SATA-III SSD in PowerMac G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by mikiotty, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. mikiotty macrumors 6502

    mikiotty

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    Mar 15, 2014
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    #1
    Hi everyone!
    I have a crazy idea working in my head... I just want to try an SSD in my MDD.
    ATM I have a flashed Sil3112 PCI SATA card that's working flawlessly with an old 250GB SATA-II hard drive, which has my OS and everything I need on my Mac. I also used that drive on my G5 before it died. I didn't have to jumper any pins to make it work with SATA-I interface in both machines.
    My question now is: would a SATA-III SSD (like this: http://www.amazon.it/dp/B00A35X6GM/ref=twister_B00LN5W0IQ?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 MODs: not my sale) work with the SATA-I interface on my card? I know I can forget TRIM etc, I just want to try it. I'll be putting the SSD into my 2009 iMac to replace my dead WD drive soon.

    Another question: which is the best application to benchmark the R/W speed of my current HDD?
    Thank you!
     
  2. robertdsc macrumors regular

    robertdsc

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    Jan 28, 2014
  3. iModFrenzy macrumors 6502a

    iModFrenzy

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    #3
    Very Informative.

    --

    Im not familiar with PCI to SATA but I am assuming they would work the same as SATA to SATA(correct me if I am wrong).:confused:

    Wouldn't putting a SATA 3 in a lower version SATA just limit the performance of the drive?

    EX, SATA 3 6GBS would be limited to 3GBS in a SATA 2 slot.
     
  4. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Kentucky
    #4
    There are known issues with SATA III drives in SATA I computers like the PM G5, although I don't know if the limitation extends to controller cards. You are correct that if it does work, it will work at SATA I speeds.

    Since it sounds like you're buying the drive anyway, the best advice I can offer is "try it and see." I know that's not incredibly informative, but I don't know of anyone running that particular combination(SATA card+SATA III drive). In the worst case, it just won't work and you won't damage anything, and in the best case it will work and you can add to knowledge base here.

    As far as drive benchmarking, I like Xbench. It tests both read and write in several different combinations.
     
  5. mikiotty thread starter macrumors 6502

    mikiotty

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    #5
    Thank you bunn! Yeah I think I'll buy the drive anyway, in the worst case I can have a refund from Amazon and send the item back :) I'll think about it.
     
  6. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #6
    There is an issue with SATA I controllers in certain earlier notebooks - both Mac and Windows. As far as I can recall, this related to the time when SATA was emerging as a standard for HDDs but SATA optical drives for notebooks, particularly of the slim variety, were not generally available and therefore ATAPI optical drives were coupled with SATA HDDs, which required the addition of a bridge SATA-ATAPI controller. This, in turn, required a tweaking of the SATA firmware to work and caused problems with many (although not all) SATA III drives, whose own firmware did not cooperate nicely with the SATA I controllers they were attached to.

    Some desktops, like the PM G5, which still paired ATAPI optical drives with SATA HDD controllers were similarly afflicted.

    As bunnspecial alluded to, this may or may not be an issue with SATA cards in desktops and the only way to find out is trial and error.
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Elkton, Maryland
    #7
    I have seen some SATA cards work fine and some which don't detect the drives. It also depends on the drive of course to further add to the complexity. My Verbatim SATA II SSD won't work in my G5, but a Samsung 830 will which is SATA III.
     
  8. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #8
    Check the drive specification sheet. Some will drop back to SATA v1.0, some won't. Couple of the Sandisk Enterprise drives look promising.
     
  9. desantii macrumors 6502

    desantii

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    #9
    Is the issue with SATA III specifically? SO SATA II and earlier would have no issue?
     
  10. mikiotty thread starter macrumors 6502

    mikiotty

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    #10
    Ok, this Kingston SSDNow V300 should be compatible with SATA-I. I'll buy it tomorrow :)
     
  11. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #11
    Most any SATA I and II drive will work fine. The SATA III drives are touchy.
     
  12. desantii macrumors 6502

    desantii

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  13. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    Jan 1, 2010
    #13
    SATA-III is hit and miss in PowerMacs (almost impossible in G5 SATA-on-board controllers...)

    If you want to stay with the Kingston one, why not add 15EUR and get a 128GB one? But, ok, when 60GB is enough for you, why spend more money. :)

    If you fear that the SSD will get slower, because of missing TRIM, take one that is known for excellent Garbage Collection. Though today many people question, if TRIM is really needed or more over even contraproductive.

    I have the Crucial M4 256GB SSD as a 1,8" mSATA exemplar and I connected it via a mSATA-SATA connector to a SATA-PCI card and under 10.4 it was impossible to format it. After a few times of trying under 10.5 I got it working. I don't remember yet, if I ever got it to boot. (I have 3 different types of SATA-PCI cards). If you can wait 3 days, I can test it for you again. I can also try how it works via SATA-IDE adapter on logicboard IDE-port.
    The newer version of the m4, so to say, would be the M500 (or if you like the mx100. There is a cheaper one made by Micron, that produces them for Crucial that has a similar naming, but I don't remember yet.)
    The Samsung evo 840 suffers from a certain symptom. If you have not accessed a file for a long time the read speed for that file will drop to 100MB/s or less. Samsung issued a firmware update for that. There is already a Samsung evo 850.

    For Benchmarks. Don't use xbench, it is highly untrustworthy (an SSD via a port that is limited to 65MB/s got 80-120MB/s in one test. An ATI 7000 is shown as faster than a new graphics card. Xbench is really crap)! There are other Applications. I recommend creating files of different size and copy them and stop the time and divide the file size through measured time (or not so accurate look at transfer speeds in activity monitor) or look at the clock, when you start copying and then when it is ready go to finder and look at the creation date (it will be the time, when it was finished).

    For access times, you can only do things like open Apps, big files etc, that you know take long and compare. If you don't notice it this way, you will probably have no advantage of it. If you use Logic studio though, it can help feed the CPU faster with data and you won't get cracks, when you do heavy stuff, but you have to experiment with the buffer in Logic Studio. If you play around with the buffer, you might already see it has become better, with the HDD still in use.
     
  14. Carbongrip macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2014
    #14
    If you are shoping for PowerPC systems I would recommend using OWC SSD's as they don't require TRIM and as to the Sata SSD that I link bellow it's a 3GB per second SSD that states the following...

    "This OWC SSD Model is compatible with nearly any Mac or PC model with a Serial ATA connection (SATA, SATA 2.0, or SATA 3.0)"

    So it is SATA I, there is a 6GB per second model but I don't link that as it's overkill for a SATA I port.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSD7E3G120/

    Also for anyone wanting IDE SSD see this:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/SSDMLP120/
     
  15. mikiotty thread starter macrumors 6502

    mikiotty

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    #15
    The problem is I'm in Italy and I can't buy OWC products without a heavy increase in price (shipping + import).
     
  16. jbarley macrumors 68040

    jbarley

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    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #16
    I can vouch for this, my G5 quad does not see a SATA III drive, SATA II no problems.

    Fact is the SATA II's are getting scarce, with this in mind I just ordered 2 from OWC, sort of a 'just in case'.
     
  17. ptdebate macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #17
    I put a SanDisk Sata III SSD in my Digital Audio G4 on my PCI SATA card and it worked like a charm.
     
  18. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #18
    I forgot: Angelbird is a maker of SSDs that are made extra compatible with Macs. It is an austrian company, so for Italy you won't have to pay import costs (but probably more shipping costs?). Apple introduced a security item, that causes errors, when you enable TRIM for a third party SSD under OS X 10.10. This is to prevent automated scripts from changing your kexts, so it actually is a good thing, but for people using TRIM enabler, they would have to disable TRIM everytime they update 10.10. This is a case were Angelbird with its SSDs got more popular lately. I am not sure, but I would check, if they have something without TRIM for older systems and if they grant that they work flawlessly.

    The cheaper route is, what I already said, choose an SSD with good Garbage collection or if you are really cheap, just take any SSD and make backups all the time with a HDD and a tool (like SuperDuper) that does defrag during cloning. Then from time to time format the whole SSD and install OS new and migrate your data back from the backup.
     
  19. mikiotty thread starter macrumors 6502

    mikiotty

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    #19
    Ok I just purchased the Kingston SSD. Should be here in a couple of days (probably Thursday), I'll let you know :)
     
  20. mikiotty thread starter macrumors 6502

    mikiotty

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    Mar 15, 2014
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    #20
    OK, so a couple of awesome things.
    1) The SSD came today, 1 day earlier than the schedule.
    2) The SATA card I flashed works with SATA-3 drives
    3) The SSD is perfectly recognized by the installer and the format succeeded at the first attempt
    4) The OS clone took about an hour (internal SATA drive to external USB 2.0 enclosure with the SSD)
    5) The Mac doubled his noticeable performance. It's so much nicer to use!
    So the upgrade was totally worth the money. I know its not reliable, but the Xbench score went from 46 to... 199! Transfer speeds are about the same (I think, can't remember exactly :p) except for the random write/read on 4k files. That went from 0.6 MB/s to about 36 MB/s.
    I'll be doing some more tests tomorrow. Thanks everyone!
     

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