How To Check Specifications And Enable UDMA Mode-6 For A Raptor SATA Hard-Drive On Various Asus Motherboards

I have 2 Windows XP Pro desktop PCs, both employing genuine Intel P4-based (3GHz) CPUs, both with multiple data drives, both having SATA-connected Western Digital Raptor WDC WD360GD-00FNA0 hard-drives as their Windows system drive.

Unfortunately, SiSoft Sandra and Lavlys Everest reveal the following:

Max. UDMA Transfer Mode:      UDMA 6 (ATA-133)
Active UDMA Transfer Mode:      UDMA 5 (ATA-100)

for both Raptors.

The Northbridge controller chipset on the Asus P5GV-MX is the following:

Intel Grantsdale-G i915GV

whereas on the Asus P4C800-E Deluxe, it is:

Intel Canterwood i875P.

[As a footnote: This MoBo also has a Promise 20378 RAID controller which can be pressed into service as a non-RAID hard-drive controller.]

On the Asus P4C800-E Deluxe, one drive (a Maxtor DiamondMax10 6B200P0) IS operating with a Max. UDMA Transfer Mode of UDMA 6 (ATA-133); however, on the P5GV-MX, none of the other 4 drives is operating at UDMA 6.

I would like to 'turn on' the UDMA 6 mode for BOTH the Raptor drives (especially the one in my Cubase SX DAW which has to be able to stream incredibly high volumes of audio data to-and-from its drives) ... but can find no way to do this.

I have checked the BIOS (but even on the PC which has UDMA 6 operating, it only shows UDMA 5 at boot time), as well as the Advanced Settings in the various IDE Channel entries under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers in the Device Manager, but this only shows "PIO" or "DMA if available".  I've even examined a few utilities but to no avail.

I've also considered upgrading the drivers ... but could not find anything suitable / relevant.

Any ideas gratefully accepted!

Thank you,

Who is Participating?
It looks as if a bios update for this board could be involved. I found this description: Hides C1E option in BIOS setup when using CPU without C1E function; fixes displays IDE UDMA mode 6 when set UDMA 5 mode    the ftp page would not open for me though. this page lists only udma 5 as an option.  Maybe the bios fix will make everest read  it that can not do udma 6 this forum had a division for your board but it kept giving me too busy messages.
steveecraneAuthor Commented:

Thank you for taking the time to respond.  

I will look into the BIOS upgrade for the P5GV-MX MoBo just as soon as I have some down-time as I'm already running the 0801 AMIBIOS ... and this appears to be a backwards step!

Excuse the naïve question, but is the "C1E function", to which the first URL refers, something to do with the thermal power-management by reducing clock rates on Intel's Conroe Processor range?

As to the P4C800-E Deluxe motherboard - not a P5P800 MoBo, by-the-way, so I think the last URL is a red-herring (interesting post by an angry young man though!) - I am still baffled ... and it appears I'm already running the latest BIOS for this too, so I think most avenues are pretty much closed.  Perhaps it's simply that this ageing board does not support UDMA-6.  Always a possibility!

Regardless, I shall (funds allowing) be upgrading the Music DAW to a quad core sometime next year ... so I'll probably cure all my ills then!

Once again, thanks ... I'll allocate you some points by way of a "thank you" once I've proven your advice as a fix or at the very least used it to help rule out any alternatives.


steveecraneAuthor Commented:

One thing that occurs to me is that I may well be blinded by my own ignorance here:

Given that the drives I am using are virtually all SATA-I or SATA-II devices, does one have to worry about configuring (or installing the correct drivers) for parameters / features such as UDMA mode type?  Is this, possibly, simply a legacy which is left over from the older PATA drives, when one could choose either backwards compatibility with PIO (for whatever reason!) or alternative transfer speeds?  

Given that UDMA does not actually affect, in any material way, the speed at which the raw data can be extracted from the physical platter, should I be unduly concerned by the way it is transferred around once it's on the SATA cables, heading towards the MoBo and being shipped around the controller chipset, memory and CPU?  

That is, does the "only as fast as the weakest link" maxim apply here?

Just a thought ...
Yea, your question made my head hurt sometimes when I was reading it and thinking about it. As far as that bios "upgrade" I was not looking at the first part but the cryptic second part. I  was wondering if it meant that the board would display that it would do udma 6 when it couldn't and that all the update would do would be prevent it from displaying a mode it really could not do. You might want to go to the site where you could download it and look at the bios revision history. It seemed to me that the overwhelming numbers of references to that board showed it only doing 5 not 6 though. As far as your weakest link idea goes though I think the difference between  5 and 6 does matter. Look at  it this way there wasn't too much difference originally between a pata and a sata in terms of  real bandwidth. Sata just had nicer cabling and started to come with bigger caches. There is still not that much difference in real performance betwen a sata 2 and sata 1. The higher bandwidths in both is still mostly theoretical  because of the controller bottleneck.  A sata 2 will be a little faster in certain types of cache writes than sata 1's but in the real world both do not ever deliver their full potential to the bus/ cpu. So I would say that an average pata drive on udma 6  would be faster in substained throughput than the fastest sata 2 on 5. Another example would be adding a pci ata or raid card to an older system with only a 66 or 33 ide controller so that you can take adavantage of newer drives throughput. So the bottom line is do your boards really support udma 6. I don't think the p5gv-mx does but the pc4800-e delux does. Here are a couple of good links, though, for threads specializing in this board
It sounded in the first thread that the guy was able to mod the promise drivers to increase throughput. So yes, whether or not through the raid controler or sata controller you could tweak it up to 6 then you would get measurable sustained throughput differences
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