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Serial ATA Is Here: Seagate Barracuda ATA V and Five of the Latest Controllers Reviewed

Promise SATA150 TX2

The TX2 is the smallest model from Promise, and it is based on the PDC20375. It uses bridges, although these are integrated in the chip. The controller is equipped accordingly: it provides a standard IDE connector in addition to the two Serial ATA ports. All available drives can be used when configuring a RAID array.

Two Serial ATA drives can be used in combination with up to two conventional IDE drives.

Promise is the only manufacturer to provide a manual in five languages. However, it is somewhat sparse.

The SATA150 TX2 achieved good performance figures in the Winbench 99 2.0 applications benchmark and in the H2benchw application test. It was marked down because of the interface transfer rate with motherboards using Intel chipsets, where it cannot achieve any more than 63 MBytes/sec. Comparative measurements with an Athlon system using a KT400 chip and VT8235-Southbridge showed a healthy 82 MBytes/sec.

Interestingly, the on-board solution with this controller chip on the MSI KT4 Ultra (KT400) turned in a somewhat better performance.