PowerMac G5 as HDD Server?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by andrew0122, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. andrew0122 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Springfieldvilletownvilleton, Missouri
    #1
    Hello all!

    I am looking for a little bit of help here. Not even sure if this is possible however if anyone were to help me I'm sure I'd find the support here!

    My old college roommate just purchased a 'new' Mac Pro and I have talked him into giving me his old PowerMac G5 Tower. I would like to turn the tower into a hard drive array and expand my current external hard drive space by replacing them entirely! (Currently have 4TB spread across 3 externals. A - 2TB and 2 - Single TB Seagates)

    I'm not exactly sure the complete specs on the tower. I believe it is an '04 or '05. (I don't have it yet...) However I am certain it has FireWire 800, FW400, Gigabit Ethernet etc etc. Would my only option be to boot the G5 into Target FireWire Disk mode or is anyone more familiar with a more sustainable option to create a 'Server' style hard drive array accessible to my iMac and possibly other media center style devices or other computers.

    I would rather not connect any peripherals (monitor, keyboard, or mouse) at all after set up. I am not interested in using the CPU or GPU other than transferring files from my iMac.

    I am more than willing to put in a little time and money

    I appreciate any information!

    Thanks!
     
  2. alexreich macrumors 6502a

    alexreich

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    #2
    My Powermac G5 Late 2004 can hold two SATA I/II drives (though I should note regardless of the drive's speed, it will operate at SATA I speed which is 1.5Gbps). My machine has a 160GB OS/Games drive, and a 1.5TB media drive. Not sure about other models, but in mine there is a maximum of two internal drives. I have my G5 set up as a light browsing and retro gaming machine, as well as a file server for my home. Everything has worked out great for what I need it to do.
     
  3. mike457 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario
    #3
    The G5 Jive available from OWC would probably do what you want. It adds three additional hard drives to a G5 for a total of five. I used one of these on my G5 for a project I was doing, and it worked extremely well. I sold the G5, but still have the Jive casing. It is available from OWC with either a PCI card, the one I used on my dual 1.8 system, or the PCIe card supported by later G5s.

    Power consumption is a big drawback in the use of a G5 as a server.
     
  4. andrew0122 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Springfieldvilletownvilleton, Missouri
    #4
    Thanks for the link. . . I remember him purchasing some sort of an acrylic mount to carry additional drives so I'm sure it has something very similar. I can't remember if it is a Dual 2.0 or 2.5, but if I'm not mistaken it had PCIe...

    Do you know if I can connect directly to my iMac through FireWire 800. I think this would provide the fastest connection.
     
  5. mike457 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2010
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    Ontario
    #5
    You should be able to connect either through firewire transfer mode or through a firewire network without difficulty. I know I used the former when I had my G5.
     
  6. macbwizard macrumors 6502

    macbwizard

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    May 23, 2005
  7. estrides macrumors regular

    estrides

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #7
    I know you have the G5, but if youre truly looking to use it as a file server, see if you can sell it and purchase an older G4 Sawtooth. You can put a ton of drives in there and use it as a file server, while keeping your power consumption to a minimum.

    I know, everyone hates hearing it, but it really is the best way to go about it.

    If youre dead set on the G5, then I would definitely get the Sonnet card and max out the hard drive capabilities of that workhorse. :cool:
     
  8. andrew0122 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Springfieldvilletownvilleton, Missouri
    #8
    That's a good idea about the Sawtooth. I'm not too worried about power consumption. (At least I say that now...) I really am pretty set on the G5 because it will match my aluminum iMac.

    Will it still draw as much power if it is still in FireWire disk mode?

    Is there any way to disable any non-essential hardware? Like I've stated I have no interest in using it for ANY computing purposes other than hosting Hard Drives.
     
  9. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #9
    You wouldn't want to run a Powemac G5 in Target Disk Mode for very long. The firmware doesn't dynamically control the fans in PowerMac G5's, OS X does. When OS X isn't running, Target Disk Mode, the firmware goes into a safe mode and slows ramps up the fans over five minutes until they are all going full speed. It will get very noisy very quickly.
     
  10. andrew0122 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Springfieldvilletownvilleton, Missouri
    #10
    Thanks for the heads up! That's good to know. So it looks like setting up a FireWire Network is going to be my best and safest bet then?
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #11
    A FireWire 800 network between two Macs would be one of the faster ways. The other would be to network them over Ethernet. A FireWire 400 network would work as well, but it wot go faster than ~35 megabytes per second.
     
  12. andrew0122 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Springfieldvilletownvilleton, Missouri
    #12
    Does anyone know the true throughput speeds over a wire-based ethernet based network? I've tried it wirelessly years ago, but never wired. I still think FW 800 would be faster.
     
  13. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
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    #13
    The PowerMac G5 has gigabit Ethernet that runs at 1Gbps. If the other computer does as well, the speeds would be fairly fast. I've gotten speeds around 90 megabytes between two of my Macs with one of them being the PowerMac G5. It may have faster maximum speeds. The hard drive in the G5 was an older slow one that maxed out at those speeds.

    FireWire 800's speed it 800Mbps. I've never connected two Macs together with FireWire 800, but two connected with FireWire 400 got around 35 megabytes per second. So I'd image FireWire 800 would get about 70 megabytes per second.
     

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