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Sata I drive faster/more stable than *NEW* SATA II drive

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January 28, 2010 10:40:04 PM

Here's the benchmark of my two hard drives (where you can also see the model# of each drive). The 250Gb drive is SATAI (I believe) and the 500Gb drive is SATAII -- both drives are from WD.

Keep in mind that the benchmark and error scan were both set to fast for a rough estimate. The block size for the benchmark is 64kb for both drives.

250Gb Drive:


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

500Gb Drive:


The 500Gb drive is my "system" drive (Windows XP x86/Programs/Etc) while my 250Gb drive is basically a "storage" drive (games [such as Steam games], media, backups, etc)

Motherboard make/model: MSI MS-6702E (VIA K8T800 Pro Chipset)
RAM make/model: 2 x 1GB DDR Corsair PC3200 CMX-1024-3200C2 @ 200Mhz Dual Band
CPU make/model: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ @ 2.2Ghz
Video: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT (350MHz GPU/1000MHz Memory), GDDR3 256MB

Here's my problem... A few months ago I used to own a WD Raptor 74Gb as my main drive until it finally crashed so I ended up buying this 500Gb drive as a replacement. When I had my Raptor as my main drive, transferring disk-to-disk (moving a ripped movie/music cd mp3s) was blazing fast, taking only a few seconds. Now, it seems to take about 5x longer than my WD Raptor did.

What's odd here is that the benchmark results show to be great. However, after running the benchmark on the 500Gb drive several times, there were a few spikes to 1.0mb/s and it'd sit at 1.Xmb/s for a few seconds then go back up to the 80mb/s range. I'm not sure what's causing this. The only thing I can think of is when I installed the 500Gb HDD (SATAII), my system wouldn't recognize it. I ended up playing with the pins until I found the pin setting that worked. Unfortunately, there's no guide that I can find to tell me which pin will treat the SATAII drive as SATAI, unless of course, I did end up finding it (as this is the only jumper combination that worked).

Does anyone know why it's doing this to me? I'm pretty sure my WD Raptor wasn't as fast as this 500Gig drive, but possibly close. Or am I doing something wrong?

I can't stand having this sluggish disk-to-disk transfer speeds. I figured that since the 500Gig drive is operating in UDMA M6, it would be faster than the 250Gig UDMA M5.

This forum is basically my last attempt of resolving this issue before completely giving up on it. And yes, I know the system is still old, but it still works! :D 
a c 415 G Storage
January 29, 2010 2:03:05 AM

First of all the difference between SATA I and SATA II is going to have absolutely no effect on these drives. SATA I transfers at up to 150MB/sec, SATA II up to 300MB/sec. Neither of these drives get anywhere near SATA I's throughput, so SATA II will make zero difference.

I'd say that three most likely possibilities that your disk-to-disk transfer of MP3 is slower (or at least the first three things to rule out), would be:

1) If you're transferring the files from one place to another on the same drive, you'll probably see slower performance because the Raptors have faster access times than other conventional drives. Copying from/to on the same drive is going to mean a lot of access arm movement, and that will have a big impact on speed. To be clear here, if you have a "C:" and "D:" partition and if they're both on the same disk drive, then copying from C: to D: does not count as transferring from one disk to another - that's just copying from one place to another on the same disk.

2) If you're really copying the files from one separate disk to another, then the next possibility is that it's the other disk that's slow - either because it's inherently slow (flash drive) or attached via a slow connection (USB).

3) The last "likely" culprit would be that either the source disk or the target disk is doing something else at the same time you're doing the copy. Any other sustained activity will make the heads thrash and drastically slow down transfer rates.


Edit - corrected transfer rates from GB/sec to MB/sec
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a b G Storage
January 29, 2010 2:21:07 AM

I found your manual here. But I could not find any "pins" to set for the SATA HDDs. Page 2-18 shows there are 4 SATAI connectors, two running off the VIA chipset, and 2 running off the Promise Controller.

Page 3-15 shows the BIOS settings for the on-chip (VIA) HDD controller (at the top of the page, and the default On-Chip SATA-IDE Controller is ENABLED)
The Promise controller for SATA is on the bottom of the page (P20579 S.ATA Controller: settings RAID or SATA).

To which is your HDD connected?
Make the necessary BIOS changes to enable the other, connect it to the other controller, and run your tests to see which is better.
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January 29, 2010 4:46:09 AM

Hey guys, thanks for your replies.

sminlal said:
First of all the difference between SATA I and SATA II is going to have absolutely no effect on these drives. SATA I transfers at up to 150MB/sec, SATA II up to 300MB/sec. Neither of these drives get anywhere near SATA I's throughput, so SATA II will make zero difference.

I'd say that three most likely possibilities that your disk-to-disk transfer of MP3 is slower (or at least the first three things to rule out), would be:

1) If you're transferring the files from one place to another on the same drive, you'll probably see slower performance because the Raptors have faster access times than other conventional drives. Copying from/to on the same drive is going to mean a lot of access arm movement, and that will have a big impact on speed. To be clear here, if you have a "C:" and "D:" partition and if they're both on the same disk drive, then copying from C: to D: does not count as transferring from one disk to another - that's just copying from one place to another on the same disk.

2) If you're really copying the files from one separate disk to another, then the next possibility is that it's the other disk that's slow - either because it's inherently slow (flash drive) or attached via a slow connection (USB).

3) The last "likely" culprit would be that either the source disk or the target disk is doing something else at the same time you're doing the copy. Any other sustained activity will make the heads thrash and drastically slow down transfer rates.


Edit - corrected transfer rates from GB/sec to MB/sec

1) These are two separate drives
2) Both drives are connected via Serial ATA I
3) Thats the problem: I'm not doing anything else when files are transferring :|

treefrog07 said:
I found your manual here. But I could not find any "pins" to set for the SATA HDDs. Page 2-18 shows there are 4 SATAI connectors, two running off the VIA chipset, and 2 running off the Promise Controller.

Page 3-15 shows the BIOS settings for the on-chip (VIA) HDD controller (at the top of the page, and the default On-Chip SATA-IDE Controller is ENABLED)
The Promise controller for SATA is on the bottom of the page (P20579 S.ATA Controller: settings RAID or SATA).

To which is your HDD connected?
Make the necessary BIOS changes to enable the other, connect it to the other controller, and run your tests to see which is better.

Ah, I couldn't ever find a guide on this motherboard unfortunately. Thanks for this, although my BIOS settings are somewhat different than what this guide shows. It seems that [possibly] this was an older BIOS version or a different motherboard that the screenshots were taken with.

On 3-15, I couldn't find any options similar to what the manual was stating. The only thing I could change was to enable/disable PATA and SATA interfaces.

Any other ideas as of what could be causing this?
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January 29, 2010 4:48:12 AM

Best answer selected by robertark.
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a b G Storage
January 29, 2010 12:15:12 PM

Here's where I went to find the manual: http://www.msi.com/index.php?func=proddesc&maincat_no=1... there are two versions of the board. The link will also get you to the BIOS updates, if you wish to update by flashing the BIOS. Which SATA connections are you using the VIA or the Promise controller? Have you been able to "see" the drives on both controllers?
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January 29, 2010 7:40:19 PM

treefrog07 said:
Here's where I went to find the manual: http://www.msi.com/index.php?func=proddesc&maincat_no=1... there are two versions of the board. The link will also get you to the BIOS updates, if you wish to update by flashing the BIOS. Which SATA connections are you using the VIA or the Promise controller? Have you been able to "see" the drives on both controllers?

I'm not sure what you mean by seeing the drives on both controllers, sorry. The drives are connected individually by their own SATA cables directly to the motherboard SATA slots, there's only two SATA slots on the motherboard (bottom right, above the LED jumpers)

Hope this helps,
Rob
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a b G Storage
January 30, 2010 12:39:08 AM

You must have a different model board than I found. The picture on page 1 of the manual shows 4 SATA connectors: two on the Promise controller just above the front panel connectors as you described, and two on the VIA controller (to the right of the VIA chip). Have a good weekend.
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