SATA vs. ATA133

JackHughs wrote on 5/21/2004, 11:24 AM
My new system is coming together slowly. Many thanks to those that have offered helpful advice.

I've settled on a Gigabyte 8KNXT, a 3.2 P4, 1 gig of DDR400 memory, and a Gigabyte Radeon 9600SE video card.

The 8KNXT comes with 3 HD controllers: 1-ATA 100 (IDE Channels 1 & 2), 1- ATA 133 (IDE channels 3 & 4), and 1-4-port SATA.

I plan to install an 80 gig HD as master on IDE 1 and a DVD burner as master on IDE 2. The 80 gig HD would be partitioned 20 gigs for OS and 60 gigs for Apps.

I also plan to install two aditional 160 gig (or larger if the budget permits) HD's for capture and rendering. The question is: would it be better to install these drives as masters on IDE 3 and IDE 4 (ATA 133) or use the SATA controller (and SATA drives) instead? I assume that LBA 48 is enabled in the 8KNXT BIOS for IDE channels 3 & 4 so that the 137 gig limit would not be problem with either the ATA 133 or SATA configuration

Any and all suggestions are welcome.




Orcatek wrote on 5/21/2004, 1:21 PM
My understanding is that with SATA, you can access both drives at once, whereas with ATA config, only one drive can act a time.

Based upon that, I set mine up with SATA. Live files on one drive, temp on the other. System seems to run great.
busterkeaton wrote on 5/21/2004, 1:52 PM
If price doesn't matter, I would go with SATA. The cable setup alone will probably save a lot of headaches.

patreb wrote on 5/21/2004, 5:20 PM
One warning unless you know exactly what you are doing (i thought i was) don't get HDs bigger than 120GB. Today i returned 2 HDs (160 and 200) and exchanged them for 2 120GB. I just couldn't get those babies to run prooerly. They di ran great until they were filed with about 100-120Gb of date since then both started to corrupt it. I got SP1 and ATAPI drivers and the motherboard is new so it should have 48bit support etc, etc...

Never again i'll get a HD bigger than 120GB.
JakeHannam wrote on 5/21/2004, 6:40 PM

As far as performance, either option will be okay. However, SATA is the new standard and IDE drives will eventually go by the wayside. You will be hard pressed to find a motherboard in a year or two that will support IDE.

My suggestion? For future compatibility with your NEXT motherboard which will probably have the even faster SATA II connections, go with the SATA drives. Then again, if you can find some dirt-cheap ultra IDE drives, you won't go wrong there either.
JohnnyRoy wrote on 5/21/2004, 7:29 PM
Your doing exactly what I did. OS and APPS on a partitioned ATA as master on IDE1, DVD-RW as master on IDE2 and SATA for my capture drives. As other have pointed out SATA does not serialize drive access like IDE does on the same channel to its definitely the way to go.

JackHughs wrote on 5/22/2004, 9:07 AM
Thanks John,

Part of my decision to go with the Gigabyte 8KNXT was based on your post of May 11, 2004. Since you have a functioning 200 gig drive on IDE 1, the BIOS must support LBA 48.

For some reason, the 8KNXT user manual only states that LBA is supported - but doesn't say whether its LBA 26 or LBA 48. The Gigabyte website is also no help in this regard. It's odd that this information is lacking since it is critically important to most users.

I'm going to go with the SATA drives. Now the only question is which of the two SATA controllers to use.

JohnnyRoy wrote on 5/22/2004, 3:24 PM
> Part of my decision to go with the Gigabyte 8KNXT was based on your post of May 11, 2004

Opps. Actually that was my error on the hard drives. (I have noted this in the original post, thanks for catching it) I have two 160GB drives (sorry). I have my PC parts listed on my web site now under PC Equipment. I think I made that decision based on what size was cheaper per GB at the time.

> which of the two SATA controllers to use

The first two, SATA0_SB/SATA1_SB, are built into the ICH5R Intel Southbridge controller and so I would use those first. The second set (SATA0_SII/SATA1_SII) are linked into the Silicon Image SiI3112 chip that Gigabyte added to their motherboard. The first set supports RAID-0 and the second set supports RAID-0 & RAID-1.

JJKizak wrote on 5/22/2004, 5:00 PM
Just hooked up two Maxtor 250 gig Sata drives in a raid o setup on my Intel D875PBZ board (formatted out to 466 gig) along with the other SCSI drives and IDE drives. The SCSI drives check 34 megs per sec continuous with default settings and the raid system checked at 320 megs per sec. continuous with my adaptec SCSI checker. Its not a valid test but then I dropped some microsoft HD-WMV test files on the new raid drive and put them on the V5 timeline. They all played back almost flawlessly except the 1080I's which were kind of jerky. (some at
720p and some at 1080I). All had 5.1 sound tracks. Sometimes the sound worked and sometimes it diidn't. Have to play with it some more.
I know one thing, that SATA raid setup is fast, real fast.

MyST wrote on 5/23/2004, 5:00 AM
Forgive my lack of knowledge in this area, but I have a question.

If setting up two SATAs in a raid configuration (which seems to be the way to go for the best performance), do I need two drives of equal capacity? Is it possible to have , say, an 80gig system drive and a 120gig media/project drive set up in a raid configuration?


farss wrote on 5/23/2004, 5:15 AM
Can't say for certain with SATA but for IDE or SCSI RAID the drives have to be the same size, maybe even the same everything.
JJKizak wrote on 5/23/2004, 7:29 AM
I think they have to be the same. No jumpers for master or slave, the Intel raid setup in post cmos takes about 5 to 10 seconds to setup. Then format as one drive. The Intel setup lets you select weather to use one drive as a mirror or both drives together as Raid "0" setup.

akaRadar wrote on 5/24/2004, 10:08 AM
I plan on building my new PC using the info in JackHughs post, but I don't find a MOBO '8KNXT'. I do find a '8KNXP'. Was this just a typo or is there a 'XT'?
I'm leaning also towards the Northwood P4 3.2 rather than the Prescott P4 3.2 even though the Prescott has double the L2 Cache. From what I've been able to research the Northwood seems to outperform the Prescott in most cases. I don't think the premium price for the P4 3.4 is worth it to me at this time. I could get more RAM with the extra money saved. I plan on ordering from Newegg.
Any input is appreciated.
Thanks, Bill -
JackHughs wrote on 5/24/2004, 5:03 PM

Mea Culpa. The motherboard is, in fact, a "GA-8KNXP."

I was also advised to go with the 3.2 P4 with Northwood core rather than the Prescott core. The person offering this advice claimed that the expanded instruction set for the Prescott resulted in slower execution times. Truth be told, I don't know if this is fact or fiction.

Newegg looks really good. I did a component by component price comparison (for the system I intend to build) between Newegg and my local store. The local price was close to $2200 while the Newegg price (with shipping) was less than $1800. Generally, I prefer to support local retailers so I'm going to attempt to negotiate the price a bit.

JohnnyRoy wrote on 5/24/2004, 6:00 PM
Yea I saw the typo and forgot to correct it. It’s the GA-8KNXP. I was in the same position when I got my P4 3.0. the P4 3.2 wasn’t worth the extra bucks. Now the P4 3.2 is the sweet spot and the P4 3.4 isn’t worth the extra bucks. I’ve heard the same with regard to the Prescott. Not only are they a little slower, but they run a LOT hotter. So I would definitely still buy the Northwood today.

As for MyST’s question on the RAID, I would use identical drives. So I have a WD1600JD and I plan to buy another WD1600JD when I go RAID. I think the drives only have to be the same capacity but to be safe I would use drivers with identical specifications.

MyST wrote on 5/24/2004, 6:59 PM
Thanks for taking the time to answer JohnnyRoy, it's appreciated.

akaRadar wrote on 5/24/2004, 7:51 PM
Thanks for the replies! I will be going with the Northwood core then. Now I just have to pick my case, drives, memory and so on.....

Thanks again, Bill-
BillyBoy wrote on 5/24/2004, 8:23 PM
I think its foolish to get SATA drives yet. You're paying a premium for the latest technology. Too new, untested, over priced. Three strikes, you're out. For the money you save you could get BIGGER ATA drives that have a long proven history of performance.

All the newer MB's have SATA ability build in if you plan on holding on to your your computer for a few years. A year or so from now it may make sense to but SATA, not yet in my opinion.
dexterbot wrote on 5/24/2004, 10:36 PM
Here is my 2 cents... I scanned through the threads fairly quickly so I don't know if what I'm about to say were covered.

I would highly recommend some type of RAID 0 configuration whether it is SATA or Parallel ATA. Set a virtual drive out of this RAID 0 (data striping) to be the drive where you would do most of your video capture and editing. As many mentioned, RAID 0 runs the risk that if one of your drive fails or get corrupted, the entire RAID 0 is gone and everything is wiped out.

Then setup another single drive (reliable drive) where you will store the projects and the final renders for safe keeping and final production.

Then the main drive should be where you would have your OS and all your programs loaded.

This will ensure that if you have an OS issue, the other drives should still be in good shape where all you need is to reformat and reinstall your OS without the loss of all your projects and media files.

Same can be said about the other drives failing thus minimizing your downtime.

You can read more about the above on a post I did at camcorderinfo.

For RAID 0 you have to have both drives identical to each other.

As far as performance between SATA and PATA, I think if both drives are 7200 RPM and about the same size, the performance gain should be very minimal from one over the other. You are still limited by the throughput of either your PCI if you are using PCI solution or your motherboard if onboard RAID 0 for SATA. I am not familiar with onboard SATA RAID 0 so I really don't know how much faster that is but I've seen some boards that claims 150 MB/s on each channel which can be really fast but I'm not 100% sure.

For a more affordable setup, I have 2 Maxtors 160 GB each IDE ATA 133 on RAID 0 and I am using a PCI Raid that I picked up from Fry's for about $30. It has been working great and quite a nice boost in performance over a single 200 GB drive.

Hope this helps.