SATA on a PATA mobo via PCI card adapter, or a fast PATA?

I'm currently using an Asus A7N8X (not deluxe) board without SATA capability. I am considering buying a WD Raptor and hooking it up via a SATA controller PCI card.

I've heard conflicting reports as to whether or not the PCI card interface would slow down the Raptor's speed, in comparison to a mobo with native SATA support? Can someone give me a definitive answer? I am primarily concerned with intensive gaming.

I heard that PCI slots all share the same bandwidth, so if I have my SB Audigy and network card utilizing two PCI slots will that steal precious bandwidth from my SATA PCI card interface, or not effect it?

If it equals the speed of a native mobo SATA interface I will go for it, but is there a difference in quality and bandwidth of the SATA PCI cards available, and if so which do you recommend?

Finally, seeing as a good SATA PCI card costs around $40 (which is about 1/3 the total cost of a good HD!), would it be wiser in terms of price/performance to simply go with a fast IDE drive instead, perhaps one with a 16mb buffer? This is what Tom recommended, but I don't think he had the Raptor drives in mind.

Please help,

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  2. Unless you need added features and security of a RAID card and prepared to spend in excess of $250 for a solution, just use the on-board controller. I would not want to go RAID without using a PCI-x or a PCI-e slot card.
    I have PCI-x in my Gigabyte GA8knxp ultra-64 and PCI-e in my Asus A8R-MVP but am still using the onboad controller for RAID
    PCI limits the bandwith and performance can be less than it should be, especially if yuo are running a 5 drive RAID5.
  3. Metal, you contributed absolutely nothing to my explicit post.

    RichPLS, I'm not sure you really read my post. I said nothing of RAID anywhere. When you say to use my "on-board controller" are you referring to RAID (why?) or Serial ATA, in the case of Serial ATA I made it clear that I do not have a native on-board controller. I'm not running 5 drive RAID5 so I don't have to worry about my PCI bandwidth being sucked dry by this configuration.

    Someone please read my post and give me pertinent answers.

  4. Hello,

    They both gave valid answers. SATA card can do both raid and non-raid. SATA card on a normal PCI slot will not be anywhere as fast as onboard, PXI-x, or PCI-e 1x.

    Save a few bucks and get a normal SATA hd as they have more room and plenty of speed for less. Raptors, do to their high speed can break down a bit faster.
  5. I thought PXI-x and PCI-e were for video cards?

    So your saying the SATA drive would be slower via a PCI SATA card-interface than on on a mobo with a native, on-board SATA controller?

    If I get a normal SATA drive I will still have to buy the PCI card to make it compatible with my mobo (which is another $40), but is the marginal performance boost worth the cost, or should I save my money and buy a normal PATA drive as Tom advises?
  6. Hello,

    PCI-X is more of a evolved version of PCI slot most commonly found on servers and Mac G5's.

    Yes PCI-E X16 is for the graphics. But if you have been reading on any new mobos, they also have PCI-E x1, for high bandwidth sata/ firewire cards.

    Most sata drives to begin with are not that faster from EIDE to SATA due to 7200 spin. However, SATA will have a slight edge due to the fact of not having slave/ master and have full speed up/ down stream.
  7. I think, in order to future-proof my purchase, I'm going to buy a SATA drive and a SATA PCI card, so that later when I upgrade my mobo to one with a SATA II controller, I will have a SATA drive already.

    As far as the cards go, are there any SATA II cards that work in a standard PCI slot (not express!)? Or are they all PCI-e? I am unable to find any that are regular PCI. The only regular PCI cards I can find are SATA I.

    Can anyone recommend a card?
  8. Quote:

    wooooooooooo.. calm down!
  9. Saw an 8th post and I thought someone responded.......bah
  10. Since the hard drive is the bottleneck, PATA or SATA hard drives will show little to no performance difference. (I'm comparing similar drives - don't compare a 10 yr old 40MEGAbyte PATA drive with a Raptor... :) )

    A single SATA drive on a PCI card will be as fast (well, so close as to be unnoticeable) as one on the onboard SATA connector. The PCI bus has enough bandwidth to almost handle 2 drives. That is, as long as you don't have too much else (data capture, other hard drives, TV tuner card, etc.) on the PCI bus.

    Get the SATA 1 card for PCI - I kindof doubt SATA 2 cards will come out for PCI (I could be wrong) simply because it doesn't do anything for the drive. You can use an SATA2 drive on an SATA1 card and you won't notice any performance difference.

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