Best HD replacement for vintage Macs? - Storage

This is a discussion on Best HD replacement for vintage Macs? - Storage ; Hi, I have an old IIfx and a Quadra 840av that I'd like to get cleaned up and working optimally again. Part of that involves getting larger and faster hard drives on both of them. So here's my questions, if ...

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  1. Best HD replacement for vintage Macs?

    Hi,
    I have an old IIfx and a Quadra 840av that I'd like to get cleaned up and
    working optimally again. Part of that involves getting larger and faster
    hard drives on both of them. So here's my questions, if any seasoned pros
    out there can share some experience with a relative newbie/novice. ;-)

    1) Is there any benefit to using more modern 10,000 rpm (for example,
    Seagate Cheetah) drives on these older systems? With SCSI drives pretty
    cheap on EBay, I'd like to get the fastest drive that would have any
    effective speed benefit for these old boxes. I know there is a limit on the
    bus speed on both of them, so am I assuming there isn't much good to be
    gained by getting anything faster than a 5400rpm drive... any suggestions?
    What would be too much?

    2) Most modern drives available are the faster 80 pin (Ultra 2?) variety (or
    at least 68 pin), but the Macs take 50 pin internally. Are there any
    Mac-specific "gotchas" to watch out for on getting adapters? Anything I
    should stay away from?

    3) Is there any benefit on getting a faster SCSI nubus card to use in place
    of the default internal SCSI connection? If so, any idea on where to find
    one?

    Thanks, any advice would be appreciated!
    Shawn



  2. Re: Best HD replacement for vintage Macs?

    In article <%Dhmb.56$GP2.22@newssvr23.news.prodigy.com>, SMT wrote:
    >
    > 1) Is there any benefit to using more modern 10,000 rpm (for example,

    If they are like my Performas. You don't want a "Heater" Many
    older 10,000rpm drives will need active cooling. Being your bus only
    goes at the max of 5MB/s you would not gain much in speed. My advice
    is to stay with the 5400/7200 crowd. There is very little room in most
    of these cases for the added heat to be easily removed. You could
    "cook" your new "heater". If you DO want a "Heater" mount it in its
    own case with fans. Leave your Mac "hdless" and just mount all of your
    drives externally.
    > 2) Most modern drives available are the faster 80 pin (Ultra 2?) variety (or
    > at least 68 pin), but the Macs take 50 pin internally. Are there any

    Hardware wise I don't think you will have problems on the
    hardware side. Just be aware. that MOST of these drives do NOT have
    termination options. They would be dependent on possibly the
    termination provided by the adaptor. Ditto if you decided to go with
    the 80 Pin variety. Now formatting these drives as I found when I put
    a 3rd party 50 Pin Scsi in my Mac is that the drive setup tools will
    need some adjustment to partition and initalize the disk. The change
    is fairly trivial with ResEdit. (Make a backup and work on your copy
    of drive setup and NOT your original!)
    > 3) Is there any benefit on getting a faster SCSI nubus card to use in place

    I don't think there is such a beast. But.. if there is.. more
    than likely you won't see it being much faster. The price of such a
    rare nubus card may make it more EXPENSIVE than the drives themselves.
    Save your NuBus slots for other useful things such as a Ethernet card.

    --
    From the Desk of the Sysop of:
    Planet Maca's Opus, a Free open BBS system.
    Telephone 860-738-7176 300-33.6kbps Telnet://pinkrose.pinkrose.net.dhis.org
    The New Cnews maintainer
    B'ichela


  3. Re: Best HD replacement for vintage Macs?

    SMT wrote:

    > I have an old IIfx and a Quadra 840av that I'd like to get cleaned up
    > and working optimally again. Part of that involves getting larger
    > and faster hard drives on both of them. So here's my questions, if
    > any seasoned pros out there can share some experience with a relative
    > newbie/novice. ;-)
    >
    > 1) Is there any benefit to using more modern 10,000 rpm (for example,
    > Seagate Cheetah) drives on these older systems? With SCSI drives
    > pretty cheap on EBay, I'd like to get the fastest drive that would
    > have any effective speed benefit for these old boxes. I know there
    > is a limit on the bus speed on both of them, so am I assuming there
    > isn't much good to be gained by getting anything faster than a
    > 5400rpm drive... any suggestions? What would be too much?


    10k and 15k drives will bring You a bit of improvement of You use programs
    that do a lot of non-sequential reading. As for the transefer rate, since
    this is limited to slow 5MB/s on the old Macs You won't see any higher
    throughput.

    Heat can be a problem, too. I don't know the innards of these old Macs but
    if there is no airflow at the HD's position it might get a bit hot. But on
    the other side most current 10k drives are cooler than most of the old
    5400rpm HDs, and they often can widthstand higer temps than the old drives,
    so heat is mostly not a problem. But You also should be aware that most of
    the current 10k and 15k drives are server drives that don't like getting
    switched on/off every day. They are made for continuous operation and a
    relative low start/stop cycles, so You might experience a short liftime when
    switching the computers on and off every day.

    I'd recommend to go for one of the cheap 7200rpm drives as these are fast
    enough, cool enough, and mostly made for desktop use.

    > 2) Most modern drives available are the faster 80 pin (Ultra 2?)
    > variety (or at least 68 pin), but the Macs take 50 pin internally.
    > Are there any Mac-specific "gotchas" to watch out for on getting
    > adapters?


    No, not really.

    Benjamin



  4. Re: Best HD replacement for vintage Macs?

    "SMT" writes:
    >
    > 1) Is there any benefit to using more modern 10,000 rpm (for
    > example, Seagate Cheetah) drives on these older systems?


    You might see some minor speed improvements, but nothing
    significant. Keep in mind that your internal SCSI bus isn't very
    fast on a IIfx or Q840av. And even a replacement SCSI card won't
    help, since NuBus isn't that fast.

    And a 10K drive will generate a lot more heat. Your case probably
    doesn't move enough air over the drive to keep it cool.

    I'd go with a 5400rpm or 7200rpm drive.

    > 2) Most modern drives available are the faster 80 pin (Ultra 2?)
    > variety (or at least 68 pin), but the Macs take 50 pin internally.
    > Are there any Mac-specific "gotchas" to watch out for on getting
    > adapters? Anything I should stay away from?


    80-pin ("SCA") is an all-in-one connector that includes the 68 pins
    of wide-SCSI, power, and some configuration. It's meant for use in
    hot-swappable drive arrays, but has some popularity outside of that
    realm.

    68-pin is wide SCSI. Most modern drives are of the Ultra2 and Ultra3
    (aka Ultra160) variety. These are wide standards. You can use an
    adapter, but you have to be careful to use the right kind of cable
    and adapter in order to properly terminate the bus.

    If you're trying to put a 68-pin drive on a 50-pin bus, you'll need
    an adapter that has a built-in "half terminator". One that can
    terminate the unused 18 pins. Otherwise the drive will act flaky.
    These can be gotten, but you may have to do some searching.

    > 3) Is there any benefit on getting a faster SCSI nubus card to use
    > in place of the default internal SCSI connection? If so, any idea
    > on where to find one?


    It will help. NuBus (IIRC) is 40MHz at 8-bit, so you've got a
    theoretical top speed of 40M/s. Compared with the built-in SCSI
    bus's theoretical top speed of 5 or 10M/s. Of course, nobody ever
    reaches the theoretical top speed, so actual performance will be
    less.

    Is it worth it? That's a matter of opinion. If you can find a card
    with a 68-pin bus, it would be worth it just so you can get rid of
    any adapters. I don't know how much of a speedup you'll have in
    actual practice, since you're talking about relatively slow computers.

    As for where to find one, I'd suggest flea markets and eBay. I doubt
    anybody still manufactures these.

    -- David

  5. Re: Best HD replacement for vintage Macs?

    Great advice everyone... thanks! I really appreciate it.

    Shawn
    "SMT" wrote in message
    news:%Dhmb.56$GP2.22@newssvr23.news.prodigy.com...
    > Hi,
    > I have an old IIfx and a Quadra 840av that I'd like to get cleaned up and
    > working optimally again. Part of that involves getting larger and faster
    > hard drives on both of them. So here's my questions, if any seasoned pros
    > out there can share some experience with a relative newbie/novice. ;-)
    >
    > 1) Is there any benefit to using more modern 10,000 rpm (for example,
    > Seagate Cheetah) drives on these older systems? With SCSI drives pretty
    > cheap on EBay, I'd like to get the fastest drive that would have any
    > effective speed benefit for these old boxes. I know there is a limit on

    the
    > bus speed on both of them, so am I assuming there isn't much good to be
    > gained by getting anything faster than a 5400rpm drive... any suggestions?
    > What would be too much?
    >
    > 2) Most modern drives available are the faster 80 pin (Ultra 2?) variety

    (or
    > at least 68 pin), but the Macs take 50 pin internally. Are there any
    > Mac-specific "gotchas" to watch out for on getting adapters? Anything I
    > should stay away from?
    >
    > 3) Is there any benefit on getting a faster SCSI nubus card to use in

    place
    > of the default internal SCSI connection? If so, any idea on where to find
    > one?
    >
    > Thanks, any advice would be appreciated!
    > Shawn
    >
    >




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