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mraroid

Which Mac was the last that could run 9.22?

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MDD single proc 1.25MHz FW400 retrofit Mac OS9 special edition released 2002 to meet demand. Content creators were waiting for OSX compatible upgrades for cards and core apps.

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Stock/default information: this post doesn't take efforts to make OS 9 bootable on other hardware into account.

 

date-wise, the 2003 revision of the Mirrored Drive Door Power Macintosh G4 (usually called MDD) is the last.

 

All "Titanium" PowerBook G4 ("TiBook") systems boot into OS 9.

 

The eMac G4 (700/800 and ATI 800/1.0) will boot into 9, but the 1.25/1.42 will not.

 

All iMac G3s will boot into Mac OS 9.

The original iMac G4 (15" 700/800 and 17" 800) will boot OS 9. No newer versions will.

 

All iBook G3s will boot into Mac OS 9.

The original iBook G4 (12" 800, 14" 933/1.0) will boot OS 9. No newer versions will.

 

No Mac mini and no XServes will boot OS 9.

 

EDIT:

To the best of my knowledge, every Mac listed above can be booted and installed using the eMac 2003 install CD, available here: http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/emac-g410-ati-restore-discs as 691-4323-AeMac_Mac_OS_9_Install._Mac_OS_v9.2.2._Disc_v2.2_CD.001 (I will eventually make an ISO you can burn with Windows and modern OS X available on vtools.)

 

Many of the models listed above (TiBook, MDD in particular, from personal experience) come with system-specific CDs of 9.2.2+updates that require you to install OS X first, but the eMac 2003 CD will install and run reliably on those systems without needing OS X to be installed first.

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Editorial and personal opinion content:

 

For a system that will primarily boot Mac OS 9, over the "MDD" series, I personally recommend a Power Macintosh G4 "Digital Audio", "QuickSilver", or "QuickSilver 2003" - those three systems have nearly identical architecture (to the best of my knowledge, the "QuickSilver" is literally the same system board as the Digital Audio, but repainted and with newer CPUs).

 

These systems (should, again, best of my personal off-the-top-of-my-head knowledge) all share common upgrades. In addition, Mac OS 9 isn't served very well by much more than a gigabyte of memory. There's disagreement as to whether or not it even could use more than a gig, even if it sees it.

 

In addition, more of the MDDs were sold in dual processor configurations than in previous generations, coupled with better stock video cards and a higher RAM ceiling, the MDD is going to be a good OS X machine where much of the hardware is wasted on OS 9.

 

In addition, 2, this may or may not matter for your needs, but Mac OS 9 is inconsistent at fan speed control on the MDD machines.

 

For a system that will dual-boot, the dA/QS/QS'02 systems are still "good enough" (and easily upgradeable) for both 9 and x.

 

On the go, I usually don't really recommend bothering with G4s for Mac OS 9, but I will say that the most recent go I've had with OS 9 on my 1.0GHz "TiBook" PowerBook G4 has been surprisingly good. I think that the main thing that's made it better is that I installed a relatively fast, good condition 160GB hard disk in it.

 

That said, again, these are personal opinions and my experience using Mac OS 9 daily ~2004-2007 and again 2017+, day-to-day kinds of stuff isn't meaningfully faster on fast, high-end G4s than it is on, say, reasonably nice G3s.

 

I don't really have any experience with iMac G4s, eMac G4s, or any iBooks, so I can't personally speak to those machines, other than that any eMac would probably be a really nice OS 9 machine: Those displays are very good, or at least they were when they were just a couple years old, and they have three USB ports. I'd put one on my desk if I found one inexpensively and semi-local (I love road trips, let me know if you're from CA, AZ, NM, NV, UT, or CO and want to unload one!)

 

My main experiences with iMac G3s are a /233 I had long ago - mine had just 32MB of RAM for most of its life and under that configuration I'd run the original 8.1. With more RAM it should be fine though. I also recently picked up an iMac G3 with a /300 CPU and 256 megs of RAM and I'm anticipating that to be a solid, stable, and quick way to run my personal daily OS 9 workload.

 

(Most of what I need consists of, Netscape 4.x to browse Macintosh Garden and s7t as well as previewing the vtools web site, running the vtools admin tools, Office 98 or 2001, Stuffit 5.5, diskcopy and toast for media and archive handling, and Dreamweaver MX. I'd do all this on the 6200 or 8600 but DWMX appears to have a hard requirement for the G3 CPU and I haven't gotten my mits on an older copy of DW.)

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12 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

Stock/default information: this post doesn't take efforts to make OS 9 bootable on other hardware into account.

 

date-wise, the 2003 revision of the Mirrored Drive Door Power Macintosh G4 (usually called MDD) is the last.

You got me, Cory! I'm so used to typing QS'02 I got the year wrong for the MDD 2003 release when I posted that in a hurry before work. My three G4s are '01, '02 and '03.

.

When someone asks about a Mac, iMacs, iBooks and PowerBooks don't come to mind for me, so your added info on those is great to see. I've got a lot of experience with the DA and QS, but haven't set up the MDD 2003/OS9 quite yet. It's the backup machine for the Dual 1GHz Quicksilver I'm using now that was the backup machine for the DA/466. It's really nice when your backup machine can be a significant upgrade over the daily driver. :grin:

 

My take: though I'm in love with that Graphite Beauty, I'd pass on the DA. If you're looking for the last OS9 machine you probably want the best/fastest platform available. I did a three column comparison of my G4 Macs on everymac at work tonight. Out the starting gate the QS is ahead of the MDD because while its CPU has the same 64k of L1 cache, QS adds 256k "on chip" L2 and another 2MB of L3 (one per processor? dunno, the dual processor thing means next to nothing under OS9) running at full CPU clock. The MDD has 1 MB of backside L2 cache on a 233 MHz bus. (that's my DA/466, didn't check the others, they're probably on a bus that's half the CPU clock as well) You get those benefits without worrying over upgrades, they're bone stock on the Quicksilver 

 

133MHz System Bus, PC133 SDRAM and Ultra ATA/66 are a wash between QS and DA, but for those the MDD gets very interesting.

 

MDD 2003:

1.25GHz CPU of MDD 2003 vs the 1GHz CPU(s?) top end of the stock QS is very sweet.

System Bus bumps from the 133MHz of both above to 166MHz

RAM bumps to PC2700 DDR SDRAM running on that faster system bus.

Disk Controller bumps to UltraATA/100

RAM hits the same 1.5GB ceiling of both DA and QS under OS9, but 2GB can be installed and is supported when running under OSX.

L3 Cache drops to 1MB on the MDD 2003, but it's running at 1.25GHz where the QS' 2GB runs at 1GHz (still not sure if the extra 1MB is dedicated to the (invisible to OS9) second CPU, so L3 size might be a wash)

 

The DA case is hands down the winner though. All the buttons and holes are there on the front bezel where they belong for doing anything that might need to be done. Stuff began disappearing from the fancier front panels as the designs "progressed" that should not have been sacrificed on the altar of fashion over function.

 

That's about as clear as I can put it, I don't mess with CPU upgrades for my OS9 Graphics Workstations, so I can't help there. If anyone wants to hot rod the G4 under OS9, check out macos9lives, that gang is crazy. :approve:

 

Cory, thanks for that info about MDD fan speed control under OS9. Anybody got linkage to that info?

 

 

edit: forgot to mention the Universal Installer for 9.2.2 the MacOS9Lives gang put together with updated drivers and whatnot. You need to sign up to download it or anything else and maybe even to learn that the installer's there.

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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The eMac 2003 CD has all of that for all of these machines with perhaps the exception of the 2003 MDD re-issue. Like I said, it works perfectly on my 1Ghz TiBook. I personally wouldn't use a third party or "unofficial" install CD unless you were going to go for a "not originally supported" machine. (More on that later.)

 

The oriignal MDD release was in August 2002.

 

In all these systems' years, I've heard relatively few reports about whether or not they are actually faster than an upgraded QS'02, but like I said, whether or not that speed means anything to an individual person is a different issue entirely.

 

What I will say is, there's a possibility that the faster onboard disk controller on an MDD, coupled with something like a reliable SATA-IDE bridge or just a really good IDE disk will reduce the normal random stuttering and stalling of Mac OS 9 as it waits for disk access. Installing the fastest IDE laptop hard disk I could find went a long way to that on my PowerBook G4.

 

For my own QS'02, the strategy so far is to leave the original hdd in for booting and put in 2TB SATA disks, mainly since I care more about overall performance and reasonable disk access speed more than having the fastest possible thing. (Namely: I'm not trying to overcome Mac OS 9's disk i/o handling shortcomings for an interactive user computer. (I am aware, though, that if i had the budget for it, 2TB SATA SSDs would mean even better file server performance as well, especially for my planned multi-user scenario, but that's a different discussion entirely.)

 

If my experience can be made more generic though, to be honest, SSD probably isn't needed on Classic Mac OS computers. It's nice, especially with SCSI2SD on the oldest models where period hard disks had utterly abysmal seek times, and SD cards have effectively 0 seek time.

 

.... Anyway.

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By the numbers, the quiet/unlabeled 1.5GHz revision of the Mac mini G4 booted into Mac OS 9 using an unofficial restore media is the fastest Mac OS 9 computer I've ever seen. It beats out QEMU on an i5-6600 or so and on anything where I've run it (i5-2400, but I should give it a go on my i5-7300u as well, which should turbo really well and has platform improvements.)

 

It even resoundingly outperforms a dA/QS with a 1.5GHz or so upgrade installed.

 

Usability is a little weird, especially (ironically) for media tasks, but if you were doing some kind of non-media technical computing on Mac OS 9, it would be worth looking into.

 

That said: I have MacBench 4 and 5 on vtools and I'm looking for people willing to hop on, bench their systems and upload the results files. I'd be extremely interested in if any Power Macintosh G4 configs can beat this.

 

As I've said, I personally don't think Mac OS 9 needs very much hardware to be a fine experience. I'll install OS 9 on almost anything, but if you were planning on running OS 9 and day-to-day apps for it from around 2000-2003 or so, I'd say to look at a G3 and 256 megs of RAM, and then put the newest IDE hard disk you can in the machine.

 

 

EDIT: benches between a TiBook@1.0 and a Mini@1.5 in MacBench 4, which, notably, is from 1997 so it doesn't know about AltiVec and I don't think it knows about MP:

Picture 8.jpg

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I've been wondering if a Mac Mini G4 with an SSD, and a compatible USB 1.1 audio interface to get sound working again, is secretly the best G4 for Mac OS 9. :tongue: Considering the small footprint that's perfect for any apartment, and how unlikely you are to take it apart once you max out RAM and get the SSD in there.

 

EDIT: Thinking about it, I believe that model of G4 also has a PowerPC 7447a that's permanently throttled by the default DFS setting, because the hacked build of Mac OS 9 doesn't know how to ramp it up for higher performance. If it's still outperforming the other G4s while throttled, that's even more impressive.

Edited by nglevin

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2 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

It's nice, especially with SCSI2SD on the oldest models where period hard disks had utterly abysmal seek times, and SD cards have effectively 0 seek time.

 

I agree with you Cory.....  When I replaced the SCSI HD in my Color Classic for a CF2SCSI card, my Color Classic stood up and a did a little dance.  Things were so much faster.  And a side benefit was that I did not have that 100 + F heater of a SCSI card in the small CC case. I also did not mind that the CF2SCSI card did not draw as much current as the SCSI hard drive did. 

Very pleased with it.

mraroid

 

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2 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

As I've said, I personally don't think Mac OS 9 needs very much hardware to be a fine experience. I'll install OS 9 on almost anything, but if you were planning on running OS 9 and day-to-day apps for it from around 2000-2003 or so, I'd say to look at a G3 and 256 megs of RAM, and then put the newest IDE hard disk you can in the machine.

I can agree with you there up to a point. The QS'02 PSU dropped dead at one point, so I moved the disk over to the G3DT without thinking and it chewed much of it up in a volume size disaster. I then moved my graphics work (object oriented, not pixels) onto the Pismo500 for a couple of months. Performance was plenty good enough, if not nearly as sanppy as on the 1GHz QS. I think I stepped down to AI8 from A9 and it was again serviceable. Having just one 1600x1200 panel running at 24bit (in clamshell mode, all VRAM dedicated to external display) was an annoyance, as I like to have at least two displays up at a time.

 

If I wanted only raw processing power for something, that Mini sounds interesting. But things like UltraSCSI, higher levels of PATA and SATA running off their own PCI cards in the QS'02 is something I take for granted and expansion of a kind not available in the Mini form factor. Adding a PCI card for a third display is something under consideration for the MDD'OS9. The SATA card is doing its shakedown cruise in the QS'02 ATM.

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I found OS 9.xx to be super fast on anything with a G3 on up (even a 7500/8500 with a Sonnet G3 upgrade). Even the G3 iBooks ran it well.

 

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Some people on Think Classic were able to get iBook G4s and/or early aluminum PB G4s running with OS 9. I haven't delved too much into it because I don't feel like hacking the OS and there may be a lack of video acceleration in some models. Still, it's an impressive feat and worth checking out if you only have a newer machine to play with.

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I can confirm the Mac Mini G4 is a very potent Mac OS 9 Mac, with some minor issues. Sound does work, but only out of the stereo out, and not in the sound control panel.

 

I'm documenting the various little problems and will probably do a video on the tiny PPC powerhouse.

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4 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

That said: I have MacBench 4 and 5 on vtools and I'm looking for people willing to hop on, bench their systems and upload the results files. I'd be extremely interested in if any Power Macintosh G4 configs can beat this.

I would like to bench mark my B&W G3 before I upgrade it to a G4 Yikes and a solid state drive.   I am running 9.2.2 on it now.  Where can I down load the software that made the graph you posted?

Thanks

jack

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Unknown_K said:

I found OS 9.xx to be super fast on anything with a G3 on up (even a 7500/8500 with a Sonnet G3 upgrade). Even the G3 iBooks ran it well.

0S9 worked well enough on a G3 Crescendo L2 in my 6360 for a couple of years. AOL on dialup was the death of that setup as a graphics workstation. A customer just up and told me to send him some bills toward future work so I could go out and buy the DA/466 when I was having problems with the former. That worked great at first, but only getting a DSL line and jettisoning the hindrance that was AOL kept things that way.

 

AOL helped me mung drives up to the point that only doing a clean install of 8.5 over 7.5.5 and then 9.0 over 8.5 could straighten things out. :p

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I was never into AOL or used dialup on a mac to know the issues with it.

 

My first mac was a Quadra 950 purchased to play around with video editing (around 2000 or so). After a short time I figured I needed a newer mac to support the 950 and purchased a used 8500 and then went and upgraded it with an IDE card with IDE optical drive and 40GB IDE HD, USB card, G3-400/1M and a Ultimate Rez video card plus a few sticks of 128MB RAM. That system running OS 9.x was my main mac toy for many years before I started getting newer machines and finally switched to OSX. I still have that 8500 system sitting idle in the basement.

 

Since I have been collecting since 2000 or so I have picked up quite a few OS 9 native machines and even my Sawtooths, Quicksilvers and some MDD machines had dual HDs installed so I could use OS 9.22 or OSX 10.4 as needed. The G5's pretty much put an end to that. The G3 Ibooks are all OS 9 installs same with the G4 TiBooks and Wallstreets. I have a ton of classic OS apps many of them boxed to work with.

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AOL was fine for what it was at home on a garage level 386 we then upgraded to Socket 7/Somethingorother not Intel. But then the wife gave me my walking papers because we didn't know just how crazy I was at that point. So I started using AOL on the Mac at the shop. BLECH!!!!! 8-o

 

The 6360/Sonnet G3 survived, becoming the plotter server until I closed the doors on the shop and though on hiatus for a bit, is still my main BenchMac at the HackStation after having spent even more years as a VHS and then DVD server for the TPD on the bedroom graphics workstation. I finally got a 32" 720p TV/VGA Monitor and onto the bench went the 6360. It's amazing just how much could be done with so little from about 1988 to 2008 in my little Mac world. Since then it's been the QS'02 for graphics, the 6360/G3 for hacking and the collection as toys. Still haven't found a good enough reason to move out of 9.2.2 outside of the internet that's been done better on dedicated Linux or Windows NetBooks or NoteBooks used only as a quarantined Firefox workstation.

 

I have tens of thousands of licensed graphics and Cad/CAM applications, some dongled that work as well as the day I used them and faxter as my backup machines go into service. Now you can't even buy that kind of stuff, apparently you need pay yearly rent on it. I'm good to go for now! :-D

 

Playing games that didn't need to be connected online from the OS9 era and before is probably a good enough reason to stick with the platform rather than move on to the G5 and X.

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1 hour ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

AOL was fine for what it was at home on a garage level 386 we then upgraded to Socket 7/Somethingorother not Intel. But then the wife gave me my walking papers because we didn't know just how crazy I was at that point. So I started using AOL on the Mac at the shop. BLECH!!!!! 8-o

Regarding crazy, meh, we're all on that spectrum somewhere. I'll be the first one to admit I am completely functionally out to lunch. Don't get me wrong, I'm no furniture-chewing sociopath, I've never been hospitalized for being crazier than squirrel s*** (I've just squeaked by a few times...)

 

You want to see a clump of mentally dysfunctional individuals, walk into a medical school classroom for the 1st year's. Now that is crazy on parade. Don't let the ones that look like they are totally normal fool you, they are the worst in the group. You knock just one of the pens they brought, which are perfectly squared to the corner of the desk, in ROYGBIV order, out of alignment, and they will eat your face! You just have to convince everyone else that you're crazier than they or anyone else they know are, then no one will mess with you because they are afraid of what would happen. It worked for me.

Edited by Paralel

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8 hours ago, Paralel said:

Don't let the ones that look like they are totally normal fool you, they are the worst in the group. You knock just one of the pens they brought, which are perfectly squared to the corner of the desk, in ROYGBIV order, out of alignment, and they will eat your face!

LOL! Funny you should mention that. In pre-med my son's friends thought he was crazy because he liked organic chemistry. ;) That he was there on a full ride from a fine arts grant/double major package and brought the best and brightest crazies of that crowd into their circle drove it home.

 

At work folks will stop by to find out what craziness I'm up to during downtime, that it's sometimes "development work" for computers older than they are makes it all the more fun. That the graphics they see posted here when I show them what's up are done on G4 era hardware with software that runs under OS9 is something most can't wrap their heads around. When it's a making a scale model of a computer case, a piece of furniture, a workstation, workbench or shop equipment/storage from paper and tape/rubber cement they can get it and then they're positive I'm way out there.

 

I got the biggest kick when a comedian used the reply to her classmates when she made a trip back to her little home town in Texas. A group of them asked her why she didn't settle down get married and have kids like a normal person, she told them they weren't normal , they were ordinary. :lol:

 

 

Back on topic: I'm retrofitting my first (Commodore 64. VCR) computer workstation/entertainment center's pullout C64 KBD drawer with full extension slides to work with the BookEndz PowerBoock docks for my trio of OS9 G3 toys. 1400c,/PDQ/Pismo docks can be swapped on from two shelves underneath to the pullout whenever/whatever fancy strikes me. OS9 is fun on quite a wide segment of the Mac's development spectrum.

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11 hours ago, mraroid said:

Where can I down load the software that made the graph you posted?

PM me for a vtools account. The results #68kMLA and a few other have gathered so far are on the Public share, and MacBench is available as an IMG you can mount and run directly or burn to a CD and run from there.

 

13 hours ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

But things like UltraSCSI, higher levels of PATA and SATA running off their own PCI cards in the QS'02 is something I take for granted and expansion of a kind not available in the Mini form factor.

What about Firewire disks? A single (or number of) 2TB disk(s) in FW enclosure(s) should do the trick for storage.

 

The G4 mini will only run one display, however, so that is admittedly a bummer.

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For FireWire I've got one nice little 3.5" HDD enclosure and one very sexy lookin' curvaceous, RED VST Zip250, but never really warmed to the interface. If I had been doing video it would have been a different story. A SATA 1.4TB drive holds backups of the PATA and UltraSCSI working drives in the QS'02 ATM. Isn't that a quite a lot faster than a FW400 bridged disk?

 

One day I'll make the move to SATA/SSD, but no hurry there. Illustrator is CPU limited and the files take up no space as compared to your graphics workflow and storage requirements which are more disk limited in time and space than CPU limited, no?

 

edit: I've also got a SCSI CoolScan for slides/negatives and another for large format negatives/transparencies to support, so that's another drawback to a Mini solution.

 

edit: in the post above I meant to say tens of thousand of dollars worth of licensed Graphics and CAD/CAM applications. Some are dongled and some were never "upgraded" to OSX by the mfrs. so I never moved anything onto that OS.

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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25 minutes ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

Isn't that a quite a lot faster than a FW400 bridged disk?

Numerically: yes.

In practice: Probably not meaningfully so.

For consideration: it depends on use cases and on the type of drive you have.

 

Hard disks never had the giant performance uplift SSDs had.. For example: https://www.storagereview.com/seagate_ironwolf_pro_nas_hdd_12tb_review the rated maximum sustained transfer there is 215 MB/sec for one of the biggest, newest disks you can get. It was SSDs that eventually reached the upper limit of 6-gigabit SATA performance. A performance-oriented hard disk like this one https://www.storagereview.com/seagate_barracuda_pro_12tb_review can sustain 250MB/sec.

 

I looked at an example 1.5TB disk from when those were shipping and a Seagate 7200RPM disk of that size I found on Amazon (used, probably, since that size was common around ten years ago) was rated for about 125MB/sec, so a bit between the two interfaces.

 

SATA that works in old Macs is rated for about 150MB/sec. Firewire 400 is up to around 50.

 

At some point I'll look, I have an FW400 enclosure I mean to put some 2TB disks into, but I'm not expecting it to create a meaningful difference.

 

You'll almost certainly notice more if you're doing something that causes a lot of random, high-speed reads and writes, though again as I mentioned about SSD in general, if you put an SSD on firewire and a big spinning disk on SATA the SSD would almost certainly still feel faster.

 

I'm largely unfamiliar with what faster SCSI devices can actually deliver. 

(If I'm reading this right, a high end disk from 2004, a tad under 75 MB/sec in the best-cased scenarios. That number probably improved with a good RAID controller and using a few different disks in a stripe.)

 

TL;DR - I struggle to believe having storage connected via Firewire instead of a PCI SATA card would matter for almost any OS 9 use case.

39 minutes ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

Illustrator is CPU limited and the files take up no space as compared to your graphics workflow and storage requirements which are more disk limited in time and space than CPU limited, no?

It depends. Right now, is there a delay when opening files? Do you ever spend time rifling through files trying to find a particular version? Those tasks would be faster on an SSD, because of the seek times.

 

For photos - largely, disk access and seeks have been the death of almost every system I've had. It's why my G3, G4, and Core1Duo[Rosetta] Macs all appeared to be working at about the same rate, with Photoshop CS2.

 

For video - with DV, keeping a disk clean so large files can be read sequentially at speed is what's important. If I were configuring a DV/HDV editing computer on an old Mac, I'd probably do dual disks and keep a cleaned-up capture/render disk. The DV bitrate is really low, around 13 megabits, so it doesn't really matter what disk you use as long as it's in working order and 

 

Today SSDs became important for modern video largely because files are so big and data rates are so high individual spinning hard disks can't keep up with editing workflows.

 

42 minutes ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

SCSI CoolScan

There are FW/USB adapters.

 

That said, given that you've already got a working setup, I'd say keep working with what you've got. A couple people I've discussed this with have tagged "building an OS 9 machine cheaply and easily for someone who doesn't already have one" as one of the more exciting things about OS 9 on the Mac mini, but 9 works well on so much, you'd be better served with that as a solution if you were reasonably familiar with OS 9 but needed some kind of machine for a very small space.

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8 hours ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

LOL! Funny you should mention that. In pre-med my son's friends thought he was crazy because he liked organic chemistry. ;) That he was there on a full ride from a fine arts grant/double major package and brought the best and brightest crazies of that crowd into their circle drove it home...

Sounds like your son and I would get along well. I was an ace in organic chemistry. Completed courses at the graduate level for my master's.

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