A8N-E and SATA2 HDD speedup

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

Initially I was most disappointed to find the my new SATA2 HDD on my
A8N-E was not much faster than my old ATA133 drive (on a Celeron 800)

I discovered a utility from Hitachi ftool_v198.exe

This showed the SATA2 HDD was only configured at 150MB/s.
Perhaps a shipped default mode for older SATA motherboards

Selected 300MB/s and SSC clocking.

Found that data transfer speeds improved 2 to 3 times.

Buffered reads are now 240MB/s (HDTACH report).

I did not see any tools on the A8N-E CD to set the HDD up to SATA2.

Setup:
Motherboard A8N-E
CPU AMD64-3500 Venice.
HDD Hitachi Deskstar T7K250-160GB
RAM 1GB Dual channel.

Gordy
9 answers Last reply
More about sata2 speedup
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    "Gordy" <grg7nz@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:etihi19cqq9g7e82obn577p9b3rtuistvf@4ax.com...
    >
    > Initially I was most disappointed to find the my new SATA2 HDD on my
    > A8N-E was not much faster than my old ATA133 drive (on a Celeron 800)
    >
    > I discovered a utility from Hitachi ftool_v198.exe
    >
    > This showed the SATA2 HDD was only configured at 150MB/s.
    > Perhaps a shipped default mode for older SATA motherboards
    >
    > Selected 300MB/s and SSC clocking.
    >
    > Found that data transfer speeds improved 2 to 3 times.
    >
    > Buffered reads are now 240MB/s (HDTACH report).
    >
    > I did not see any tools on the A8N-E CD to set the HDD up to SATA2.
    >
    > Setup:
    > Motherboard A8N-E
    > CPU AMD64-3500 Venice.
    > HDD Hitachi Deskstar T7K250-160GB
    > RAM 1GB Dual channel.
    >
    > Gordy
    >
    The setting should be visible in the Device Manager, Properties, for the
    NVIDIA nForce4 ATA Controller. It might depend whether you are using the
    default Microsoft XP driver, or the latest NVIDIA driver. The NVIDIA driver
    is available on the Asus website (mine is dated 5/17/2005).

    It could be that the Hitachi software you installed updated the driver for
    you.
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    In article <etihi19cqq9g7e82obn577p9b3rtuistvf@4ax.com>, Gordy
    <grg7nz@hotmail.com> wrote:

    > Initially I was most disappointed to find the my new SATA2 HDD on my
    > A8N-E was not much faster than my old ATA133 drive (on a Celeron 800)
    >
    > I discovered a utility from Hitachi ftool_v198.exe
    >
    > This showed the SATA2 HDD was only configured at 150MB/s.
    > Perhaps a shipped default mode for older SATA motherboards
    >
    > Selected 300MB/s and SSC clocking.
    >
    > Found that data transfer speeds improved 2 to 3 times.
    >
    > Buffered reads are now 240MB/s (HDTACH report).
    >
    > I did not see any tools on the A8N-E CD to set the HDD up to SATA2.
    >
    > Setup:
    > Motherboard A8N-E
    > CPU AMD64-3500 Venice.
    > HDD Hitachi Deskstar T7K250-160GB
    > RAM 1GB Dual channel.
    >
    > Gordy

    Yea, your burst speed improved, but the sustained transfer rate
    is still slower than either the limits of ATA133, SATA 150 or
    SATA 300. Try transferring a 1GB file between two single
    SATA 300 drives, and I doubt you'll do better than about
    70MB/sec.

    Select "Disk Read Transfer Rate" in this database, and the
    best 7200RPM SATA or IDE drive is about 70MB/sec media rate.
    Once the cache is filled on your disk drive, you cannot go
    faster than the media rate. The media rate drops as you go
    from beginning to end on the disk, so the performance level
    is not even constant at 70MB/sec. It is more like 40MB/sec
    as you near the end of the disk.

    http://www.storagereview.com/php/benchmark/bench_sort.php

    Do not be deluded by benchmarks :-) When you really need
    that transfer rate, it won't be there.

    The Hitachi feature tool can be used with other brands of
    disks, if you want to take chances. For a person with a
    SATA 150 only motherboard, say "bye-bye" to the disk if
    you try it. Shifting to SATA 300 is _only_ for those who
    own a SATA 300 motherboard. To restore a disk accidently
    set to SATA 300 with the Hitachi feature tool, you will
    need to find a SATA 300 motherboard to restore communication
    and fix the disk.

    I just want to mention this, so there isn't a rash of
    "my disk is busted" postings...

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

    >The Hitachi feature tool can be used with other brands of
    >disks, if you want to take chances. For a person with a
    >SATA 150 only motherboard, say "bye-bye" to the disk if
    >you try it. Shifting to SATA 300 is _only_ for those who
    >own a SATA 300 motherboard. To restore a disk accidently
    >set to SATA 300 with the Hitachi feature tool, you will
    >need to find a SATA 300 motherboard to restore communication
    >and fix the disk.
    >
    >I just want to mention this, so there isn't a rash of
    >"my disk is busted" postings...
    >
    > Paul

    Thanks for reinforcing the TROUBLE that can be had and CARE needed in
    deciding to change a SATA drive config to SATA2 when you only have a
    SATA1 mother board..

    The Hitachi Feature Tool clearly states that yout HDD could be lost if
    you do not have a motherboard that supports SATA2.

    So experimenters... be careful.

    So it looks like all the benefits of SATA2 are a long way off.
    Small data cable is about the only plus at this time.

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

    On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 22:24:58 +1200, Gordy <grg7nz@hotmail.com> wrote:

    >
    >>The Hitachi feature tool can be used with other brands of
    >>disks, if you want to take chances. For a person with a
    >>SATA 150 only motherboard, say "bye-bye" to the disk if
    >>you try it. Shifting to SATA 300 is _only_ for those who
    >>own a SATA 300 motherboard. To restore a disk accidently
    >>set to SATA 300 with the Hitachi feature tool, you will
    >>need to find a SATA 300 motherboard to restore communication
    >>and fix the disk.
    >>
    >>I just want to mention this, so there isn't a rash of
    >>"my disk is busted" postings...
    >>
    >> Paul
    >
    >Thanks for reinforcing the TROUBLE that can be had and CARE needed in
    >deciding to change a SATA drive config to SATA2 when you only have a
    >SATA1 mother board..
    >
    >The Hitachi Feature Tool clearly states that yout HDD could be lost if
    >you do not have a motherboard that supports SATA2.
    >
    >So experimenters... be careful.
    >
    >So it looks like all the benefits of SATA2 are a long way off.
    >Small data cable is about the only plus at this time.
    >
    >Gordy
    >.
    If i recall the a8n-e is a s-ata 2 (3gb/s) capable.
    Your Hitachi drive might not be compatible with the board. Personaly i
    will get that mobo combined to a western digital sata2 120gi 8bm of
    buffer. and i will get the se or re version that is used for 24hrs (se
    only) service server. The (re) stand for raid edition or something...

    Ps: my eide uata 133 maxtor diamond max plus 9 8mb buffer goes to
    45-50mb/s on hdtach latest vr. sata=eiede imo. but i will give it a
    try. I might go for a 10k rpm just to make sure i get something fast.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    Hitachi ships their SATA 2 drives in SATA 1 mode. Check newegg.com
    and look for Hitachi harddrive reviews.

    It makes sense. No benefit to SATA2 on these drives. Bad side effects
    if plugged into a SATA I controller. BTW leave SSC turned off if using
    the Hitachi tool for better performance.

    If these drives had NCQ then there would be a performance benefit. My
    Hitachi SATA 2 doesn't.

    SATA2 data channel supports 3GB/s so if you have a lot of drives you
    don't overcome the 150MB/s per controller maximum of SATA 1. Most
    drives can do about 50-60MB/s right now. So 3 drives running full
    speed could overwhelm a single SATA1 channel. Odds are you'll never
    see this on a workstation, but on a server SATA is now becoming more of
    a possible replacement for SCSI 320.

    SATA2 support hot swapping also. So if I create a raid 1 or raid 5
    array and a drive fails, I can swap out the failed raid drive without
    shutting down Windows. Just like I do on my SCSI servers.

    SATA2 has benefits, though with the exception of NCQ, it's more for us
    server guys or real power users.

    btw NCQ has some known issues with data corruption - do a Google
    search.

    http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/tip/1,289483,sid5_gci992442,00.html
  6. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    edavid3001@gmail.com wrote:
    > SATA2 data channel supports 3GB/s so if you have a lot of drives you
    > don't overcome the 150MB/s per controller maximum of SATA 1. Most
    > drives can do about 50-60MB/s right now. So 3 drives running full
    > speed could overwhelm a single SATA1 channel. Odds are you'll never
    > see this on a workstation, but on a server SATA is now becoming more of
    > a possible replacement for SCSI 320.

    SATA is a point-to-point bus, you get 150 MB/sec on each cable. The
    bandwidth is not shared between the ports (unless there's some
    limitation of the controller that causes this).

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

    Yup, you are right. SATA is point to point so it's 150MB/sec on each
    SATA cable.

    You can put 15 drives on a single SATA port using port multipliers;
    http://www.sata-io.org/portmultiplier.asp

    I have one at home that lets me put two drives on a single channel.

    If you read down through that link, it states;
    "While it is possible to connect up to 15 drives to each SATA PM port
    via a port multiplier, drive connectivity is practically limited to the
    maximum available bandwidth on the 3Gb/s link."

    So in reality, if a drive can sustain 50MB/s and your SATA channel is
    300MB/s then you could run out of bandwidth with 7 drives running full
    speed on a single channel. Or more likely with all 15 drives returning
    data on a very busy server.

    Our largest server has 61 SCSI drives on it with near a TB of disk
    space along with over a TB of SCSI optical and several high speed SCSI
    tape drives. Not as big as a lot of shops, but you run into these type
    of issues. We monitor the SCSI channel utilization as well as the
    drive utilization and bus utilization on this baby.

    I've stayed away from IDE RAID on most of my servers, but SATA II is
    looking like a promising replacement for my non DB servers.

    BTW - SATA 3Gb/s is 300MB/s -- http://www.sata-io.org/3g.asp I think
    some folk may think 150MB/s versus 3GB/s when it's 3Gb/s.
  8. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    <edavid3001@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1127160864.728788.58830@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    > Yup, you are right. SATA is point to point so it's 150MB/sec on each
    > SATA cable.
    >
    > You can put 15 drives on a single SATA port using port multipliers;
    > http://www.sata-io.org/portmultiplier.asp
    >
    > I have one at home that lets me put two drives on a single channel.
    >
    > If you read down through that link, it states;
    > "While it is possible to connect up to 15 drives to each SATA PM port
    > via a port multiplier, drive connectivity is practically limited to the
    > maximum available bandwidth on the 3Gb/s link."
    (snip)

    edavid:
    Thanks for providing that link and info. Can you tell me the make & model of
    the SATA port multiplier you're using at home as well as from whom it is
    available? Thanks.
    Anna
  9. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    Mine came with my ASUS motherboard. Do a Froogle search on SATA port
    multiplier and you will find others. While have a a port multiplier,
    I don't use it. I have 1 SATA device at home. I have many SATA
    drives at work, but have not yet reached the need for a port multiplier.
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