SSD in a PM 6500. Is it possible?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by iTurbo, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. iTurbo macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    I'm entertaining the idea of installing an SSD drive into my old Power Mac 6500? Is it possible?

    This machine is upgraded to the max already. Sonnet 500 Mhz G3, Apple TV/FM card, MOTU PCI audio card, 128 MB RAM, Zip/CDRW drives etc...

    I'm wanting to pull it out of the closet, install OS 7.6.1, and do some audio rec/edit.
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    It's possible. The 6500 (I have one) uses IDE/PATA. So, two options. Either a PATA SSD or a mSATA enclosure adapter case.

    Now, whether the drive is going to be useable, I don't know. These Macs have the old 128GB limit and I'm not so sure how well a SSD would interact. You are most especially however, not going to get trim or any other features that might pertain to a more modern version of the OS.

    But who knows?
  3. iTurbo thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    Thanks! 128 GB would be more than enough. Heck even a 60 GB drive would be nice (to replace the 60 GB IDE currently installed).

    I got a TON of use out of the machine and really like it. It's been a bit of a pet project of mine over the years. The MOTU PCI audio card was not officially supported, but G-dang it works!
  4. iModFrenzy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2015
    Our actions define our legacy
    Hope it works out! :)

    So, what do you use it for still?
  5. iTurbo thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    Way way back (seems like a different lifetime) I used to use this Mac to do audio editing. My setup consisted of the 6500 with an Emu rack-mount sampler connected via SCSI, running "Peak" audio editor and MOTU Digital Performer. The MOTU PCI card is the PCI-324 card and used a rack-mount 2408 interface connected via firewire (er...Audiowire). Even though the 6500 was below the recommended specification, it ran remarkably well. For the most part I imported audio from a Tascam DAP-20 field recorder using DAT tape and edited and made keyboard maps from samples.

    Other than that, it was great for everyday use for many many years. The addition of the Sonnet 500 MHz G3 and maxing out the RAM kept me from buying a new Mac for a long time. And the TV/FM card was pretty cool.
  6. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    The easiest thing to do would be to locate a bootable PCI SATA card. Sonnet probably makes the best ones, although there are other options including flashing your own(there are how-to guides on here telling you how to ID the correct starting chipset as well as how to do it) or buying another brand one. With a SATA card, you can use any off the shelf SSD-these are getting really cheap, especially in small capacities.

    There are a couple of other advantages to this as well. You are free of the 128gb limit on the internal ATA bus(not a big deal as you've already stated) but more importantly you will find the speed limited by the PCI bus rather than the comparatively slow ATA/33 bus. You still likely won't see the full potential of the SSD, but ATA/33 will be a serious bottleneck to the performance.
  7. iTurbo thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    Thanks for the info! I found a PCI SATA card from Sonnet that looks like it will work.

    This looks perfect, except for the fact that I'd have to run OS9. I had wanted to run System 7.6.1 since it seemed so stable and quick on this particular Mac, but it looks like I'd be stuck with the slow internal ATA/33 or slow SCSI bus.

    According to LowEndMac, the 6500 will run up to OS 9.1, but I'm not even sure where I would find that software to download/install in this day and age. Anybody have any ideas? Install CDs on eBay?
  8. iTurbo thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    I have a couple SATA PCI cards on the way. I haven't bought an SSD least until I see what my 6500 thinks of this new PCI card. One of them is a Sonnet Tempo SATA and it says right on the original box that it is compatible with the 6500.

    I am looking forward to using Bias Peak (audio editor) and MOTU Digital Performer 2.7 again though. And this 6500 also played happy with the Emu ESI-32 rack sampler connected via SCSI.

    I've been searching hi/low for older Mac based videos on YouTube and "The 8 Bit Guy" and "Druaga1" and "Jason's Macintosh Museum" are pretty darn cool. Druaga's video on getting the video input/capture working on a PM 7500 is hilarious.

    I have the TV/FM video card installed in my 6500 so it will be providing me with TV in the meantime thanks to my burnt-out CRT TV. I love the nostalgia of older computers....and I use an iPhone 3GS. Still.

    Apparently music producers in the early 90's used Mac computers equipped with Digidesign Nubus cards and software (Deck/Audiomedia/SampleCell/ProTools) to produce music. Seriously how the hell did they do it? Was this really possible? At least until the late 90's? Can you imagine using a Mac II CI as a *four* track recorder and MIDI sequencer? I mean, never mind the software plug-ins and software sythetsis. Yikes.

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