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Is it worth the $ to get SATA? can i use Ultra ATA and SATA at the same time?

Posted on 2004-10-10
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I know that Serial ATA is better than Ultra ATA hard drives. Though is it worth the extra money? I've got a 160GB Seagate Ultra ATA hd (factory refurbished), though i was wondering whether or not it would be worth it to sell that one on ebay for like $80.00 and get a 80GB SATA hd. Is it worth the trouble or is the permorance boost so minor it wont make a noticeable diffference?

NOTE: I have a Seagate SATA hd in the comp already (which by the way, is REALLY loud), would I be able to use an SATA and an Ultra ATA hds at the same time?
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Question by:mspellacy
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Yes, SATA and PATA (Parallel ATA/Ultra ATA) should be able to work fine together.  Personally, I don't think for everyday use SATA is worth it now.  PERHAPS if you're talking about SATA 10K RPM drives, but if it's just SATA 7.2K RPM, I really don't think it's worth it.  I use a couple of Ultra 320 SCSI drives (10K RPM) in my desktop.  Runs nice... but I don't notice MUCH of a difference between that and my other systems running ATA-133 drives.

PERHAPS if you're doing Video editing or tasks that have LOTS of disk activity you might reconsider, but for everyday use, I really wouldn't bother.
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by:Jared Luker
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The burst transfer rate for SATA is better at 150 then the PATA's 133, but for the amount of money, I agree with leew.  You won't see the performance increase with a single drive.  If you get a SATA RAID controller and put two or three drives into the equasion, then I would change my tune.  The high end Alienware and Falcon boxes use the SATA raid and multiple drives in this type of configuration for it's killer speed possibilites!

Jared
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by:Greddy91
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I disagree with you both... although it is controller dependant.  An 80 GB SATA HD will do a fresh SP2 install in about 12 minutes for me here... where as the 80 GB ATA takes more than 20 minutes.  There is a definite increase in performance from my perspective.  Would like to see how much additional quickness would be seen from a Raptor... GH
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by:Jcook4130
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In response to Greddy 91 i am curious if you are running the Cdrom on the same chain as the 80Gb ATA because there should not bee that much of a difference between seral and parallel in a single drive enviroment.  What you will gain from a Serial drive over Parallel is an open IDE controller and lower cpu utilization as a serial controller uses less cpu then a parallel controller.  But as was said before if you are not going to be running raid or a 10k rpm drive there probably will not be much of a performance increase between the two flavors
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by:mspellacy
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Comment from Jcook4130: i am curious if you are running the Cdrom on the same chain as the 80Gb ATA
Actually yes, I will be. Here's the setup: I have a 120GB Seagate SATA in already (mentioned in the "NOTE"), and I plan to connect a 160GB Seagate Ultra ATA into the IDE cable as SLAVE (the master is my CD-Drive). Would this be workable? and would it slow the machine down what-so-ever?
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by:Greddy91
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The ATA HD was the only drive on the primary channel. The secondary channel had an AOpen CDRW on it. Both of these installs were performed on AOpen boards.

mspell - I don't believe adding another hard drive would slow the machine down at all, actually transfers made from the CD-rom to the 160GB drive would be faster than from the CD-rom to the 120GB SATA drive.

I don't know anything of your current configuration other than what you have told us, but I would assume you are putting both PATA devices on the Secondary channel and not Primary which is recommended as some boards route the Primary Master channel to the SATA port when it is in use... Does the board have the mixed mode option for PATA and SATA usage??? I'm assuming it does if you are having no problems so far.  You might list the board's model number so that we can check it out... GH
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by:mspellacy
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My motherboard is Asus P4P800 Deluxe.  And apparently it says my motherboard supports configurations with up to 4 PATA hhds, and 2 SATA. So should I put the PATA on cable select and hook it up to the slave port on the ide cable (with my cd drive being master)? right now i have the cd drive hooked up like that, and the cable is i the primary slot on the motherboard. Any reccomendations would be much appriciated. Thanks a lot Greddy
-matt
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by:mspellacy
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sorry, the cd-drive cable is in* that primary slot on the mb. and the in case i forgot to mention, the only drive in at the moment, is the sata. ive never hooked up a pata drive to this particular computer. questions? id be more than happy to answer. thanks!
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by:Greddy91
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In this case... not knowing how the motherboard will respond... Just put both PATA devices on the Secondary channel (to be safe)... It should detect them both right away.  

Out of curiosity... the way you have it set-up now, does the CD-Rom show up as Primary Master in the BIOS???
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by:mspellacy
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I am extremely confident it does, but just in case ill check for ya on my next boot up.
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by:Jared Luker
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It's a really bad idea to mix Ultra ATA drives with the much slower PIO ATAPI devices.

If I'm not mistaken, if you put the two types together, it's going to bring your UATA drives down to it's mush slower level.

Jared
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Greddy91 earned 350 total points
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With Technology comes newer chipsets... with newer chipsets come independent timing variants... one device no longer has an effect over another.  Of course... you will want to use an 80 pin IDE cable on the channel you decide to go with and enable SMART on the Hard drive if it is so equipped.  But do not hesitate to put a CD-ROM and a HD on the same channel if your board has been produced in say OH the last 2 years.  

Jared - Please... investigate Independent Timing on the newer chipsets.  As it has not revolutionized anything but merely eliminated the problems you speak of with IDE channel speed bottlenecks.  

mspell - just drop both devices on an 80 pin cable and put them on the secondary IDE channel... problem solved with no speed loss...

Hope this helps... GH
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by:mspellacy
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thanks a lot for all the help
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