Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

More SATA, More RAID, More Ports

Intel Stakes Its Vision of the PC Future with 775 Launch
By

Four SATA channels, ATAPI support, Matrix RAID, easy RAID migration, hot plugging and command queuing are standing by.

Another leap has been made with the Serial ATA controller. While the component that is part of ICH5 and ICH5R is a rather simple one, Intel has now upgraded it to become a real AHCI device (Advanced Host Controller Interface). As a result, Windows logs it in as an SCSI or RAID controller device. As I mentioned earlier in this article, this is also the reason why you will have to reinstall your operating system when upgrading from an 800 to a 900 chipset if you are running Windows on an ICH5 RAID drive. Unfortunately, software compatibility has gone.

The 900 chipset family finally offers four SATA ports. All of them are capable of running at 150 MB/s max. In addition, ATAPI support has been introduced as well so as to be ready for optical drives that will be increasingly equipped with an SATA interface rather than UltraATA.

There are several changes to the RAID capabilities, too. As before, a simple RAID 0 stripe set can be instituted in order to speed up your drive subsystem. As an alternative, you may of course chose a RAID 1 setup that mirrors all the information on a second drive in real time. Thanks to the four SATA ports, you can do both - provided you've got two hard drive pairs.

Whenever you install a fresh copy of Windows, you need to consider whether you want to start with a RAID-ready setup or a simple drive. Basically, creating a one-drive RAID is what I consider to be a RAID-ready setup. This config is required to easily upgrade to RAID 0 or 1 after adding a second hard drive (which is done in Windows). Intel calls it 'RAID migration capability'.

The downside is that the RAID-ready system drive will not be able to run on computers that do not have the ICH6R SATA controller with Intel Application Accelerator 4.0 RAID drivers installed - if that is important for you to know.

Also, Intel now allows for a spare drive to be added. This one is useful for RAID 1 setups and will automatically be used to rebuild the array if one of the member drives should fail. We found it interesting to see that Intel didn't provide options to run RAID arrays with three or four drives either. As the chipsets we're dealing with are desktop products, the focus was elsewhere: Matrix RAID.

Summary
  1. Intel's 775 Launch Mixes Ambition With A Strong Aftertaste
  2. First Contact
  3. Obstacles And Hurdles
  4. More Findings
  5. New Socket: LGA 775
  6. LGA 775 Processor Installation
  7. LGA 775 Processor Installation, Continued
  8. LGA 775 Processor Installation, Continued
  9. MSI's CPU Installation Tool
  10. Transitional Products
  11. Poor Thing: Intel Reference Cooler
  12. New Processors: P4 Prescott Up To 3.6 GHz
  13. Specification Overview
  14. Model And Pricing Information
  15. Processor Overview
  16. New Chipsets: 925X, 915G, 915P, 915GV
  17. New Chipsets: 925X, 915G, 915P, 915GV, Continued
  18. 925X Express Chipset
  19. 915G Express Chipset
  20. 915G Express Chipset, Continued
  21. 915G Express Chipset, Continued
  22. 915P Express Chipset
  23. Chipset Devices
  24. Intel Puts The Lock On Overclocking
  25. How To Unlock The Overclocking Lock
  26. New Memory: DDR2-533, Continued
  27. DDR2 Memory Vendors
  28. Intel Flex Memory Technology
  29. New Interlink: PCI Express
  30. More SATA, More RAID, More Ports
  31. Matrix RAID
  32. Creating A RAID Array
  33. More HD Performance For Free: Command Queuing
  34. More Networking: Intel Wireless Connect Technology
  35. New Audio: High Definition Audio
  36. Asus P5AD2 Premium
  37. Foxconn 925A01
  38. Test Setup
  39. Benchmarks And Settings
  40. Platform Benchmarks
  41. DirectX 8 Benchmarks
  42. DirectX 8 Benchmarks, Continued
  43. DirectX 9 Benchmarks, Continued
  44. Video Benchmarks
  45. Video Benchmarks, Continued
  46. Application Benchmarks
  47. Application Benchmarks, Continued
  48. Synthetic Benchmarks
  49. Synthetic Benchmarks, Continued
  50. Processor Power Consumption
  51. Integrated Graphics Benchmarks
  52. Game Benchmarks
  53. Halo
  54. Far Cry
  55. Video Performance
  56. Networking Benchmarks
  57. Storage Subsystem Benchmarks
  58. Conclusion
  59. A Final Note
React To This Article