Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade

Posted by: Anonymous

Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/14/05 11:56 AM

I've got an AGP Quicksilver 733hz which was created/shipped in 2002. It's a long story but I guess it's a 2002 that's not a 2002. When I ordered it I had Apple install a SCSI card to use some SCSI periferals which are now dinasaurs/boat anchors.
Anyway it's got a 50 pin slot on the underside of the card for internal devices.
I've maxed out the 40GB master drive and a little 10GB I threw into position 3.
What I want to do is toss the 10GB, and add two more drives with as much speed and capacity as I can get.

The Apple tech specs say the following about what I can put in it:
Three 3.5-inch (90 mm) hard drive expansion bays:
-One ATA drive preinstalled on standard configurations
-Support for up to two internal ATA drives
-Support for up to three internal SCSI drives
-Support for a combination of internal SCSI and ATA drives (up to one ATA and two SCSI)

It doesn't say I can put in 2 ATA and one SCSI, however. Why not?
I heard there's some controversy about G4's not being able to handle drives larger than 128GB. xceller8yourmac has some entries on that issue but I'm still scratching my head about that. Apparentyl some folks haven't had any problem whereas others end up with unmountable drives.
What can I do? Can I put in a 200GB ATA and SCSI of whatever size I can afford? Do they both have to be under128GB if I still use OS9?
Posted by: krusher117

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/14/05 02:00 PM

I would stay away from SCSI on the basis of cost, even though its faster than the ATA/66 that you have now. I would suggest that you purchase a 160 or 250 GB ATA drive. They are incredibly cheap these days. I purchased my 160 hitachi for around $60 after rebate, but even better deals can be had these days. You won't be able to get a SCSI drive at 250GB for SCSI at any price because they don't make em anymore that i know of. If it comes down to speed, take a peek at the Firmtek Seritek Internal SATA PCI interface and get yourself an SATA drive.

http://store.yahoo.com/firmtek/seseatahoadf.html

[img]http://store1.yimg.com/I/firmtek_1833_1319477[/img]
Posted by: krusher117

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/14/05 02:02 PM

As far as the support for 2 ATA drives, that is incorrect. Extend the ATA connection for the Zip drive and you can add a 3rd ATA HD. I did it for quite some time in my AGP Sawtooth and it worked just fine. Don't make my mistake tho....make sure you cool your HDs properly :ermm:

Post edited by: krusher117, at: 2005/03/14 22:03
Posted by: zenstate

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/14/05 02:31 PM

to keep costs low DO NOT buy a pci card. get yourself 2 7200rpm drives with 8mb cache and you'll be good to go. they will be cheap and the same spec drive made a huge difference for me performance wise over my slow ata33 bus so a 66 will do just dandy.

the mac mini pretty much discounts any large upgrade costs to systems. if you were to buy a pci card and a couple drives you would be with in 150 of a mac mini.

upgrades should serve 2 purposes.
1. to be cheap
2. to get the most performance you can out of the least amount since the pont of upgrading is to save money over a new system. I sure wish the mini was around before I spent about 1000 in total on all the upgrades my system has.

something to think about.

Post edited by: zenstate, at: 2005/03/14 22:34
Posted by: krusher117

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/14/05 05:34 PM

yea i was just offering that up as an option, but I endorse a high quality ATA drive as your best bet also
Posted by: Anonymous

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/14/05 07:57 PM

I hear ya about keeping it simple and cheap. I guess I'll just get one or two ATA's. But I can't seem to find any ATA 66's that are big enough to even bother. I guess there aren't that many still being sold. Can I put a 120GB ATA 100 in? The number just represents the seek time, right?

As far as, getting a Mini goes. I hear on that too. But I'd need more that a 80GB drive. Oh and there is my Audio input card with a midi connection, and buying ram to get it up to less than I have in my G4 now. I couldn't trade in my G4 now because the Mini wouldn't be able to do everything I need, so I guess I'd have both which might be cool. But then I guess I'd have to run out and get a KVM switch to use the same monitor and keyboard for both. It starts to add up to about $1000-1100. I ran the numbers on upgrades vs. the Mini and it's almost even. In a way I guess you'd have to look at is as buying a second computer and split activities between the two. Kinda like having two wives, it always sounds tempting in theory but who needs the hassel. I'm an old fashioned monogamous guy. I've got too much invested in the old girl now to go out and get a mini that only does part of the job.
Posted by: krusher117

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/14/05 11:40 PM

yes an ATA!00 is backwards compat with ATA66
Posted by: zenstate

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/15/05 01:06 AM

yep. I use an ata 100 drive on an ata 33 bus.
Posted by: maestro

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/15/05 01:17 AM

Okay, here is the best advice I can give you about HD's. Did you read my PCI SATA card
articles. First I would say especially since you will be doing video you need a good set of
hds. Trust me, this setup is proven. Your main drive can be kept on ata66. Only put your OS and apps on it. A seritek sata raid 0 is the way to go for the next drive. You can
get this card and 2 sata drive for less than two hundred bucks. It will be about 3-4 times
faster than your standard drive. This is used for scratch disk and storage. Think of ata 33
as a straw, ata 66 as a hose and ata 100 as a pvc pipe- a sata raid 0 is a drainage pipe. Now think of data as water. This water must go back and forth and both ways at the same time. I would not go less than the pvc pipe. Anyway, the sata cables are small and make
case airflow better. Besides when you upgrade to a g5 you will still be able to use them.
-maestro

"Hard drives are the biggest bottle necks in a computer system."
Posted by: BrainMan

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/15/05 03:52 AM

Maestro:
I didn't read your article, but I will look it up right after this.
I knew raids were a good idea, but thought them to be very expensive.
Once again, good solid advice. You're batting 1000.
I smell a brownie point.
Posted by: maestro

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/15/05 05:39 AM

Thanks. I am here to help. Raid setups are often thought to be expensive. That has alot to do with scsi drives and external raids. Do some digging and you should be able to get a 160gb raid 0 for less than $200. That is internal of course. It is just as effective though. You do not need a "raid" card, just an sata card. You would use a software to create your raid. You can use OSX's or SoftRaids. Now if you are going to use os9, you will need the SoftRaid. Apple's software raid is not recognized in os9. I love mine. It is super fast and really 160 GB is plenty. I have 50 used for storage and I edited one and a half hours of footage this past weekend. I still had plenty of room. Most people think that you need multiple 300 gb drives to make a good video raid. That is just not true unless you are editing feature films and are using raid 5 or above. Hope this helps you out-my two articles should help inform you also.
Thanks for the brownie point!
-maestro
Posted by: BrainMan

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/15/05 06:53 AM

Maestro:
I did a search on MacMod and came up with one article by you about building an internal SATA raid in a G5. I just skimmed it and to tell you the truth there was stuff in it that I didn't understand. Like something about a "striped" something. I assume it's not a striped bass. But I'll read it again. By the way that article looked a lot like this one on amug.org

http://www.amug.org/amug-web/html/amug/reviews/articles/firmtek/

Same concept, I assume.

What do you think about the idea of putting in one ATA100 internall just for grins and building an external SATA raid with FirmTek's PCI card (SeriTek/1SE2) and nifty 2 bay enclosure (SeriTek/1EN2)? They say the card is OS9 & 10 compatible.
I admit it's another 2/3 hundred bucks but I like the idea of a Hot Swap external.
Posted by: maestro

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/15/05 07:39 AM

Ahhh! I just miskeyed and lost may looong ass explanation for you. Lets see if i can narrow it down. Are you really gonna be hot swapping drives? I am trying to get Firmtek to send a tester of it as I write this. Really though, I would go internal. You have the space and they are still an easy swap in a Mac case. "Striped" means Raid 0. By the way that was not my article. smile Check the news archive, these are not mod guides, they were written in my weekly harware articles.

-maestro

It is called build a sata raid 0 from January 2005.

Post edited by: maestro, at: 2005/03/15 15:43
Posted by: Anonymous

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/15/05 08:09 AM

Maestro:

Re: Your article; found it, reading it. Thanks

Re: Hot swapping; Well other than the fact that is sounds a lot like an alternative lifestyle that would certainly make mine more exciting yet better left to another forum, I guess the answer is I wouldn't do it that often. It's more an issue of when I buy my next Mac ( a G5 or G6?) how much will I strip out of it. And will it be easier to just pop out a card and disconnect the cable versus, remove all those drives. I dunno. Maybe you're right.
Posted by: maestro

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/15/05 10:45 AM

There is no doubt that a external raid 0 is sexy and cool. It also makes it more expensive.
As you work on your Mac, you will see it is so easy to install and remove stuff. If you follow
my article on sata raid 0, I think you would be extremely happy with it. I know that I love it.
My next hardware addition includes a Raptor 10k 74GB main drive off of a second sata card.
That is going to be sweet. Now if you can afford an external Raid. Why not choose this setup:

Western Digital Raptor 10,000 rpm sata main drive 74 GB (I have seen it go for $155)
Firmtek pci sata card
2 x Western Digital Raptor 10,000 rpm sata main drives for a 148 GB Raid 0

Now that is some serious drive power. Even better than SCSI, some may disagree with that,
but try living with SCSI drives, they are a pain.

Good Luck
-maestro
Posted by: zenstate

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/15/05 03:28 PM

maestro:

no offense but how can you argue cost of external when your advice has him up in the several hundred range? it doesn't seem like he is doing heavy pro level video. any standard ata drive that 7200rpm will do fine with video. digital video only needs 4-5mb a sec and any ata these days will do a few times faster than that.

overkill is what kills bank accounts. get what you need and no more. that is logical..
Posted by: Anonymous

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/15/05 07:39 PM

zenstate:
No worries. Maestro has been right on target for me and has talked me down off the high priced ledge a couple of times. His advice has been quite tempered and patient. I understood where he was going with the "wouldn't it be nice" suggestion.
I may have given the impression that I was not doing Pro-level video work and technically that is correct. But I have done it in the past at a corporate level and I'm getting my personal system built up for the challenge. I have put in 5 grand, cutting corners as well as I can, and that's just camera and software. So don't worry, he's targeting my needs fairly closely.
Posted by: maestro

Re:Need advice for G4 hard drive upgrade - 03/16/05 12:48 AM

I appreciate both of your comments. There are alot of possibilities for hard drive setups.
As I said before, hard drives are the bottle necks of computer hardware. One needs to
buy the fastest with the most throughput possible. Video editing is very taxing on hardware. Video work involves waiting for the computer to catch up to you quite often.
In pro editing rooms, you will see huge raid setups and super fast computers because you
can do more in real time. When you have hours of footage, the faster you can go, the more customers you can serve. I myself am not a "pro editer", but I am a modding junkie with a need, a need for speed.

The more informed you are, the better choices you can make.
-maestro