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Solid State Drive for G3?

Iamanamma

Well-known member
However, my bad/apologies for the misdirection, it appears the fault here really was the drive itself and not the bus or the scsi2sd.
No worries!  You and Trag both have supplied me with heaps of helpful advice and material.  

I decided also to buy that G3 4 new RAM chips from OWC, and a 4 GB VRAM chip from Operator Headgap.  The old RAM was from wherever we could find it the cheapest, so I am not sure how great it ever was.  I am hoping the VRAM addition might be helpful as well for a performance boost.  Currently I only have the stock 2 GB in it, and the more peripherals I added, the longer it took for the video to come up even with the elimination of the wonky CD-ROM.  30-45 seconds isn't a long time, unless you're sitting in fron tof the computer waiting to be able to get some work done!

 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
I'm glad we've been able to help!

More RAM in these generally causes a longer power-on self test, and so that might be the culprit. More VRAM won't help with that, but upgrading to 6 megs of VRAM on these system is very nice anyway. You'll be able to use higher resolution displays and/or more colors. I think (but haven't had a chance to test) that 6 megs should get you 1600x1200 at millions.

If you're using Mac OS 8 or 9, more RAM on its own doesn't really help performance the way it does on Windows XP+ and OSX. More RAM really helps with being able to open more programs at once, and/or run a fuller system folder, which uses RAM or being able to open more files or larger files within a single program, with a larger memory allocation.

Most of my daily OS9 machines have anywhere from 160 to 320 megs of RAM.

Having well-matched RAM or known compatible/good RAM can help with stability, especially on the Beige G3 which is in my experience a little picky with RAM.

 

Fizzbinn

Well-known member
Circling back to a suggestion at the beginning of this thread...
 

2 Port SATA PCI Controller Card Power Macintosh G3/G4/G5 *SSD *OS X OS9
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F264403383346

For $50 this seems like pretty good deal, if it’s as advertised. The Sonnet Tempo PATA PCI cards seem to be rare, go for much more on eBay, haven’t found a generic alternative. Using SATA drives and cables also seems pretty appealing to me. 

 

johnklos

Well-known member
drives larger than 128 GB are not supported
To be clear, drives larger than 128 gigs are not supported on IDE. SCSI has no such limit. But you can get around that in OS X with the Intech SpeedTools Hi-Cap driver. The first 128 gigs will be seen while booting, and after the kernel loads the Hi-Cap kext, the rest of the drive will be seen.

I have a first gen iMac motherboard with a 2 TB drive with one 8 gig partition, then a 120 gig partition (where gigs are 2^30 bytes), so the system boots the 10.4 kernel from the 8 gig partition, then uses the 120 gig partition as the boot drive, care of OWC's XPostFacto. Then, as the system is booting, the rest of the 2 TB drive is seen, and /Users is mounted there. I believe the beige G3 has the same limitations.

 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
The only real disadvantage to using a SCSI2SD in this scenario is that the Beige G3 can take some advantage of newer disks with better performance on its IDE bus and/or coming off of its IDE slots.(1)

If the machines boot up in the morning and run one program all day, that benefit isn't going to be noticed, I suspect.

You might be able to use the energy saver control panel to schedule a boot up a few minutes before you expect anyone to need the machine and then put the application you use in the startup items folder so the app you want is running when you open the door and turn on the lights.

(1) As a footnote: I say "some" because in my experience the Classic Mac OS (7/8/9) is a flaming pile and its performance doesn't really scale upward with better storage. Largely, the newer and faster an OS9 machine you run, the more likely it is to do stuff like just stall out at random points or rapidly switch between feeling really fast and feeling impossibly slow. This is why most of the time when people talk about decking out Power Mac G4s, my comment is that what they're really building is something that would be great at running all the same software you could get in the late OS9 era, more reliably and faster overall, on OS X 10.3/4/5.

I get that Mac OS 9 is a unique experience, even if you run literally all the same software on it - I even prefer it, I just think it's not worth wasting the money on upgrades that don't really improve the experience. The same applies to having a lot of RAM and the same mostly applies to really fast processors. And Ethernet upgrades, to be perfectly honest.

 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
No such limitation with PCI PATA cards, provided that the cards are themselves new enough to not have the LBA48 limit, which is what that 128 gig thing is, with not only G3s, but most G4s up through either the MDD or the QS'02 and 867/1000 TiBook.

SATA and SCSI don't have the limit, but an IDE card that's from the same period as a beige (or even early G4s) will.

 

Iamanamma

Well-known member
But you can get around that in OS X with the Intech SpeedTools Hi-Cap driver. The first 128 gigs will be seen while booting, and after the kernel loads the Hi-Cap kext, the rest of the drive will be seen.
Using OS X will not help me at all.  For what this G3 is going to be used to do, I am limited to 8.6 as the OS.  

 

Iamanamma

Well-known member
The only real disadvantage to using a SCSI2SD in this scenario is that the Beige G3 can take some advantage of newer disks with better performance on its IDE bus and/or coming off of its IDE slots.(1)

If the machines boot up in the morning and run one program all day, that benefit isn't going to be noticed, I suspect.
This machine will be running only 1 program all day, and that program does not work correctly in OS 9.  I have 2 IIsi Macs that have SCSI2SD boards replacing their old SCSI hard drives, and the machine operators are ecstatic with the change.  They say they have noticed a dramatic speed increase.  They also only run 1 program, all day. 

 

Iamanamma

Well-known member
SATA and SCSI don't have the limit, but an IDE card that's from the same period as a beige (or even early G4s) will.
Yah, I have a Yikes! that's on my rehab list.  Can't go any bigger on the IDE drive, so I suspect I will be putting a SCSI2SD board into that one as well.

 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
I'll be curious to hear your thoughts as to how well it goes and how the performance does or doesn't change in such a new system. If these are doing the same stuff you've described your beiges doing, it should be "fine".

Conventional wisdom holds that an IDE card or SATA card is a better upgrade for pretty much anything with PCI slots. I found a SCSI2SD v6 to be fast enough for daily use on a PowerMac 8600, but I haven't really had a chance to use it properly on a G3. I suspect the v6 would be good, but to be honest, on systems with good IDE, my temptation would be to just get an IDE to SD or IDE to CF adapter, unless you need OS X in which case SD or CF will be insufficient for how OS X manages disks. (OS X uses virtual memory super actively and will destroy most normal SD/CF cards.)

It's worth being aware (if you aren't already) that the Blue-and-White G3 and all newer machines don't have onboard SCSI, and so you'll have to add it or, if the machine came with an Ultra SCSI card, you might need an adapter to use a SCSI2SD on that card.

 

Iamanamma

Well-known member
I would recommend getting a SATA PCI card.
Any idea where I can find one of these?  I can't get the SSD to work in the G3 with the PATA to SATA adapter that came with it.   I was having some success with a SCSI2SD adapter, but started to have problems with files hanging when we try to open them.  We are having storage issues that I was not originally made aware of, so I need the ability to install a bigger drive.

 

Dog Cow

Well-known member
Any idea where I can find one of these?
Try here: https://www.newegg.com/p/pl?d=SATA%EF%BB%BF+PCI+card

I don't know about drivers for these, so these may not be a practical option.

You could try searching the used market for a Sonnet Tempo Serial ATA card, which has drivers for OS 9 and X.

 
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Fizzbinn

Well-known member
Any idea where I can find one of these?
I recently got one of these SATA PCI cards off eBay:

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F264403383346

I was concerned about pre OS X compatibility and this one stated (with pictures to back it up) that it worked with Mac OS 9. $50 wasn’t bad either. 
 

Works great in my Beige G3 tower, I did need to used a longer SATA cable then the one it came with but totally happy with it. ~40MBps with 64GB SSD I have, a bit less with a spinning disk. Both much faster then the even the Ultra SCSI “upgraded” disk my G3 came with. 

 
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