SATA PCI Controller Card Versus On-Board SATA

Hi, i have a very expensive mobo and i dont want to change it. So i am asking if it will decrease (in any way) my performance using the PCI bus(it's not PCI express BTW).

On my pci bus i have :
Creative Sound blaster audigy 2
Creative 56k modem
Cheap network card

If the network card is too much, please note that i could switch to on-board Network.

The problem is maybe the sound card because if i play games, i will have my primary master drive on PCI to SATA and my SB audigy card running BOTH at the same time. Will it decrease the performance?
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  1. Most on-board solutions actually use the PCI bus anyway, so there probably won't be much difference. Why would you not want to use the on-board SATA ports? (I'm assuming you have some, or I'm misunderstanding your question)..

    I don't think you'll hurt performance much. PCI gives around 133 Mb/s of total bandwidth, Your modem will take very little of that (<1Mb/S), and I wouldn't expect your Sound card to take much either, as it'll be receiving quite simple instructions and then applying whatever effects are necessary largely on its own hardware before spitting out audio. Let's over-estimate and say 10Mb/s (I could be completely wrong, but I'd be shocked if it used more than this). this still leaves you with 120Mb/s of bandwidth.

    The fastest ATA hard drives available struggle to give bursts of 80Mb/s, so unless you're running multiple disks in RAID 0, it shouldn't be a problem. Even if you are, you're very unlikely to actually have any problems most of the time.

    Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
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  2. For the first comment, no i don't have any on board sata,
    I have the P4T533 (rambus) board...
    It's old but it's good.

    The bandwidth seems to be okay... In another point of view, is the raw speed, in MHZ, of the pci(33mhz) can affect the data rate? because it is onboard, it's not suposed to use my front side bus (533mhz)...

    I'll give you a website that sale that kind of extension card :

    another thing, the maxtor's sata drives have a Data transfer rate Up to 150MB/sec, the same as the pci extension.

    Theoricaly, we are losing 17 mb/s, but all this bandwidth is maybe not worth it... As a gamer, i would like to know how much in bandwith would my HD take if i play far cry (doom 3 or half life 2), considering my 500 MB of ram, bringing a LOT of swap under windows XP.

    Very technical indeed :) I can advance speculations but in my point of view, by adding all those factors above, will it delivers the same performance? If possible can you give a percentage of loss, if applicable.

    Thanks for answering
  3. In theory the SATA interface allows up to 150MB/s - you're correct there, but in practice a single Hard disk simply can't deliver a sustained rate anything like as fast - It's a physical limit - anything with Moving parts is going to be limited by the speed at which those parts move, and at the moment the fastest ATA hard disks spin at 10,000RPM and that is still only good enough for 80MB/s or so.

    The only way to get faster data transfer is to use 2 or more disks in a RAID 0 array, or use solid state data storage of some kind (so no moving parts at all). Both those options are expensive, and a RAID 0 array is both expensive and not a very 'safe' way of storing data - lose one disk and you lose everything.

    Basically the <i>only</i> advantage SATA has over the older ATA133 standard (when using a single drive) is the thinner, longer, more flexible cables.

    Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
    Summer's here! so ease off the overclock...
    XP1700+ @166x12 (~2Ghz), 1.475 Vcore
    2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL 2-2-2-4
    Sapphire 9800Pro 400/730
  4. yeah good points... and an inconvenient to SATA is that the technology isn't ready Yet, the matter here isn't all about bandwidth but of raw speed(RPM) or/and functionnality like 8mb of cache or simply physical enhancement.

    Everything on the market comes prematured for nothing like 256mb ram on graphic, SATA 150,Athlon 64, PCI-Xpress and more...

    I'll stay with my 40GO maxtor then :)
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