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Searching for a good SATA Controller - need help!

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June 6, 2006 6:57:05 PM

Hi there,

I´m looking for a fast PCI-SATA Controller for my HDD Western Digital Raptor 150GB SATA. But have no idea what model is good.

I´ve searched THG for any tests but all newer ones are PCI-X. Does anyone have an idea of a real good controller for this hdd? Or is ist better to take my onBoard Intel ICH5 controller and a cheaper one for my other SATA raid disks?

Thanks a lot for your help!

CU,
Happy-Max
June 9, 2006 4:29:36 PM

Quote:
Hi there,

I´m looking for a fast PCI-SATA Controller for my HDD Western Digital Raptor 150GB SATA. But have no idea what model is good.

I´ve searched THG for any tests but all newer ones are PCI-X. Does anyone have an idea of a real good controller for this hdd? Or is ist better to take my onBoard Intel ICH5 controller and a cheaper one for my other SATA raid disks?

Thanks a lot for your help!

CU,
Happy-Max


Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but all a PCI SATA card will do is allow you to use SATA drives at regular PCI speed, i.e. 133MHz. Your on-board controller, on the other hand, is designed to actually meet the speed specification for Sata (150MHz) and since it ties right into the mobo chipset, you don't need to worry about bottlenecking through the PCI interface. 17MHz difference might not seem like much, but why use the slower interface for your faster drives?

So, use your on-board SATA for the Raptors, and the PCI SATA card for your opticals and you should be fine.

Side note: According to Tom's, the throughput of the 150GB raptor is 126mb/s. Standard PCI is 132mb/s, SATA is 150mb/s and PCIEx1 is 500mb/s. So, theoretically, you can run those Raptors off the PCI bus and have as good performance as you would over on-board SATA...

But why bother? Unless you've got more SATA drives than ports I guess.

anyone else smarter than I want to comment on this?
June 9, 2006 5:37:13 PM

What is it exactly you want to do? Run raid (0, 1, 5, or what) or run a single raptor?
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June 9, 2006 5:38:06 PM

He never said he had SATA optical drives. The only people that make them so far to my knowledge is Plextor.

I would say your best bet would probably be to put the Raptor on the onboard controller and use the PCI controller for your storage drives since you don't care about the speed of them as much. It depends how many storage drives you have though. If you already have a 4 disk RAID on the onboard SATA I'd leave it there.

Remember that if you move a RAID array from one controller to another, if they're not exactly the same you loose all your data. Some are similar and you might be able to maintain the array but its a chance you have to be willing to take. Point is, back up before you do anything.

An upside to having a storage RAID array on an external card is that you can move it from system to system.

I can't recommend any specific card but perhaps go to newegg and read the different reviews of different cards. Silicon Image and Promise are two major players though in the RAID controller market.
June 9, 2006 5:52:50 PM

Promise are good - my only gripe is that S.M.A.R.T. is not supported on the Fast Trak ST150 TX4 :S
June 9, 2006 6:17:03 PM

I'll keep recommending the Highpoint 2320 or it's variations (2310), been running mine with 4 320's raid 5 for almost 6 months now and it has 1gig bandwidth as it's PCI-E x4.
June 12, 2006 6:34:56 AM

Thanks a lot for your answers.

For a better understanding here my complete configuration:

Pentium 4 3,2 GHz
2 GB Samsung RAM
Gigabyte 8KNXP-Ultra

OnBoard IDE Controller:
DVD-CD-RW Drive (Master)
LG 4167 (Slave)
DVD-ROM (Master)
Seagate 160 GB (for Applications)

First (IDE) RAID Controller (ITE OnBoard)
4 x 160 GB Seagte (7200.7)

Second (SATA) RAID Controller (Intel OnBoard)
2 x 120 GB Seagate (st3120026as)

OnBoard Adaptec SCSI Controller
IBM ESXS ST336753LC 36 GB

3Ware 8006-2 LP SATA Controller (in Testing)
WD Raptor 150 GB

I´m now testing to install windows on the raptor and take the old (but fast) SCSI-HDD for temp and other files (downloads, emails, and so on)

Any ideas about this configuration?

CU,

Happy-Max
!