viva PowerPC

Another SSD test in PowerMac G5

Almost a year ago I briefly tried a SSD drive in PowerMac G5. It was quite cheap 64GB OCZ Agility 3 which I bought for my Intel iMac and now I'm using it in my PC laptop. In one afternoon you can't quite grasp all the benefits of this type of disk, so when I had the possibility of testing much better SSD drive for a bit longer, I did.

The drive was Intel 320 series with the capacity of 120GB. According to specifications it is capable of 270MB/s in continuous read and about 220MB/s in continuous write, which is more than three times as much as my ordinary SATA HDD and in fact far beyond of possibilities of integrated SATA controller in PowerMac G5. But numbers do not matter on 8-years old hardware anymore. Much more important is the overall feeling of using the computer and I must say - this SSD brought the whole computer to a completely new level.

Mac OS X 10.5 was up in the desktop in about 20 seconds after the startup chime. Most of the time dock didn't even bother to animate icon bounces, since any application started almost instantly. Even notorious "icon bouncers" like iTunes or Safari did just jump up and then they were already running. CPU demanding tasks were still CPU demanding, but there was almost no idle time, with CPU was doing nothing, just waiting for data to load. Yes, the performance will degrade with time, because OS X 10.5 doesn't have any support for TRIM, but even if the speed is half of this, it still would be nothing short of amazing. Linux on the other hand has support for TRIM, so the blazing speed will be more or less the same even if you fill SSD with data (another reason to try it).

I have returned this drive to its owner last week after a month of testing and I already miss it - the system now seems to be somehow sluggish. If you have the opportunity to buy one for a good price (right now it costs on Amazon about as much as a PM G5 in good shape would cost on eBay), do it. It will breath a new life in your hardware.

Your comments: 4

[1] F6 (August 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM CEST)
Still on my i5 mac mini upgrade list but not so important, so maybe some day i'll get it, when the warranty expires.
[2] Logout (August 28, 2013 at 1:40 PM CEST)
Well, on i5 you would get the full speed of SATA drive, since it has SATA3 controller. It would be more than twice as fast as what you have in there now. But still, SSDs are not cheap...
[3] blaBbla (June 10, 2014 at 2:50 PM CEST)
I tried so badly to get 2x SSD running on my G5 Quad, but my Mac OS installation would always crash by the end. I think it's because of SATA III compatibility. =(

I returned the SSDs and now I run two 7200rpm platters in RAID 0, getting 120MB/s... not too bad.
[4] blaBbla (August 11, 2014 at 4:46 PM CEST)
I got the same pair of intel SSDs, and in RAID they scream!

Now I've undone the RAID and one boots debian, the other one Tiger and Leopard.

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