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Does it matter what port number an SSD is installed on?

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  • SSD
  • Western Digital
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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July 30, 2011 9:38:35 PM

I'm still having some problems getting my new computer to work optimally, and I still suspect my SSD. Some tweaks and guides found on the net (and help from this forum) have helped, but I still feel some system lag at times.
Does it matter what port an SSD is installed on?
My motherboard is P67A-UD4-B3 and I understand it has these ports:
2 x External SATA 6.0 Gb/s port at rear (Marvell)
4 x SATA II 3.0 Gb/s (Intel P67)
2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s (Intel P67)
After setting my bios to ACHI it lists these at startup:
0 Western Digital hdd
1 empty
2 dvd drive
3 Corsair CSSD-F60GB2-A
4+5 empty
(I have turned off eSata in bios since I don't need them, and they didn't show up in that boot list anyway)
Now my WD is SATA600 and my SSD is SATA300. So I assume the first two ports are the two SATA600 ports and that's why my WD is there?
But is this setup okay or could it be problematic? As discussed in a previous topic when I had the BIOS set to IDE mode it listed the WD as primary master and the SSD as secondary slave. I have had installed both Windows 7 and XP Pro x64. When installing Win7 it put the 100mb reserved partition on the WD. When installing XP it demands that I make a partition on the WD for boot files. And if I have both drives partitioned then it sets the WD as the C: drive.
So it definitely seems that the WD has a higher priority, but I don't know if that's problematic or not. I'm still a noob on all this, just trying to suss things out. My problem is that I'm visually impaired, so opening up the computer and messing with cables is not a realistic possibility. IF this setup was a problem then I'd probably have to send the computer back to the manufacturer to get them to set it up properly, and that would not be something I'd want to get into unless I knew for a fact that this was a problem.
So that's basically what I'm looking for. Can someone tell me for a fact that it is or is not a problem?

Cheers,
Lasse

More about : matter port number ssd installed

a b G Storage
July 30, 2011 10:57:47 PM

Yes, it matters which port you use, because they are different speeds.

You listed 4 SATA 3Gbps and 2 SATA 6Gbps. You would normally want have the SSD on a 6Gbps port. There's little point putting the WD on a 6Gbps port - it won't even saturate a 3Gbps port.

If those numbers you list match the SATA port numbers, then you have the WD on a 6Gbps port, and the SSD on a 3Gbps port. If you were to unplug the data cables from SSD and hard drive and swap them over, you'd have a more desirable arrangement. That should also resolve your issue with drive "priority". You might find it easy enough to get someone to swap those two cables for you. You could then install Windows 7 on the SSD.

You might want to think about whether you want Windows XP 64 bit on the SSD - XP was written before SSDs became common, it lacks native TRIM, and support for it is all but gone. Unless you need it for something critical, I'd recommend not installing it on the SSD. You could, if you do need XP, continue to use it from the hard drive.
July 31, 2011 3:58:52 AM

You don't need to use the Marvell 6Gbps SATA ports. Both drive cannot saturate the Intel 3Gbps SATA ports and since these Intel ports are embedded in the chipset, better use them. Marvell's come from it's own chip added to the board which is not the best option. Better use them for the SSDs that really needs it.

Also when you do install different versions of Windows, install the oldest first in order to the latest: 98->XP->Vista/7.
Quote:
When installing Win7 it put the 100mb reserved partition on the WD.

When you create a partition for Windows 7, it will then tell you it needs to create a reserved partition for hidden files. Click Yes, delete it (the 100MB reserved partition), then continue with the setup. I'm doing this since I bought Windows 7 and I never had any issues with that trick. And using TrueCrypt (software to encrypt whole HDD/partitions) is made easier since there is no hidden reserved partition.
Quote:
When installing XP it demands that I make a partition on the WD for boot files. And if I have both drives partitioned then it sets the WD as the C: drive.

Windows XP can recognize some SATA HDD, but SSDs are not by default. So usually you can't install it on a SSD, but sometimes you can. Like CompulsiveBuilder told you, installing XP is not at all recommended to install on the SSD. Also after you did the Windows XP install, it will always report the drive/partition it is currently installed as the C: drive and Windows 7 drive/partition as D:. Windows 7 will do the same, reporting it to be C: and Windows XP, D:.
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July 31, 2011 9:21:39 AM

compulsivebuilder said:
Yes, it matters which port you use, because they are different speeds.

You listed 4 SATA 3Gbps and 2 SATA 6Gbps. You would normally want have the SSD on a 6Gbps port. There's little point putting the WD on a 6Gbps port - it won't even saturate a 3Gbps port.

Hm okay. I thought since the WD is a SATA600 drive it should be on the 6Gbps port? But I don't know much about hardware... I guess even though it's SATA600 it doesn't matter if it's onnected to the 3Gbps or 6Gbps port then?


compulsivebuilder said:
If those numbers you list match the SATA port numbers, then you have the WD on a 6Gbps port, and the SSD on a 3Gbps port. If you were to unplug the data cables from SSD and hard drive and swap them over, you'd have a more desirable arrangement. That should also resolve your issue with drive "priority". You might find it easy enough to get someone to swap those two cables for you. You could then install Windows 7 on the SSD.

The data cables... Am I right in thinking that they're attached to the back of the hard drive? There would be a power and a data cable coming out of the back of each drive, right? If I just swap over the data cables and don't do anything else, then it would be benificial to me? I might be able to do that on my own, as long as I don't have to touch the motherboard stuff..


compulsivebuilder said:
You might want to think about whether you want Windows XP 64 bit on the SSD - XP was written before SSDs became common, it lacks native TRIM, and support for it is all but gone. Unless you need it for something critical, I'd recommend not installing it on the SSD. You could, if you do need XP, continue to use it from the hard drive.

Yes, I do understand that XP won't be optimal for SSD. However I found Windows 7 hard to manage because of my special needs. So if I could get XP to run well then that would be my first priority. I may still go with Windows 7, but I'll see...
Thanks for the input so far!
Lasse
July 31, 2011 9:31:50 AM

MrBig55 said:
You don't need to use the Marvell 6Gbps SATA ports. Both drive cannot saturate the Intel 3Gbps SATA ports and since these Intel ports are embedded in the chipset, better use them. Marvell's come from it's own chip added to the board which is not the best option. Better use them for the SSDs that really needs it.

Yes, the Marvell ports are the eSata ones, as far as I know. So I have those turned off in the BIOS and am not planning on doing anything with them. The Intel ports are 2 6Gbps and 4 3Gbps.


MrBig55 said:
Also when you do install different versions of Windows, install the oldest first in order to the latest: 98->XP->Vista/7.

Oh sorry, I should have made that clearer. I'm not talking about about dual booting. I had Windows 7 first but had troubles with it because of my disability. So I scrapped that and tried XP64 instead. I'm not planning to run both. I'd prefer to be running XP64 but may go back to Win7.


MrBig55 said:

When you create a partition for Windows 7, it will then tell you it needs to create a reserved partition for hidden files. Click Yes, delete it (the 100MB reserved partition), then continue with the setup.

Ah I didn't know you could just delete it. That's handy then, thanks.


MrBig55 said:
Windows XP can recognize some SATA HDD, but SSDs are not by default. So usually you can't install it on a SSD, but sometimes you can. :.

I was able to install XP on the SSD in IDE mode. And then I installed the SSD drivers in XP and rebooted and set it to AHCI. That worked okay. The SSD benchmark scores are pretty much the same in XP as in Win7, but I know it's probably not recommended anyway.
Thanks for the input!
Lasse
!