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Topic: SATA VS. ATA~ Is there really a big difference?

  1. #1

    SATA VS. ATA~ Is there really a big difference?

    I`m in the market for puchasing a new 160 Gb HD to run VSL Perf. Set on my DAW. Right now, on my P4PE I`m using a Highpoint Rocket 133 to control 4 other ATA 80 GB drives. Should i just stick with ATA HD`s or add a SATA HD and plug right in the to the P4PE? Is there really any significant performance to be found? Wondering ,Rich

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Kauai, Hawaii, USA

    Re: SATA VS. ATA~ Is there really a big difference?

    Rich - -

    There are more options out there. I\'m in the market for a larger storage drive for my DAW and I\'m looking at the 250 gig Western Digital WD2500JB -- which is running around $190 (plus shipping) at some of the vendors surveyed at http://www.pricewatch.com/ . There must be a chart someplace that compares all of the speedy options currently available: ATA, SATA, Firewire, USB 2.

    In the land of hard drive storage, it\'s wonderful to see 1 gig coming below the $1 price-point and as everyone probably realizes from past storage use, there\'s almost no such thing as \"too big\".

    On Cnet.com I wasn\'t able to find a comprehensive article on hard drives newer than July 2003 (here: http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-3185_7-1023475.html ) but that would be a good place to start. In sort, rotation speed (higher is better) and internal buffer (8 meg is significatnly better than 2 meg) are both strong elements of consideration. A more tricky one (which I\'ve yet to get my head around) is what \"channel\" will deliver more throughput. (All data in a PC follows a relatively simple data path and much like automobile traffic on a road grid, all devices have various protocols to follow to determine which gets through faster. For example, I\'m using an M-Audio Firewire 410 which is the conduit for my MIDI in/out, optical in/out and analog (monitor) up to 8 channels. I am trying to determine if that traffic (on the single Firewire in/out to the external box) will be compromised by -- for example -- a Firewire drive. Same concern with a USB 2 drive (vis-a-vis \'traffic\' going through the PCI adapter) and so on.

    Unfortunately, there doesn\'t seem to be any ONE simple answer.

    fwiw ... kev [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Re: SATA VS. ATA~ Is there really a big difference?

    Thanks Kev, unfortunately i jsut found out that my mobo doesnt actually support SATA so i when with a 160GB WD caviar 8 mg cache. I may have to a get a new comp. one day!! Rich

  4. #4

    Re: SATA VS. ATA~ Is there really a big difference?

    SATA 1 (the current spec) doesnt really offer a significant performance boost over UDMA. If SATA is already on your mobo it might be worth it otherwise I wouldnt bother.

    SATA 2 is supposed to double the speed from 150mbps to 300mbps.

    Not sure when it is being released though.

  5. #5

    Re: SATA VS. ATA~ Is there really a big difference?


    an detail maybe but could be important for us audiophiles, is the PCI bus overload.

    Any ICH5 soutbridge equipped mobo has an embedded SATA adapter connected directly to the chipset , NOT passing via the PCI bus.

    Imagine an multi-channel audio PCI card, a GBIT lan adapter (using FXT maybe), a UAD or powercore and then some multiple ATA and SATA devices on 1 poor 33Mhz PCI bus ....

    If you have a mobo with ICH5 southbridge , buy SATA and use that RAID SATA controller.

    The P4PE embedded RAID SATA controller is however connected to the PCI bus ...


  6. #6

    Re: SATA VS. ATA~ Is there really a big difference?

    One major advantage of SATA over normal ATA is the fact, that it can use something which is called \"Native Command Queueing\".

    If there are several IOs pending at the same time (like very common for streaming of multiple sounds at the same time), the SATA-controller and the disk may rearrange the order in which those are processed.

    The read/write-head of a hard-drive needs to be repositioned for each request depending on where the data is located on the disk.

    Reordering of IOs can minimize the repositioning-time, because the drive executes all IOs which are located close to each other first.

    This vastly improves throughput of the drive. This technology is in use with SCSI drives for years - one of the reason why SCSI is still preferred in server-environments...

    So with this NCQ, SATA closes the gap towards SCSI. Currently only the Seagate 7200.7 in it\'s 200GB Version (ST3200822A) supports this mode. Also there is only one SATA-controller which currently supports this: Silicon Image SiI 3124.

    Hopefully we soon see mainboards with either this controller integrated, or others which support this feature...


  7. #7

    Re: SATA VS. ATA~ Is there really a big difference?

    AFAIK HT is not necessary for NCQ to work.
    The point simply is, the more multitasking is going on on a system, the more important NCQ is getting, as all those threads might want to access different files at the same time...


  8. #8

    Re: SATA VS. ATA~ Is there really a big difference?

    I forgot to say, that NCQ information was very interesting Tobias. I have not heard that before.



  9. #9

    Re: SATA VS. ATA~ Is there really a big difference?

    Hi Lee,

    it seems the Abit includes only an older version of the Sil-Controller which does not support NCQ, but I\'m not 100% sure...


  10. #10

    Re: SATA VS. ATA~ Is there really a big difference?

    my favorite boards with sATA on board are the asus p4c800, and of course the WD raptors with 10.000 rpm also support NCQ.
    since 300 GB SCSI disks are announced, i feel we will soon see 146 GB sATA

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