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Classic Mac Hardware (Troubleshooting, Upgrading, & Modifying) => Storage Technologies => Topic started by: FBz on May 21, 2022, 11:21:21 AM

Title: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: FBz on May 21, 2022, 11:21:21 AM
Blame this one on IIO. ;)

He and I are considering the possibility of SIX SSDs inside a Quicksilver… using an ACARD 6280M or Sonnet Tempo ATA 133. As opposed to the now rare and very expensive 4-port SATA cards. Sure, 10-15% decrease in overall performance compared to the SATA card route, but perhaps more economically viable? Here’s a spitballin’ exchange considering some things…

Almost all HD’s and SSDs are not permanently mounted here either… as they are swapped in and out quite often between various machines. And I’ve only had the first Sonnet Tempo here connected and tested in the G3 B&W. (Amazing performance with the B&W and the Sonnet in the 66 MHz PCI video slot.) Really made the B&W surprisingly better. Thanks to zefrenchtoon!,6127.msg46159.html#msg46159
If only same could apply to the MDD and QS! (Will soon test here in Quicksilvers and MDDs - hopefully, but woefully… not in their video slots.)

Suitable adapters and possible mounting for multiple SSDs a QS with the ACARD or Sonnet Tempo ATA133?

As combined height of the adapters becomes more of a concern with multiple, stacked SSDs AND all the necessary ribbon cables also become a concern… MAYBE the Bribges (EVB-002-3) adapters might be the best choice especially when considering Master & Slave reqs. (Previous performance comparisons against the red StarTech adapters make them a better value / choice because they are not that different performance-wise.) Now their cost savings becomes even more valid? AND their minimum overall height (and with the necessary spacing between - when combined) in stacked SSDs... becomes paramount.

With two SSDs on a cable in the past, I’ve simply used a plastic shim cut-to-size (from common milk cartons) to keep the SSDs separate. (Especially if I have removed them from their external plastic cases. i.e. “Naked”.) And “Naked” might also be considered here, to promote air flow around each stacked SSD in a more permanent and “fixed” installation.

HOWEVER - left in their individual cases (in this scenario)… first I considered white styrofoam (cut-to-size and necessary thickness) placed between the SSDs. The SSDs don’t get as hot as normal HDs but they do get warm. Solid styrofoam shims / spacers, in this manner - would not allow airflow between the SSDs. So I think that some “more porous” material (sponge-like) might be more suitable, as it would allow some airflow and possibly more heat dissipation?

But perhaps even better… would be individual spacers (like small, adhesive-backed rubber feet) applied to the bottom of each SSD’s four corners - to space each SSD from the next, as they’re stacked together, at a thickness that would keep each adapter just slightly apart (really not necessary) from the next one above it?

I’ve various thicknesses of suitable, composite rubber material that I could cut and mock-up for this approach. And… applied with a rubber cement adhesive, these could then also be easily removed if the SSD ever needed replacing or removal and use in another machine. Stacked SSDs assembled in this manner could then be bound all together with two bands of electrical tape (or other tape / rubber bands) to keep them together in a minimum, combined height - which might allow four to be stacked (with optimal clearance above them) when placed flat within a QS or other machine.

Then… molex power connections and all those wires might also need some “attention”. Custom made / fabricated wiring power harnesses for such multiple SSD “assemblies” might be also then be easily constructed. One with four molex connectors (spliced in series) for the “four-stack” and one with two connectors for the “two-stack”.

HD / SSD Ribbon cables.

Nice if you could make up your own custom length ribbon cables. ;)

But this is perhaps where the shorter, two-connector (master/slave) grey ribbon cables from the B&Ws might be of use on the bottom two SSDs of a four-stack. (That’s two SSDs connected to mobo and two connected to the ACARD / Sonnet). And depending upon which slot the ACARD / Sonnet occupies… either another grey cable for the top two SSDs, or the longer, black ribbon cable from an MDD if necessary. AND then… another cable (from the ACARD / Sonnet) for the two-stack, placed alongside the four-stack .

There’s going to be a lot of wires & cables for six SSDs.
What “volume size” SSDs are you considering?

And for final mounting / in-case placement? Velcro on the bottom SSDs!
(An original DieHard concept.)

This reminds me of those filling up their machines with as many conventional HDDs that they can and thereby increasing internal heat and combined power strain on their PSUs… and wondering why those machines run so hot and the PSUs fail. EXCEPT that SSDs require less power and generate MUCH less heat. With the “Six-Banger” SSD equipped G4 - one might even consider the use of an ADC powered Apple monitor. (Not really.) ::)

Performance Optimized G4s!!!
PSUs are less strained and fans needn’t run as much or faster speeds!

Afterwords / Errata

(3) Bribge adapters stacked together, equal 2 inches in height.
Clearance space under the Quicksilver’s main fan is 2.375 inches.
So, in order to possibly use a four-stack of SSDs under the QS fan without fan modification, it might be necessary to have one (or the top two) SSDs be “Naked” as they would then clear the bottom of the fan case because they would then not need be under the fan (minus the length of a normal SSD’s plastic case).

OR perhaps a “Five-Banger” / minus one Slave SSD connected to the mobo, which would allow 3 SSDs under the fan in their original plastic cases.

See Naked:,5955.msg44444.html#msg44444

Okay, you've read this far. Any comments or suggestions? C'mon y'all.
Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: IIO on May 21, 2022, 01:07:30 PM
sure, just blame everything on IIO. if he could, he would probably add 180 TB to his very vintage quicksilver.

unlike some other things we´ve recently discussed about harddisks, this one is less about technical issues but more about "how to install all the stuff in the computer case."

sure, there is plenty of space to fit 6 SSD into a quicksilver, you can easily put 50 SSDs into a quicksilver it if required.
more of an issue is the adapters and cables.

attaching 2 SSDs with cheap green adapters is great. you simply attach them to the boards´s IDE bus, put them in the default location. it is in fact less work than using "professional" 3.5" to 2.5" adapters (some of which cost 50 euros where the cheap adapters are around 5 euros)

the IDE cable will hold the SSDs automatically in place and that keeps working perfectly when you open and close the door.

you just have to make sure that the two adapters cant touch each other, and you are done.
but using a 6280M in addition you would have to deal with 2 additional IDE cables and 4 additional SATA adapters.

the PCI card will be right above the IDE port so its cable will cover the ones below. but you can not put more than 2 SSDs under the fan - because that space is of course required for the PCI cards when the PC is closed. :)

in a worst case scenario you have full length PCI cards in slots 2, 3, and 4, so that in the front and center area of the QS (where the regular HD trays sit, i have removed these trays anyways) you can only place ~3 SSDs (with adapters mounted to them directly) each.

(the "better" cheap green adapters are bigger than the bribges), but of course you can stack them with offsets.
it would be cool to find a simple DIY system how to have all adapters somehow mounted at the botton of the machine, and then lead the 6 SATA cables from there to the SSDs - which would reside on (or in) the optical cage. i am thinking something 3-D printer here.

Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: IIO on May 21, 2022, 01:09:30 PM
in the same context one more question.

are there readymade solutions for having a switch in the (molex or sata) power cables to turn devices on and off? would it be "safe" to build one myself?
Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: IIO on May 21, 2022, 01:38:01 PM
old style with SATA card

 - 8 TB
 - hard to find (and 4-port card impossible to find)
 - easy to install

Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: IIO on May 21, 2022, 02:02:09 PM
new style, going back to IDE card

 - slightly slower
 - 12 TB (+ 50%)
 - physical installation needs some brainwork if you are a perfectionist but don´t want to spend 100 bucks on it
 - installation in an MDD (with a total of 8-10 SATA adapters) is even more complicated

you can power all 6 adapters from P2, P5 or P6 (in the case of SSDs - dont do this for spinners)

Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: DieHard on May 21, 2022, 03:38:33 PM
Wow IIO,

That is the coolest multiple SATA Power from a single Molex Power that I ever saw !


Here on Amazon:
Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: IIO on May 21, 2022, 04:10:39 PM
yeah, that is why i bought one last year, simply because it´s cool.

though i probably will never need 5 because the green sata converters all want you to give them their individual molex. :(
fixed the images.
Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: IIO on May 21, 2022, 05:07:45 PM
i still have one of these (but once did not get it to work with optical drvies).

mabye 4 of these are more useful than the 4 green ones with silly custom enclosures?

in an MDD you could attach 10 SSDs with a single PCI card and there is really no space where to put all the adapters.

it has the master/slave/CS magic so you could use 10 of these and tighten them with cable ties to the biggest converter block in history. :D

but they are 14 euro / USD 22, and do not lead through the power, so you´d have even more cables.

Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: refinery on May 21, 2022, 05:58:57 PM
If you don't need your optical drive, IcyDock makes a quad 2.5 to 5.25 bay adapter.
Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: IIO on May 21, 2022, 06:46:17 PM
there is plenty of space on top of the optical, but i always liked the idea to have a front-loader for SSDs.

this would open up new possibilities for data management; you would simply use one or more of the slots as "removeable" drives.

do you think you can open the trays from the front without to have to cut the plastic panel completely through?

for 80 euros it might be worth the effort, especially in an MDD with its more internal ports.

Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: IIO on May 21, 2022, 07:00:06 PM
okay... wow.

Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” Spitballin’
Post by: FBz on May 22, 2022, 12:28:25 PM
Now “going back” here a bit…

Had to remove PCI card slot 5’s cover plate to peer into the QS to see actual (door closed) alignment with the fan shroud. (I’ve never used more than 4 of the PCI slots in any QS here and only slot 5 - IF I want something connected out, closest to tabletop / floor level.) So eliminating the use of slot 5, there just might be enough clearance for 4 Bribges and their attached SSDs - especially if the top one is “Naked”.

OR, for that matter… one could simply *trim / cut the excess length of case from the SSD and leave their backs open. Only “partially naked” / open only on their “backsides”… which would facilitate placing them further back from the door hinge and mobo AND not under the fan.

*Of course, likely voiding individual SSD warranties.

All the above, with the ACARD or Sonnet in PCI slot (4?) this might just facilitate the use of the (2) short ribbon cables. One for the bottom two SSDs attached to the mobo and one on the closest-to-the-back connector on the ACARD / Sonnet (attached to the top two SSDs). Seems that the ACARD is “longer” than the Sonnet and its’ back connector (“IDE 2”?) is placed a bit further from the back (more towards the front)… which would possibly help with its’ second ribbon cable connection being a bit closer to the front of the machine… which could be a “positive” for the ‘two-stack” of SSDs’ ribbon cable - next to the four-stack.?

I just pitched 4 empty Inland plastic SSD cases last week, thinking I wouldn’t need them… or I would mock-up this concept. But here’s a “naked” SSD with Bribge adapter, placed on top of an Inland for spacing (and OWC) SSD to show just how much might be trimmed from an SSD’s case for placement in this scenario. That 2.25” measurement should be considered nominal and should be noted as “+/-“ depending upon your specific SSD. (If you’ve not opened one and checked internal dimensions.)


So a 4-Stack SSD “pod” might provide a “footprint” of only just over two-and-an-eighth inches between the door hinge and the fan shroud. And w/ a total, estimated height of 2.66 inches. (Let’s say 2.75”.) With no card in the the #5 PCI slot, this just might work?

I don’t know about any ready-made, on-off switches for molex power connectors. And while I believe that one could “build” / install an on-off switch I wonder about the need for two switches as the connectors have a 5V and 12V leg. (All while thinking that the SSD does not use or need the 12 volts.) Which brings up something else related that I’ve been pondering and have slated to test. As most SSDs require 5 volts, some 1.8” SSDs use 3.3 volts. Surely the IDE / SATA bridge adapters step-down this voltage where needed?

Have been testing 44-pin adapters in the Mac Mini and one type (the AS331 / V1.5’s) work very well - but they’re now scarce. Another similar adapter type (the MCA004 / V1.3’s) are problematic and do not work well at all in the mini. So I’m wondering if the latter only provides 3.3 volts… which might cause the funky boot & run problems in the mini? Does V1.5 denote 5 volts while the V1.3 means 3.3 volts? If so this might explain the problems had with SSDs in the mini due to under-powered situation. Yeah, the DMM with needle leads… will be used on each adapter’s connections to see which voltages are actually present on both (“OUT” to the SSD).


There now, I’ve veered slightly off-topic?

Yet again, while still concerned about all those necessary cables… I wondered about round cables (instead of the flat ribbon cables). All ready-made round cable solutions that I found are pretty pricey. Suppose that anyone might make up their own (given enough time and patience) BUT with a 2-Stack (pod) next to a 4-Stack (pod) we’re only looking at two more flat, data cables running to 4 more adapters (given the above case-trimming approach). The molex power connections do not worry me as I can (fairly) easily approach & remedy that.

AND while I am quite fond of the RXD-629A7-7 adapters, the Bribge adapters do seem better suited for this somewhat limited-space adventure.

Okay, that’s enough outta me for now.
Time permitting, maybe I’ll eventually pick up some more Inland SSDs and give this all a try.
I’ve got another (new to me) Sonnet Tempo ATA 133 to test that I need to get to ASAP.

Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: IIO on May 22, 2022, 01:32:48 PM
yeah, if everyrthing else fails one might consider to open the SSDs to save some space.

otoh, it will probably be easier to staple enclosures.

the main issue is the IDE cables from the PCI card, anyway. it is so ugly to bend those around corners.

the other nasty thing is the upright format of those cheap adapters.
Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: IIO on May 30, 2022, 04:41:21 PM
so, as usual i mixed up m/s and c/s vs. QS and MDD ... that means that the above images are wrong.

the minimum requirement for both buses in the quicksilver as well as for the ACARD 133 controller is each 1 SATA converter with no jumpers at all and 1 with master/slave set to slave.
Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: IIO on May 30, 2022, 04:45:34 PM
hell, it is more annoying to put those extra IDE cables and 4 non-isolated adapters into a QS than i was hoping - despite all the free room you have in a QS to mount extra stuff.

"round" (textile fibre wrapped) IDE cables are not of much help here, you will have to bend those even more (and more uncontrolled) than regular flat ones.
Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: zefrenchtoon on May 31, 2022, 04:37:25 AM
Maybe there is something to look for in this way ...

(Sorry, still in french, I love this guy as he is always trying stupid things)  -afro-

and mixing it with this:
Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: IIO on May 31, 2022, 01:21:27 PM
yeah, this is great.

but it would be much better if that would work with cards like this.

somehow i am afraid that it would need a dedicated OS9 firmware.^^

Title: Re: “SIX-BANGER” SSD QS - Spitballin’
Post by: IIO on May 31, 2022, 01:23:00 PM
oh wow, i did not see your second link yet!
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