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IDE hard drive to SATA

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January 3, 2010 4:26:28 AM

I'm building a new system and I bought a new motherboard (Asus M4A785TD V EVO), CPU (Athlon II X4 630), and 4gig Memory (Corsair DD3 1600, CM3X2g1600C9DHX.) I'm planning on using other parts I have lying around (580 watt power supply, old case, a few IDE cd-rom and dvd-rom drives, a 1tb SATA drive, and 2 older IDE hard drives. The motherboard only has support for 2 IDE devices. What option is better; a PCI IDE controller card or a SATA/IDE adapter? Which is going to yield better results? Right now I think my OS is on one of the IDE drives. Will that make a difference?

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a b V Motherboard
a b G Storage
January 3, 2010 1:24:32 PM

I would just buy the SATA/IDE adapter. They work fine, performance is not an issue, the drive it's self is the slowest thing. You will need to do a new install of Windows anyway, so it doesn't matter which drive the OS is on. I personally would put it on the SATA drive simply because the SATA drive is so much faster than the old IDE drives.
CD drive? Don't even bother installing it. If you have a DVD, you don't need it.
If it were me, I would install the largest IDE drive and the DVD, and the SATA drive.
Install the OS on the SATA drive, and I bet you will never ever have need for anything else.
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January 3, 2010 5:15:55 PM

Thanks for the tip. That's what I was originally going to do. Just out of curiosity though are there any performance differences between a PCI card and a IDE/SATA adapter? The PCI cards are about $15.00 and can run 4 devices. The adapters cost about $25.00 and only work on one device.
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a b V Motherboard
a b G Storage
January 3, 2010 5:41:52 PM

I have not seen any benchmarks, this is only my best guess.
Since the SATA controller has at least double the throughput of an IDE controller, I would say it could "potentially" be faster. But it is irrelevant because the drive will never be able to live up the capabilities/potential of either controller, IDE or SATA.
Take for instance, I think the best IDE controller card you can buy is a ATA133. If the drive is a 133 as well, then there you have it. 133mb/s potential throughput, and that is only advertised rate, you will more likely see somewhere around 30mb/s of sustained throughput, and maybe 60-70mb/s burst with most common drives on a good, fast ATA133 controller. But you must also take into consideration how fast the drive is! Most IDE drives are probably ATA100, and maybe if it is very old at all, it could even be a ATA66 drive. I would hesitate to call a $15 controller card a good card though. But it will likely still run the drive about as fast as it is ever going to run. I would hate to think in this day of SATA devices my PC had parts in old enough that I needed a 4 port IDE card. (added to the already 2 onboard ports) UUUGHHHHhhhhh. Talk about bottlenecks. But, it's up to you.
SATA 1 supports 150mb/s, and you can actually get around 110mb/s burst, and around 80 mb/s sustained throughput with a decent drive, SATA 2 supports 300mb/s, and you can get indeed well over 150mb/s burst speed, and well over 100mb/s of sustained throughput with a good drive.
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January 3, 2010 6:16:58 PM

I understand SATA is better but if I have a couple hundred gig laying around on older IDE drives (mostly ATA133 drives) why not find a way to use that space for storage. This is my first build in about 6 years. I'm upgrading from a Athlon XP 2900+ on a socket A motherboard. So everything is going to be a vast improvement. If I'm just using the IDE drives for file storage like pictures and videos, why do I have to worry about bottlenecks?
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January 3, 2010 9:15:41 PM

Loading the OS, is done from the hard drive. Also, bigger applications (mostly games) load from the hard drive. This is considerably slower on ATA133 than it is on a SATA II drive. If you don't have an abundance of RAM, you will also notice slower performance when windows begins to use the page file on the disc.
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a c 238 V Motherboard
a c 167 G Storage
January 3, 2010 9:43:05 PM

IDE drives are getting old. In time, they may become unreliable. Consider buying a 500gb sata drive for about $50 and loading your pictures there.
I do hope that you have external backup for any files that you cherish.
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January 3, 2010 10:35:35 PM

supermaughan said:
I understand SATA is better but if I have a couple hundred gig laying around on older IDE drives (mostly ATA133 drives) why not find a way to use that space for storage.



Because for slightly more than the cost of a converter or a pci card, you could buy a sata drive and have it actually be useful....
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