View Full Version : Using SATA converter with PATA Drives

06-06-03, 01:18 PM
Does using a SATA converter with Parallel ATA hard drives give a boost to the performance of said drives?

In particular, would using a SATA converter with my IBM Deskstar 60GXP and my A7N8X-D SATA ports increase performance?

06-06-03, 01:20 PM
I doubt that the PATA interface was limiting the performance of the drive, so using SATA shouldn't gain you anything performance wise.

The Baron
06-06-03, 01:57 PM
No. In fact, if the converter sucks, it'll decrease it. But, I think the increased airflow of SATA cabling, plus the fact that IDE cables suck tremendously and annoy the piss out of everyone, kinda makes that a moot point.

Rampant CL
06-07-03, 02:06 AM
The only benefit would be nice small SATA cables instead of massive space-consuming monsters known as IDE cable creatures.

06-07-03, 10:13 AM
Thanks guys :)

But I already have one of those aerodynamic IDE cable thingies.

The Baron
06-07-03, 10:18 AM
Actually, don't use the rounded IDE cables. Apparently, they can cause data corruption. So yes, the SATA stuff is still the way to go. ;)

06-07-03, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by The Baron
Actually, don't use the rounded IDE cables. Apparently, they can cause data corruption. Say again?!! I never heard that before, could you please elaborate?


The Baron
06-07-03, 12:24 PM
Back when those rounded IDE cables first came out, the way that they were so compressed was that most of the shielding on the individual cables was removed, leading to corruption in many cases.

It might be fixed in newer ones, I'm not sure. Haven't heard anything about it lately. But, I'd still say that SATA cables are preferable even to rounded IDE cables.

06-07-03, 01:00 PM
Hmmm.... I already laid out 6 ($4) for this rounded cable.... and it's all funky and purple! 25 ($15) for a SATA converter seems like a lot of money just for extra non-corruption, if ya see what I mean (it doesn't offer improved disk performance as PATA wasn't the inhibiting factor, it doesn't offer improved airflow as I already have a rounded cable...).

Thoughts? Ideas? Comments?

The Baron
06-07-03, 01:16 PM
Meh, if it works and an adapter didn't come with your board, don't bother.

06-07-03, 01:18 PM
I'm running rounded ide-cables to the floppy and cd-drives.. works flawlessly. My main HDDs are using SATA->PATA converters, again flawlessly.

So if you have no problem, don't bother.

The Baron: Interesting info. I didn't know there used to be/is problems with those cables.


06-07-03, 01:39 PM
there used to be problems with them, and there still are problems with cheaper no name rounded ide cables... as long as it is a decent brand, and you didnt get it at a computer show for 5 cents... they should be ok:D i have 2 coolermaster ata133 silver calbes... they work great:D

an off topic question:
does the length of the cable affect performance? i heard a shorter cable can increase performance, and decrease data corruption... i have a dual device cable, and only a single device attached to it....

The Baron
06-07-03, 01:51 PM
No, length of the cable shouldn't affect performance in the least.

06-09-03, 04:24 AM
Longer IDE cables can increase data corruption. I've never heard of shorter cables increasing performance though.

I don't trust those rounded PATA IDE cables because normal cables were designed as ribbons for a reason: to minimize the risk of crosstalk that would lead to data corruption.

I would think that rounded cables would be standardized to replace ribbon cables if they were truly 100% reliable, especially since they offer a huge airflow advantage, but they're not.

As for SATA converters, there's 2 good reasons to use them:

1. to reduce clutter and increase airflow

2. to use additional IDE channels in order to achieve the optimal configuration of having each IDE device on its own channel

I don't think an SATA converter could improve performance because the hard drive's transfer rate is the bottleneck, not the interface.

06-09-03, 07:35 AM
I'm running my two IBM 60GXPs on the A7N8X-DLX SATA controller with a pair of Highpoint adapters right now, with no problems. I can't say that it made my hdd performance improve any, but at the same time, I've noticed that the controller seems to use less CPU when I have large disk accesses taking place than the nF2 IDE controllers did.

06-09-03, 08:23 AM
There's some kind of problem with high CPU utilization on the PATA IDE channels with the NF2. Nvidia claimed a while ago that their next IDE driver would solve it, but of course, their latest release turned out to be a complete mess.

In this case, the SATA converters DO improve performance. :)

The Baron
06-09-03, 10:43 AM
Originally posted by extreme_dB
There's some kind of problem with high CPU utilization on the PATA IDE channels with the NF2. Nvidia claimed a while ago that their next IDE driver would solve it, but of course, their latest release turned out to be a complete mess.
Yeah, but then you might run into the SATA RAID corruption problem.. but I think that was fixed in BIOS updates.

The ONE problem you might run into is that you might hit the limits of the PCI bus by using SATA (I don't think IDE has that problem since the chip is integrated into the NF2 chip). Comparing the SATA RAID results of the Maxtor drives that AshG from Envy News tested and the Uber-SCSI array of Riptide (I think), they're exactly the same. So, it's probably the PCI bus. However, I don't think any IDE drive is going to hit that limit (except some sort of 4-drive RAID array, but I don't think there are boards with 4 drive SATA RAID support.).

06-09-03, 12:31 PM
FYI, yes, PCI32 is the limiting factor both with my array and also the Maxtor SATA array I've seen benchmarks for (@ envynews?). It'll take moving up to a new bus before I get the last 20-30MB/sec performance out of the array.

Sheesh, I remember when people were replacing ISA w/PCI. Seemed a long way off before we'd need another bus and yet here we are.

06-09-03, 02:40 PM
I'm not using RAID for my drives right now. Mainly because I want to use one drive as the boot / OS drive, and the other for video capture. Then there's the fact that most drive backup / restore software is a pain when using RAID 0 arrays.

So far I have been pretty happy with these drives on the SATA controller.

06-09-03, 03:46 PM
RAID 0 is scary. :) Especially with IBM 60GXP Deathstars. I bought three 60GXPs, and two of them have failed! I don't trust the remaining one with any valuable data.

06-09-03, 07:50 PM
Another nice thing about SCSI.... Big tape backup drives! :D

I back my entire system up to tape monthly.

Rampant CL
06-10-03, 09:23 AM

The only annoying thing about using tape backup is the ridiculous width of SCSI cables, but the safety of your data being maintained more than makes up for it.