PB G4 SSD using 1.8" SATA to IDE

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by grockk, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. grockk macrumors 6502

    grockk

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    #1
    So the old IDE hard drive is really the last upgradable bottleneck in my trusty 12" G4. I tried a 7200 rpm drive back in the day but didn't have much improvement over a larger capacity 5400. Basically half the theoretical IDE speed.

    SO after watching some prices on ebay, I found a 1.8" sata is actually really reasonably priced. Way better prices than the PATA drives like legacy pro or kingston, transcend, etc. And the smaller drive means you can fit a SATA->PATA converter (link) in the drive bay just the same. I just ordered everything for this setup today (total cost was $70 for 128gb and adapter) and I'll follow up on speed improvement.

    Thought others with trusty old PPC laptops might like to see there's a new option for getting that last little bit of performance from the machine.
     
  2. Frost7 macrumors regular

    Frost7

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    #2
    Let us know how the install goes. I've been considering this for my 1 GHz TiBook if the OWC Mercury Legacy Pro ever dies on me as I'm not completely satisfied with it.
     
  3. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

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    #3
    sub'd.

    definetly want to see how this works, really thinking about doing the same if its worth it. Love my iBook, but the hdd is the worst bottleneck it has right now.
     
  4. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

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    #4
    can't wait to hear how it goes. see would be even better!

    take pics when you do the swap. pretty please. :)
     
  5. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

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    #5
    Have a similar adapter + 256GB MSATA-SSD in my 5.9 PB since a few months works like a charm.

    Added some hotglue and electric tape for isolation when installing.
     
  6. Wildy macrumors 6502

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    Jan 25, 2011
    #6
    I have the 2.5" version based on the same chip - it worked flawlessly for the limited time I was using it. Unfortunately it's nigh-impossible to actually re-assemble the unit with a 2.5" SSD (even when you strip off the drive enclosure).
     
  7. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

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    #7
    @Bug creator & wildy,
    can both of you two share pics if you still have those setups? I am honestly considering doing the same if I can ever track down my 30gb OCZ ssd.

    Now quick question for those of us in this thread, SSDs are obviously the better choice, but can we use CF to acheive the same result, just on the cheap? My setups in my sig, and I honestly had the idea of getting a CF card just big enough for OS + apps, and then swapping the disk drive for one of the hdd bays and adding my storage there, since I never use disks, and especially on this model, its almost pointless. Im mainly curious if its possible, and a good idea to use a CF as the main OS/boot drive, if we want to be a little on the cheap side and not shell out oodles for the SSD
     
  8. Cox Orange, Sep 12, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013

    Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
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    #8
    @ Grockk:

    I know people use SSDs, because of the access times, but can you perform a test for me, please?

    Use a big movie file (or iMovie file) or a folder with a lot of data) like around 15GB.
    A) 1. copy that in your drive (i.e. dublicate it) and stop the time (DO NOT USE A BENCHMARK TOOL!)
    2. copy the file to a external Firewire drive. Stop the time.

    B) Copy your old drive exactly to your new SSD (which won't be exactly the same, since even SuperDuper! does a bit of defragmenting).

    Now perform 1. + 2. from the SSD.
    Before the tests A+B wipe the external firewire drive.

    [EDIT: correction, I did not just copy, I did open the file in iMovie and exported it (not using a coedc or something, I choose, export as high quality .DV video). This will take longer than just copying anyway. Access times could do something here, which the iMovie exporting process makes use of, since it "does" something to the file. (On PowerMac G4, via SATA-PCI 35MB/s just copying the "clip" file out of the iMovie project folder. 16MB/s via the same controller, when using the export function of iMovie).]

    People might now ask, if I am nuts, because they say it is all about access time and boot times and why do I even consider copying to an external Firewire Drive, where it is limited due to the Firewireport?
    I did the above test with a Samsung HDD IDE 5400rpm 160GB and a WD3200BEVE HDD 5400rpm IDE. Didn't have the OS copied, though, but I was surprised that there was actually a difference. Will redo the test the next week, with an exact copy, to see, if it was the different state (fragmentation) of the OS, that caused it.
    For a 16GB file I had a difference of 2Minutes when copying to the external Firewire Drive. The faster was the Samsung, but the WD was also more clattered with stuff.
    Also, I would have to redo the test several times, to call this test valid.

    But maybe you can do the test, too.

    PS: I digged through 1,8" mSATA SSDs (plus an adapter), too, during the last weeks. I used a price comparison page. I noticed there are mSATA SSDs that would fit, but are not declared as 1,8" or 2,5", but were sorted under "modules". They are like bare SSDs without housings. I found in auctions they go for less money than others.
    While IDE 2,5" SSDs cost the number GBs in EUR, here, the mSATA 1,8" drives cost half the GBs in EUR (like your 70,-USD for 128GB).

    PPS: SATA 2,5" SSD wise, I remember the problem reported was always the not available space for an adapter. Height wise, did you, wildy, try cutting off the metal shield over the drive, under the plastic case of the PowerBook/iBook itself?. I remember someone mentioned a dremel, as wwell.
     
  9. DaKKs macrumors 6502

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    Aug 15, 2012
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #9
    Imho, the msata route is cheaper. I'm running an samsung 32 gb msata ssd in my Thinkpad X41 and it works splendidly. I paid 30 euros for a 32gb msata ssd and 14 USD for the msata-pata adapter. Admittedly, my X41 is a very spartan system, basically only used for OBD diagnostics, but it works splendidly.

    I wouldn't recommend CF cards. The capacity will be lacking and if you want proper speeds, you'll end up paying more than an SSD drive costs.

    EDIT: obnoxious spelling. The backlit keyboard on my PBG4 died, still getting used to writing in the dark without it.
     
  10. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

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    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #10
    +1

    thanks for the info, thats kinda what I was thinking... def going to look into the msata ssd route, versus the ssd or cf...
     
  11. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
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    Germany
    #11
    Don't plan to open the PB anytime soon, so no pics here.

    I used this and that.

    No space or connection problem (the assembeld unit is in every way smaller than a 2.5" HD) just needed to make sure the backside of the adapter didn't short on the PB case (use some electric tape here) and than fixed it all with a few drops of hotglue.
     
  12. DaKKs macrumors 6502

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    Aug 15, 2012
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    Stockholm, Sweden
    #12
    I'm actually considering doing the swap. I have the parts and everything. Only I just managed to fix the backlit keyboard on my powerbook, and i honestly don't know what I did. So I'm afraid of pulling it apart in case it stops working again...

    Besides, i dunno if 32gb is enough for leopard. Might be a bit tight. A vlite'd XP and two diagnostic programs have a much smaller footprint that a full fledged OSX system.

    Though, if I decide to go for it, I'll post the results here.

    EDIT: Scratch that. the X41 takes 3.3v drives (in this case adapters) and the Powerbook 5v. I might go for an adapter and a 64gb msata ssd in the future. Have a ******** of computer i have to get sell off.
     
  13. Wildy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    #13
    They're on my SLR, I'll dig them out next time I'm home. There's not much to look at to be honest though - I had to leave the keyboard off to get it to fit.
     
  14. Cox Orange, Sep 14, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013

    Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #14
    The crucial m4 (modelnumber ending with SSD3, not SSD2, since the latter is 2,5") was what I was talking about, regarding the modules. I found the same on Ebay and than looked into a price comparison page. I noticed, that they are not listed under 1,8", but under "module" form factor. Then I saw that there are even more. Since not everybody on Ebay writes 1,8" besides it and they are not listed under 1,8" in price comparison sites, you can get them cheaper. 146,-EUR was the cheapest I saw for a 256MB crucial m4.


    Edit: ah, I now I see. It seems 1,8" SSDs come never with mSATA (but microSATA, SATA, IDE and the less desired LIF/ZIF), while modules (at least under this comparison page I used) some with mSATA and not microSATA (they come with several other commectors, such as the "low profile SATA" PCIe-type MacBook Air SSDs). This means in return, that one needs qrockk's adapter for 1,8" microSATA SSDs and Bug-Creator's adapter for mSATA modules.
    Sorry, if I messed something up in post #8 for people! Didn't want to spread false information.
     
  15. Wildy, Sep 16, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013

    Wildy macrumors 6502

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    Jan 25, 2011
    #15
    I was considering the mSATA adapter, but decided to go for the 2.5" instead. Given my PowerBook is now on server duty, I'm quite glad that I did, because now I have a top-of-the-line SSD for use as a system drive in my workstation machine.

    Here are the pictures anyway (excuse the poor focus on the first image):
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If you try this yourself, you may wish to consider using a little ESD protection.
     
  16. grockk thread starter macrumors 6502

    grockk

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    Mar 16, 2006
    #16
    Looks good. I'm still waiting in the adapter. I'll take lots of pics when I get this going.
     
  17. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #17
    Wildy, what SATA-PATA chip does that adapter use?
     
  18. Wildy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    #18
    It uses the JMicron JMH330 (datasheet). There are better chips, but all of the smaller cheap adapters use the JMicron chip AFAIK.
     
  19. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #19
    Dang. I was hoping it was using the Marvell one.
     
  20. DaKKs macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I've been running JMircron adapters in three rigs for over 2 years and so far no issues. They're more prone to stuttering and slowdowns if the partition isn't aligned than other adapters, in my experience. Though if everything is kosher, they aren't any worse than more expensive ones.
     
  21. grockk, Sep 18, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013

    grockk thread starter macrumors 6502

    grockk

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    #21
    Hooked up to an external to install and copy files.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. grockk, Sep 18, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013

    grockk thread starter macrumors 6502

    grockk

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    #22
    It's from an old think pad so taking time to zero it out.
    [​IMG]
     
  23. grockk thread starter macrumors 6502

    grockk

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    #23
    OPened the Powerbook up. You can follow the iFixit guide. I actually just did it from memory. Had this computer opened so many times. I didn't take any pics of that process.

    Here is the old 2.5" HDD.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the hard drive removed.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ----------

    It took a while to figure out how to mount the much smaller 1.8" drive. I ended up using electical tape to insulate the far end of the drive housing from the logic board and then putting just a drop of hot glue to hold the connector and a second drop to hold the drive housing to one of the logic board screw mounts. I didn't want to put anything on the logic board. This was by far the trickiest part.

    [​IMG]

    ----------

    Once it was mounted. I put the palm rest and keyboard and plug it in just to test boot. I got the folder with a question mark at first but then it carried on to boot up.

    [​IMG]

    ----------

    I'll post the bench mark comparisons on drive speed later today but first impression was that it was so much quicker. Even with spotlight indexing going on. I have no idea why Apple lets spotlight indexing chew up all resources on a fresh install but once that was done opening programs and responsiveness is phenomenal. I'll run the bench tests later today.

    Weird part was to put it back together and have all these leftover parts. At least it was on purpose.
    [​IMG]
     
  24. grockk, Sep 19, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013

    grockk thread starter macrumors 6502

    grockk

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    #24
    I had a Tiger partition for running classic games at the end of the drive so naturally it was slower than leopard that was installed at the beginning partition. I took bench marks on both partitions. Amazing results. Based on 5 runs average results. You can see there was a lot of swing which I imagine is which cell the controller decides to write to but on the whole I couldn't be happier with how "snappy" everything feels.

    [​IMG]

    Just look at random reads and writes improvements. 25x better random reads! And the sequential reads are pushing the limits of the IDE bus.

    Secondary benefit is the CPU/GPU temps are way lower! Like 10 degrees less at idle and no fans. Even at max the fan is on a lot less. Not sure if its just better air flow without the HDD or less heat from the HDD. Spooky how quiet the machine is.
     
  25. mayuka macrumors 6502a

    mayuka

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    #25
    Maybe I have missed something. Which program did you use for testing? :confused: Great results, though.
     

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