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Choice of SSD for P3 systems?

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  • SSD
  • Controller
  • Systems
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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January 9, 2012 10:12:54 PM

I have two Pentium III systems that I keep around when in a pinch. I would like to upgrade the disks on the systems one last time before retiring them altogether.

Being circa 2001, there aren't any SATA controllers, so I am pondering adding a Promise controller given that these systems only have a PCI bus & no PCI-E:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009U6140/ref=ox_sc_a...

...which only gets me to 3Gb/s throughput. Am I correct assuming that 3Gb/s is the fastest throughput available for a PCI bus?

Secondly, in reading through recent articles on this site, it appears that Kingston SSDNow's are suggested for cheap utilitarian use:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004BDORM4/ref=ox_sc_a...

...so is matching V100 64GB drives with the above Promise controller a reasonable combination?

I'm anticipating installing two SSD drives per system in a RAID1 software configuration using one of *BSD's. The controller will not need to handle RAID. Neither system needs a lot of disk space, so 64GB drives should be adequate. My goal is to make them responsive & reliable for whatever time I continue to use them.

Any & all responses would be appreciated.

More about : choice ssd systems

a c 265 G Storage
January 9, 2012 10:29:26 PM

Would the money not be better saved towards a new system that is up to today's std!
PIII system today pretty much is an electronic typewriter!
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January 9, 2012 10:47:03 PM

For the intended use, newer hardware is not needed, & I can upgrade both systems for less than what a single replacement will cost. At least, that is the goal.

My question centers around whether there is anything unforeseen in the combination of components chosen given that it will be added to an older PCI bus.
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a c 265 G Storage
January 9, 2012 10:57:22 PM

There should not be any unforeseen issues! Looks like you have done your research.
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January 9, 2012 11:16:18 PM

Okay, I'm curious about the following. Yes, Crucial M4 drives are marketed providing 6Gb/s throughput:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W2JKWG/ref=ox_sc_a...

...but a recent article here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/tests-ssd-review-so...

...states that the 64GB version of the M4 is slightly slower.

Given that I am constrained with using a 3Gb/s controller, is there any gain in using the newer 6GB/s Crucial M4 over a 3Gb/s Kingston? Assuming that the Crucial is using new technology, might there be any collateral benefits such as lower power consumption?

Yes, I understand that the overall throughput will still be limited by the choice of SATA controller, but from what I understand, the PCI bus itself is the gating issue.

The price difference between the Kingston & Crucial is not appreciably different if there is any potential gain in choosing the faster drive.
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a c 265 G Storage
January 9, 2012 11:28:25 PM

The SATA 6GB drives will be slightly faster than the SATA3gb drives since they are able to max the 3GB controller.
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January 10, 2012 12:03:27 AM

You might want to store that p3 because it will be worth more in antique pricing in a decade...seriously how do you still have that.

I am from India..and people there don't have p3's anymore...lol
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a b G Storage
January 10, 2012 1:30:37 AM

The only funny thing though OP is that even though the Promise card is SATA II, the throughput is going to be limited to 133MB/sec (theoretical) because the 32-bit PCI slot is limited to that. So even a SATA I drive would exceed it's limitation.
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a c 314 G Storage
January 10, 2012 3:50:28 PM

ocicat - Bought my first desktop in 1985. Sometime around 1999 I built a personal rig with an Intel Pentium III 500Mhz cpu.

I think the first thing that should be looked at is the motherboard's System BIOS. I don't think the System Bios on the motherboard has an ACHI mode that can be enabled. ACHI mode is a typical ssd requirement. If memory serves ACHI mode was introduced later.

The next thing that needs to be looked at are the PCI slots on the motherboard. You already stated the motherboard does not have any PCI-Express slots. Instead your motherboard has a PCI slot. The theoretical maximum data transmission rate for PCI is 133MB/s. That is well below SATA 2 3Gb/s and SATA 3 6Gb/s ssd's.

Finally, that Promise adapter card is designed for hard disk drives. It is not designed for solid state drives. The card is not compatible with solid state drives. In fact, according to Promise that card is not compatible with some hard disk drives.

I was going to mention a few other compatability problems but that is a moot point now.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. :( 

BTW - I still use my original IBM Model M keyboard with a keyboard layout and feel that is identical to the old IBM Selectric Model D electric typewriters. Almost 25 years of service and it is still in excellent condition. They don't make them like they used to. :D 
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January 16, 2012 11:05:42 PM

> I don't think the System Bios on the motherboard has an ACHI mode that
> can be enabled. ACHI mode is a typical ssd requirement. If memory
> serves ACHI mode was introduced later.

Thanks! I will look into this further.

> Finally, that Promise adapter card is designed for hard disk drives. It is not
> designed for solid state drives. The card is not compatible with solid state
> drives. In fact, according to Promise that card is not compatible with some
> hard disk drives.

Assuming I can enable ACHI, do you have any suggestions on PCI SATA cards?
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a c 314 G Storage
January 17, 2012 5:13:34 AM

I do not know of any PCI based cards designed for use with solid state drives.

We typically get questions about PCI-e cards. The inexpensive cards are not very good. In truth they are pretty bad because they use old controllers and only one PCI-e channel instead of 4 channels. The decent cards are expensive. They usually cost more than a solid state drive.
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