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SATA Hard Drives

Old 01-17-04, 10:17 AM
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SATA Hard Drives

Anybody have any experience with them? Good, bad, ugly? I'm thinking of buying two 120 Gig (Maxtor) for my for my new PC.

Also, where is there a good motherboard review and/or testing site?
Old 01-17-04, 01:21 PM
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I'm using two WD Raptors in a RAID 0 configuration and they're great.

In my opinion these are the only SATAs that are worth buying unless you have to have SATA due to your motherboard's interface. The ATA133 or SATA interface is not the limiting factor on the drive's speed, the latency and access times are.

The Raptors are 10K RPM and have a sub 6ms average access time. They are essentially SCSI drives with an SATA interface.

Other SATA drives are 7200 RPM, have about a 9ms or higher average access time and are essentially regular IDE drives with an IDE to SATA converter tacked on. Not worth the premium on their price unless you must have them.

You can buy an IDE/SATA converter for about $30. The drive you are looking at shouldn't cost more than about $60 in the ATA133 interface version. Do the math.
Old 01-17-04, 02:20 PM
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Two questions:

Does the SATA Mobo port allow for non-raid configuration?

I assume Mobos have a seperate SATA bus as they claim faster transfer than it seems the PCI bus would allow. Wouldn't that be an advantage?
Old 01-17-04, 02:47 PM
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My motherboard does allow a non-RAID SATA configuration. I would think most do.

32-bit PCI allows a transfer rate of 132MB/sec. No drives, even the Raptor, are fast enough to transfer data to the PCI bus as fast as the PCI bus can handle which is full ATA133 speed.

Having another channel to operate on while the PCI bus is really busy with other things can be advantageous to throughput. But unless the drive has superior physical specs such as the Raptor, you might as well get a regular ATA100 or ATA133 drive and use an SATA converter on it.
Old 01-17-04, 05:52 PM
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Thanks for the reply! I guess your right, besides now I only need to buy 1 133 ATA drive and I'll save myself some money!
Old 01-17-04, 06:35 PM
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Originally posted by X
Having another channel to operate on while the PCI bus is really busy with other things can be advantageous to throughput. But unless the drive has superior physical specs such as the Raptor, you might as well get a regular ATA100 or ATA133 drive and use an SATA converter on it.
I understand your point about transfer rate but I think I'm going to do SATA when I build again anyway. I have used all the parallel connections on my newest box and having the SATA connectors available has appeal (althought raid doesn't really interest me). I'm not fond of addon controllers like promise. I have one and dislike it. The blasted thing just doesn't work right. In addition, SATA prices have dropped enough so that SATA vs. parallel+ converter prices are very close. Although at $.50 a gig parallel is clearly the price leader. Thanks for the info.

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