Power Mac G5 11.2 SSD: PCI-e or SATA?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by LarsG5, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. LarsG5 macrumors member


    Aug 10, 2016
    Hi guys,I'm a happy owner of a Power Mac G5 Dual Core 2,3Ghz and I'm thinking about replacing my old original HDD with an ssd drive. So, I've got some questions on my mind, that google cannot answer:
    1. Everymac.com says "This model has "two open full-length four-lane PCI Express slots", "one open full-length eight-lane PCI Express slot", a 16-lane PCI Express slot that is occupied by the graphics card", so does this mean that, starting from the graphics card 16-lane, the one above is an 8-lane PCI-e slot, and two upper ones 4-lane? Or is the order slightly different?
    2. Which interface should I choose for installing an ssd in Power Mac G5- sata or pci-e? Since both of them are rather archaic versions of each, which one would give me more advantage of switching to ssd?

    Share your experience here, please, I'd like to know which path should I follow in this matter.
  2. Orizence macrumors 6502

    Nov 10, 2014
    I believe it goes x16, x4, x8, x4 going bottom to top but I could be wrong. As to the PCI-E question, I have to clue as I don't really know if there are any ones that are actually bootable, there was one person who said they had a card that worked but they are the only person who said it worked.
  3. bunnspecial, Aug 25, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016

    bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    That sounds close enough offhand, although the bandwidth is marked at the edge of the card cage.

    I can't answer first hand on the PCIe SSDs-they're still pricey for me to want to play with them, and if I did they'd find their way into my Mac Pro. I'm about 99% certain they wouldn't be bootable, though, although you can probably get them to be recognized.

    Provided that you get the correct drive, SATA SSDs are nice, reliable, and fully bootable in a G5. There are some issues with certain SATA 6gb/s drives working on the G5's SATA bus, but some research here will lead you to reliable models.

    Personally, I've not run a G5 with an SSD for an extended amount of time. I'm big on throwing them in Powerbooks and keep meaning to even put one in my Quicksilver as the boot drive(via a bootable SATA card) but I've not seen a huge benefit to them in the G5. The reason is that the SATA bus is quite slow by modern standards. Also, even though platter drives are quickly become a thing of the past, they do continue to improve and high performance SATA platter drives are quite fast. With a ready supply of big, fast, and new SATA platter drives the motivation is not there.

    I'll also add that when we talk PATA drives, the scenario is quite different. The fastest G4s ran at ATA/133. Aside from that, though, PATA drives have been obsolete for a while. I have what may well have been one of the last(and best) PATA drives made-a WD Caviar Blue 500gb with a Feb. 2012 manufacture date-I think that WD quit making them not long after that. There's no getting around the fact that these drives are aging.

    BTW, as a totally unrelated note on slot bandwidth-the Mac Pro 1,1 and 2,1 allow you to manually allocate the slot bandwidth. The bottom slot(which is dual height and specifically intended for GPUs) defaults to x16, but you have four options for how you wish to spread out the bandwidth across. This is set using a program called "Expansion Slot Utility." It is automatically launched when you install a new card, or can be accessed manually. It has been there since OS X Tiger(Intel). What's really interesting about this, though, is that this utility is unique to the 1,1 and 2,1. Lion was the last OS officially supported by these computers, although there are a lot trudging along running El Capitan with minor upgrades(mine is on Mavericks). Expansion Slot Utility is actually present in macOS Sierra and has a recent build date, despite the fact that we've hit a "brick wall" and Sierra can not run on the 1,1.
  4. LarsG5 thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 10, 2016
    Thanks for the replies!
    So, the only thing I can do is actually plug an ssd into via SATA connector - that's kinda sad.

    I was wondering if the plug itself could be upgraded, let's say, to SATA 3.0?
  5. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020


    Apr 22, 2014
    Central New Jersey/ North Virginia, USA
    To my understanding, SATA doesn't work that way. SATA speeds are set by the SATA controller, not by the cable.

    Meanwhile, Ethernet speeds are dependent on the cable (Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 6A) and the controller (10Base-T, 100Base-TX Fast Ethernet, and 1000Base-T Gigabit Ethernet), as well as the speeds you are getting from your ISP.

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