Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
jimjimx

Is FW 400 faster than ATA 100, on mini G4?

Recommended Posts

A couple years ago I put a mSATA SSD in my G4 mini, running 9.2.2 V8, and today I thought maybe I could speed it up by using the FireWire bus, rather than the internal ATA 100.. .

 

I already have the mSATA to SATA adaptor, and would just need to get a SATA to FireWire case.

 

Anybody have any opinions, thoughts, or rejections, about weather this would speed it up?
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ATA/100 is faster than Firewire.

 

To put them in the same units: Firewire/400 is approximately 400 megabits/second, and ATA/100 is 800 megabits/second.

 

If this were reversed, I don't really think it would make that big of a difference. Mac OS 9 is relatively light on disk usage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Cory5412

I don’t understand. 

How is 400 slower than 100?

If, when I get this all together, what would you recommend I use to test / benchmark it?

I will have all the parts one day, and will revisit this thread with results from what I end up with, if only just to goof off and waste my time..

 

I don’t think boot time is a fair test, so .....

I can’t think right now, but, I think you know what kind of test I’m looking for...

Something big and long to tax the different buses. 

Edited by jimjimx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MacBench 4 is a great tool for general Mac benchmarking, and I'd love it if you sent me the files afterward.

 

It's in public on vtools if you're on there, or, for now, http://vtools.68kmla.org/~/coryw/macbench/ has the CD image and a bunch of other member test files form when I happened to make that public copy.

 

There are other dedicated disk testing tools, but I find MB does that "well enough" while also doing other tests.

 

The Mac mini G4 is one of the fastest OS 9 systems you can get. It benches better than other heavily upgraded PowerMacs in many cases. (there's a 1.5GHz sawtooth file on there, IIRC.)

 

I've seen people claim that the MDD's faster onboard IDE gives it a leg up in Mac OS 9 performance (or at least perceived performance) and I'll be perfectly honest, I kind of doubt it a lot. (That context was a da/QS vs MDD for OS9 discussion.) That kind of thing is tough to judge though. There's almost no official metric for "responsiveness" because different people notice different things and have hang-ups at different points when using their computers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, jimjimx said:

How is 400 slower than 100?

Different units. FireWire 400 is 400 megabits per second, ATA-100 is 100 megabytes per second. 1 byte is 8 bits, so 100 MB/sec is 800 Mbit/s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, jimjimx said:

@cheesestraws
According to the info I’ve read, FireWire speeds can reach up to 3200 Mb = 400MB

That’s why I was thinking of giving it a try. 

Don't bother; I've run the same SSD via external FW400 case and internal ATA/100 case.  External is notably slower, less than half the speed.

 

FireWire 400 is 400 Megabits.  FireWire 800 (which the G4 Mini doesn't have) is 800 Megabits, and is still slightly slower in moving actual data than ATA/100 because of how the data bus works.

 

[edit] Also useful to compare to USB.  USB will always be slower than Firewire on the same hardware at the same bitrate, because it is CPU limited.

 

  • USB 1.0/Low-Speed: 1.5 Megabits per second (Mbps)
  • USB 1.1/Full-Speed: 12 Mbps
  • USB 2.0/Hi-Speed: 480 Mbps (slightly slower than Firewire 400)
Edited by adespoton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, jimjimx said:

According to the info I’ve read, FireWire speeds can reach up to 3200 Mb = 400MB

That's much later revisions of the standard than FireWire 400.  FW400 => 400Mbit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@adespoton

Oh well....

I was just going to do it out of boredom anyway..

I still might do it just to benchmark it, but I’ll still need the FW SATA case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, to be honest, I don't know that you'll see that big of a performance difference between FW400 and the internal ATA on Mac OS 9. Classic Mac OS is relatively light on disk activity overall. From the Mac mini's stock 4200RPM hard disk, you'll get a bigger boost out of putting a newer/faster/bigger disk or an SSD in on either interface than you would relying on the fastest overall transfer rate.

 

Mac OS X would benefit more from, say, an SSD on the much faster ATA interface than OS 9 would. (Though I suspect overall responsiveness of OS 9 would improve a lot with an SSD, I don't happen to have had a chance to try it yet, but I do have a PCI SATA card that probably my beige G3 tower will get, so I can give it a go at some point.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×