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SSD IDE queries and discussion

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September 21, 2009 3:34:10 AM

Greetings there.

I'm in a bit of a conundrum where I am really keen to invest in an SSD as a boot drive for my OS given it's great performance and efficiency. Problem is, I've got no SATA ports available to me. Given that I do not have a SATA port available I have the following questions to ask:

1// Would this be impractical to get one considering I do not have a SATA port available, only IDE?

2a// If I was to search around for a SATA to IDE converter, wouldn't the performance still suffer as it would only be running in IDE speed?

2b// If I was to do option 2a, would there need to be some driver required, making more work and even issues with compatibility given the board maker?

3// Would using a SATA card (through PCI) require drivers? Which means I would need to boot into my OS first thus making this impractical?

4// I have seen some IDE drives on the market but for the most part, there performance seems woeful (unless anyone has information on the contrary). Does anyone know if there are any decent IDE drives?
a b G Storage
September 21, 2009 3:47:40 AM

What system are you using? If your system is so old it lacks SATA ports, you'll see gains if you upgrade your mobo and CPU. Using the same drives, my load times for game and level dropped a lot (nearly in half) just by moving from the single core 3500+ to the dual core E6600.
September 21, 2009 3:56:56 AM

4745454b said:
What system are you using? If your system is so old it lacks SATA ports, you'll see gains if you upgrade your mobo and CPU. Using the same drives, my load times for game and level dropped a lot (nearly in half) just by moving from the single core 3500+ to the dual core E6600.


I have a fairly modern motherboard which does have SATA connections but they are not available as they are currently being used. In terms of components I am using some recent parts as well including a multi core processor.

The main issue is strictly for the OS and for my web cache performance to be improved.
Related resources
a b G Storage
September 21, 2009 6:05:20 AM

Then move a SATA drive that you have to USB/IDE. Put the SSD on a SATA port and don't worry about it.

Quote:
The main issue is strictly for the OS and for my web cache performance to be improved.


I don't follow this totally. The windows swap file can be put on any disk. It doesn't need to be the disk the OS is installed on. What do you mean by "web cache"? What are you trying to do?
September 21, 2009 6:17:49 AM

4745454b said:
Then move a SATA drive that you have to USB/IDE. Put the SSD on a SATA port and don't worry about it.

Quote:
The main issue is strictly for the OS and for my web cache performance to be improved.


I don't follow this totally. The windows swap file can be put on any disk. It doesn't need to be the disk the OS is installed on. What do you mean by "web cache"? What are you trying to do?


Unfortunately I can't utilise a SATA port and I'm not keen on swapping one of my drives for IDE as that would be troublesome.

I'm not sure what you mean by swap file but basically I want to have my OS on the SSD as well as my web browsing. I browse the web quite a bit and it can take a while to load up history etc.
a b G Storage
September 21, 2009 9:29:08 AM

Quote:
Unfortunately I can't utilise a SATA port and I'm not keen on swapping one of my drives for IDE as that would be troublesome.


Well, what do you want? It might be troublesome, but if it gets you what you want, isn't it worth it?

Quote:
I'm not sure what you mean by swap file but basically I want to have my OS on the SSD as well as my web browsing. I browse the web quite a bit and it can take a while to load up history etc.


If you don't know the terms being used, how do you know I'm not giving you good advice? We still don't even know your specs. Pairing an old system up with a new SSD won't make it much faster. I gave my friend my old 2 systems ago computer. It has SATA ports, but only two of them. My current system has 6 or 8 SATA ports, and eSATA. Just because you have SATA ports or a dual core doesn't mean your system can't stand an upgrade.

Rather then come in here telling us what you need, why don't you give us some system specs and tell us what the problem is. The answers will be more on target.
September 21, 2009 10:33:35 AM

4745454b said:
Well, what do you want? It might be troublesome, but if it gets you what you want, isn't it worth it?


That may be true for you BUT like I said I wanted to explore other alternatives and seek advice on what they may be.

4745454b said:
If you don't know the terms being used, how do you know I'm not giving you good advice? We still don't even know your specs. Pairing an old system up with a new SSD won't make it much faster.


I might not know the term my knowledge on SSDs isn't great hence why I've come here as well as done some research, but I never said you gave poor advice so calm down. My system specs are as follows

GIGABYTE MA790FX-UD5P
AMD Phenom 9950 BE

It's not exactly old. Video card and RAM are probably irrelevant so I'll leave them out.

4745454b said:
I gave my friend my old 2 systems ago computer. It has SATA ports, but only two of them. My current system has 6 or 8 SATA ports, and eSATA. Just because you have SATA ports or a dual core doesn't mean your system can't stand an upgrade.


See my system actually has 8 SATA ports but all are utilised (yes all). I burn a massive amount of video to DVD for archiving and obviously have quite a few HDDs with media on them.

4745454b said:
Rather then come in here telling us what you need, why don't you give us some system specs and tell us what the problem is. The answers will be more on target.


I gave you specs above, I didn't mean to offend you (apologies if I did) you're coming across a little harsh. Maybe now you might be able to answer some of the questions in my original post.
a b G Storage
September 21, 2009 11:48:01 AM

Honestly, I see no real reason to re-answer the questions you post above.
It is obvious you have already made up your mind and just want us to justify that decision for you.

The advice that has already been given is still your best option.
Use a SATA => EIDE adaptor on one of your current drives (despite any minor PITA it may cause) and plug the SSD directly into a SATA port.
September 21, 2009 12:49:09 PM

outlw6669 said:
Honestly, I see no real reason to re-answer the questions you post above.
It is obvious you have already made up your mind and just want us to justify that decision for you.

The advice that has already been given is still your best option.
Use a SATA => EIDE adaptor on one of your current drives (despite any minor PITA it may cause) and plug the SSD directly into a SATA port.


I just thought there may be some other methods. So I am gathering that utilising say a SATA to PATA/IDE converter for the SSD would be a complete waste (I originally asked this).

One of my concerns was I've heard horror stories of people using a SATA to IDE/PATA converter and losing data or corrupting a drive or even destroying the drive itself. I don't mean to be rude or pushy I'm just seeking the best solution.

With the advent of newer drives, possibly those who had used IDE might want to upgrade making for a cheap second hand buy? Or will the IDE SSDs hold their price.
a b G Storage
September 21, 2009 6:38:53 PM

AMD build, I was guessing you were on an older 915/925 based Intel build. (chipset, not CPU) We know the mobo and CPU now, having the drive info might have helped. The problem with putting an SSD on the IDE bus is your going to be capped at 100/133Mbps. This is no where near what they could do. By putting on a SATA port, you'll keep those higher read/write speeds, which is what you "want". Without knowing your drive specs I'm not sure what will cause your history to pop up faster. (on firefox, sometimes it pops up fast for me, other times it takes awhile.)

I haven't heard of any issues with moving a SATA drive onto a IDE channel. If your worried about it, move an optical drive over. They don't go above 33MB transfer anyways, so they are best left on IDE.

And I'm sorry if I seemed rude, wasn't what I was going for. To help someone we need to know info, and its usually lacking from post one.
September 21, 2009 7:00:33 PM

Regarding your question #3 above about a SATA controller card, it may require a driver but then your OS either will provide it or present you with the New Hardware wizard to install it yourself. Maybe even one with external eSata as well as internal SATA and kill two birds with one stone, If you can't install a PCI or PCIe card, then you should not be considering changing out your boot drive for a new SSD.

Regarding your question #4, todays IDE drives work quite well actually. On low bandwidth applications like you list - video for DVD and archiving - you most likely won't notice any difference at all.

Alternatively, remove one SATA hard drive to free up the port and store more data externally. Course that would be easier if you had the eSATA port mentioned above - oh the ironly.

Alternatively, buy one large SATA HD to replace two to free up a port.

Gee there are a lot of simple alternatives.
a c 353 G Storage
September 21, 2009 8:57:20 PM

Ref: using a SSD on older IDE port - About two weeks ago I cloned a 2 Gig SCSI HHD on to a 8Gig IDE SSD (2 gig Partition). Installed in to P4-90 runing Windows 3.11 - Worked Like a charm. So that should not be an issue. What might be is finding a GOOD one for IDE. That 8 gig IDE SSD was SLC and cost approx $100 !! (Not my money, company money. But then you can not find "NEW" 2 gig SSCI drives.
September 22, 2009 12:48:18 AM

What do you mean you cloned them? And where did you find an 8GB IDE SSD?
September 22, 2009 11:06:59 AM

4745454b said:
AMD build, I was guessing you were on an older 915/925 based Intel build. (chipset, not CPU) We know the mobo and CPU now, having the drive info might have helped. The problem with putting an SSD on the IDE bus is your going to be capped at 100/133Mbps. This is no where near what they could do. By putting on a SATA port, you'll keep those higher read/write speeds, which is what you "want". Without knowing your drive specs I'm not sure what will cause your history to pop up faster. (on firefox, sometimes it pops up fast for me, other times it takes awhile.)


Yeah an AMD build, I've got an Intel machine I've been happy with too but this was perfect for the budget and offered great performance. We had the option of opting for a 790FX board which offered more SATA ports but it was DDR3 RAM only and because prices here are so steep (known to actually cause nose bleeds, that steep) it was completely out of the question. Compound the fact that the board also would cost a lot more.

4745454b said:
I haven't heard of any issues with moving a SATA drive onto a IDE channel. If your worried about it, move an optical drive over. They don't go above 33MB transfer anyways, so they are best left on IDE.


When you refer to using a SATA drive through an IDE channel do you mean by getting one of those SATA to IDE adapters? I've read some negative (but also positive) reviews and yeah still a little uncertain. But you're right, given the slow transfer rate, it's probably not the best option out there so it looks like I'll be ruling that out.

4745454b said:
And I'm sorry if I seemed rude, wasn't what I was going for. To help someone we need to know info, and its usually lacking from post one.


It's all good, I accept you were trying to help and will try to provide more info next time. I appreciate the help you've given and will continue to research before making my choice.

rockyjohn said:
Regarding your question #3 above about a SATA controller card, it may require a driver but then your OS either will provide it or present you with the New Hardware wizard to install it yourself. Maybe even one with external eSata as well as internal SATA and kill two birds with one stone, If you can't install a PCI or PCIe card, then you should not be considering changing out your boot drive for a new SSD.


This seems probably one of the better options as it would make use of a spare PCI slot. How would the speed be in comparison to say, going directly from SATA? Also when I originally looked into this, I heard drivers were often buggy and they can be hit or miss (many cheap generic brands often get poor results, the get what you pay for etc).

rockyjohn said:
Regarding your question #4, todays IDE drives work quite well actually. On low bandwidth applications like you list - video for DVD and archiving - you most likely won't notice any difference at all.


See I always thought was a massive difference between SATA and IDE and that it was very noticeable. This fills me with some comfort but still the converters can be hit or miss but it's another option that could work.

rockyjohn said:
Alternatively, remove one SATA hard drive to free up the port and store more data externally. Course that would be easier if you had the eSATA port mentioned above - oh the ironly.

Alternatively, buy one large SATA HD to replace two to free up a port.


I thought about this but I would have to spend even more money for a larger drive, and have a spare SATA drive lying around. The option was could we replace 1 SATA drive with an IDE but we have no IDE drives that have that amount of storage. Removing an already high capacity SATA drive for another one isn't entirely practical in terms of cost here (this was what I originally looked at but you had the right idea).

rockyjohn said:
Gee there are a lot of simple alternatives.


It's a really important decision so I want to make the best and most informed choice. Thanks for the insight.

RetiredChief said:
Ref: using a SSD on older IDE port - About two weeks ago I cloned a 2 Gig SCSI HHD on to a 8Gig IDE SSD (2 gig Partition). Installed in to P4-90 runing Windows 3.11 - Worked Like a charm. So that should not be an issue. What might be is finding a GOOD one for IDE. That 8 gig IDE SSD was SLC and cost approx $100 !! (Not my money, company money. But then you can not find "NEW" 2 gig SSCI drives.


Yeah I am keen on using an IDE SSD even if it's one of the slower SSDs on the market, chances are it would be MUCH faster than the high capacity HDDs we use for media storage. Shame they haven't got slightly larger drives for the OS. It's quite pricey so I'm hoping perhaps these hit a clearance price so I can snap one up, possibly two.

I'd like to thank everyone for all their insight and help and will continue to watch and reply if anyone has more to add. I'll definitely keep you informed. Very much appreciated though so thank you.
September 22, 2009 3:52:26 PM

rockyjohn said:
Did you read today's THG news article about Seagate's announcing the release of a new SATA 6GB drive with 2 TG of memory?

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/seagate-barracuda-xt-6...


No I haven't but it's an interesting development. Seems really nice, keen to see what power consumption is though. Currently we're running slower drives which use less power (more energy efficient) as they mainly hold media. Still keen to utilise a faster drive for the OS and burning programs.

I'm keen to know the pricing (living in Australia, pricing can often be hit and miss) though. I won't be able to take benefit of the 6GB/S anyway :p 
a b G Storage
September 22, 2009 6:08:35 PM

Slow transfer rate is only a problem if you want to keep a harddrive on it. You can either move a SATA optical over to IDE, or buy the PCI/PCIe SATA card and move the optical drive over to it. IDE/PCI is slow enough you don't want a harddrive on it, but they are fine for optical drives. Even 1 lane of PCIe is faster then a spinning drive can transfer, so only put a harddrive on the add in card if its PCIe.
a b G Storage
September 22, 2009 6:40:23 PM

Just to clarify legacy PCI runs at 33 MHz with a 32 bit bus meaning that it can transfer data at 132 MB/s. If you bought a PCI SATA card the bandwidth of the bus would be plenty for one of your other hard drives. Like everyone said, though, you would want to put the SSD into a mobo SATA port.
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