Sonnet Tempo eSATA card and the PowerMac G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ptdebate, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. ptdebate macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #1
    Hi guys, I have a pretty simple question.

    With the Sonnet Tempo PCI SATA card, you're limited to 1.5Gbps transfer speed. But is this truly the limit?

    I found a Sonnet PCI eSATA card with four ports that advertises compatibility all the way back to the B&W G3. It supports SATA II (3.0Gbps) transfer speeds.

    Has anyone tried using this and booted successfully?
     
  2. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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    #2
    I've read before the problem with higher speeds is the PCI slot itself cannot handle them, but I have no first hand experience. Perhaps someone else does.
     
  3. MagicBoy, Jan 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015

    MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #3
    SATA 3Gbps is above the limit.

    The 64-bit/33Mhz PCI bus tops out at 266MB/sec (megabytes), SATA II is 300MB/sec.

    Depends if the card is 64-bit PCI. Only Macs and Wintel servers tended to use those slots, most PCI expansion cards are 33Mhz/32-bit and therefore 133MB/sec
     
  4. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #4
    The card is 64-bit PCI with full support all the way back to B&W G3s.

    If 266MBps is indeed possible, that's outstanding! It's a sight better than 150, much more the original 33/66/100.
     
  5. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #5
    266MBps is the maximum bandwidth of the bus.

    The SATA controller is contending with everything else on the PCI bus for that bandwidth including graphics for non-AGP Macs, SCSI cards, onboard IDE controllers, Ethernet controllers etc.

    It's one reason graphics cards were spun off onto their own AGP bus.
     
  6. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #6
    Ah, I see. So the eSATA Tempo card probably isn't worth the extra expense over a SATA version. It costs about $170 more on average.
     
  7. MagicBoy, Jan 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015

    MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #7
    Oooooof! :eek:

    That's a lot of money to be throwing at an ageing G4 if I'm honest.

    You've got to remember that the fastest HDDs at the time were on a 66MB/sec interface, and fast 7200rpm drives like a Maxtor D740X typically transferred 40-45MB/sec at most. The 2TB SATA II Seagate in my PC does 140MB/sec without breaking sweat...
     
  8. powermi macrumors regular

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    Avila (Spain)
    #8
    on my powermacs I have some sonnet SATA pci cards, some of them eSata and others internal Sata, very happy with them.. your could take also a look to the lacie eSata cards that are bootable too, no need to flash. i have expend lot of money on may old powermacs in the last two years.. some of you would think that i am a bit crazy to waste money on them, but well, according that powerpc is the greatest architecture ever created and powermacs are by far the more reliable Macs ever.. I m set up for life, and never worried again to purchase the newest wintel machine.
     
  9. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #9
    Yeah, I've realized that if you're in photography, writing, or print, there's really no reason to have the latest and greatest mac. If you're doing 1080p video editing and encoding, however you're strongly advised to have the most powerful machine you can reasonably afford.
     
  10. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Let me make sure that I understand. You make it sound, like you believe eSATA is faster than SATA? eSATA is just e = external, so you can connect external HDD-enclosures.

    With PCI you will not get more than 35MB/s which is the same you will get via your ATA-66 cable inside a PowerMac G4 (the G3 has ATA-33, if I am correct)

    I have:

    Sonnet SATA-PCI card = 35MB/s max (30 average), bootable ---> costs 30-50,-USD in ebay auctions
    MacAlly SATA-PCI card = 35MB/s max (30 everange), bootable ----> costed me 10,-EUR in an auction, but that is becaue it is rare and no one searches for it
    No-Name SATA-PCI-X card from a PC (with SIL3124 chip, no need to flash) = 65MB/s, not bootable ---> costs 10-20,-USD

    You can find the card I mention, in the thread "meet my new heavily upgraded PowerMac G4" that was recently put here. Scroll down a bit to where I post the link.

    An Areca 12x SATA PCI-X model 71-1231-D1ML0C (you probably can skip the last letters).
    It went for 15,-EUR including shipping today and there are more.

    Can you tell the exact model name of the Lacie Card?
     
  11. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #11
    No, I made no distinction between eSATA and SATA. It's just that Sonnet's PCI SATA cards only support SATA revision 1 (1.5Gbps) whereas their PCI eSATA cards support revision 2 (3.0Gbps) for some reason. If you set up an external SSD in an eSATA enclosure, you can theoretically take advantage of the higher bandwidth of these cards. Hence my question.
     
  12. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Ah, now I understand. But, even if 3.0Gbps, you will only get 65MB/s maximum throughput, because the PowerMac's PCI-Slot doesn't let more through. So no matter, if you put in a crappy old SATA-I (1.5Gbps) drive with low 5400rpm spindle speed or an SATA-III SSD (6Gbps) you will always get 65MB/s.
    The only difference is respondance (access time), but that doesn't depend on wether you have SATA-I or SATA-II. A fairly new SATA-II drive will have a better access time compared to an IDE drive.

    One problem is there, though. I recognized, that my SATA-I Sonnet card has problems with some newer SATA-II or -III drives, mostly with Samsung (2009-11) and Seagate (2011-2013). They are said to adjust the speed down to SATA-I automatically, but it is a matter of trying. I didn't have problems with Hitachi (2007-2011 drives) and Toshiba (2013), with Western Digital, you can always jumper the Drive down to SATA-I, that is the safest option.

    SSDs are another topic, if SATA-III it is hit or miss, if it works at all in Macs.

    The other card I mentioned (PCI-X) is SATA-II and handles SATA-III drives as well and an SSD with mSATA-III connected via an mSATA-SATA adapter.
     
  13. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #13
    Thanks again for the info! :)

    Just out of curiosity, what difference is there between ATA-33 and ATA-66? Up until you said this I thought the number signified interface bandwidth in terms of MBps, so 33 would be 33MBps and 66 would be 66MBps.
     
  14. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Heh, I use a confusing, but often used term here, sorry.

    so called "ATA-66" is actually ATA-5 which has 66MB/s throughput (theoretically, but in real life with IDE drives you usually get arround 35MB)

    "ATA-33" is ATA-4 = 33MB/s (theoretically, without minus the so called overhead vor protocolls)

    Then there is ATA-3, which is ATA-2 plus SMART-Functions etc.
    ATA-2/ATA-3 is 16MB/s.

    Well, usually certain UDMA versions come on top, that make different speeds for otherwise reported Buses (like ATA-4 33MB can get 100MB), but that isn't the case for PowerMacs. They have the lowest UDMA revision. I say all this as if I knew, what I am talking about, but actually I just repeat it the vague way I understand it.

    PowerMacs G4 ATA-speeds:

    PowerMacs with dark-blueish /graphite case:
    HDD = ...
    ODD =

    Silver PowerMacs:
    HDD =
    ODD =

    Silver with mirror front:
    HDD =
    HDD =
    ODD =


    Oh, I have to go to bed, but you can look up the ATA-speeds under everymac.com -> all PowerMacs.

    You will find it interesting, that the BUS for the optical drives (CD/DVD) is ATA-3 with 16MB/s in many G4s, I think the MDD has an ATA-66 optical Drive BUS.
    That is more interesting, when you know, that the Apple laptops had faster optical drive BUSes, than their same time contemporary PowerMacs. Which is why connecting a HDD to the DVD-drive-cable is so slow in PowerMac G4s and will only make sense for certain uses.
     
  15. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #15
    Optical drives didn't need a fast bus. A typical 12x DVD-ROM only uses half the bandwidth of an ATA33 bus, and that's for the very short period of time it was doing a sustained transfer at 12x...
     

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