Upgrading AlBook G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ullbeking, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. ullbeking macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2018
    Location:
    London
    #1
    Hi all,

    I've got a beautiful A1095 (PowerBook5,4) with 768 GB RAM and 60 GB HDD. I've always loved PowerPC Macs.

    I'm planning on running one of these with a PowerPC distribution of Linux, and to upgrade it as far as is reasonable. Still researching RAM but making progress on the HDD...

    I got a Toshiba mSATA 128 GB SSD and am looking at this mSATA-to-44-pins adapter: https://www.addonics.com/products/adms18sa.php This is on recommendation from a trusted source.

    Is 128 GB the highest it will go? After doing some research I think that I could use a 512 GB SSD and have the AlBook recognise 480 GB of it. What do you think? Also, is the adapter a good one?

    Kind regards,

    ullbeking
     
  2. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
    This is the Addonics adapter you’ll want to get;
    https://www.addonics.com/products/adms25ide.php

    I have this installed in my PowerBook G4 17” with a 64GB Kingspec mSATA SSD. It works great. It is setup to dual boot Tiger and Leopard and has a bunch of web and app development tools installed, along with my Adobe CS3 suite (Photoshop, Illustrator and inDesign) plus iWork ‘09.

    You should be fine with a 480 / 512GB SSD if you really need the storage. It would be overkill for what I request of my PowerBook though. I just installed a 128GB SSD into my G5 Quad and loaded it up with all of my heavy production tools including Final Cut Studio 2, Ableton Live 8, Pro Tools, Reason and handful of my favourite PPC compatible Native Instruments plug-ins and sample libraries... There’s still 60GB or more to spare, so I added a Tiger partition (10GB) along with Classic and a bunch of older OS9 apps.

    It is amazing how much apps have blown out in the past few years. It’s not uncommon to see a simple utility app weighing in at 50MB+. A basic productivity app can push 200MB or so and the latest version of Xcode once installed takes up nearly 10GB of space!

    I think back to my first PowerPC daily driver; a PowerMac 7100/66 with an almighty 1GB HDD. It seemed like such a huge amount of storage at the time and I’m sure I utilized it to its full potential!
    --- Post Merged, Nov 29, 2018 ---
    As for RAM. I would recommend to search on eBay for:

    2X 1GB PC2700 DDR-333 MHz 200pin Laptop Memory RAM So dimm NON ECC

    I recently bought a bunch of 8 sticks for just under AU$50 (Shipped ex China), so that worked out to be AU$12.50 for 2GB.
     
  3. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    Lincolnshire, UK
    #3
    I keep reading that SSDs start to degrade performance once they're more than half full?
     
  4. dbdjre0143 macrumors 6502

    dbdjre0143

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2017
    Location:
    West Virginia
    #4
    Not sure how much the lack of TRIM matters but I've never had that experience with my Windows 10 desktop, and it stays over 50-75% full most of the time. (at least noticeably, no benchmarks to compare). I've also had the SSD on my PB a little over half full for periods of time and never noticed it slowing down. Its never stayed that way for very long though, so that's not much of a data point.
     
  5. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    That’s interesting. I have put quite a few SSDs in my various Macs over the past two years and I haven’t noticed any performance degradation. I have most of them pretty well loaded up and with multiple operating systems. As far as I can tell, they are all operating just as fast as when they were new.

    On the topic of performance, I bought two of the same 128GB SSDs, one for the Quad and one for a more recent MacBook Pro 13” (2011). On the MBP, I discovered that the throughput was shockingly poor in benchmarks (~20MB/sec). This was after about a half dozen failed attempts of installing Mojave (Unsupported). The failed installations turned out to be due to a faulty SATA ribbon, so once I replaced the part and finally had Mojave humming along, I enabled TRIM support through the command line and benchmarks jumped up to 400MB+/sec read/write as expected.

    This is the only Mac that I have had to manually enable TRIM support for and also the only factory SATA 3 (6Gb) capable Mac I have.

    As far as I know there are no TRIM enabling options for our PowerPC Macs, but I haven’t experienced any issues with this (yet). If I see performance drop as it did on the MBP then I will be sure to report it here [on the forum].

    From what I gather, the inner workings of the SSDs must be like a striped RAID, where the separate storage banks on the SSD board work together to achieve high read/write speeds. This could explain why the smaller 16GB, 32GB, etc SSDs don’t perform as well as the larger capacity units and why some SSDs are notably cheaper than others (fewer SSD components on the board).

    I know it goes against the striping scheme, but maybe with this idea in mind, a half filled SSD could drop in performance due to fewer banks being used during I/O? This might be more evident on a faster SATA bus where the SSD speed is not bottlenecked by the system hardware. As I said, I haven’t experienced this but I’ll pay close attention as I use them and see if anything degrades in relation to storage usage.
     
  6. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #6
    Wish I'd bookmarked the article - it was a technical discussion, not an anecdotal forum comment.
     
  7. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #7
    The anecdotal comments are genuine user feedback and likely to be opinion over fact, but I believe discussion is welcomed here. :)
     
  8. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #8
    Don't worry, I wasn't pointing a finger there :) Just meant that the article I read was fleshed out with seemingly logically theory and observation...not just a random comment.
     
  9. ullbeking thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2018
    Location:
    London
    #9
    Hi AphoticD,

    Thanks for the correction!

    I think I made a mistake and in all the enthusiasm and hullabaloo nearly ended up ordering the wrong adapter. It all started from initially being led down a path that adapts a modern M.2 SSD and after I bit I thought, "Wait a minute, isn't that adapter for mSATA?"

    In any case, it doesn't matter, I wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for one kind soul's advice and initial inspiration. Otherwise I'd have no idea where to look.

    From everymac.com: The PowerBook5,4 (A1095) takes Ultra/100 IDE hard disks with 44-pin interfaces. This means that your suggestion for the ADMS25IDE should work.

    Oh yeah, indeed. I plan to install Cubase (I have an old boxed version, with a dongle included, somewhere around here underneath all these boxes).

    The need for large amounts of storage is more for data, in my case, music and audio. Although these days it's thankfully feasible to wire up one's own house with a fast intranet and NAS, which is the kind of solution I'm moving towards.

    In addition to older versions of Mac OS X and Cubase (and other music and audio software), I'm looking at running Adelie Linux, which is designed for portability. Maybe NetBSD too.

    Whoa! Thanks for the advice. I'll keep my eyes open and search for it. Thanks again for the advice!!

    Kindest regards,

    ullbeking
     
  10. weckart macrumors 601

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #10
  11. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    Lincolnshire, UK
    #11
  12. ullbeking thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2018
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    London
    #12
    Re: the discussion about flash storage, I learned a lot by reading this document and then following on where my interests took me: http://www.linux-mtd.infradead.org/doc/ubifs.html#L_raw_vs_ftl I found that it really helps to understand the different types of flash storage, and then, once you've got that, all the rest makes more sense. The raw flash storage layer is weird and complicated, much more than most people expect. Of course, in the context of this comment, an SSD has an FTL and is a block device, not just raw NAND flash.
     

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11 November 28, 2018