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Real Life SATA-PCI speed of PowerMac G4s

1593 Views 25 Replies Latest reply: Aug 15, 2013 11:19 AM by lime-iMacG3 RSS
  • myaka Level 4 Level 4 (2,450 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 20, 2013 6:44 PM (in response to lime-iMacG3)

    You're right; I certainly didn't read your opening post fully at first.


    I don't have a third ATA or SATA HD attached to this machine.

    Still, I had thought the Xbench stats for both drives might be illuminating -- the lack of consistency in tests that you report for the a drive with Xbench, however, casts considerable doubt on such results.  


    Perhaps what follows may be more helpful, if not definitively what you request:

    (the HD is on the native ATA bus, the SSD is on the PCI SATA card)


    making a copy of an 8.62 .mov file on the Seagate HD -- 6:20

    making a copy of the same file on the Kingston SSD --  3:10


    AJA System Test (used by Macworld and as part of their drive testing routine -- and perhaps a bit more realistic):

    Seagate 300GB HD.png

    Seagate 300 HD.png

    I can also note that file transfers to the SSD from another machine over gigabit ethernet result in times about 30 seconds less than to the HD (2:50 vs. 3:21).  Copies from the SSD to the HD on the G4, and vice versa, were within six seconds of each other (3:34 vs. 3:40).

  • Glen Doggett Level 4 Level 4 (1,780 points)
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    May 20, 2013 9:20 PM (in response to myaka)

    I am running a pATA133 RAID-0, hardware striped RAID, with 2x500GB drives.  I think they are getting close to the limit of the system bus throughput. 


    Maybe a SATA-PCI single drive would perform about the same in the G4 MDD, but with less complexity of setting up a RAID. 


    Surprised the SATA-PCI SSD is not a little bit faster.  There is usually some variation with these tests when you repeat them.


    Picture 6.png


    Picture 5.png

  • Da Cat Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 15, 2013 7:22 AM (in response to lime-iMacG3)

    Off the top of my head as it's been a few weeks, but I added a Firmtek 2 port external E-SATA card to a Quicksilver DP 1GHz (2002) and seem to recall getting 1-2 GB per minute transferring between 7500 RPM SATA drives. One was an IOMEGA 4-way enclosure while the other was a Sans Digital RAID 1 striped. I was transferring large files up to almost 2 TB.


    Another experience was trying to do a Migration Assistant transfer from the internal PATA drive to one of the E-SATA drives and I got a estimated time count of almost 24 hours, this was about a 170 GB file as the largest part was my iTunes.


    I had a backup of this internal drive on another E-SATA drive and think I did the HD to HD migration which is an option, and it only took a few hours.


    I notice Firmtek claims these E-SATA cards offload transfers without using the computer's processing, perhaps why they go so fast. I also use these external drives for boot drives (Leopard) and have found Safari is much faster and opens more tabs as it tends to use a lot of VM spooling on the boot drive, a good reason to also leave 20% empty headroom on the drive. Otherwise I had to frequently relaunch Safari as the VM grows to 1.5GB or so.


    1.5 GB or RAM helps here too as compared to the 1 GB I had before. Overall performance has been comparable to a MBP 17" (early 2008) 2GB/5000 RPM when running Leopard, except too many tabs will often require relaunching Safari in the G4 as it doesn't seem to release the VM which accumulates.

  • Da Cat Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 15, 2013 8:28 AM (in response to lime-iMacG3)

    You can read what SeriTek claims about my card here:


    SeriTek/1eSE2 External Serial ATA Host Adapter with eSATA Connectors for PC and Macintosh



    Supports The Latest I-Type eSATA Connectors


    The SeriTek/1eSE2 Host Adapter extends Serial ATA's 1.5Gbits/sec performance to the outside of the computer chassis, enabling users to take advantage of external Serial ATA enclosures such as the SeriTek/1EN2. With the latest eSATA shielded connectors, the SeriTek/1eSE2 provides the high bandwidth necessary to meet the needs of performance-hungry applications while offering hot-swap flexibility similar to that of Universal Serial Bus (USB) and FireWire.

    SeriTek/1eSE2 works with all Power Macintosh and PC/Windows computers with an available PCI slot.


    Key Features and Benefits
    • Two external eSATA ports with hot-swap capability
    • Compatible with all PCI-based Power PC Macintosh computers and PC/Windows computers
    • Boosts overall system performance with per-port data transfer rates of up to 150MBytes/sec or 1.5Gbits/sec
    • Supports Mac OS 9.XX, and OS X version 10.1.5 or later, Windows 98/98SE/ME/NT/2000/XP/2003
    • Provides performance and protection: Supports native OS X RAID 0/1 (OS 9 RAID with 3rd party software), native Windows 2000/XP/2003 RAID
    • User-upgradeable firmware
    • 48-bit LBA support for drive sizes larger than 137GB

    • Perfect for upgrading and expanding legacy and G5 Macintosh computers
    • 32-bit, 33 or 66 MHz PCI bus support
    • Compliant with 32-bit PCI bus version 2.2
    • Bus master operation enhances multitasking during disk transfers and increases CPU efficiency: The CPU is free to handle other tasks during data transfers between the PCI Bus and system memory
    • Reduced settings on storage devices (no master/slave) means easier installation and replacement
    • Ideal for a variety of Power Macintosh and PC/Windows applications: Desktop publishing, Audio/Video storage and editing, graphics manipulation/publishing, photo storage and editing, servers, and gaming.


    This website does a lot of performance reviews going back to legacy computers & hard drives:


    You can also find more SeriTek reviews here for individual products, or search the Barefeats website, they do excellent performance tests:

  • Da Cat Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 15, 2013 10:39 AM (in response to lime-iMacG3)

    Re that copy, can it be on the same drive? I just don't have a second external hooked up at the moment. Also I noticed a quirk in copying, can't remember if it was in Finder or using Carbon Copy Cloner, but it seems something gets spooled during the copy and uses Virtual Memory. For some reason if I canceled a copy and then re-did it--it would crawl, and I might of had to even reboot to get the speed back up. Not sure what caused this though, I think because when 1000's of items get listed in the initial copy it does tie up memory or processor as it must keep calculating the size/time.


    Something else to check when copying huge amounts of files is to make the target drive unlisted in Spotlight or that might become active in the background.

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