Should I move Windows to an SATA drive?

Hey all - I have a simple question that may or may not have a simple answer. I currently have Windows XP on an IDE 133 drive (WD Caviar, 7200 RPM). Would I see any significant OS improvement by running the OS on a SATA-II drive? I ask because I'm building a new system and my mobo will support several SATA devices.

If so, would I be able to do this with a simple clone using something like Ghost 10 or True Image? I imagine any program that can copy drives on a bit-level would be adequate. I'm just curious if it would be worth the effort to do so. Thanks for your help.
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  1. The operating system on a SATA II drive will run much faster than on PATA.
    If you are changing chipsets it is recommended to reinstall the operating system.
  2. Quote:
    The operating system on a SATA II drive will run much faster than on PATA.
    If you are changing chipsets it is recommended to reinstall the operating system.


    Reinstalling the OS also means reinstalling all my programs and then reconfiguring everything. That's a major pain in the neck. Will I appreciate a significant benefit by simply copying the OS to an SATA drive? I do some video editing, so at the very least, I would notice a difference with that, correct?
  3. Quote:
    Hey all - I have a simple question that may or may not have a simple answer. I currently have Windows XP on an IDE 133 drive (WD Caviar, 7200 RPM). Would I see any significant OS improvement by running the OS on a SATA-II drive? I ask because I'm building a new system and my mobo will support several SATA devices.

    If so, would I be able to do this with a simple clone using something like Ghost 10 or True Image? I imagine any program that can copy drives on a bit-level would be adequate. I'm just curious if it would be worth the effort to do so. Thanks for your help.


    Nope, very little improvement other than NCQ. You will get some performance from higher areal density, but your only real benefit in SATA is NCQ. SATA is a 150MB/s spec (or 300MB/s in the case of SATA 300 (SATA II doesn't exist)) and PATA is a 133 MB/s spec. So unless you are saturating your IDE channel with full load transfers from 2 hard drives, it won't be a hell of alot better. It is more about which hard drive you buy than what spec hard drive you buy. You may get a 5%, maybe more for out of order requests due to NCQ.

    At some point you should upgrade to SATA (since all new hard drives come with that interface) and now would be as good a time as any, but performance shouldn't be the reason for the upgrade.

    About the hard drive copy, the problem is, in my experience every time you change the mobo you have to reinstall the OS. The OS doesn't like being thrown a curve ball like a new mobo.
  4. Ok, thanks SuperFly. I'll get some SATA drives soon, but not for performance reasons. Like you said, the technology is just heading that way. I know XP sometimes wants you to reinstall following a mobo change, but I think I've got a workaround for that. I appreciate your quick replies!
  5. Quote:
    Ok, thanks SuperFly. I'll get some SATA drives soon, but not for performance reasons. Like you said, the technology is just heading that way. I know XP sometimes wants you to reinstall following a mobo change, but I think I've got a workaround for that. I appreciate your quick replies!


    You're welcome.

    GL on the workaround. :D
  6. First I am compelled to say: there is no such thing as a "SATAII" device. It's a marketing term with no technical definition, if you want specific SATA-II *extentions* to be supported in a device you must check for each individual feature, there is no 'meal deal'.
    http://www.sata-io.org/namingguidelines.asp

    Secondly, there are SATA drives that are slower than PATA drives. SATA drives have more interface bandwidth, but interface bandwidth has never been the bottleneck for any point-to-point storage device you could have bought, ever. ATA133 has more peak bandwidth than any platter hard drive in existance (and ATA166 actually has more peak theoretical throughput than SATA150 but most IDE drives use ATA100 it has more bandwidth than most drives can saturate as well).

    Thirdly, SATA300 and NCQ have almost no impact on single user performance. SATA300 has almost no impact on any application, SATA150 has enough bandwidth and the differences in burst transfer speeds are small and still limited by pre-fetching anyway. NCQ will help if you're heavily multi-tasking your HD access (say, running WoW and Emule at the same time like I frequently do) but for normal desktop application use NCQ can actually make disk access slower. Here you can see benchmarks of the same drives tested with and without NCQ showing NCQ slowing drive access down in some tests:
    http://www.storagereview.com/php/benchmark/bench_sort.php

    If you want to re-install windows to a faster drive it will certainly be a SATA drive. If you're buying a new drive for any reason it should be a SATA drive as they are gernally less expensive, more available, and more reliable and each drive has a dedicated interface. But if you're buying a new drive don't expect it to be faster just because it says SATA on it (especially not if it says "SATAII" on it), check benchmarks and reviews and make an informed decision.

    You should be able to clone your HD and then you wouldn't have to reinstall, but reinstalling itself would likely give a decent performance boost. You could also install a new fast HD and do your video editing on THAT and leave your OS on the drive it is currently on and that should be even faster (assuming your video editing program allows you to pick your swap drive and you save the files you're editing to that drive only) as the OS and Video editing program would each have their own drive.

    @SuperFly03
    3y3 <3 j00. Helping spread the word about "SATAII" :)
    Heh, I should have read your post more carefully before I posted as I mostly just repeated you xD
  7. Quote:
    @SuperFly03
    3y3 <3 j00. Helping spread the word about "SATAII" :)
    Heh, I should have read your post more carefully before I posted as I mostly just repeated you xD


    It's all good. As long as we are on the same page, I have no problem with someone repeating what I say.

    Nice to know there are others who know the specs too :wink:
  8. Quote:
    The OS doesn't like being thrown a curve ball like a new mobo
    So, in other words, it ain't no mobo ho!
    Right?

    Nothin like a one ho mobo, I always say.
  9. If you use some backup products to transfer your present OS on another pc specs some drivers' incompatibility problems will certainly arise, so the simple OS reinstallation is better.
  10. Simple answer, is no. Plan on an OS upgrade.

    Longer answer... I've moved the same IDE to three different MB's, all 939, but two from one MFG and one from another. I've always got it installed, but driver issues always caused me to re-load the OS after a bit. 1, 2, 3 months tops, and needs a reload to get any speed....

    Never tried to migrate a drive from IDE to SATA, but I'd imagine that the driver issues would be far worse.

    So read the simple answer, and forget the rest.

    my 2p.
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