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Ask Max: PowerMac G4 Upgrades - 250GB HardDrive

Asked on 01/22/2009:

I have a G4/450 PowerMac and want to upgrade to a 250 GB disk drive, which is of course beyond the 128GB limit of the onboard controller. I understand that one can use a PCI controller to do this, but I don't know what to look for. Can you just buy a generic (read: PC) PCI disk controller, or is there a special Mac variety? Does PowerMax have any of these things lying around? If not, where might I find one?


It is best to use Mac-specific PCI hard drive controllers, although some generic PC cards will work. These days I recommend that you but a PCI SATA controller card for drive expansion. Not only are these available with Mac support, but your investment in hard drives will be transferable to your future Apple computers. I am fond of Sonnet Tech adapter cards for older Macs and I think this SATA card would work well for you.

When ordering a hard drive for this configuration, make sure it has both Legacy and Serial ATA power. Otherwise consider getting the Sonnet Serial ATA Cable Kit.

Low End Mac has a great G4 Power Mac Upgrade Guide with loads of information specs relating to G4 Power Mac Upgrades.

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