SSD upgrade for iBook G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by jrsx, May 27, 2014.

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  1. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #1
    The next upgrade I am going to perform on my G4 iBook is an SSD. I have a few questions though. Should I get a IDE/PATA SSD (32 GB), or a mSATA bridge and a mSATA SSD? They both add up to around the same price, the IDE SSD coming in at around $45 and the mSATA SSD around $40. Would the mSATA bridge increase speed and performance or not, since everything is still routed through the IDE input? Also, I have heard of the mSATA bridges not being terrible reliable, and of course they won't fit perfectly in my G4. Please reply with suggestions. Thanks!
     

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  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    Go with a mSATA. They fit perfectly, with the correct adapter, can be reused in a future SATA/mSATA machine, are cheaper per gigabyte, and are generally more robust. The adapters cost about $25.
     
  3. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    The speed will always be bottlenecked by the IDE connection. I went with a Transcend 32 GB IDE so I wouldn't have any fitment issues with adapters, but I believe others have been able to use adapters without any problems. You won't get any speed benefits though. It might be nice to not have to hunt down an IDE drive however, so you will have more options when you go to replace it if you use an adapter.
     
  4. jrsx thread starter macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #4
    So as I understand there is no way to overcome the IDE speed curse. It makes sense to me, just wanted to clear that up. No matter what hard drive I buy, it will be limited in speed by the connection. Sort of like water and a funnel. :eek:
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    Correct. In the best cases you can reach about 95% of the maximum theoretical speed of the bus.
     
  6. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    #6
    I would like to do same thing with my ibook...can you post links to m-sata-ide adapter....
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #7
  8. Frost7 macrumors regular

    Frost7

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    #8
    I'll have to second this.

    I went the PATA SSD route with my PowerBook G4 Titanium (480GB OWC Mercury Legacy Pro) and I'm already on my fourth one. Even in the open air it overheats when doing large writes (>10GB) and seizes up. The only way to reload my couple hundred GB of data to it was to have it sitting on an icepack.

    If I could get my money back and get an mSATA Crucial M500 or M550 with an adapter, I would in a heartbeat.
     
  9. jrsx thread starter macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    That's certainly a price they're asking for! :eek:
     
  10. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #10
    That's a cheaper price than what I seen them for at other places. They're usually about $6-$8 more, plus shipping.
     
  11. jrsx thread starter macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #11
    I do see things like this: http://www.amazon.com/Convert-Conve...241623&sr=8-2&keywords=IDE+to+mSATA+converter
    However as you have explained to me before, they won't fit in perfectly since there is nothing there to hold them in. I may just go with your suggestion, or one like it. I always forget though, that there is a metal bracket that holds a standard hard drive in, that could possible help to hold the mSATA drive in. Also, on top of the IDE connection another plastic bracket holds the connection from falling apart (with screws on either side of the bracket).
     
  12. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    #12
  13. jrsx thread starter macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #13
    I ended up ordering a Kingspec 32 GB SSD because it was a little cheaper than the mSATA route. I ordered this with the model number: KSD-PA25.6-32MS but upon further reading it seems that people have had issues with this SSD and G4 iBooks. Does anyone have experience with this SSD?
     
  14. sarthak macrumors 6502

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    #14
    How much of a speed difference does it really make? I was planning on putting an SSD in the iBook and PowerBook I have but, after using the HDD for a while, I really don't see how a performance gain could help.

    Realistically I use the iBook and PowerBook for:
    - TenFourFox
    - Mail / Chat / Calendar / Calc / Preview etc. default Mac Apps
    - iWork and MS Office
     
  15. jrsx thread starter macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #15
    I use my PPCs for everything except flash. So I think it will be a worthwhile upgrade. I haven't received it yet, should be here in a day or two.
     
  16. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    It perks up Powerbooks very nicely. They're still limited by the CPU, but removing the limit of the hard drive is a nice gain.
     
  17. GraniteTheWolf, Jul 7, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014

    GraniteTheWolf macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I saw a video on youtube of a guy putting one in an old ibm thinkpad.

    He used a hdd benchmark of some kind, the old hard drive had a read/write of around 5MB/2MB about.
    The new SSD nearly maxed out the PATA connection (133mb/sec if i remember right?) and gave it a read/write of around 95MB/85MB

    He did a boot test after cloning his old OS to the new SSD and the timing was staggeringly faster.

    You'd be surprised how much even a regular new hard drive upgrade can make. Even going from the original to a brand new pata hard drive can be a night and day difference because the new hard drive, while still PATA, is much more efficient.
     
  18. jrsx thread starter macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #18
    Well here's one of the places I saw that people had trouble with this SSD: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1547944
    My iBook has a newer IDE interface though, and does not use a ribbon cable to connect the HD to the logic board. Could this make a difference?
     
  19. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I have to disagree with this. Putting an SSD in such an old computer makes little sense. I put an SSD in my Power Mac G5 and my real world performance gains were nothing to write home about. The money is better spent purchasing a faster system.
     
  20. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #20
    Putting an SSD in a G5 that already has a fairly fast hard drive doesn't make much of a difference. But putting one in a laptop that has a slow drive makes a very big difference.
     
  21. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Fast drive is relative. SSDs can substantially outperform most traditional disks. Therefore installing one in a G5 should result in a sizable increase in performance. Likewise putting an SSD into a slow system is not going to result in any sizable performance gains. In the end the money is better spent on a faster system.
     
  22. Cox Orange, Jul 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014

    Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    #22
    I am on this side, too.

    I think it is nothing one really notices. Yes, booting and opening folders might be a bit faster. Also you would think that because of SSD access times small files are loaded quicker, but where would you see that in normal use? On the web? Since it is always the server at the other end that makes the same page appear in different speeds everytime, you can't really compare, if there is a difference.
    I wonder, though, if people using Photoshop see an increase.

    Also I always thought you only see fast access times with big SSDs and it was said that the specs on manufacturers sides are always for the 128GB model and 32GB and 64GB models will be much slower.

    With my Crucial m4 256GB, mSATA 6Gb/s (CT256M4SSD3) I also had the feeling it got slower after the drive got filled up more and more and I had deleted stuff over and over again. I picked that exact SSD, because as we know TRIM is not supported and some people recommend to buy an SSD with a good Garbage collection (that would make up for the loss of TRIM). I was told this is the model with best GB. I am not sure, if it was just a feeling due to getting used to the new drive or if it really got slower and if that might have to do with how SSDs handle file deletion. (The solution for a slow SSD that has filled up, because it deletes files in another way than HDDs, is only to reformat it, I was told).

    On that guy with the thinkbook. 2MB/s ??? How old (or small) was that HDD then? I would guess you even get more with the stock 4200rpm 40GB Toshiba drive of an ibook mid 2005. I also have extreme doubts against benchmarks. They will show you a max throughput of 80-100MB/s with a SSD on a PowerMac G4, allthough the SATA-PCI card can't handle more than 35MB/s.

    I manually let the Mac copy big files and then look how long it takes and devide the file size by elapsed time, but I guess it is just a thing of personal taste, wether to use benchmark tools or not.
    Maybe I can find my notes I made when I compared the SSD to a 2,5" 160GB Samsung and the stock 40GB Toshiba HDD in an ibook once. It could as well be, that I threw the notes away, because there was no big difference. (also have a WD 320GB 2,5" HDD, but that is in my other ibook, that has a faster CPU and I did not have it opened at the time).

    Theory says (as Intell has mentioned), though, that SSDs will use a bigger part of the theoretically usable IDE-conector's bandwidth and have a more constant throughput, than the changing HDD throuput on a IDE HDD, while e.g. copying a file.

    On spending money on a faster Mac, rather than buying an SSD. I still not totally convinced myself, that a SSD does not have some sort of advantage that one can really see/feel in everyday usage, but to see it from this side: on the internet = you can't tell, because servers respond differently; for opening folders fast = is that really a big issue?; On other stuff = I guess one more sees a difference, when doing things that involve throughput, rather than in stuff that needs good access times, because the latter's difference seemed marginal to me. With throughput, you are limited to the CPU, still. A 1,33GHz ibook gets a 20min video file encoded to h.264 @ 2,5Mbit/s by 30min. faster than a 1,2GHz ibook (and we speak of 12h and 30minutes in total here), so in that case, maybe the 1,2GHz ibook is better sold and one puts 5-10EUR on top and buys a 1,33GHz model instead. The other thing is, if the slower device means something to you personally, then one can understand, that you will rather changed parts than let the Mac itself go.
    I have this adapter and it fits perfectly (as in space). On securing it from moving, I can't answer, since I didn't use that for long and I don't carry my ibooks around a lot. (Your idea with the mounting brackets that are allready preexistant in the ibook is an idea worth considering!)
     
  23. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #23
    The G5 has a SATA I chipset. That means that at best it is going to be like 150 MBps (Megabytes Per Second). An SSD will help with access times but dropping the dough for one into a machine that can't take full advantage of it seems pointless. It is like putting a powerful new engine into a 1990 Corolla. The transmission, in the case of a G5, the chipset, is the limiting factor.

    In uncached sequential benchmarks, my G5 with a Caviar Green gets 123.20/40.28 MBps (Read/Write). That is more than enough speed and slapping an SSD made it only marginally faster. That being said, if anyone has a SATA II or SATA III equipped machine the difference is fantastic, night and day. It made sense to get one for my MacBook Pro, but not for my G5 which is plenty fast with a good 7200 RPM HD in it. Another thing to note is that Tiger and Leopard are not very SSD friendly operating systems. They lack TRIM and I am not sure what other features are missing to keep the SSD in tune.
     
  24. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I agree putting an SSD in such an old system is almost useless. I did it because people continue to say "Installing an SSD is a great way to breath new life into old machines" so I decided to try it. I didn't expect to see a marked improvement and I was not surprised when I didn't see a marked improvement. Which is why I can unequivocally say installing an SSD into a system with an even slower IDE interface (Ultra ATA/100) makes even less sense. At least for the typical user. Those who do a lot of random I/O may see a marked improvement. Either way it's my opinion a faster system is a better use of the money.
     
  25. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    An SSD did improve battery life slightly and lowered temperatures by 1-2 C in my PowerBook. Speed increase was noticeable (especially when booting) but not mindblowing.
     
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