View Full Version : Need Plan A

02-14-2001, 12:44 PM
What I have: Beige G3 (300MHz) w/ original 9 GB drive on internal bus, 2 Barracuda 9's on a FWB PCI ultra SCSI card (from when Macgurus still supported FWB), PCI firewire card supplied w/ EditDV. PBG3 (firewire).

What I am doing: Heavy use of Photoshop and FCP (I no longer use EditDV), purchase a PM G4 733MHz (when available).

What I want to do: Add additional drives to the PM G4, improve the functionality of the Beige G3 (definitely need to replace the drive on the internal bus, it's methods have become 'unsound'). Install a processor upgrade card, and optimize the whole G3 hardware system to use as a second system (primarily for Photoshop).

What I need: Plan A! I need advice on hardware to improve the G3 and suggestions on improving or increasing the capacity for video editing on the G4. All suggestions welcomed. Macgurus hasn't steered me wrong yet!

02-14-2001, 02:28 PM

Would you look at the Apple System Profiler and give us the model number of the Barracudas and the FWB card. Are those two Barracudas striped? Also, which OS are you using?

02-15-2001, 04:29 AM
G3 first.

determine which processor upgrade you want, meaning do you want a single or dual-G4 XLR8.

you can replace your uh, "unsound" drive with a new IBM IDE drive. You just have to decide what size.

we would recommend pulling the JackHammer and Cudas and repurposing them in another machine, or selling them, to make room for a Miles2 and an X15 Cheetah boot drive, or a pair of them, to make a 15k rpm boot array. That will kick Photoshop up hard, and you may end up liking your beige G4 for Photoshop better than the new 733.

the finishing touch, of course, is to ensure that you are maxed at 768MB main memory (esp now that it is cheaper than ever), and a video card, either a Formac Permedia 4 PCI or a Radeon PCI.

you will need to migrate up to OS9.1, of course. It is likely that you will be able to install OSX on this machine with all its peripherals at some point, when it makes sense to do so.

we can get into the minutia of how you implement all or part of the above as you reply to Louie's original questions. He may have different guidance, as well.

02-15-2001, 09:25 AM
First, thanks for the fast reply.

Second, I am running system 9.1, the Barracudas are ST19171W in a simple 4 partition scheme on each. The SCSI card is the FWB JackHammer 1020V1 and the Firewire card is pci1081,6950 - don't know the model number but it was supplied with EditDV.

02-15-2001, 11:52 AM

The hardware part of FWB was spun off some years ago as Hammer Storage. That company has been bought out and merged with at least two other companies. Hammer Storage announced that the software/firmware support for the JackHammer stopped with OS 9.02. So, in effect, you are on thin ice right now. In addition, Wide drives are no longer made. Essentially, your JackHammer and Wide Barracudas have been overtaken by technology and other factors.

As Magician mentioned, you need one or more X15 Cheetahs and either a Miles U2W or ATTO U3S/D LVD host. A single drive should give transfer rates of about 40 MB/sec sustained and two in RAID 0 much, much more. There are specific reports elsewhere on these forums. Check various links off the this page http://www.macgurus.com/ to find details about the Initio, ATTO and Seagate devices.

I'm sure others will jump in to add their comments.

02-15-2001, 03:00 PM
as long as the EditTV card is viable, I see no reason to replace it. They were OEM'd by RATOC before they got into the direct sales business.

the remainder of my guidance stands.

02-16-2001, 11:13 AM
I appreciate AND trust your advice. So let's put together a shopping list.
This is what I gather that I need so far:
XLR8 G3ZIF 500MHz (although Photoshop/FCP are MP aware, it wouldn't appear that the performance gain offset the price difference for the G3 - thoughts?
Formac Proformance 3 16mb video card
Miles 2 ultra 2 card
2 Cheetah 15X's + mounting hardware (could I install 3 Cheetahs and simply not use the internal bus?)
XLR8 PCI firewire card (I will repurpose the existing cards and drives to another machine)
Intech Hard Disk Speed Tools
And, of course, RAM

Please consider this list and add to it as you see necessary.

02-16-2001, 12:31 PM
I don't see the need for Intech Hard Disk Speed Tools, since the Miles2 purchase is a kit: card, Initio twisted-pair LVD cable and LVD terminator, and SoftRAID which can be used with single drives or multiple drives in RAID. k

02-16-2001, 03:23 PM
You probably need to keep the original ATA drive and bus at least till OS X is out. The OS X public beta requires it for installation. OS X may (?).

One of the big justifications for the G4's AltiVec (Velocity) capabilities is Photoshop. Think about G3 vs G4 very hard.

Some with Beige G3 upgrade experience jump in here: would he be better off with the ATTO in lieu of the Miles 2 because of the Beige G3's PCI bus thruput? I know it costs more and comes with less stuff, but it will be faster.

02-16-2001, 04:49 PM
I think Santilli can best answer that specific question, Louie, as I'm pretty sure that he did confirm that the ATTO outperformed the Miles2 with more than two drives. Remember the Miles2 write limit at 40MB/sec....if he plans to use one or two X15's, I think the cost benefit goes to the Miles2, particularly since it bundles SoftRAID. If he really wants to wring the most performance from those drives, then an ATTO would be the way, but he has to buy cables, termination, and SoftRAID, which jacks his price up significantly.

There are probably comparative benchmarks somewhere on this forum or in one of the archives showing the difference between ATTO and Miles2 in bG3.

I also agree about the G3 vs G4 comment. FCP is AltiVec-enhanced. Using a G4 ZIF would also yield a sensible upgrade path to dual-G4, with the addition of a Velocity and another G4 ZIF.

there is no problem pulling all drives and running three Cheetahs in this machine. You can boot off an array in the bG3, if you choose to do so. I would, personally, but I'm silly that way. Louie is correct about OSX, however. We couldn't get our own bG3 to behave under OSXb without the IDE drive installed.

[This message has been edited by magician (edited 16 February 2001).]

02-21-2001, 09:45 AM
Thanks for your help. The new and improved Plan A is now under construction.