Swap out Mini PCI-E wireless card in 27" IMac for...

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dannys1, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. dannys1 macrumors 68010

    dannys1

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi guys,

    Anyone tried swapping out the Mini-PCI-e for anything else?

    Ive been following the custom upgrades and ive upgraded every Mac computer ive bought over the last few years - its now time for me to change the studio as its running an aging G5! But ive fallen in love with the 27" IMac - my head says no, my heart says yes yes yes!

    The problem is it doesn't have the ins and outs for a proper pro machine and no PCI-E of course...but im willing to live without a couple of PCI-E cards for this beautiful machine, especially as im planning on putting two Intel X25-M G2's in, in a software raid 0 config by removing the opitcal drive (as I have done on my macbook pro)

    which got to me thinking, i'll have all my network access via ethernet - so I wondered, any chance i can pull that wireless card out and swap it for something else...perhaps thread something out of the CD slot and around the back?

    I need some bigger storage on here, so i'll be using the FW800 port for a 2tb 7200rpm external drive, however, i still need FW400 devices and I dont want to slow the FW800 drive down by daisy chaning them on...so...

    Any chance one of the mini-pci-e to firewire 400 adapters will work in the iMac and in OS X?

    Also ive seen this "PEMINI2X1 is a PCI Express Mini to PCI Express X1 adapter"
    http://www.adexelec.com/pciexp.htm#PE-MINI-FLEX

    Any chance you could use "some" PCI-E cards with that outside of the imac, im thinking specifically the UAD-2...

    Getting either extra FW400 port, or a PCI-E card externally via that slot would enable me to go one of two ways to having the perfect system for me.

    Any just to confirm, im right in thinking the 4 USB ports run on two separate USB buses?

    Look forward to some input...
     
  2. knewsom macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #2
    Unless you're using all your devices simultaneously, daisy-chaining them isn't really going to slow things down. Try the daisy chain FIRST, then see if you need the additional ports. If you have a drive or two that you don't use for anything particularly high-speed, then toss that puppy onto USB instead - most drives are multi-interface these days.

    ...and why the heck would you want to put in a PCI-e mini FIREWIRE card!??!? I mean sheesh, at least do something fun like eSATA... :p
     
  3. i7QuadCoreMania macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    #3
    in my opinion 2 X25Ms is a waste, unless u are loaded, buying 2 for raid 0 is totally unnecessary.

    I have a 160gb Gen 2 X25M on my i7 iMac and it boots in literally around 5 seconds.:rolleyes:
     
  4. dannys1 thread starter macrumors 68010

    dannys1

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    haha, well there is indeed a mini PCI-E to eSATA connector and someone had bought it to use on a mac mini i found in a thread, however it was later revealed you could never use it because you couldn't suddenly turn the PCI into a sata controller - which I supposed made sense...

    This may well be the same case with Firewire 400 (and I can't seem to find an 800 compatible card anyway)

    And if it is, maybe the mini to full size PCI-E might or might not be an option. Keeping in mind the UAD-2 doesn't use all the fins of a full PCI-E slot suggesting its not a huge bandwidth hog compared to say a video card or something else which im not suggesting running of course...
     
  5. dannys1 thread starter macrumors 68010

    dannys1

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    You say that but look...

    http://echeng.com/journal/2009/04/1...25-m-160gb-ssd-drives-macbook-pro-17-unibody/

    Amazing results if you ask me. I also want more than 160gb, but i dont want spindle speed inside, which gives me the option of 320gb SSD's that at bigger file sizes are twice as a fast as a single drive - for half the price of a 300gb SSD (im able to get the x25m G2's for a very resonable price in my eyes, put it this way its less than double what it costs to buy a decent 1tb external drive which I think is a small price to pay for that sort of performance)

    The other thing is 320gb gives me enough space for all my apps, programs and anything I access regular, including most of my sample library and working projects. I can use the FW800 drive to access lesser used files and archives, but i long for the day when I can raid 0 two (or three!) 1tb SSDs :)
     
  6. i7QuadCoreMania macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    #6
    Well that is cool, but you are running G1 drives, G2 drives have improved. It's cool if you have the dough to throw down on dual SSD drives, but software Raid is kinda ghey in my opinion,:p I was looking at a hardware solution, they sell 3.5" to (2) 2.5" adapters with built-in raid, which you can switch to raid 0 or 1. I actually Had (2) X25-M drives in my hand but ended up returning one. I am satisfied with the speed of 1 drive, and I rather save the 400 bones for my next toy :D

    Having said that, I am still interested to see the performance of your 2 X25-Ms (Gen2) running a software raid.;)
     
  7. dannys1 thread starter macrumors 68010

    dannys1

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    So am I, wont be a waste of money anyway because if it isn't dramatically faster than just one G2 I can always pull it out and sell it for a profit on ebay the price im able to get hold of them!

    Anyway back to original topic - just wondering if that FW400 card will work, or the PCI-E adapter because thats make or break as to if i'll get the iMac in the first place right now...
     
  8. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas City
    #8
    @ OP... sorry I can't answer your questions about PCI-E but I am very interested to hear about your results with your 2x SSD setup. I think this is probably the next upgrade for me with my 27" iMac. It's difficult to use a standard HDD after having used SSD's in my MBP for nearly a year.

    To those thinking it's a waste of money... think of it this way. I can make more money, that's easy.

    However I can't stop, rewind or make more TIME. That is why if I can shave time off my work day with a faster machine, it's very much worth every penny. Granted the SSD upgrade for me is not 100% for "work" related items, but overall it saves me time. Plus its just damn fun :)
     
  9. dannys1 thread starter macrumors 68010

    dannys1

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Its true, if i want to waste time, I want that to be my choice not my computers.

    A little worried about the whole TRIM situation (Windows 7 doesn't even support TRIM for raid SSD anyway!) Although it appears defragmentation/degraration will only happen every 6 months and im hoping within 6 months either Apple will support TRIM (in raid though??) OR Intel release its tools for OSX. Because cloning the boot, and cleaning up both drives, resetting up raid and cloning the drive back is going to be a bit of a ball-ache and loose all that time id originally gained - but even with that im still likely to want to do the upgrade because when i get heavily multitasking in the day on both my iMac or Macbook Pro the system hangs so much - it hates having to run Indesign, Photoshop and Dreamweaver at once along with iTunes, Safari and various other hog hungry apps...
     

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