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Will a SATA drive at 1.5 perform better than..

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  • Hard Drives
  • SATA
  • Storage
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March 12, 2007 3:33:03 PM

my current Ultra DMA (7200 rpm) drive? I am in an upgrade mode, and have had this drive for 3 years. I am moving from an Athlon 2400M to an Intel CD2 6400 cpu, and my memory will be upgraded from DDR 400 to DDR2 667. Would I get an appreciable boost in HD (or overall system) perfomance by switching to SATA (even at 1.5 gb/s , since my mobo will not support 3.0 gb/s) Thanks in advance for your advice!

More about : sata drive perform

March 12, 2007 4:15:14 PM

The interface will not change the speed, however a newer HD will most likely be faster than your old one.
March 12, 2007 4:29:14 PM

If the rpm speed is the same, the drive performance will be the same. Doesn't matter if it's pata, sata or sata2.

But if your drive is too old, any newer one ( doesn't matter the interface) is going to be superior in performance, as the above poster said.

Can u tell me the specs of the older HD? Brand, rpm, size, cache...
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March 12, 2007 9:50:34 PM

I just finished building a new system that includes two Western Digital 7200 RPM SATA drives capable of 3Gb/s transfer speed. What's the benefit of having that high a transfer speed if the RPM is really the limiting factor? I'm here looking for help on simply making sure my drives are activated correctly in BIOS.

I have no interest in RAID and while I'm on that subject, it's annoying that just about every discussion on the Internet when it comes to SATA is about setting up RAID. Do people have a one track mind? Again, if the RPM's are what governs the drive performance, why even bother with RAID?
March 12, 2007 10:20:22 PM

Imagine that you have one hdd with the os and other for storage; if these are both sata (I or II) you may have a better performance in transfer rates (but little maybe not even 1MB/s 8O ). We can't even tell the difference if it's 10MB/faster... maybe with a stopwatch.

When it comes to raid0 story changes. If you set 2 devices in raid0 (ie. OS) you have more platters and needles to write on. The data is written in both disks, thus making read and write much faster. And when you have a raid0 for the OS and another raid0 for storage, transfer rates can even go to near 130MB/s.
But I don't know why sata 2 is around... normal sata is more than enough.

Either way, I believe your newer drives are going to be faster than the older ones, but just because they are newer and have some new tech, not for being SATA. Because if you have bought newer PATA instead of SATA the performance increase would be the same
March 12, 2007 11:32:53 PM

Quote:
I just finished building a new system that includes two Western Digital 7200 RPM SATA drives capable of 3Gb/s transfer speed. What's the benefit of having that high a transfer speed if the RPM is really the limiting factor? I'm here looking for help on simply making sure my drives are activated correctly in BIOS.

I have no interest in RAID and while I'm on that subject, it's annoying that just about every discussion on the Internet when it comes to SATA is about setting up RAID. Do people have a one track mind? Again, if the RPM's are what governs the drive performance, why even bother with RAID?


RAID 0 can really speed up file access. With RAID 0 (two disks) a file is spanned across the disks in the array block by block, so that half of the file is on one disk, and the other half on the other. Therefore if you open or write to that file, both disks are accessing the file at the same time. The result is that RAID 0 with two disks can be nearly twice as fast for accessing large files.

I don't think I explained that well (infact I know I didn't!) - here's an article on Tom's that does a better job:

http://tomshardware.co.uk/2007/03/12/cheap_raid_ravages...
March 13, 2007 1:24:50 AM

Quote:
Imagine that you have one hdd with the os and other for storage; if these are both sata (I or II) you may have a better performance in transfer rates (but little maybe not even 1MB/s 8O ). We can't even tell the difference if it's 10MB/faster... maybe with a stopwatch.

When it comes to raid0 story changes. If you set 2 devices in raid0 (ie. OS) you have more platters and needles to write on. The data is written in both disks, thus making read and write much faster. And when you have a raid0 for the OS and another raid0 for storage, transfer rates can even go to near 130MB/s.
But I don't know why sata 2 is around... normal sata is more than enough.

Either way, I believe your newer drives are going to be faster than the older ones, but just because they are newer and have some new tech, not for being SATA. Because if you have bought newer PATA instead of SATA the performance increase would be the same


Thanks...that explains the benefit of RAID. I believe I've heard or read that with RAID you also run the risk of losing your data should one of your hard drives fail but people are willing to take that risk for the speed benefit. This is why I've avoided it.

On the website for my motherboard, I'm being told there's not much difference between PATA or SATA and that SATA2 is essentially beyond the scope of the other components in terms of taking advantage of its speed. Some people say I should install SATA drivers while installing WinXP (I have the first release of WinXP and a SP2 CD from Microsoft). Others say just use the WinXP drivers.

It seems odd to me this information has not been figured out so there are some solid definitions as to what to use in each configuration.

For RAID, you need special drivers...also for an external SATA device. But why is it so confusing to simply install two SATA drives and have them be initialized and used as such, regardless of whether they are SATA or SATA2?

Right now I have SATA Mode set to IDE. If I set it to AHCI, Windows crashes on startup. I have On-Chip Serial ATA set to Auto, which automatically configures them to the available Master/Slave mode. There are other options there if you have IDE and SATA drives together or want to use SATA only. Then I have SATA Port Speed settings (1 and 2) but this is disabled when I have SATA Mode set to IDE.
March 13, 2007 1:26:07 AM

Quote:
Again, if the RPM's are what governs the drive performance, why even bother with RAID?

There's alot more than just RPMs that govern the performance. Big fact is that PRT (perpendicular recording technology) is a significant boost to regular 7200rpm drives. So its not just RPMs, it all works as a whole.

On a side note, SATA 3Gbps exists for certain applications and SATA controllers that share the bandwidth between a port multiplier. But usually on consumer parts, the ports don't share the bandwidth.

Usually RAID 0 doesn't reduce the access time in half... I mean the drives still have to go to the sector, etc. The rated access times of the drives still apply here. It does provide higher sustained transfer rates, so you might load a big file 2x as fast (in a perfect world). Hence the reason it helps video/sound work.
March 13, 2007 1:49:30 AM

Quote:

Thanks...that explains the benefit of RAID. I believe I've heard or read that with RAID you also run the risk of losing your data should one of your hard drives fail but people are willing to take that risk for the speed benefit. This is why I've avoided it.
That only applies to RAID 0. There are different levels of RAID. The most common are RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, RAID 1+0, and RAID 5. The above statement only applies to RAID 0. The other levels you can rebuild your data.

Quote:

For RAID, you need special drivers...also for an external SATA device. But why is it so confusing to simply install two SATA drives and have them be initialized and used as such, regardless of whether they are SATA or SATA2?

SATA 2 will work with SATA 1 motherboards and controllers. However it will only support SATA 1 features. Hard drives will either auto-detect the speed or some have a jumper to set the hard drive to SATA 1 speeds.

Are you just trying to find out more info on SATA? Or are you actually trying to run a SATA drive in your machine? Or doing the 1st question to answer the 2nd question? :wink:
March 13, 2007 2:22:45 AM

Quote:

Thanks...that explains the benefit of RAID. I believe I've heard or read that with RAID you also run the risk of losing your data should one of your hard drives fail but people are willing to take that risk for the speed benefit. This is why I've avoided it.
That only applies to RAID 0. There are different levels of RAID. The most common are RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, RAID 1+0, and RAID 5. The above statement only applies to RAID 0. The other levels you can rebuild your data.

Quote:

For RAID, you need special drivers...also for an external SATA device. But why is it so confusing to simply install two SATA drives and have them be initialized and used as such, regardless of whether they are SATA or SATA2?

SATA 2 will work with SATA 1 motherboards and controllers. However it will only support SATA 1 features. Hard drives will either auto-detect the speed or some have a jumper to set the hard drive to SATA 1 speeds.

Are you just trying to find out more info on SATA? Or are you actually trying to run a SATA drive in your machine? Or doing the 1st question to answer the 2nd question? :wink:

I bought a motherboard for my new system without realizing it only had one IDE port. My original plan was to install the following:

1 IDE CDRW/DVDR
1 IDE CDRW/DVDRW
2 IDE (PATA) Hard Drives.

So, since I only have one IDE port, I had to get SATA hard drives. My motherboard has 4 SATA ports and 1 eSATA port. It's a DFI Infinity 975X/G.

I sent the two IDE hard drives back to NewEgg and bought SATA drives (WD 7200 250 Gb OEM with 3Gb/s speed). Not knowing anything about SATA technology, I assumed I simply had to connect them and the BIOS would detect them. I learned they have no Master/Slave jumpers and not knowing how the system would decide which one was which, I installed only one and then installed WinXP. Then I installed Service Pack 2, the second drive and also System Commander 8 (on the first drive).

I used System Commander 8 to resize the first drive which was not seen at it's full size during the WinXP install and also formatted and set up the second SATA drive as "D" and thought I was finished. Everything's running fine but today was talking with a friend about how they don't seem to transfer data any faster than my old IDE drives, so I came home and started investigating if I should have done something different (other than RAID) to improve their performance.

Sounds like if you're not using RAID, it's not worth doing anything because the difference will be minimal if at all.
March 13, 2007 3:02:40 AM

Windows XP didn't recognize partitions > 137GB prior to SP2 (or is it SP1?). You should take your XP installation CD and make a slip-streamed version of it to include SP2, then you won't have any problems with drive size.

My situation with ports is opposite yours: I am ridding myself of anything PATA and going strickly SATA, to include my PX-755SA DVD-RW. My MB has 6 SATA II ports (using 4 of them), and 1 IDE channel (not being used- as a matter-of-fact, it's disabled in BIOS). And I have added a Promise TX4302 SATA controller card to boot. (not boot as in "booting up the PC", but as in "as well")

Anyhow, I am sure someone here can point you in the direction of how to do a slip-streamed CD. Good luck.

Oh, as to your question about how the PC would make one SATA drive the system drive and the other data, well, YOU choose that during the Windows installation. Remember, Windows will display all available partitions and you select the one you want to install to. Pretty simple, eh? :) 
March 13, 2007 3:30:20 AM

After reading all the excellent feedback, I decided to go ahead and do a RAID 0 install. The price of 2 160 gb SATA II drives is ridiculously cheap, and the potential drive/data loss issue doesn't faze me, since I have a 250 gb external HD, and am used to backing up frequently. I am doing a lot of video and music encoding these days, and want to improve large file handling times as much as possible. Gotta start reading up on doing a RAID install! Thanks again to all of you excellent posters!
March 13, 2007 6:39:17 PM

Quote:
My original plan was to install the following:

1 IDE CDRW/DVDR
1 IDE CDRW/DVDRW
2 IDE (PATA) Hard Drives.

So, since I only have one IDE port, I had to get SATA hard drives.

Yeah, it kinda sucks that way, but unfortunately it happens when standards move on... :? Kind of like AGP and PCI-e

Quote:
Everything's running fine but today was talking with a friend about how they don't seem to transfer data any faster than my old IDE drives, so I came home and started investigating if I should have done something different (other than RAID) to improve their performance.

Sounds like if you're not using RAID, it's not worth doing anything because the difference will be minimal if at all.

Have to 2nd the idea on slipstreaming SP2 into the install disk - saves alot of time too.
Its true, the thing is that between the old IDE's and the new SATA's, you're not going to see big speed changes. You'd probably notice it more if you had very large files. Aside from PMR drives, I'd say that the difference between a IDE and a SATA would be less than 10MB/s. Now if you're moving smaller files around, then yeah... no difference. Big files however, you will probably see a difference in the time it takes.
I haven't gotten a PMR drive myself, but it'll be my next one. I think tom's did a review on a seagate one and its speedy, the closest 7200rpm to raptor performance.
http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/06/29/seagate_750_gb_b...

RAID will help in some cases. It will help more so in video/audio editing, etc, when your app is using large file transfers - especially HD video. It'll help a little in everything else, depending on your application.
March 13, 2007 8:42:39 PM

for instances I thought you were quoting my drives... :lol: 
March 13, 2007 11:01:50 PM

Quote:
for instances I thought you were quoting my drives... :lol: 
:lol:  :lol:  maybe i was... :p 
March 16, 2007 4:40:05 PM

Good work there! I had some links on my PC about how to do slipstreaming, but somehow managed to lose them! And since it's been a couple of years since I had to do that, I figured some of the information may be out of date.
!