PowerBook G4 best SSD Upgrade

G5-PowerLifter

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 18, 2017
66
34
Hello there, I hope a threat like that doesn't exist already. I got my hands on a shiny 12" PowerBook G4 1,5 GHz. It is literally like brand new it even smells like a new Mac. So for me really a bargain. However I'm willing to take the risk to upgrade the old HDD with a nice new 120GB IDE SSD. So I wanted to ask if there's a "best possible" SSD for that old machine. I remember having trouble finding a compatible Sata SSD for my dual cpu G5. Are there any recommendations for SSD upgrades on PowerBooks? I have to admit I'm not really that familiar with TRIM or garbage collection. In fact I didn't even know it existed until I got this year after a over 4 year "break" into PowerPC business.
 

topbanana_

macrumors member
Jan 26, 2017
63
34
Manila, Philippines
Hello there, I hope a threat like that doesn't exist already. I got my hands on a shiny 12" PowerBook G4 1,5 GHz. It is literally like brand new it even smells like a new Mac. So for me really a bargain. However I'm willing to take the risk to upgrade the old HDD with a nice new 120GB IDE SSD. So I wanted to ask if there's a "best possible" SSD for that old machine. I remember having trouble finding a compatible Sata SSD for my dual cpu G5. Are there any recommendations for SSD upgrades on PowerBooks? I have to admit I'm not really that familiar with TRIM or garbage collection. In fact I didn't even know it existed until I got this year after a over 4 year "break" into PowerPC business.
https://eshop.macsales.com/upgrades/apple-powerbook-g4-12-inch-1-5ghz-january-2005/internal-drives
 

bobesch

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2015
1,527
1,271
Kiel, Germany
Hello there, I hope a threat like that doesn't exist already. I got my hands on a shiny 12" PowerBook G4 1,5 GHz. It is literally like brand new it even smells like a new Mac. So for me really a bargain. However I'm willing to take the risk to upgrade the old HDD with a nice new 120GB IDE SSD. So I wanted to ask if there's a "best possible" SSD for that old machine. I remember having trouble finding a compatible Sata SSD for my dual cpu G5. Are there any recommendations for SSD upgrades on PowerBooks? I have to admit I'm not really that familiar with TRIM or garbage collection. In fact I didn't even know it existed until I got this year after a over 4 year "break" into PowerPC business.
I'd recommend an mSATA with converter (http://www.delock.de/produkte/G_62495/merkmale.html?setLanguage=en)
and "G4FanControl" application to set the disk's temperature-threshold for fan activity to 60°C (otherwise factory settings will make the fan run constantly, since threshold for spinning-drives is about 40°C and mean mSATA/converter-temperature will be up to 60-65° as steady-state without cooling fan)
 

bobesch

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2015
1,527
1,271
Kiel, Germany
Other then being a bit pricey the OWC IDE SSDs are always my first choice for upgrading.
They are an easy swap and no fussing with adapters or worries about fan issues.
I like them and use several in different systems, never had a problem, yet!
Do you run that OWC-IDE-SSD in a 12" PowerBookG5 1.5 ?
The 12"book seems to be very special, when it comes to temperature-management...
My first SSD-drive was an OWC-drive too. It runs in an iBook G4 1.2GHz 12" an seems to get warm too, but one can't feel it very much through the polycarbonate case. And there's no temperature-sensor related to the drive causing the fan to go wild ...
 
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G5-PowerLifter

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 18, 2017
66
34
The Question is, does OWC ship to Germany. I mean if I have to pay even more than these twice as expensive SSDs, then I guess I have to look for a different solution for my PowerBook
 

bobesch

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2015
1,527
1,271
Kiel, Germany
The Question is, does OWC ship to Germany. I mean if I have to pay even more than these twice as expensive SSDs, then I guess I have to look for a different solution for my PowerBook
You may get OWC IDE-SSD-drives at "amazing" but they are more expensive than the mSATA-converter solution and they will get "warm" too.
As I've said - I'm running an OWC-SSD-IDE-drive in a 12" iBookG4 which gets warm, but there's no temperature-monitoring for the drive.
An I have that mentioned mSATA-converter solution in my 12" Powerbook, which has the same specs as yours.
With the mSATA the fan were continuously humming... I've got the advice to replace thermal paste and pads, but that didn't solve the problem. Then I found "G4FanControl" and after setting the temp-threshold for the drive to 60-65°C the problem was solved. It may get a little red hot steambook sometimes, when I run TFF, WebKit, VirtualPC7 and other stuff together, but it's the best wrist-warmer ever and I wish I had one like that in my times as a student, when room temperature was about 16°C in cold winter-days :)
So no regrets on my side about mSATA-converter upgrade and speed is great.
There had been some discussion about bad ways of 5V to 3V voltage reduction. The above mentioned Delock converter offers the best of all options for that purpose. Just browse the forum. There has been a lot of talk about mSATA, converters and temperature-problems ...
 

topbanana_

macrumors member
Jan 26, 2017
63
34
Manila, Philippines
The Question is, does OWC ship to Germany
Yes they ship worldwide and give you the option of including all import tax fees so its to your door with nothing to pay on delivery or normal where you will have to cover import fees on arrival. Just select the drive and it will come up with shipping fees when you select Germany.
 

G5-PowerLifter

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 18, 2017
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34
Well I guess I'll stick with the mSatat/adapter option. Thanks so far for the advice. Another problem I seem to have is the fan noise of my PowerBook. It runs cool and quiet,also the fan seems to do it's job properly BUT that fan makes a really annoying ratteling kind of sound when it's running. And I'm wondering if that is normal for these models or if I also have to switch this fan as well when I open the Laptop.
 

bobesch

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2015
1,527
1,271
Kiel, Germany
Well I guess I'll stick with the mSatat/adapter option. Thanks so far for the advice. Another problem I seem to have is the fan noise of my PowerBook. It runs cool and quiet,also the fan seems to do it's job properly BUT that fan makes a really annoying ratteling kind of sound when it's running. And I'm wondering if that is normal for these models or if I also have to switch this fan as well when I open the Laptop.
If the fan is noisy and ratteling it might be worn out but maybe blowing out the dust once you've opened the case might make things better ...
Second I'd try to reduce fan activity to a minimum by slightly rising the temperature-thresholds with G4FanControl (it's optional for CPU/GPU but mandatory for the mSATA - otherwise the fan will run all the time).
I put all my Books onto an iLap-Stand for better cooling from below plus extra-space to hide cables and stuff and I use "HardwareMonitor" to check, if the little guy starts to get hot on heavy workload e.g. usually the first time, when Spotlight is indexing the drive for the first time (you might alternatively switch off Spotlight completely with the help "Onyx" or "TinkerTool" and switch off a few other gimmicks too).
There had been/are occasions when the PB gets really warm and I place it onto a cooling pack from the fridge just to prevent the fan from heavy work (and stop annoying me) ...
 

G5-PowerLifter

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 18, 2017
66
34
If the fan is noisy and ratteling it might be worn out but maybe blowing out the dust once you've opened the case might make things better ...
Second I'd try to reduce fan activity to a minimum by slightly rising the temperature-thresholds with G4FanControl (it's optional for CPU/GPU but mandatory for the mSATA - otherwise the fan will run all the time).
I put all my Books onto an iLap-Stand for better cooling from below plus extra-space to hide cables and stuff and I use "HardwareMonitor" to check, if the little guy starts to get hot on heavy workload e.g. usually the first time, when Spotlight is indexing the drive for the first time (you might alternatively switch off Spotlight completely with the help "Onyx" or "TinkerTool" and switch off a few other gimmicks too).
There had been/are occasions when the PB gets really warm and I place it onto a cooling pack from the fridge just to prevent the fan from heavy work (and stop annoying me) ...
Well I just hope that it'll make things better when I open it up, cause otherwise I have to disassemble the PowerBook even more to replace the fan. By the way, why does the fan blow all the time after the SSD swap? Is there an ssd Option where I don't have to bustle around with G4fancontrol?
 

bobesch

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2015
1,527
1,271
Kiel, Germany
Well I just hope that it'll make things better when I open it up, cause otherwise I have to disassemble the PowerBook even more to replace the fan. By the way, why does the fan blow all the time after the SSD swap? Is there an ssd Option where I don't have to bustle around with G4fancontrol?
If you want to replace the fan, you also have to remove the heatsink before
https://de.ifixit.com/Guide/PowerBook+G4+Aluminum+12-Inch+1-1.5+GHz+Fan+Replacement/559
and have to replace thermal-paste of the CPU and also thermal-pads of the GPU. The heatsink is fixed with two spring-enhance screws and you have to make sure to press the heatsink and keep it firmly in it's place until both screws are remove - otherwise the pressure of the springs might lift up the heatsink on one side and bend a screw and brake it off the board. That did happen to me and I was lucky to have a talented neighbor, who soldered the screw back onto the board without leaving any damage.
To be honest: I'd first blow all dust out of the fan and have a look if maybe some sticky tape or cable get's contact causing the noise. Then go for G4FanControl/HardwareMonitor and a cooling aluminium-stand. The PowerBooks temperature will come at a halt at about 65°C without fan-activity and that might be tolerable for all components.
I don't know if an OWC drive sports better temperature management. The heat probleme after swapping the rotating disk with that mSATA-converter combination does only occur on my 12" Powerbook. I guess, because everything sit very close together in that small case AND the drive sports a temperature sensor which threshold is adapted to spinning drives.
There are no such problems with the 12" iBook G4 (OWC-drive, no temp-sensor); 15" PB-DLSD (more space, temp-sensor not directly at the drive but the touchpad close by), Clamshell 466FW (no fan ;) )

Here you can find related information/discussions I'm aware of:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/12-powerbook-g4-temperatures.1560950/#post-22614690

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/msata-vs-sata-drive-in-a-g4-powerbook.2027276/

https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...ying-thermal-paste-on-a-powerbook-g4.1982472/

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/hard-drive-for-a-12-pbg4-1-5.1967391/

http://forum.nexave.de/index.php/Th...PPC-PowerPC-Macs-Re/?postID=450869#post450869

And here's my favorite stand for the aluminium-books:
http://www.raindesigninc.com/ilap.html

G4FanControl (it's free now!):
https://www.andreafabrizi.it/2007/06/11/G4FanControl/

HardwareMonitor and TinkerTool:
https://www.bresink.com/products-de.html

Onyx
http://www.titanium.free.fr
 
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flyrod

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2015
425
116
I would NOT recommend OWC for one of these SSDs. I sunk a bunch of $$ into one and it would lock up under sustained write. I RMA-ed it 5 times! Finally I got tired of dealing with them and wasting more time and money on shipping it back over and over. I tried the drives in a variety of power macs all with the same result. They have not fully tested their product.

I've been using mSATA cards and the cheap chineze IDE adapters for years with no problems.
 
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topbanana_

macrumors member
Jan 26, 2017
63
34
Manila, Philippines
I would NOT recommend OWC for one of these SSDs. I sunk a bunch of $$ into one and it would lock up under sustained write. I RMA-ed it 5 times! Finally I got tired of dealing with them and wasting more time and money on shipping it back over and over. I tried the drives in a variety of power macs all with the same result. They have not fully tested their product.

I've been using mSATA cards and the cheap chineze IDE adapters for years with no problems.
That's bad news - I just ordered a 1Tb for my G5 :( Got me worried now......
 

nottorp

macrumors regular
May 12, 2014
130
117
Romania
Another vote for mSata to IDE adapters here - I put one in my PowerBook and I had no problems, not even fan noise. And both the adapter and the SSD were cheap :)
Now to find it a battery I can trust... newertech seems to be gone, originals are gone. A few other brands with no reputation available but... which?
 

flyrod

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2015
425
116
That's bad news - I just ordered a 1Tb for my G5 :( Got me worried now......
Test it thoroughly and if it doesn't work, return it. My issue was intermittent (only with sustained write to the SSD), so I didn't figure out that the problem was the SSD until it was too late to simply return it. Make a big folder with some big files (like 60GB of 2GB movie files), then try to duplicate it in finder. You could also try copying a bunch of stuff from a fast external drive to the SSD. Mine would always lock up about 15GB into the process. I put the powerbook in the fridge once and it got to 30GB before going tango uniform.
 
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