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x002657
03-18-2006, 07:52 PM
I'm a long-time Windows user, but I just bought a used PowerMac G4 MDD model (dual 867 processors) running OS X 10.4.5 with 768 Mb PC2100-DDR RAM. The only card inside is a single-monitor display card, driving a 21" Apple CRT monitor. A copy of Final Cut Pro HD was on the machine, and I want to begin using that for video, but realize I must upgrade. I plan to add these upgrades:
1 Sonnet Tempo-X Sata II 4X4 controller
2 Hitachi T7K250 250Gb Sata II hard drives
1 Firevue Firewire 800 PCI Host Adaptor
(I'll probably also want to add a dual-monitor display adapter).

The firewire adapter is to allow subsequent connection of an external DVD writer, but from what I can gather, I can't use just any DVD Writer. Because it's an MDD model, I believe I can't add an internal DVD writer. What are my options? Am I naieve in expecting to use firewire? If not, what models are compatible?

This is all intended to be connected to a Panasonic P2 digital camcorder.

Any thoughts on my plans to upgrade?

thanks for your patience.

PS: after adding multiple adapters to Windos machines over the years, I was amazed at the simplicity and layout of the G4 internals. If all Apples are laid out like that, this could be the beginning of a long friendship.

rguising
03-18-2006, 08:06 PM
the MDD's (except for their cooling, search in forums) are great G4's.

You will want to add a Pioneer 110 or 111 from NewEgg, Zipzoomfly or the likes. The MDD's can take 2 internal opticals (even two DVD Burners!) something even the G5's cant do. I think its a mistake for 'software' reasons to buy an external Firewire DVD drive. Some of Apple's Apps. require the drive to be on the native bus. (I still think this is the case, but I may be wrong).

I prefer Firmtek's cards over Sonnet's (Firmtek's are bootable)... but watch SSC only drives. (think the Hitachi is fine).

What video card (assume you have the GeforceMX?) You may want to upgrade to a 9600 or a 9800 from ATI so you have Core Image support... Even a 9600 and a 9200 would gain you tremendous monitor real estate (4 Monitors, 2 per card).

Think about moving your HD's to an external SATA box, keeps the MDD nice and cool. Also load CHUD 3.5.2 (found on the Accelerate your Mac system reviews). Then click the Nap box... effectively throttling the CPU's when not needed.

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/feedback/MDD_CHUD_feedback.html#storytop

Is your Camera Firewire 800? If not then that is a wasted slot / purchase, Firewire is just... well... not going anywhere... Use SATA for Storage.

M.Brane
03-18-2006, 08:07 PM
You certainly can have an internal DVD writer. Most name-brand drives have native support with Tiger.

Check out the drive compatibility datbase (http://forums.xlr8yourmac.com/drivedb/search.drivedb.lasso) over at AYM to see what works. Some good illustrated drive swap articles over there too. You might want to check 'em out for any small gotchas before digging in.

unclemac
03-18-2006, 10:45 PM
And welcome to Macs.

This is all good advice. If I might summorize..... Yes you can add a DVD burner, but you have to spend some time to figure out which ones will work via AYM as linked above, or buy one that is specifically sold for Macs. One of the easiest spots on the web (IMHO) to get an optical drive for a mac is right here (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/optical-drives/superdrives/powermac/).

A good spot to buy Mac video cards too.

Yup, MDDs are near perfection layout wise, unless you need to add a SCSI setup; cabling is difficult - to say the least. Keep it ATA or SATA and you will be happy. Most Macs in the last few years are equally beautiful on the inside. Watch out for laptops though, especially ibooks. Kinda like big ipods.....not really meant to be opened.

Yell if you have more questions.

TZ
03-19-2006, 06:44 AM
> 768 Mb PC2100-DDR RAM

I would upgrade to 1.5GB or even 2GB based on what you seem to be doing, and avoid PC2100 DDR233 and pick up PC2700. Prices on 512MB have never been better, either.

A nice fast boot drive, and a good backup plan, very serviceable.

x002657
03-19-2006, 11:07 AM
You will want to add a Pioneer 110 or 111 from NewEgg, Zipzoomfly or the likes. The MDD's can take 2 internal opticals (even two DVD Burners!) something even the G5's cant do. I think its a mistake for 'software' reasons to buy an external Firewire DVD drive. Some of Apple's Apps. require the drive to be on the native bus. (I still think this is the case, but I may be wrong).

I prefer Firmtek's cards over Sonnet's (Firmtek's are bootable)... but watch SSC only drives. (think the Hitachi is fine).

What video card (assume you have the GeforceMX?) You may want to upgrade to a 9600 or a 9800 from ATI so you have Core Image support... Even a 9600 and a 9200 would gain you tremendous monitor real estate (4 Monitors, 2 per card).

Think about moving your HD's to an external SATA box, keeps the MDD nice and cool. Also load CHUD 3.5.2 (found on the Accelerate your Mac system reviews). Then click the Nap box... effectively throttling the CPU's when not needed.

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/feedback/MDD_CHUD_feedback.html#storytop

Is your Camera Firewire 800? If not then that is a wasted slot / purchase, Firewire is just... well... not going anywhere... Use SATA for Storage.

THANKS to all for the quick replies.

checked out FirmTek's SeriTek/1eVE4 vs Sonnet Tempo-X for external use. Seems FirmTek doesn't support Port Multiplying while Sonnet does, but OTOH Sonnet is not bootable. (I think bootability would be something I could find use for in the future). I also like the ability to configure a RAID via software.
Considered a "Burly" enclosure, but Burlys support PM while the FirmTeks do not. (Now I have to choose another enclosure or drop back 10 and punt...what a quandary).

One review I read of the 1eVE4 card at AMUG mentions "the fastest SATA striped RAID set performance is still achieved by using the "single cable per drive method".
Not sure what that means, i.e. using a 4-bay enclosure, are there 4 cables that run between the enclosure and the adapter? That strikes me as odd/cumbersome. Thus far, I've been under the impression that with a 4-external-port adapter (the 1eVE4), I could connect 4 different multi-drive enclosures - 1 to each port. Have I misunderstood that entirely? Or can that only be done with adapters & enclosures that provide PM support?

As for Hitachi vs other drives, seems some Hitachi models come with SSC turned on. (Will be careful there...thanks again). Not married to Hitachi, so may go with Seagate instead.

Seems no vendor makes everything I need/want...arrghh!

My video card is nVidia GeForce4 MX. My prior post was wrong...it does support dual monitors; I just didn't look close enough, and since I have only 1 monitor, I wasn't paying attention.

You're also right about the heat in the G4. Could serve as a hand-warmer on a cold day, even with only the single 50Gb hard drive in it now.

As for the camera, I'm not sure if it's FW800. Trying to get an answer to that question. If it turns out to be, I'd expect to gain the benefit of offloading video faster than with FW400, especially with a SATA II RAID.

I also intend to get a scanner, and would like it to be usable on either my G4 or a Windows machine. Wouldn't Firewire help achieve that? (I'm presuming that before long we'll see such peripherals supporting FW800...though I have no idea how long before they might hit the market). While the G4 supports native FW400, I'm quickly becoming "greedy to be speedy" and thought getting FW800 might help prep me for some of those peripherals.

As for memory, I suspected the PC2700 would be better. If I'm going to do this, I may as well do it right.

(Lastly, I feel some of my uncertainty is due to the descriptions of some of the hardware, i.e. a scanner I have in mind is described as supporting "high-speed Firewire", but when I look closely at the spec sheet, it mentions IEEE1394, but doesn't mention IEEE1394a or b. More-specific info from vendors would be much more helpful).

THANKS again for suffering through my "newbieness."

TZ
03-19-2006, 11:38 AM
One review I read of the 1eVE4 card at AMUG mentions "the fastest SATA striped RAID set performance is still achieved by using the "single cable per drive method".
Not sure what that means, i.e. using a 4-bay enclosure, are there 4 cables that run between the enclosure and the adapter? That strikes me as odd/cumbersome. Thus far, I've been under the impression that with a 4-external-port adapter (the 1eVE4), I could connect 4 different multi-drive enclosures - 1 to each port. Have I misunderstood that entirely? Or can that only be done with adapters & enclosures that provide PM support?

As for Hitachi vs other drives, seems some Hitachi models come with SSC turned on. (Will be careful there...thanks again). Not married to Hitachi, so may go with Seagate instead.

PC2700 is 'backward compatible" and people like Crucial (and 'Gurus) find it is more reliable etc, plus no one makes PC2100 anymore. Might even opt for PC3200.

The AMUG article pointed out ~16% hit when using multiple drives on port multiplier, sharing one channel with multiple drives.

Your G4 is limited to ~220MB/sec for your RAID. Four drives can easily hit that @ 55MB/sec which is less than most SATA peak performance of 65MB/sec.

There is a lot of information on SATA drives in the FAQ. Most Hitachi drives today do NOT have SSC enabled - that was a full year ago when that surfaced (though it has resurfaced with other drives since then, too).

FW scanners are FW400 (and USB2). I would be surprised to find one that was 45MB/sec or beyond, what UW SCSI once was.