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6GB Controller Card & SSD / HDD Question

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Last response: in Storage
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August 17, 2010 11:24:58 PM

Hey All,

Quick question for you. I am going to be upgrading my 7 year old PC with some spare parts from a build I did for my kids a little while ago (I'll probably explain all that in another post). In this upgrade, which I plan to upgrade again in about 2 to 4 years, I will be using an Asus repaired p5ke-wifi-a/p mobo. I will be upgrading to Windows 7 and buying some new storage.

I am planning on getting either a 128GB or 256GB Crucial C300 SSD with a 6GB/s interface and a WD 600GB velociraptor, also with a 6GB/s interface. The SSD was going to be used for the OS and certain apps, while the WD was going to be used for program files, games, etc. I liked the 6GB/s interface because even though I would only be able to get the standard 3GB/s right now, I figured when I upgrade, my new mobo would have the 6GB/s as a standard and I would just keep my drives (a kind of future-proof thing...although I cringe to say that).

But then I started thinking about getting a 6GB/s controller card (I am assuming they are PCIe although I haven't yet checked around) so I could enjoy the additional throughput now.

Here, finally, is the question: Is a controller card going to have the same throughput as an onboard controller? Is there a bottleneck using a controller card? Or will it function the same as onboard and are there any downsides? Additionally, if the controller card is indeed a PCIe card, will that impact the x16 GPU performance (I am NOT running SLI)?

If you need any more info from me just let me know. Otherwise, thanks in advance for your help (as always!)!


U.S.H.A.!

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August 19, 2010 11:19:51 PM

well, according to this review the read speed is 355MB/s over 6Gbps sata3, whereas it's 'only' 265MB/s over 3Gbps sata2. Write performance remains the same at 215MB/s. Frankly the strength of an SSD is it's random access, whether you'd be able to notice that faster read is another question (probably the only reason to get 6Gbps is either because you're getting it anyway or some sort of posturing). So that one's up to you. As for the velociraptor, I doubt very highly any mechanical drive (even a 10k rpm one) comes even close to maxing out a sata2 port. I'm pretty sure the 6Gbps interface there is more or less pure marketing.

As for PCIe, your asus p5ke-wifi-ap mobo has two PCIe x16 interfaces, unlike some other mobo's where you may get either one x16 or two x8's so any PCIe card will have no or negligible impact on other PCIe devices. Depending on the controller quality they should be as fast for a single drive, and may be faster for raids (which is not something you're looking for anyway). Given that you're connecting an SSD though, you'll want to turn off any cache and as I understand there are still no controllers with trim support. Basically trim makes sure your SSD stays fast, and is quite important (you should look it up).
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September 2, 2010 4:46:30 PM

Best answer selected by 13bravo.
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September 2, 2010 4:50:12 PM

Hi Sirv,

I just wanted to say thanks for the response...my PC crapped out on me and it took me awhile to find time to build the new one. So I decided to forget sata 3 and the SSD altogether...I'll wait until pricing comes down for the SSD.

I ended up getting a single 600GB velociraptor that I partitioned into two drives (system and apps) and a 1TB spinpoint F3 (HD103SJ) for data. It's working great (except for the stupid JMicron controller and my eSata external HDD...but that's for another post, haha!

Thanks again!
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