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Can someone answer some basic Sata questions?

Last response: in Storage
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December 20, 2007 12:28:41 PM

I use my home computer as primarily just a videogaming machine, and I currently have an WD ATA-100 hardrive.

My first question: is it worth the time and money to upgrade to a Sata 3.0 g/s drive? Would it be noticably faster than an ATA-100 drive? Drive capacity notwithstanding, I am just curious if it is noticably FASTER.

My second question: is there any benefit to using the SATA drive in AHCI mode as opposed to IDE emulation for playing video games? Because I use Windows XP, getting the drive to run in AHCI mode when installing the OS is a pain.

Any help is appreciated.
December 20, 2007 12:47:29 PM

Nope, it only has a bit faster xfer times, and a smaller cable which is a plus. It also depends on the seek time of the drive, like a Western Digital Raptor, a 10,000 RPM drive, favored as the primary drive for the system files. If your Mobo has SATA, great, you will see a BIT of increase but nothing super. Go SATA 2 and a Raptor, you will see faster load and boot times.
a b G Storage
December 20, 2007 12:48:35 PM

Question #1, for gaming you would see a little faster load times, your PC will boot a little faster.
Question #2, for gaming, you won't notice any difference in AHCI or emulated IDE mode.

SATA drives are pretty inexpensive, although I think that the actual performance gain you will see over your IDE drive is not going to be huge, I would still suggest changing to SATA. For other things you do with your PC outside of gaming, an SATA drive can make a difference.

If you are looking to increase performance, give us your complete list of hardware. You may get more benefit elsewhere for the money depending on your setup.
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December 20, 2007 12:56:30 PM

Newer HDs do tend to be faster, but the interface (SATA v IDE) is not the limiting bit. Increased rotational speed (in RPM and thus reduced latency, in ms) and data density are the primary factors in speed. I would not bother upgrading a HD unless it were failing or I need more capacity.
December 20, 2007 3:41:53 PM

Ok, thanks for the replies everyone.

I was just curious about the speed. A buddy of mine has a new system that I was impressed at the load times of certain games.

My system is a pretty good system.
Core2duo 6400 (overclocked to 2.6 ghz)
2 gig Ram ddr2 667
XP
8800GT

My buddies computer is a new gigabyte board with a 1333 bus speed and a core2duo 6750 2 gig ram DDR2 800 with a 7950gt, so the combination of the bus speed and the processor is probably what makes it load so fast. He also has a SATAII drive, where I have an ATA100 drive, so I was wondering how much of a difference that makes.

Thanks for the help, everyone.
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