SATA drive performance?

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

Hello, All!

Planning my future purchases presents a question about SATA drives. All of
the info I read when these came out indicated you would pay more and get no
discernible improvement in performance. Now that things have matured a bit,
what is the experience here on SATA drive performance vs. straight ATA/133
drives?

Thanks.

Colonel Blip.
E-mail: colonel.blip@removethespambigfoot.com


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14 answers Last reply
More about sata drive performance
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    Colonel Blip wrote:
    > Hello, All!
    >
    > Planning my future purchases presents a question about SATA drives.
    > All of
    > the info I read when these came out indicated you would pay more and
    > get no discernible improvement in performance. Now that things have
    > matured a bit,
    > what is the experience here on SATA drive performance vs. straight
    > ATA/133
    > drives?


    The same.

    Performance is not about the interface, it's about the drive.

    The first SATA drives were just the ATA drive with an ATA to SATA bridge.
    This could limit speed a tad, but not noticeably. Now, many drives are
    native SATA, but performance of a drive is mostly about the mechanics (seek,
    spin speed etc), and partly about caching strategies (and cache size) etc.

    I haven't looked into it for a while, but the fastast ATA drive used to be
    the 74GB WD Raptor (I have the 36GB one). This drive is only available in
    SATA, but the fact that it's the fastest is not due to the SATA interface,
    but the 10krpm spin speed.

    The cost is negligable, but the SATA wiring is much nicer, so go SATA if you
    have a SATA interface on your motherboard. Quite when ATA will be phased
    out, I wouldn't care to speculate, but that may be a consideration too.
    Although adaptors between SATA and ATA are available (in both directions, I
    think).

    As a comparison though, I have the 36GB Raptor (GD), and the 250GB SATA
    drive (JD). In terms of raw transfer speeds, they're pretty much the same.
    However, if you attempt to delete a directory of several thousands of files,
    or perform a text search in the same directory (on NTFS) - both operations
    rely heavily on seek times, then the Raptor wins hands down, you don't even
    need a benchmark program to tell the difference.

    IMHO my setup is ideal, I have a fast drive for my OS and a large drive for
    my media. If only I had the larger Raptor... :-p

    Ben
    --
    A7N8X FAQ: www.ben.pope.name/a7n8x_faq.html
    Questions by email will likely be ignored, please use the newsgroups.
    I'm not just a number. To many, I'm known as a String...
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    Hello, Ben!
    You wrote on Sun, 6 Feb 2005 13:01:53 -0000:

    Thanks. That's a big help with my thinking at this stage.

    Colonel Blip.
    E-mail: colonel.blip@removethespambigfoot.com

    BP> Colonel Blip wrote:
    ??>> Hello, All!
    BP> The same.

    BP> Performance is not about the interface, it's about the drive.

    BP> The first SATA drives were just the ATA drive with an ATA to SATA
    BP> bridge. This could limit speed a tad, but not noticeably. Now, many
    BP> drives are native SATA, but performance of a drive is mostly about the
    BP> mechanics (seek, spin speed etc), and partly about caching strategies
    BP> (and cache size) etc.

    BP> I haven't looked into it for a while, but the fastast ATA drive used to
    BP> be the 74GB WD Raptor (I have the 36GB one). This drive is only
    BP> available in SATA, but the fact that it's the fastest is not due to the
    BP> SATA interface, but the 10krpm spin speed.

    BP> The cost is negligable, but the SATA wiring is much nicer, so go SATA
    BP> if you have a SATA interface on your motherboard. Quite when ATA will
    BP> be phased out, I wouldn't care to speculate, but that may be a
    BP> consideration too. Although adaptors between SATA and ATA are available
    BP> (in both directions, I think).

    BP> As a comparison though, I have the 36GB Raptor (GD), and the 250GB SATA
    BP> drive (JD). In terms of raw transfer speeds, they're pretty much the
    BP> same. However, if you attempt to delete a directory of several
    BP> thousands of files, or perform a text search in the same directory (on
    BP> NTFS) - both operations rely heavily on seek times, then the Raptor
    BP> wins hands down, you don't even need a benchmark program to tell the
    BP> difference.

    BP> IMHO my setup is ideal, I have a fast drive for my OS and a large drive
    BP> for my media. If only I had the larger Raptor... :-p

    BP> Ben


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  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    Colonel Blip wrote:

    > Hello, All!
    >
    > Planning my future purchases presents a question about SATA drives. All of
    > the info I read when these came out indicated you would pay more and get no
    > discernible improvement in performance. Now that things have matured a bit,
    > what is the experience here on SATA drive performance vs. straight ATA/133
    > drives?

    It may be that I'm exceptionally dumb, but it's never been clear to me
    why such a serial interfaced device (SATA) should be inherently faster
    than a parallel interfaced device (IDE). I would have thought it would
    be the other way around ultimately.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    WoofWoof wrote:
    > Colonel Blip wrote:
    >
    >> Hello, All!
    >>
    >> Planning my future purchases presents a question about SATA drives.
    >> All of
    >> the info I read when these came out indicated you would pay more and
    >> get no
    >> discernible improvement in performance. Now that things have matured a
    >> bit,
    >> what is the experience here on SATA drive performance vs. straight
    >> ATA/133
    >> drives?
    >
    >
    > It may be that I'm exceptionally dumb, but it's never been clear to me
    > why such a serial interfaced device (SATA) should be inherently faster
    > than a parallel interfaced device (IDE). I would have thought it would
    > be the other way around ultimately.

    At high speeds it turns out to be easier to use a serial interface,
    because a parallel interface has problems like clock skew, where it
    becomes too difficult to ensure that all the bits arrive at the other
    end at the same time. Pretty much the same reasons why PCI Express is a
    serial-type bus (albeit with multiple lanes). Aside from that the
    cabling is a lot more convenient since fewer wires are required.

    The other thing with parallel ATA is that the signalling is a
    non-differential type with a high signalling voltage by current
    standards (5 volts), which is difficult to increase in speed with a
    reasonable cable length.

    --
    Robert Hancock Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    To email, remove "nospam" from hancockr@nospamshaw.ca
    Home Page: http://www.roberthancock.com/
  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    "Robert Hancock" <hancockr@nospamshaw.ca> wrote in message
    news:LuBNd.304697$6l.214572@pd7tw2no...
    > WoofWoof wrote:
    > > Colonel Blip wrote:
    > >
    > >> Hello, All!
    > >>
    > >> Planning my future purchases presents a question about SATA drives.
    > >> All of
    > >> the info I read when these came out indicated you would pay more and
    > >> get no
    > >> discernible improvement in performance. Now that things have matured a
    > >> bit,
    > >> what is the experience here on SATA drive performance vs. straight
    > >> ATA/133
    > >> drives?
    > >
    > >
    > > It may be that I'm exceptionally dumb, but it's never been clear to me
    > > why such a serial interfaced device (SATA) should be inherently faster
    > > than a parallel interfaced device (IDE). I would have thought it would
    > > be the other way around ultimately.
    >
    > At high speeds it turns out to be easier to use a serial interface,
    > because a parallel interface has problems like clock skew, where it
    > becomes too difficult to ensure that all the bits arrive at the other
    > end at the same time. Pretty much the same reasons why PCI Express is a
    > serial-type bus (albeit with multiple lanes). Aside from that the
    > cabling is a lot more convenient since fewer wires are required.
    >
    > The other thing with parallel ATA is that the signalling is a
    > non-differential type with a high signalling voltage by current
    > standards (5 volts), which is difficult to increase in speed with a
    > reasonable cable length.
    >

    Another factor that is significent is the abililty to use different
    controllers concurrently. If the source and destination is on the same
    controller you can have a horrendous slowdown. The ability to have 3
    separate controllers (4 counting firewire) can make a huge difference
    especially if a swap file is involved. To get maximum performance you
    should put each device on a separate controller. A drag and drop of a cd
    from a master to a slave on the same controller is 10x to 100x slower than
    to firewire drive or an SATA drive. At least that has been my observation
    on the systems I own.


    --
    =======================================================================
    Beemer Biker joestateson@grandecom.net
    http://ResearchRiders.org Ask about my 99'R1100RT
    =======================================================================
  6. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    WoofWoof wrote:
    > It may be that I'm exceptionally dumb, but it's never been clear to me
    > why such a serial interfaced device (SATA) should be inherently faster
    > than a parallel interfaced device (IDE). I would have thought it would
    > be the other way around ultimately.


    Because these serial buses use a differential pair, the effect of
    interference is greatly reduced. With parallel, you get cross-talk and and
    other ill-effects of running wires in parallel.

    Due to this you can clock it higher. A lot higher. High enough in fact
    that you don't need to use more than 1 line.

    And as already said, it's a lot easier to have a cable with 2 wires plus
    plus maybe another couple overhead than 16, 32 or 64 parallel with overhead.

    Ben
    --
    A7N8X FAQ: www.ben.pope.name/a7n8x_faq.html
    Questions by email will likely be ignored, please use the newsgroups.
    I'm not just a number. To many, I'm known as a String...
  7. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    To the OP, I always used ATA/133 drives and found myself in need of
    more storage. The only port left to install more HDs was the SATA. I
    went ahead and installed a 200GB SATA with the same specs as my
    ATA/133 drives. According to bench marks the SATA has a slower seek
    time but a much faster average read time. Real world performance so
    far also indicates much faster average write and read times. I'm very
    satisfied with it so far. I also put my swap file on it to see if
    that gives any performance increase and so far it seems about the same
    but possibly a little lighter load on the ATA/133 drives where all the
    apps are.


    On Mon, 7 Feb 2005 17:43:13 -0000, "Ben Pope"
    <ben_popeREMOVE_ME@hotmail.com> wrote:

    >WoofWoof wrote:
    >> It may be that I'm exceptionally dumb, but it's never been clear to me
    >> why such a serial interfaced device (SATA) should be inherently faster
    >> than a parallel interfaced device (IDE). I would have thought it would
    >> be the other way around ultimately.
    >
    >
    >Because these serial buses use a differential pair, the effect of
    >interference is greatly reduced. With parallel, you get cross-talk and and
    >other ill-effects of running wires in parallel.
    >
    >Due to this you can clock it higher. A lot higher. High enough in fact
    >that you don't need to use more than 1 line.
    >
    >And as already said, it's a lot easier to have a cable with 2 wires plus
    >plus maybe another couple overhead than 16, 32 or 64 parallel with overhead.
    >
    >Ben
  8. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    I have 2 WD SATA Raptors 10K RPM(36Gig each in Raid O Configuration), 1 60
    Gig SATA 150, and 1 60 Gig ATA 133.

    For comparison - here are the benchmarks (Note Access Time - Lower is
    Better):

    SATA Raptors
    9.4 ms Access Time, 52.5 Meg/Sec Transfer, 7.6% CPU utilization

    Single 60 Gig SATA 150
    14.9 ms Access Time, 42.8 Meg/Sec Transfer, 5.9% CPU utilization

    Single 60 Gig ATA 133
    12.1 ms Access Time, 38.1 Meg/Sec Transfer, 5.4% CPU utilization

    So as someone else in this thread pointed out - SATA has faster throughput,
    but ATA has quicker access for such things as searches. Raid 0 of course is
    the fastest of all (also the most CPU overhead). I also suspect that SATA
    Raid is probably faster than ATA Raid.

    Hope that helps :)


    "Colonel Blip" <colonel.blip@removethespambigfoot.com> wrote in message
    news:42061109$1_2@127.0.0.1...
    > Hello, All!
    >
    > Planning my future purchases presents a question about SATA drives. All of
    > the info I read when these came out indicated you would pay more and get
    > no
    > discernible improvement in performance. Now that things have matured a
    > bit,
    > what is the experience here on SATA drive performance vs. straight ATA/133
    > drives?
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    > Colonel Blip.
    > E-mail: colonel.blip@removethespambigfoot.com
    >
    >
    >
    > ----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet
    > News==----
    > http://www.newsfeeds.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! 120,000+
    > Newsgroups
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  9. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    Hello, Tom!
    You wrote on Mon, 07 Feb 2005 19:05:24 GMT:

    Real DATA always helps!! <g>

    Thanks.

    Colonel Blip.
    E-mail: colonel.blip@removethespambigfoot.com

    TD> I have 2 WD SATA Raptors 10K RPM(36Gig each in Raid O Configuration), 1
    TD> 60 Gig SATA 150, and 1 60 Gig ATA 133.

    TD> For comparison - here are the benchmarks (Note Access Time - Lower is
    TD> Better):

    TD> SATA Raptors
    TD> 9.4 ms Access Time, 52.5 Meg/Sec Transfer, 7.6% CPU utilization

    TD> Single 60 Gig SATA 150
    TD> 14.9 ms Access Time, 42.8 Meg/Sec Transfer, 5.9% CPU utilization

    TD> Single 60 Gig ATA 133
    TD> 12.1 ms Access Time, 38.1 Meg/Sec Transfer, 5.4% CPU utilization

    TD> So as someone else in this thread pointed out - SATA has faster
    TD> throughput, but ATA has quicker access for such things as searches.
    TD> Raid 0 of course is the fastest of all (also the most CPU overhead). I
    TD> also suspect that SATA Raid is probably faster than ATA Raid.

    TD> Hope that helps :)

    TD> "Colonel Blip" <colonel.blip@removethespambigfoot.com> wrote in message
    TD> news:42061109$1_2@127.0.0.1...
    ??>> Hello, All!


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  10. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    Robert Hancock wrote:
    > WoofWoof wrote:
    >
    >> It may be that I'm exceptionally dumb, but it's never been clear to me
    >> why such a serial interfaced device (SATA) should be inherently faster
    >> than a parallel interfaced device (IDE). I would have thought it would
    >> be the other way around ultimately.
    >
    >
    > At high speeds it turns out to be easier to use a serial interface,
    > because a parallel interface has problems like clock skew, where it
    > becomes too difficult to ensure that all the bits arrive at the other
    > end at the same time. Pretty much the same reasons why PCI Express is a
    > serial-type bus (albeit with multiple lanes). Aside from that the
    > cabling is a lot more convenient since fewer wires are required.
    >
    > The other thing with parallel ATA is that the signalling is a
    > non-differential type with a high signalling voltage by current
    > standards (5 volts), which is difficult to increase in speed with a
    > reasonable cable length.

    Interesting ... thanks for the explanation, Robert.
  11. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    Colonel Blip wrote:
    > Hello, Tom!
    > You wrote on Mon, 07 Feb 2005 19:05:24 GMT:
    >
    > Real DATA always helps!! <g>

    Yes, but only when it has context, which that doesn't.

    If he'd put actual drive model numbers down we may have had a chance of
    comparison.

    However, you have to throw out the RAID config, leaving one SATA against one
    ATA, with those differences in seek time, you have to ask yourself why,
    well... we don;t know. It could be the interface, but it could be rotation,
    caching strategy, cache size... the list is pretty long.

    Ben
    --
    A7N8X FAQ: www.ben.pope.name/a7n8x_faq.html
    Questions by email will likely be ignored, please use the newsgroups.
    I'm not just a number. To many, I'm known as a String...
  12. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    > It may be that I'm exceptionally dumb, but it's never been clear to me why
    > such a serial interfaced device (SATA) should be inherently faster than a
    > parallel interfaced device (IDE). I would have thought it would be the
    > other way around ultimately.

    The same thing occurred to me a while back and I found an excellent white
    paper on the subject.

    Serial interfaces are not inherently faster but that the component price per
    bit is a lot less. Parallel leads have all sorts of problems with signal
    noise/lag etc. These can be solved, which would indeed give a >serial speed,
    but the cost is prohibitive.

    They can use the same cost to improve the signal processing at each end of a
    single serial interface.

    Rob.
  13. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    > The same thing occurred to me a while back and I found an excellent white
    > paper on the subject.

    Found it:

    http://graphics.adaptec.com/pdfs/migration_to_serial_wp_maxtor.pdf

    Cheers, Rob.
  14. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    Tom Dauphin wrote:

    > I have 2 WD SATA Raptors 10K RPM(36Gig each in Raid O Configuration), 1 60
    > Gig SATA 150, and 1 60 Gig ATA 133.
    >
    > For comparison - here are the benchmarks (Note Access Time - Lower is
    > Better):
    >
    > SATA Raptors
    > 9.4 ms Access Time, 52.5 Meg/Sec Transfer, 7.6% CPU utilization
    >
    > Single 60 Gig SATA 150
    > 14.9 ms Access Time, 42.8 Meg/Sec Transfer, 5.9% CPU utilization
    >
    > Single 60 Gig ATA 133
    > 12.1 ms Access Time, 38.1 Meg/Sec Transfer, 5.4% CPU utilization
    >
    > So as someone else in this thread pointed out - SATA has faster
    > throughput, but ATA has quicker access for such things as searches. Raid 0
    > of course is the fastest of all (also the most CPU overhead).

    RAID only uses CPU if you have a 'toy' software RAID controller. "REAL"
    RAID controllers don't use any CPU time above normal I/O. These day's
    there are so many surplus CPU cycles on most systems, it doesn't really
    matter ... I'm just old-school and prefer real hardware RAID
    controllers :)

    FWIW, the gap between ATA133/SATA/SCSI RAID 0 performance drops as more
    drives are added (assuming everything else stays the same) - eventually
    you'll saturate the bus and there will be no performance gains in
    throughput (except maybe in latency). Other RAID modes (1 and 5) are more
    dependant on the host controller and/or CPU. RAID 1 especially will hit
    the 'throughput wall' sooner than RAID 0 as it usually configured to do
    parallel writes - making it particularly hard on PATA.

    Cheers,

    James
    --
    A.A.A.A.A.:
    An organization for drunks who drive
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