SSD advice for two G4/G5 macs

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by nottorp, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. nottorp macrumors member

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    Romania
    #1
    I have a G5 17" ALS iMac (A1058) and a PowerBook G4 (A1106).
    The iMac takes SATA 1, while the PowerBook takes PATA.
    I'd like to put SSDs in them instead of the current hard drives, and I've seen some references, including on this forum, that the easiest way to do it is to use M.2 SSDs with adapters to their respective interfaces.

    Of course, I'm afraid of compatibility problems, and due to where I live returning stuff is going to be a bother, so can anyone point me to some known to work options?

    Edit: apologies in advance if my Macs are too new for this forum ;)
     
  2. nottorp thread starter macrumors member

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    #2
    Replying to myself... yeah, I'm my best friend i know.

    Or was it CF cards with suitable adapters? Some other kind of (older) SSD interface?
    Please advise of any solutions that aren't spinny disks.
     
  3. mryingster macrumors regular

    mryingster

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    #3
    I have a Powerbook G4 that I put a Compact Flash card in with CF to PATA adapter. It works without any issue at all, and has been that way for about 2 years now. The only thing about that is that it's really slow. I got the highest speed CF at the time, and I still only get about 30 MB/s write and 80 MB/s read. So not super advantageous aside from not being spinning media.

    I have seen PATA SSD drives for laptops on Amazon, and I don't see any issue why those wouldn't work. I would have bought one myself, but I was trying to stay inexpensive.

    SATA SSDs should work just fine in the G5. I am not aware of any compatibility issue there.
     
  4. Daniël Oosterhuis, Dec 15, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016

    Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #4
    SATA SSDs will generally work on the G5, although try to go for a lower SATA revision one, as SATA 2 and 3 sometimes wreak havoc on the G5's SATA controller, which only does SATA 1. Check if the drive can be set to SATA 1, if it is a higher revision SATA SSD.

    As for the G4, there are PATA SSDs, but they're massively overpriced. I use a SIL3112 SATA card, in conjunction with a SATA HDD, in my MDD without issues. You do need to flash the card in a computer, which is explained here: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/guide-to-flashing-pc-sil3112-sata-cards-for-mac.1690231/

    You can substitute a DOS floppy with a FreeDOS USB stick, and just drop the flashing software + firmware onto the root of the USB to do the flashing on a modern computer, as long as it has a PCI slot.

    These cards are a dime a dozen on sites like eBay, I got mine for a measly 5 euros and it runs nice and stable. Just make sure it has only 1 SIL3112 chip (those with two or more are not supported), and you should be golden.


    One more thing: Do make sure you have an SSD with good built-in trash collection. These computers and their outdated operating systems come from an era where SSDs weren't truly a thing yet, so they do not have the TRIM features newer operating systems have. Most modern SSDs do a pretty good job at it these days, though.
     
  5. nottorp thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Thanks, I'm aware of the SATA pitfalls you mentioned. I can google for people complaining they have trouble with this and that SSD in their PPC Macs. Either due to the controller not liking the sata version, or due to the garbage collection causing slowdowns in time.

    Only problem is, no one posts when they're happy with their purchase :) I'm hoping someone who can say "I've bought this SSD and it works fine for me" sees this thread and posts.

    As for the G4, i'm afraid it's a laptop. SATA cards are out of the question and there are space constraints with converters.
     
  6. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #6
    Oops, I read your original post a little too quickly and thought it was a PMG4, not a PBG4. Never mind then.

    You could use a CF card in the PBG4, although most people now use mSATA SSDs with the mSATA to IDE 44 pin converters. Again, the 44 pin SSDs are not worth it, they're more expensive than mSATA SSDs of the same storage capability.
     
  7. nottorp thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    That was it, mSATA to IDE 44 pin not M.2. Ordered an adaptor and a cheap AData 128 Gb SSD.
    Okay, laptop's settled, thank you!

    Anyone can recommend specific SSDs that play nice with the G5 iMac please? :)
     
  8. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #8
    Intel SSD 320 series work well on the PowerMac G5. Anything from that or the old X25 ranges should be fine.
     
  9. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    #9
    I'd go for the mSATA + IDE-Converter for both machines. There will be frames to fit in the mSATA/converter into the iMac too.
     
  10. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #10
    IDE converter in an iMac G5? Where would you plug that in?
     
  11. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    #11
    Uups, they've got SATA ...
    (better read the manual before)
     
  12. nottorp thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    Ouch. That's hard to find and expensive now. Guessing I should look for old stock of SATA 2 (or even 1 if i can find) drives.
     
  13. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #13
    SATA 2 drives are thin on the ground as it quickly became a bottleneck. Current model drives are out, you're looking at 3+ year old designs.
    Off the top of my head :
    Intel SSD 320, or older X25 series
    OCZ Vertex 2
    OWC Mercury (check their website)
    Older Corsair drives

    Samsungs were hit and miss IIRC, as were Crucial. Sandforce controller drives from most OEMs were bad news as regards PPC compatibility.
     
  14. NathanJHill macrumors member

    NathanJHill

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    Oct 29, 2014
    #14
    I've been using a SATA-IDE adapter for my Mac Mini G4. It was a tight squeeze, and sometimes exhibited weird behavior (like pauses when booting). I removed it and installed a 32GB PATA SSD (FashionSprout or something), and it works fine so far. It probably is just a CF card in a little case, but it wasn't too expensive. Not much storage though.

    On my site, I list some potentially compatible SSDs that I have heard about from readers - but your mileage may vary:
    http://g5center.net/hardware.html
     
  15. nottorp thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    I wouldn't trust SandForce for a modern system either :)

    Thanks for all the answers, it looks like my only easy to find option for the iMac G5 is one of the OWC drives. Going to order one after the christmas/new year's rush.
    In other news, the mSata SSD and its mSata to 44 pin IDE adapter are being shipped to me, so I'll have fun at Christmas setting up a (hopefully much faster) PowerBook G4.
     
  16. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #16
    ... for different reasons. ;)

    I've got an OCZ Vertex 3 that was in my gaming rig for a while. Even keeping the firmware up to date it'd do weird stuff after it had been running for more than a few months. They're very quick after a secure erase but there's fundamental issues in the architecture. There's no words for the amount of pain they cause with full disk encryption like Bitlocker...
     

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