SATA External drives and G4 iBook and Mac Mini

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
I googled and can't quite find the answers I need, so I turn to the fine folks here

I have a 12" 1.33GHz iBook G4 last PPC model and a Mac Mini 1.5GHz again, last PPC model.

I'd like to get some external hard drives for them. I know they'll take IDE (PATA) drives, but these are getting to be rare and expensive(!) as SATA drives take over. Here are my questions:

1) Will a SATA external drive work with my PPC G4 gear?

2) Do I need to buy a special enclosure for the SATA/SATAII drives that is different from the regular FW/USB IDE enclosures?

3) Can I connect the SATA enclosure to my PPC iBook and PPC Mac Mini with just regular FW or USB or do I need some kind of adapter? For example, I see this Addonics USB 2.0 to eSATA adapter:

but I don't know if that's just for SATA enclosures that have the special eSATA plug or is it relevant if all I want is to connect through FW or USB?

Thank you for your answers!


  • Reply 1 of 2
    mrtotesmrtotes Posts: 760member
    It doesn't matter if the External Hard Drive is using IDE/ATA or SATA internally so long as it is bridged to Firewire for use by your iBook/Mini.

    Firewire is faster than USB2.0 for sustained data transfer and critically for PowerPC (G4) Macs Firewire is needed to boot the Mac if the internal hard drive fails (Oxford Firewire chipsets are recommended Prolific are not).

    Have a look at OWC for good Firewire drives that use the Oxford Chipset.

    Also check out SuperDuper for cloning your OS to the external for back-up purposes.

    The adaptor you link to is only useful if you wish to use an eSATA device.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    Thank you mrtotes, that was extremely informative!

    I already have SuperDuper, and I'll pay attention to the Oxford chipset. One thing I did notice was that in general while SATA drives are getting cheaper than IDE drives, the SATA enclosures *with FW* are way, way more expensive than IDE enclosures with FW+USB. Further, sometimes you find a SATA enclosure with FW, and it'll be only one port, so you can't daisy chain through FW, meanwhile IDE USB+FW most of the time have two FW ports. So, the packages of OEM SATA + FW enclosure are more expensive than the packages of OEM IDE + FW enclosure. At least in my experience so far - of course, things may change, at which point it's good to have the info you just gave me, should I spot some remarkable deals
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