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Where are the PCI Express IDE controllers??

Last response: in Storage
November 4, 2006 7:32:00 PM

All the Core 2 Duo motherboards I've been looking at provide only 1 IDE connector. And apparently the only purpose for which that lonely legacy connector is intended is to allow us to hook up our optical drives. The industry seems to have decided that it's time for us to all throw away our PATA hard drives and move on to SATA.

Well, frankly, I am not ready yet to throw away my PATA drives. I've got three 250GB and one 160GB drives that I spent non-trivial money on and which are all still completely usable.

My first thought was that if/when I move to one of these "new age" motheboards, I would have to pick up a PCI Express IDE controller card. But strangely enough, I don't see any PCI Express IDE controllers for sale.

Am I just not looking in the right place or is no one making IDE controllers for PCI Express? After all, I thought the PCI bus was almost as dead as PATA is supposed to be. What's up with this?

-john, the PATA dinosaur
a b V Motherboard
November 4, 2006 9:12:47 PM

A standard PCI slot provides adequate bandwidth for add-in IDE cards. There are few PCI-Ex1 expansion cards available even today...

SIIG PCI->IDE + USB,1394 $56+6 11/04/06

Even these cards are not as easy to find as they used to be.
November 4, 2006 10:05:38 PM

Yes, but it's not just an issue of bandwidth but also of available slots. The number of PCI slots provided seems to be dropping with each new iteration of motherboards. At the same time the number of 1x PCIe slots grows. Why doesn't anyone make an IDE controller I can put in a 1x PCIe slot?

There is also the fact that many of the existing PCI cards are PCI v2.2 compliant only. They will not work in the newer motherboards because the new mobos implement 3v PCI v2.3. So if you do buy an old-school PCI IDE controller, you have to be careful to make sure that it will work in a PCI v2.3 slot.

Prompted by your link I took a look at newegg and noticed that there are PCI Express cards for USB 2.0. If there is anything I would think would not be needed with today's motherboards it is even more frickin' USB 2.0 ports. But there they are.

But can you easily add more IDE ports ... something that is actually missing from the current crop of motherboards? Nope.

It astounds me that a lot of us with PATA drives are finding ourselves painted into a corner. And meanwhile none of the interest sites like Tom's or AnandTech even mention it's happening let alone question it or suggest work-arounds.

Related resources
November 4, 2006 10:28:49 PM

I hate to say it, but I for one am sick and tired of seeing PCI and IDE/Pata stuff on ANY new motherboard, myself. Move on. Give me that darn SATA optical drive and that PCIe soundcard NOW. But, I also understand your concern due to your specific issue. Here is one possible solution:
a b V Motherboard
November 4, 2006 11:10:48 PM

amen to that, imagine the space on a board when the floppy connector, ide connector, PCI slots all disappear. The possibilites.. i bet i can fit 4 sata connectors in the space of every ide connector. Also, for back panels, its really time to do away with Serial and Parallel Ports. USB and IEE1394 would be nice. E-SATA would be better.

I also wouldnt mind (even recommend) if every batch comes with a legacy board. 1 with the standard 2 IDE, 1 floppy and PCI. It can cost a tad bit more but it should make those who have a old investment happy.

PS. Most HD Audio solutions built into the motherboards are already on PCI-E. So are the eithernet connectors.
November 4, 2006 11:39:57 PM

Thanks. Maybe that will help this guy out. I personally haven't used any of that stuff. I keep the IDE on the old spare computer, new stuff on the one I actually use. LOL. I'd also like to e-sata take off.
a b V Motherboard
November 5, 2006 1:22:01 AM

I checked out a few OEMs and you are right. Nobody makes a PCI-E->IDE card. SIIG make one for parallel ports, and still makes ISA cards! This makes no sense because you just know there is a market for this.
November 5, 2006 2:37:53 AM

This makes no sense because you just know there is a market for this.

Yeah, that's the point I was trying to make.

I have nothing against moving to SATA per se. But I thought one of the reasons they put expansion buses into PCs is so that folks who have "special needs" can address them.

I'd like to have PCIe solution to my IDE problems so that I would have some confidence I would be able to carry it forward to future motherboards. I don't particularly want to buy another PCI v2.3 card when the focus is already starting to shift towards PCIe v2.0.

November 5, 2006 8:07:47 PM

Thanks very much for the pointer. The link you provided didn't work for me, but I was able to find what I think you were pointing towards at the link below.
ADIDEPXRJ 1 IDE connector, JBOD/RAID PCI-E controller $29.95

It's a relief to know that there is as least one PCIe IDE controller card out there. Maybe if I wait a bit, others will follow. Maybe someone will even make a card with 2 IDE connectors on it ... :wink:

I tried to figure out which chipset this controller uses, but they stick a big "Addonics" sticker over it so you can't tell. Anyone out there know who makes the chipset used on this controller card? (Just curious. Always good to have as much info as possible).

Edit: Answered my own question, at least a bit. Retried the link Madwand originally posted and it worked. That in turn lead me to the Addonics ADIDEPXRJ PCI-E IDE controller's 1 page PDF user guide.

The driver install instructions refer to a directory path with "Jmb361" in it, so this card must use the JMicron JMB361 PCI Express to 1*SATA II and 1*PATA Host Controller chip. Addonics just doesn't bother to enable the support for the 1 SATA 3.0GB port.

November 5, 2006 8:36:49 PM

There is also the fact that many of the existing PCI cards are PCI v2.2 compliant only. They will not work in the newer motherboards because the new mobos implement 3v PCI v2.3.

:oops:  In hindsight, I may have been full of the proverbial "it" when I said this. :oops: 

I based it on noticing that in this AnandTech article, Intel P965: Mid-Range Performance Sector Roundup , all the boards were spec'd in the features tables as having PCI v2.3 (3.3 volt cards only) slots. But going back and looking at the pictures of the boards, the PCI slots on all the boards are actually keyed for PCI v2.2 (5 volt cards).

So it looks like I was wrong about PCI v2.3 slots displacing v2.2 slots on the newer motherboards. Never mind.

December 21, 2007 11:47:09 PM

Even I have looked for a PCIe IDE controller and have not been able to find one.
I am lucky to have a PROMISE Ultra ATA/133 TX2 controller 66MHz PCI. It is a Non-RAID
controller you can get one at Newegg.

I hope this helps and I know this is not a PCIe controller. I wish there was one out there too.
December 9, 2009 6:58:52 PM

I realize that this thread is very old, but this may help others in the same bind.

I strongly advise that you use an IDE to SATA bridge card instead of an IDE controller. The reason is that the bridge card is a 100% hardware solution whereas a controller requires that you have drivers for your OS. At some point, the drivers won't be available for the newest OS.

Here is the link to a bridge card at Newegg, they have others.