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Topic: Hard drives, master and slave issue

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  1. #1

    Hard drives, master and slave issue

    I have a question about adding extra hard drives. What\'s the benefit of having the second hard drive run as a master rather than a slave?

    I installed a PCI card for adding extra devices to my computer (Pentium 4, 1.4, Windows 2K, 1 gig of ram, 40 + 80 gig Seagate Barracudas, Cakewalk Home Stud
    and GS160). I have my programs running off the C: drive (which is a master) and I switched my second hard drive to the new PCI card and also have it running as a
    master. The second hard drive has gig files exclusively. I cannot tell if there is a difference in performance from when I had the second hard drive slaving from the first
    one.

    Eventually I want to add another hard drive running off the new card. Assuming that I will use them exclusively for gig files, what is the purpose of having these drives
    run as a master?

    Can someone tell me what are the virtues to such a set up?

    Thanks.

    Marko

  2. #2

    Re: Hard drives, master and slave issue

    Craig,

    Thanks for the explanation.

    Other than stability, I have not noticed an increase in performance with my new set up. Perhaps I\'ll see a difference when I load some big files from the dvd/cd rom drive.

    Another question: If I add another hard drive (for a total of 3) should I add another fan? I am using Seagate Barracudas. Any rule for this?

    Marko

  3. #3

    Re: Hard drives, master and slave issue

    Hi Marko, I have never found hard drive heat to be much of a problem. If the space allows, just keep the hard drives as far apart as possible. You may want to go as far as placing in one fan to blow over a couple of drives. Fans are cheap, but they do add noise.

    As for the master/slave issue there is a differnece in performance. If you have a master device and a slave on the same IDE bus, the slave\'s data passes throught the master. (At least this is what I can remember from college, someone correct me if I\'m wrong!)

    Also, to have a hard drive that runs your operating system, you need to have the drive set as master as this is what the bios looks for on start-up.

    Hope this helps, Scott.

  4. #4

    Re: Hard drives, master and slave issue

    Originally posted by Marko:
    I have a question about adding extra hard drives. What\'s the benefit of having the second hard drive run as a master rather than a slave? ...
    Eventually I want to add another hard drive running off the new card. Assuming that I will use them exclusively for gig files, what is the purpose of having these drives run as a master?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Marko,
    Here is how I understand it. As far as performance goes, Master or Slave does not make a difference i.e. the M and S are treated identically by their particular IDE channel. So, Master/Slave is a poor choice of terminology.

    What does make a difference though is that the Giga data drives be on separate IDE channels. This gives the HDs higher transfer rates due to multitasking considerations i.e. each IDE channel runs independent of the other.

    You have four IDE channels - two from the MB and two from your controller card. If you have four HDs (one boot and three for Giga data), you would keep your boot drive as Master on the primary channel (it must remain C: for booting purposes) and one giga drive on each of the three remaining channels. Next, you would pair your CDROMs and DVD with these HDs. Drives on different channels, BTW, will swap data faster then if they where on the same channel. So, you should pair your DVD (or CDROM depending upon what format your libs come in) with the C: HD since you will be copying to the giga data HD on the other channels.

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5

    Re: Hard drives, master and slave issue

    Originally posted by Scott Cairns:
    As for the master/slave issue there is a differnece in performance. If you have a master device and a slave on the same IDE bus, the slave\'s data passes throught the master. (At least this is what I can remember from college, someone correct me if I\'m wrong!)
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Scott,
    The Master does not perform any control functions for the Slave. It is the Controller that addresses commands and data to either the M or S. The drive that the command is addressed to responds to it, and the other drive ignores the command and remaining inactive. This is why the names of Master and Slave are poor choices because the drives are equivalent - in this respect. In Mil-Std 1553B protocol, on the other hand, the Master does extra work and arbitrates the bus but not so in the IDE protocol. The real Master in IDE is the controller. When I was in college there was no IDE drives We had to remember everything! [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Back to Marcus, I found this nicely written paragraph at pcGuidecom. It describes, in a bit more detail than I did, the independent nature of IDE channels and the down side of having two devices (giga data disks) on the same channel.

    \"Master/Slave Channel Sharing:
    By its very nature, each IDE/ATA channel can only deal with one request, to one device, at a time. You cannot even begin a second request, even to a different drive, until the first request is completed. This means that if you put two devices on the same channel, they must share it. In practical terms, this means that any time one device is in use, the other must remain silent. In contrast, two disks on two different IDE/ATA channels can process requests simultaneously on most motherboards. The bottom line is that the best way to configure multiple devices is to make each of them a single drive on its own channel, if this is possible. (This restriction is one major disadvantage of IDE compared to SCSI). An add-in controller like the Promise \"Ultra\" series is a cheap way of adding extra IDE/ATA channels to a modern PC.\"

    I just receive my own WD/8MCache/120G drive last night for VSL!

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