What kind of cable do I need for this hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by wdace84, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. wdace84 macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2009

    Bit of a newbie question here...

    I'm trying to upgrade my Dual 867 PowerMac G4 from a really old 60GB hard drive to a new Western Digital (Model: Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS) 500GB hard drive.

    I've included photos with this post that show what the back of the hard drive looks like and also the cables that are already in place (sorry, I don't know the names of these types of cables). None of the cables already attached with the computer will fit the back of the new hard drive, so it looks like I might need some sort of cable that can convert the end of what's in the computer and the back of the new hard drive.

    Could someone please let me know what this would be called (if indeed this is the solution)? I'm looking to buy through NewEgg, so if you can even find a link to what I need on their site that would be great.

    Thank you.

    Attached Files:

  2. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Well with the drive you are showing (a SATA drive) you will not be able to connect it with the existing drive cables which only interface with the original drive type that was in G4s ike yours-- which are IDE/ATA interface drives. EDIT: Ok, to be a little more accurate, there ARE convertor boards (such as this one this one from Dat Optic), but the PCI SATA card below would be lot faster data transfer solution since that convertor board takes a fast SATA drive and slows it down to the ATA133 standard.

    Putting a PCI slot SATA card in would allow you to hook up that drive and enjoy faster data transfers, but if you want to hook a drive directly to the internal existing cables you will need to look at the IDE drives:
    or the better selection (up to 750Gb) at

    Luckily since your model of G4 is one of the later ones at least you won't have to worry about a 128Gb restriction on hard drives connected to the internal hard drive bus that applied to earlier G4 tower models.:)
  3. finnschi macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Thats a SATA Drive, so you'll need a sata cable, but your best bet is to get a External Sata Enclosure! (Firewire/USB) I would suggest Firiewire, because you probably don't have USB,....

    You could also buy a PCI sata Controller.... :D
  4. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2005
    I'm only really here at night.
    I would HIGHLY recommend you go with the pci SATA controller card. This will give your old G4 a nice speed boost, and also the ability to add additional SATA drives in the future too.....

    If you look closely, you will discover that most SATA cards will take over the I/O overhead functions from the CPU, which will free up more processing cycles for other tasks, which in turn will make the entire system run better :p

    FYI: you REALLY don't wanna be buying IDE drives nowadays :eek:
  5. wdace84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2009
    OK, thanks for the help!

    I was thinking about returning it for an IDE drive, but it sounds like SATA is a much better way to go. Would something like this work? It says the PCI card transfer rate is up to 1.5GB, but the hard drive can actually handle up to 3.0GB - is this an issue?

    I noticed that the original hard drive needed 2 cables (I think one to be hooked onto the board and another to be powered up). Does the SATA drive work the same way? It seems like I would just install it, plug the cable it comes with into the back of the new SATA drive (for power) and attach the long connector that's already on the board onto the new card.

    I just got this G4 from the office. They said they bought it in 2003. It's old, but it seems like its in good shape. I wanted to get a new hard drive and archive a lot of my files (photos, music, etc.) so in case it decides to die next week at least the hard drive will be ok (a lot safer storing stuff on a brand new hard drive than the old one that was in there).

    The other thing is that a friend of mine is giving me his PowerMac G5 soon, so I'd want to make sure I can take this new drive (the SATA) and be able to put it into the new G5 when I do get it.

    Thanks for all your help!
  6. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    IDE drive: you also need to set jumpers.

    Cost of large IDE drive is close to cost of SATA card and SATA drive.

    SATA drive also takes 2 cables, 1 power, 1 data, the cables are just not as wide. You need a power adapter.

    The maximum transfer rate is for RAID. Not applicable to single drive.

    You can also get an external SATA usb dock, not as fast as SATA card but a little bit cheaper.

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