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SSD, HDD, Slave drive, and Master drive questions...

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July 12, 2010 4:19:49 PM

Hi everyone,

I have a couple of questions in which I'm hoping to gain insight and knowledge into this whole shbang of slave and master drives and what it means for HDDs and SSDs....

In my current setup, I have the following drives:
1) 640 GB Caviar Black as Master Drive.
2) 80 GB Intel G1 as Slave drive.
3) 1 TB Samsung Spinpoint (forgot what this is).

Windows 7 is installed on the SSD.
System Reserved partition is installed on the Caviar Black.

My questions are as follows:
1) Is my SSD's performance being limited by the fact that it is a slave drive, or is this irrelevant in today's motherboards? I've set the boot priority to read off the SSD first in the bios.
2) Why is it that when I'm moving files between the two mechanical HDDs, do my computer halt to a crawl. While not an actual crawl, it is much slower than say when I did not have an SSD and I was moving files between the two HDDs. During file transfers, everything else would still seem fluid. However, with the SSD, HDD-to-HDD file transfers (talking about 200 GB file transfers) results in really slow overall OS performance (e.g., firefox loads pages slowly).

Thanks in advance for anyone capable of helping me out in the questions I've asked!
a b G Storage
July 12, 2010 4:56:19 PM

I doubt y ou have a master/slave setup - that was for IDE (PATA) drives only - not sata. Boot order isn't the same. SATA drives have a full channel per drive.

Not really sure about #2 - do you have any specific numbers? Copy some files & let us know the actual transfer times.
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July 12, 2010 5:23:04 PM

Thanks gtvr,

Well, when my computer boots up, it just lists the drives in the POST screen (is that what it's called?), and I see...

MASTER: Some western digital code.
SLAVE: Some INTELG1 code.

Is this just purely cosmetic?

All my drives are SATA. As for my second question, it isn't so much about the transfer, because I sustain an average of about 70 ~ 100mb/s depending on the files.

However, what slows down is the rest of the OS (not really "slow" per se, but it just starts not acting as fast anymore, and is a little jittery), which is why I ask if this is normal for SSDs? I've read something that seemed relevant somewhere that it's actually still faster than a normal HDD but due to the high I/O or something, it will seem jittery which results in the perception that it's slowing down. Does this make any sense? It should be noted that the transfers do not stop at all, so it's not stuttering.

I do apologize if I'm rambling, I've been trying to scoop up as much information as I can on SSDs and Windows 7 in general.
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a b G Storage
July 12, 2010 6:00:14 PM

What is your motherboard brand/model?

I understand now what you are saying about #2, but I don't have a definite answer. The only possibility I can think of offhand is, since there is some processor overhead for disk activity, faster disk activity is causing more processor usage so other things slow down? Not sure if it could be causing page file swapping - how much RAM do you have?
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July 12, 2010 6:43:13 PM

Hi GTVR,

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond, I really appreciate it.

I have 4 GB of DDR3 Ripjaw Series RAM, if that matters.

My MOBO is Gigabyte GA-MA790GPT-UD3H.
Processor is 2.6 Ghz Propus stock.

Is my processor choking or something? Because when the file transfers finish, everything else is smooth again.
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a c 99 G Storage
July 12, 2010 7:26:31 PM

Are your SATA ports set up in the BIOS as IDE, instead of ACHI.

Nevermind, your board is AMD not Intel. I don't know what setting the BIOS should be, I just know AMD chipset boards don't have ACHI. This may be why the BIOS post says what it says.

Have you checked your boot order? Intel drive first?
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July 12, 2010 8:38:26 PM

Thank you foscooter for the reply, I appreciate the time you took to type that.

It does support AHCI actually. But I left it at Native IDE because I can't be bothered since I've read somewhere about potential hassles down the road between the normal HDDs and stuff.

Is this why it just said that in the BIOS?

For the boot order, I've changed it to Intel Drive first.

So at this point, is it just some old cosmetic structure of reporting hard drives for IDE modes?

P.S. Anyone know why System Reserved installed itself onto the HDD as opposed to the SSD? Is this some sort of Windows 7 preference for HDDs? Or is it something to do with the master/slave setting.


I hope I'm not overloading everyone with questions! Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate it!
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a c 99 G Storage
July 12, 2010 10:18:31 PM

Did you once have a older version of Windows installed on the HDD? THe "System Reserved" partion is part of Windows 7 install. It puts important boot file in there (i.e. sys.com, command.com, autoexec.bat, config.sys, etc.). It should be on your SSD, but since your Windows works, you'll have to leave it. It may take a little longer for you to boot up, since it will look fo these files upon power up. And since the SSD is set as first boot, it won't find them, then look at your next drive to boot, then switch (or be pointed) to the OS drive.

As for ACHI, you really should set the SATA drives to it. BUT you'll have to re-install Windows after you change it. Well, I've hear that there is a registry edit one can do, but I don't know what it is. I read somewhere that ACHI gives about a 10% boost, but can't remember where I read it. It's somewhere in here, and I once posted a link to it, a couple of weeks ago....
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a c 99 G Storage
July 13, 2010 1:21:26 AM

That was the link! Thanks ZEPd3Z!
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!