Possible new discovery regarding iBook Clamshell ATA interface

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by outis13, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. outis13 macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2013
    Hi everyone, I've been reading this forum for some time, but only recently signed, so I can comment on some new discoveries that I've found out while I've attempted to upgrade my Indigo iBook Clamshell. I've already maxed-out the memory and replaced the original HD with a 40 GB 5400 RPM Ultra ATA/100. I've also bought a LCD screen from an iBook G3 White so I can achieve 1024x768 but I'm trying to find Apple part #922-5368 (LG Cable) so I can connect it. But I digress, I'm interested in buying a PATA SSD, so I can benefit from a slower access time, constant speed and less heat/more battery life, while I wait for the new HD, I've been playing with different Linux distributions (Panther runs fine but with no updated web browser, but Tiger, which has updated web browsers, is really slow), the thing is that while I was trying to make 3D acceleration work with this ATI R128 (I couldn't) I've read dmesg, which is a transcript of all the boot messages and I've found something like this:
    PATA-macio KeyLargo
    UDMA66 supported, reverting to UDMA33 because of 40 wire cable
    So, if this is true, it means that the iBook Clamshell is capable of achieving a HD transfer rate of 66 MB/s instead of 33 MB/s, because the ATA controller is capable of that, but they've used a 40 wire cable instead of the 80 wire cable required to obtain higher transfer rates. I've been doing some research to confirm my hypothesis but I think that if we replace the IDE Flex cable with one from the latter models, like the iBook Dual USB or one that supports UDMA66 and has a similar type of connector, we could make it work at 66 MB/s (double the speed and easily reachable with today HDs). What do you think? Is someone willing to help me test this? I know it's kind of pointless to try to squeeze every last drop of speed from this old laptop, but I really love it and if I fix most of its problems, I can use it for a daily non-heavy use.
    Looking forward to your suggestions.
  2. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000


    Nov 15, 2012
    All iBook G3s were ATA-33. You can't move the cable from another G3.
  3. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Apple's KeyLargo IDE controller can run at ATA-66, as it does in USB 1.1 PowerMac G4's. However, it may be difficult to get an 80 wire connector to fit in your iBook. I wasn't aware that any G3 had the KeyLargo controller. I had always believed they had the controller that was introduced with the PowerMac G3 and revised with the B&W G3, whose name I can't remember. You can verify that it does have the KeyLargo controller by seeing if the KeyLargo extension is loaded in System Profiler's extensions section. Upon checking my G3 iMac, it appears that slot-loading G3 iMacs (unsure of the tray loading) have a KeyLargo in them. It would be easier to see if they can operating at ATA-66 speeds as they use a full sized IDE cable.

    As per the SSD in your G3, I suggest getting a CompactFlash to IDE adapter. Most mid-range CF cards will max out the ATA-33 bus while providing a good speed boost.
  4. outis13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2013
    Are you absolutely sure about this? Even the last models, circa 2003? Before the iBook G4?

    Apparently they do, what Linux is telling me is that I have this controller:
    "KeyLargo ATA-4", /* KeyLargo ATA-4 (UDMA/66) */
    I know that finding an IDE flex cable with 80 wires that will somehow fit in my -already cramped- iBook Clamshell is difficult to say the least, but if it's possible, I won't give up till I try it at least two or three times. Maybe someone with more means and mind will achieve it. I will check in System Profiler, but if three different Linux kernels tell me the same thing I might as well believe it. Unfortunetly I don't have an iMac G3, if it's not too much to ask, could you try to replace the cable in yours to see if you can get UDMA 66? Or if someone else is reading this and want to try it in their iMacs, please do so!

    I've considered that option but I live in South America and buying and adapter and a CF card is more expensive than just buying a PATA ssd from ebay and less prune to not work and have to return it. But I've read the technical sheet of the PATA SSD and it has a built-in CF adapter, so it's the same really.

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