's internal USB connector), a fire port (wire slips out back slot to connect to one of the FW 400 ports on back which then moves it up front) and it also has headphone and microphone jacks (sadly the Digital Audio has no mic input jack on it so the mic jack isn't useful; I'll need a y-adapter to make use of the headphone jack since it's running to my speakers already). The first and most immediate joyful benefit of the new drive is that with the removal of the Apple 40GB WD drive, the LOUD "whining" noise it made from the day I got this machine last spring at a computer show is now blissfully gone. I thought it was the internal fans until I rolled up a piece of paper and held it to my ear to figure out it was the original hard drive making that loud mechanical 'whine' sound. This Powermac is now quieter than my new PC, which I thought was ultra quiet compared to my last PC which itself was definitely a fair amount quieter than this PowerMac until I removed that drive. The PowerMac is barely audible now at all with just a slight whisper of a fan sound. I'll probably add a 2nd 500GB internal drive in the near future to use as a backup drive as the system will soon be used as a server to drive a whole house audio system. I read a post somewhere where someone said to get an external firewire drive instead because the slow bus on the PowerMac doesn't have the bandwidth to utilize sata and it will perform slower than an external firewire connection. Despite the claims by Apple that this tower can only hold 3 hard drives, it can actually hold 4 (6 with a bit of double sided tape for positions 1 and 2) so why would I want to clutter my desk up with external drives if I don't have to. The USB 2.0 card is the only other item on the PCI bus so I didn't buy the claim it didn't have enough bandwidth. Well, I'll let my Xbench drive test speak for itself: Drive Type WDC WD5000AACS-00ZUB0 Disk Test 71.00 Sequential 95.26 Uncached Write 121.97 74.89 MB/sec [4K blocks] Uncached Write 128.31 72.60 MB/sec [256K blocks] Uncached Read 52.00 15.22 MB/sec [4K blocks] Uncached Read 147.83 74.30 MB/sec [256K blocks] Random 56.58 Uncached Write 22.36 2.37 MB/sec [4K blocks] Uncached Write 163.36 52.30 MB/sec [256K blocks] Uncached Read 80.89 0.57 MB/sec [4K blocks] Uncached Read 133.66 24.80 MB/sec [256K blocks] That's up from 24 MB/sec sequential read/writes on the old Apple 40GB 7200 RPM drive on the motherboard controller. Needless to say, I'm pretty pleased with the improvement in both speed and much quieter operation and there is no way a Firewire 400 connection could do better than that Sata PCI card (400Mbit is ~50MB/sec max). Firewire 800 could theoretically go that fast, but on a Powermac that would mean buying a PCI card to get FW800 so it'd still use the PCI bus. Plus I'm likely seeing the limit of the hard drive or close to it anyway. SataI is 1.5MBit theoretical which trumps FW800. Next up will be more memory and possibly a CPU upgrade. I guess I'll need to replace that 9700Pro video card since the Rage 128 I had to put back in sucks. Yeah, I could have gotten a MacMini or a low-end iMac for what the final cost of this system will probably end up at, but they have no internal storage options or expansion and so make a lousy server, IMO. Besides, an upgraded Powermac with a good video card can actually run heavy 3D games up until 2 years ago whereas a MacMini can't run any real 3D games period even with its faster Intel CPU. Besides, the PowerMac G4s were by far the best looking Macs ever made, IMO.