Powerbook G4 and external SSD

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by beedeji, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. beedeji macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2011
    #1
    I have a 1.67GHz Powebook (rev E, later 2005) running OS 10.4.11 which I use to run video mixing/playback software. To improve playback performance I want to run the video files from an SSD and I happen to have a 128GB Kingston SATA drive in a USB enclosure available.

    However, the Powerbook refuses to see the drive. I have tried it with a Macbook Pro (OS 10.6.6) and it's fine but with another Powerbook (1GHz, 2003, OS 10.4.11) it also fails to be seen. Kingston claim the problem is that Powerbooks are too old to work with SSD technology but this would appear to be rubbish as other people talk about using SSDs with Powerbooks.

    So, has anyone else successfuly used an external SSD with a Powerbook G4? Or, has anyone actually used an internal SSD successfully for that matter?). If the answer is 'yes' then is the problem I am having likely to down to the specific SSD model, the OS I'm running or the fact that it's in an external USB enclosure?
     
  2. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #2
    Not sure about your mounting issues but maybe the drive controller in the external enclosure doesn't work with 10.4. I have seen that on occasion.

    The more pressing issue here is one you don't even realize. It is a complete waste of performance to put an SSD drive in a USB enclosure. Even the fastest USB 2.0 chipsets can only move data at around 25-30MB/sec with many being under 20MB. Many SSD drives can easily do over 200MB/sec but not if you have it on USB.

    Firewire 800 or eSATA is the only external connection I would ever use for SSD.
     
  3. powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #3
    I'm not certain what kind of videos you work with. However, a G4 has a hard time even viewing modern encoded videos. I have a G4 Powerbook too, albeit slightly lower specs than yours.
     
  4. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #4
    Your experience is with your G4 chip. You shouldn't be doing an uninformed blanket sweep of all G4's like that. The G4 7447 used in all later PowerBooks/iBooks is the weakest G4 made pretty much. Any G4 7450, 7455 or 7448 will outperform a 7447.

    It's scary how many people give uninformed info. I also don't recall the original poster asking for CPU advice. Even if his CPU somehow wasn't powerful enough it would have no effect on a drive mounting.
     
  5. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Poland
    #5
    OP, this SSD doesn't mount or isn't even listed in System Profiler or Disk Utility on PB?
     
  6. beedeji thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2011
    #6
    No, doesn't mount and is not shown in System Profiler and not seen by Disc Utility or Disc Warrior.
     
  7. beedeji thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2011
    #7
    Agreed, and if I can get the thing working I will be sticking it in an FW800 enclosure.

    Going to see if I can find a later OS to try it with...
     
  8. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #8
    What brand is the enclosure? Some USB enclosures just don't work well with older than 10.5 or with macs at all. Many of the cheaper ones have a chipset that is tuned 100% for windows.
     
  9. beedeji thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2011
    #9
    It's a Kingston (SSDNow V100, 128GB), enclosure came with it as a 'notebook bundle'. Not a brand I would expect issues with...
     
  10. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    Aug 21, 2004
    #10
    Do a pram reset and look for it in Disk Utility.

    It needs to be programed for Apple Partition Drive and not GUID (Intel), too, though if it has files on it now, it should be seen.

    Also, firewire is the only way to go with PPC macs. Get a cheap firewire enclosure for the SSD so you can boot from it. I think if you have firewire 800 you can really get some performance out of the SSD on the powerbook (if your powerbook has firewire 800 as well as 400)
     
  11. beedeji thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2011
    #11
    Formatted as Apple Partition Drive, reset pram, booted from an external HD running OS 10.5... still no drive showing. I guess trying a FW enclosure is the next step then...
     
  12. bizzle macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #12
    If the enclosure is bus powered (as in, the USB port handles the data and powers the drive/enclosure) it's most likely your issue. All bus powered USB drives I've used and tried on PowerBooks/iBooks do not work simply because it's not giving enough power. Normally on a traditional drive you'll hear the drive clicking away in a way that sounds like a bad hard drive, but its just lack of power. With an SSD of course you will not hear this. Just get a firewire enclosure, but either way it's going to be a bit of a waste to use an SSD for this because it'll fully saturate even a firewire 800 bus without using the maximum potential of the SSD. Just return it all and get a decent firewire 800 external.
     
  13. AlBDamned macrumors 68030

    AlBDamned

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    Mar 14, 2005
    #13
    Something else you could do is get an SSD for the PowerBook itself. OWC now offer PowerBook compatible drives. Of course, using the current SSD with a firewire drive would offer faster I/O speeds.
     
  14. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #14
    Disagreed (kinda ;)). Fully saturated FW800 with SSD is a lot more than he could get with any mechanical drive. SSD potential is not only MB/s but IOPS and data access time too. :)
     
  15. bizzle macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #15
    The fact of the matter is after it goes through the Firewire conversion it's going to bog it down more than it would be on a normal SATA bus, which just means it's a colossal waste of money. A decent 7200rpm 2.5" drive is going to get fairly close to maxing out the FW800 bus and the difference between the SSD and mechanical drive in an enclosure is going to be nearly nothing.
     
  16. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #16
    ^^^ Unfortunately our dispute could be theoretic only (as for now) because I don't have any FW800 enclosure ATM to prove your (or my) statement wrong :)
    But maybe OP will get one soon and would do for us some tests? I'm really curious about this.
     
  17. beedeji thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2011
    #17
    As I have the SSD already it's no issue to use it with the PB, even over USB I was expecting significant improvement over the 5400 internal HD and I'm not really interested in upgrading the PB at this stage as it's life is no doubt limited now whereas the SSD will be of use elsewhere.

    I have a FW800 enclosure on order so will do some tests when it arrives and report back...
     
  18. itickings macrumors 6502a

    itickings

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    #18
    Just looking at maximum throughput is ridiculous unless transferring large files is the main usage for a drive. FW800 may put a cap the transfer rate, sure, but in real world performance it is often random I/O and small transfers that put regular drives to shame.

    I have an (Intel) iMac, and went from booting from the internal SATA HDD to a SSD in a FW800 enclosure. The disk-bound part of the boot progress completes in half the time with the external SSD compared to the identical installation on the internal SATA drive, and applications start much much quicker from the SSD than from the HDD.
     
  19. charlieroberts macrumors 6502a

    charlieroberts

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    Feb 5, 2007
    #19
    Hello, I have been working on something like this for weeks, maybe one of you guys can help me?

    Y purchased a vertex 60GB and cloned my powerbook just fine (it did mount perfectly, so to the OP, I think Kingston is to blame).

    However once I restart the laptop holding the option key, only the internal drive comes up as a valid option for booting.

    This is a weird issue as I used the same SSD for my G5 iMac (which has internal SATA) and everything is perfect!
    So I thought it may be my enclosure and I went and bought one with the famous oxford chipset... well no luck...

    has anyone got any clues whatsoever? Thanks in advance
     
  20. SHartz40 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    #20
    SATA drive is the PROBLEM

    You can ONLY use an eSATA drive on a Powerbook G4 if you first insert an eSATA cardbus adapter into the cardbus slot and THEN hook up the drive to that adapter. Simply inserting the USB cable into the USB port on the Powerbook will not work - SATA drives are not recognized.
    BTW, I think you will see a blistering speed increase if you do this!
    The combo of e-SATA and the SSD should really fly!!
     
  21. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    Aug 22, 2014
    #21
    This thread is almost 4 years old...
     
  22. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    Oct 19, 2014
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    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #22
    Retro computing :)
     

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