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Serial ATA vs ATA

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Serial ATA vs ATA

I've got two internal HDs at the moment, both 120g 8mb 7200 rpm ATA drives on the motherboard IDE controller.

Would I get a performance increase if I replaced one of them with a Serial ATA 8mb 7200rpm drive? Or is the bottleneck with the drive speed rather than the interface? 10k rpm drives are still too small and too expensive.

Would need to buy a separate SATA controller card, would this in itself speed things up as the two drives would be on separate controller cards?

tom
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Serial ATA vs ATA

You might get an increase or might not depends on the make and if the HD has a cache or not. But Native SATA drives are faster but know of a few people that have fitted ATA 133 drives on SATA enabled motherboards via an expansion card that have a 2mb and 8mb Cache that get close to the same transfer speeds as a proper SATA. NB that might be a false reading of the cache during the testing.
Unvalued customer since 2001 funding cheap internet for others / DSL/Fibre house move 24 month regrade from 8th May 2017
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Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Serial ATA vs ATA

If you have to purchase a separate SATA PCI card then the benefits of SATA will be negated by the slower PCI interface speed. I suspect doing this will not show any improvement over ATA 133 drives.

Eash SATA interface has a peak transfer rate of 150MBytes/s but the PCI interface has a peak transfer rate of 132MBytes/s which cannot be sustained for long periods. So it's impossible to reach the max transfer rates of SATA over the PCI bus.

If you had the SATA controller on the motherboard that would be a different situation and you would see an improvement in speed.

However, it all depends on what you use your disks for. If this is a large database application server, you may get some benefit from SATA, but if this is just a home PC you probably never reach the max ATA133 speeds let alone getting to 150MBytes/s of SATA.
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Serial ATA vs ATA

Can't imagine a 7200 rpm drive being able to sustain 150Mb/s anyway, am I right in assuming that unless 10,000 rpm drives are use there is no benefit in SATA?

tom
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Serial ATA vs ATA

The large cache helps to sustain the higher transfer rate. As I said it depends on your PC's use as to whether the faster transfer rate will be of benefit or not but I suspect you will see no difference.
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Re: Serial ATA vs ATA

Quote
Would I get a performance increase if I replaced one of them with a Serial ATA 8mb 7200rpm drive? Or is the bottleneck with the drive speed rather than the interface? 10k rpm drives are still too small and too expensive.


The interface change alone is unlikely to yield much in the way of perceivable performance increase, except as you say from the benefit of splitting the drives from the one channel onto separate channels/controllers. Even then though there may be little benefit unless both drives are typically hammered at the same time.

I recently upgraded from single 10K SATA WD Raptor to a pair running in a Raid-0 set and the performance increase there was definately noticable! But you are right, the 10K drives are still a little expensive...

Mark.