SSD in a G4 Graphics?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Javelin Dan, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. Javelin Dan macrumors newbie

    Javelin Dan

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Location:
    Akron, OH. USA
    #1
    I'm currently entertaining the thought of installing an SSD in my G4 Graphics "Sawtooth" model 450. Other than having swapped a hard drive or two, I have little knowledge or experience in this. From what I've read, you can buy an adapter that will allow the solid state drive to slide right in the HDD slot. But I've also read that you need some sort of controller to allow it to boot? Any other adapters needed (wiring or otherwise)? Any recommendations, suggestions, favored products, approximate pricing, etc. would be more than appreciated. Also, if any one has a tutorial or any experience doing this they'd like to share, that would be golden. Please start at "A" and end up at "Z" and don't assume I know much about this - I don't. Thanks!
     
  2. skinniezinho macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Portugal
    #2
    You have two options:

    1)a PATA/IDE SSD - costly and "rare"

    2)a SATA SSD + Sata PCI Controller.

    The SSDs are cheaper, but Sata PCI Controller that allows booting are somehow scarce and pricier (as options you have from two or three brands: Sonnet,ACARD,firmtek).
    If you want to buy all this stuff new, best place is OWC .
    If you want some used stuff go to ebay, or the marketplace here on MacRumors.
    Grab me a pm if you need an used Sata PCI Controller.
    As SSD, I would prefer a new one.
     
  3. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    #3
    That is false. IDE SSDs are not rare- Here is a page full of them.
     
  4. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #4
    IDE SSDs are not scarce, just not as common as SATA. I have heard of issues with the controllers if you go the SATA to IDE + SATA SSD route, so if it were me I would go with a PATA/IDE SSD. Or just look specifically for the adapter with the Marvell (?) controller.
     
  5. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    #5
    Actually, I don't know that the IDE only route is better- more expensive, and I heard that the OWC Legacy drives were not well reviewed. One thing to look out for: get a drive with a Sandforce controller- that handles TRIM on its own, which is good as mac OS 10.5 doesn't support it.
     
  6. SmurfBoxMasta, Dec 19, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012

    SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    I'm only really here at night.
    #6
    Although any SSD would be a favorable upgrade for an older machine like yours, I would strongly suggest that you go the SATA route.... this will not only give you the maximum "bang for your bucks", it will also allow you to move your SSD to a newer machine should you decide to do so in the future.

    I did this upgrade to a Quicksilver many years ago, using a Firmtek SATA card and 2 Crucial SSD's. It was literally like getting a new computer in terms of responsiveness, reduced boot time, and way, way better app performance, especially in Photoshop & Illustrator, which was what I worked in for 60 hrs a week back then...

    After this upgrade, my productivity increased significantly and I was able to reduce my schedule by 10-15 hrs/week and still meet all of my deadlines.

    Go for it, if it's feasible for you :)

    The only adapters you will need are the 2.5" to 3.5" mounting piece, a Molex to SATA power connector, and an SATA data cable, both of which should come with either the SSD and/or the controller card, or are readily available anywhere.
     
  7. AtmChm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    WI
    #7
    Actually, I think you have three options:

    1. IDE SSD, which has the IDE/PATA interface built in, such as the OWC legacy SSDs.

    2. SATA SSD, and then buy an IDE/SATA adapter that will connect to your IDE connector

    3. SATA SSD with a separate PCI card SATA controller.

    I have done both #2 and #3 on G4s, and both work fine and I have not had problems booting with the SSD. I'll soon be putting an OWC 'legacy' SSD into a powerbook G4, so I'll see how #1 works.

    Don't expect 'massive' improvement in speed. Things are definitely faster, but not dramatically so, given the speed limitations to the bus.
     
  8. skinniezinho macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Portugal
    #8
    One brand, one store.
    For me that is scarce.
    and I know that there are more one or two brands that make pata IDE, being most of them made with very lowend flash, wich performs bad.

    I didn't talk about option number two because most of the times those adapters give you maximum speed even lower than the IDE bus.
    Although they are the cheapest solution.
     
  9. Javelin Dan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Javelin Dan

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Location:
    Akron, OH. USA
    #9
    First of all thanks to all who responded. Although I understand the general scope of what you’re all talking about here, I’m going to ask a couple of questions that I hope will get you to hone in on a couple of details that I am either missing or not entirely clear on (sorry if I’m asking you to repeat yourselves)...

    1.) I can get an SSD that is IDE/ATA compatible and it will be a direct swap-in with no adapters or controllers needed – correct? (I’ve viewed these on-line – they’re expensive!)
    2.) I can get an SSD that is SATA compatible which will be cheaper, but will require an adapter AND some sort of controller – correct? Specifically what type of controller? General price range?
    3.) These adapters – just plug-to-plug adapters or is there more to them? Do I need more than one type for option 2?
    4.) I’ve read that the controller is required to allow the drive to boot. What else does it do? Where does it mount and how does it wire in? General price range?


    5.) I’m going to veer slightly with this one – I saw for sale on-line a Seagate/Maxtor 160 GB, 7200 RPM, 8MB cache mechanical hard drive. It’s gently used, but guaranteed for 90 days and offered by a reputable supplier. Would this be faster than my (assumed) original 20 GB hard drive? I don’t have the specs here (will get them if needed), but it was made for Apple by IBM and also spins at 7200 RPM.

    Sorry to be a pain in the _$$ but I have to see the project in my mind from start to finish before I start. Not entirely understanding something has never prevented me from trying any other computer stuff, but there is an investment here and I at least need a target to shoot at. Thanks.
     
  10. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    #10
    For the adapters-
    You shouldn't need anything other than an adapter for it (no controller). I don't know about booting, but I don't think it will be an issue.

    As for the drive you mentioned, the 450 AGP has an ATA-66 speed (66MBps). I think that the drive you mentioned would be faster than the original drive, and have a better price/size ratio.
     
  11. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #11
    Only this one. Other PATA SSDs are 2.5" and use IDE 44 pin connectors. You'll need IDE 44 pin to IDE adapter for such SSD.

    No. SATA to IDE adapter OR SATA PCI controller.
    Adapter:
    [​IMG]
    I recommend one based on Marvell chip (just as above). It will boot without problems and does not cause data corruption. Speed is equal to bus limit.
    Controller:
    [​IMG]

    As skinniezinho said: Firmtek-Seritek, Sonnet, Acard and SIIG. Mac versions will be bootable. Controller allows to get slightly better speeds, 133 MB is maximum on PCI bus.

    It will be faster but I wouldn't trust used drive. 90 days is not much.
     
  12. Javelin Dan, Dec 21, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012

    Javelin Dan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Javelin Dan

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Location:
    Akron, OH. USA
    #12
    Thanks everyone – I’m going to look into this, go shopping, and do something eventually. In all honesty, I have to own up to a blasphemy and confess that I’m not running a Mac OS on this box, I’m running Lubuntu 12.04 Ppc, so I don’t know if that changes any of the booting parameters or not. I do know that all the Linux distros I've tried boot off the native "yaboot" and don't replace with another boot loader.

    I’ve posted about this machine here before. When I bought it at a garage sale for $20, it had Mac OS 9 installed and you could clock the response time with a sundial. I wiped the hard drive and have experimented with several Linux distros all of which run decently (some better than others – the fastest so far is Mint Linux Ppc, but with my weak skills I can’t keep from nuking it back to a command line interface). But all are just a tick slower than I’d like - wouldn’t we all like our computers to run faster? Anyway, maybe if I had been able to reinstall OS 9 I would have seen a difference, but I didn’t have the disks.

    I like Lubuntu on this machine; it’s very stable and I haven’t been able to kill it yet. But as I had always understood Macs were supposed to run faster than similarly powered PC’s, this one has always been a bit of a slug, and yes, I do understand that I only have a 450Mhz. processor here. It was suggested on this forum that perhaps my hard drive was worn out and a replacement might improve things – ergo, this post. Success or failure, I’ll post my results and hopefully we’ll all learn something from it.
     
  13. skinniezinho macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Portugal
    #13
    Running MacOS, or Linux doesn't matter, faster hard drives will always increase the speed of the system.
    In my opinion, if you don't need lot's of space grab yourself a sata pci controller + sata ssd.
    PCI Sata controllers for Mac in ebay they tend to go high prices: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sonnet-Te...sk_Controllers_RAID_Cards&hash=item1e731539cf )
    But sometimes you can find cheaper ones on lemswap or even here on Macrumors (as I said I might have one to sell).
    About the ssds grab one that has positive reviews on amazon, maybe corsair force, don't need to be something ultra speedy, but something that is relliable (avoid ocz vertex 2 for example, they tend to die a lot).
    Of course if you want best space per money you can grab an ordinary sata hdd (for example this http://www.amazon.co.uk/Western-Dig...7MV0/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1356106408&sr=8-4 ).
    And it will improve speed a lot, but not as much as the SSD (ssd has faster seconds time acess).
    IF you don't want to spend money on a pci controller, just buy a sata adapter and the hdd
     
  14. Javelin Dan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Javelin Dan

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Location:
    Akron, OH. USA
    #14
    Thanks skinniezinho - I'll look into all that. But I think I'll try to shop here within the US to avoid the import tax. It's nice to know I can do something that is reasonably priced that will enhance performance a little. I looked into a new processor and YIKES! - I could buy a G5 on ebay for that or less. A man's got to keep his perspective...
     
  15. skinniezinho macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Portugal
    #15
    I gave you UK/europe deals because I am from Portugal, but if you are from US you can even get better deals.
    Yes you can improve you performance for cheap, that's how I did with my G4:
    First: 500Gb Samsung HDD - this was before the floods, so it was about 33eur , and it was one of the fastest "ordinary" 7200rpm HDDs + sata to ide adapter (about 2.5eur on ebay).
    When I had the money I moved to a SATA PCI Controller, gained a couple Mb/s, things got even faster.
    Then CPU upgrade (from 450MHz to 1.2GHz).
    But this was mainly as an "hobbie", grab only the sata hdd and adapter for now, if you find it speedy enought fine, if you don't grab the SATA PCI CARD.
    Sometimes, software tricks can do wonders, if you like linux grab a read on PowerPC Liberation and PPC Ludite blogs, great tips.
     
  16. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    #16
    There are other factors as well- you'll want to get a Solid State that has a Sandforce controller, or the speeds will degrade over time due to a lack of TRIM support in the OS (unless you can find something for Linux).
     
  17. ancientscream macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    #17
    OS9 sata card support

    HI im looking to boot into OS9 using a Sata Card and an ssd, anyone know which of the cards are best for OS9 booting ? will I need an sata extension ?this machine is going to be an OS9 repository made from the last most powerful mac to boot into OS9 a G4 dual1.25 MDD fw400, but i will probably put the internals in a proper cooled ventilated PC after much modification to the case, I thinks the windtunnels case design sucks and im a quiet freak. Someone on ebay wants £55 for a seritek 1S2 PCI and im thinking I can sort this out cheaper, by flashing a PC PCI card ? the SIIG seem pretty cheap,
    boat load here >

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sealed-SIIG-SATA-II-150-PCI-Internal-Serial-ATA-Controller-SC-SA0012-S1-/370846246633?pt=US_Computer_Disk_Controllers_RAID_Cards&hash=item565828a6e9

    I'm presuming the mac equivalent version were just flashed different and sold at twice the price ? Ive downloaded the SIIG mac firmware update cant see any drivers so Im presuming the mac one was driverless, most of the SIIG pdf for the SC-SATM12 talks about 10.0 or earlier but I dont see any specific mention of Mac OS 9 ? im thinking maybe I can flash the PC version SC-SA0012-S1 to mac , and im presuming pretty much anything that is a SIL3112 and PMC chip combo will work ? or cheaper still is this generic card using a 3112 ?

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/400502065376?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    might it work ?

    Also anyone know how to get round Apple stopping OS9 filesharing beyond osx 10.6 ? as I would still like to network to this machine from my 10.8 27", Ive tried some hacking about with older coresharing app service and unlimiting authentication methods hacks, but still its refusing with an error about filesharing compatibility. when going to the ip directly etc, its as though it knows and is trying to thwart me.
     
  18. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #18
    Did you see this http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1690231)_

    Do you only boot into OS 9? If yes, then why get an SSD?

    If you do not mind the time and work, you can test the flashing method yourself first. Otherwise, I would just always look on Ebay over the next months and try to get a cheaper (than 55USD) Sonnet in an auction.
     

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