Installing two new drives, and questions on ATA controller cards.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brett_H, Dec 28, 2001.

  1. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2001
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    All,
    I recently scored a sweet deal on a pair of WD 40 GB 7200 ATA100 drives to replace the existing 8 GB 5400 RPM (?) ATA33 drive in my system. As it stands, I have a Compaq Presario 5150 (don't laugh, I got a good deal on it used from a friend) that I've upgraded to an AMD K6-500 processor. I'm pretty certain that the IDE controller onboard is only an ATA33. I saw that newegg.com had a "PROMISE ULTRA100TX2 CONTROLLER CARD - OEM 2 Channel IDE Supports UDMA 33/66/100" for $23 + $10 shipping.
    Do you guys think it would be worth my time, money, and effort to get this card? Given my current system limitations, would this card even allow me to see the advantages of ATA100, or does my MOBO limit me to something less? This is the closest I could come to finding the system's specs.
    The data sheet for this controller card states "Ultra100 TX2 is completely backward compatible
    with 33MHz PCI systems or slower Ultra ATA/66/33 drives. Supports up to four Ultra ATA drives and ATAPI devices." Anyone care to interpret this for me?
    I know most would say for $33 just go for it, but I've got the drives, I've a 4-day weekend, and I'd rather not wait to install them! Plus, I'd like to keep the system as simple as possible.
    One other question regarding the drive configuration:
    I read in the Western Digital manual it was bad to connect these drives on the same IDE channel as a CD or CDRW drive. Assuming this is the case, would my best configuration be:
    IDE channel 1 -
    Master = HDD #1
    Slave = HDD #2
    IDE channel 2 -
    Master = Yamaha 16X burner
    Slave = Crappy Compaq CD drive
    Does the master/slave order matter on the 2nd (CD, CDR) channel really matter?
    Sorry for the barrage of questions, but I'm pretty pumped to install these, and I'd like to make sure I maximize any performance increase I might see.
    Thanks!
    -Brett.
     
  2. Matt DeVillier

    Matt DeVillier Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 1999
    Messages:
    773
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Brett,

    even though your system is not top-of-the-line, I still think you could benefit from the ATA/100 controller card. The "weakest link" in most(all) systems is the hard disk subsystem, and that's true here as well. However, there's no reason you can't set everything up now and simply move the cable to the controller card when it arrives. I would agree that connecting both hard drives on one channel and both cdroms on the other is the way to go. Master/Slave doesn't matter too much for the cdroms, but I'd put the burner as the master.

    hope this helps

    -Matt
     
  3. Randy_T

    Randy_T Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2001
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The Compaq Presario 5150 has a 100MHz FSB. It came standard with an 8 GB UltraDMA hard drive. You don't need the controller.I also agree that connecting both hard drives on one channel and both cdroms on the other is the way to go.
    Check here for specs on your computer:
    http://support.tandy.com/support_com...oc50/50688.htm
    Hope this helps....Randy T
     
  4. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2001
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    All,

    Thanks for the input!

    Randy - Clarification, please: Those specs mention "UltraDMA". Is that the same as ATA66 or ATA33?

    Thanks,

    -Brett.
     
  5. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2001
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    OK, I did a little poking around and came up with this article. It states
     
  6. Bob Hill

    Bob Hill Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sorry to say I don't agree with putting both hard drives on one channel and the CDROM and CDR on the other. The reasons I say this are if you are going to be duping CD's or really utilizing your dual HD system. By having both CD devices on the same channel you restrict your transfer rate quite a lot and have to really slow down the CDROM to CDR burning process. Also on the hard disk side, if you are optimizing for speed/stability you'll have your OS on one hard drive and all your data on the other. Same thing goes here with transfer rates slowing down. Also I think if you check your installation literature from Yamaha they will say the same thing about how to configure your system for the optimum CD burning. Hope this helps out some.
     
  7. Randy_T

    Randy_T Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2001
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ultra DMA first came out on the ATA33 IDE Controller.Seeing that your computer has a 100MHz FSB,I would think that your running a ATA66. Be sure that the DMA box is checked the the device manager. I have read several articles that would suggest there is no real performance difference between ATA66 & ATA100 besides burst speed.And burst speeds never reach promised specs.For example:

    ATA100 hits 85MB/sec.

    ATA66 hits 55MB/sec.

    Also, hard drives are limited by the intrinsic speed of their own mechanics during regular reads and writes.and rarely hit throughput ceilings during typical activity.

    If your IDE controller is ATA33,then it would be worth the $$ to get the promise card. I'll do some checking and see what I can find out.

    Randy T
     
  8. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2001
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Randy,
    According to this page:
     
  9. Randy_T

    Randy_T Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2001
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes it is. I also found a not-so-nice review that does state that the IDE Controller is ATA33. Get the Promise card. Are your ISA slots being used? The reason I ask is that the PCI slot you will use for the Promise card is shared with one of the ISA slots.

    Randy T
     
  10. DavePompea

    DavePompea Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The Promise card is a nice one. I got one a few months ago and it made a big difference on my 7200 rpm drives.

    Install and setup was straight and clear in my PIII-750 BX W2K system.

    The card is backwards compatible to PIO-4 mode, so you can hang anything on it. In a pinch you can use regular IDE cables and it will fallback in speed.

    BTW, check how many cables you get with the card,only one came with the retail box. You do know that regular IDE cables won't do ATA-100, right ?

    Dave
     
  11. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2001
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    All,

    Thanks again for all of the speedy replies!

    Dave, the card comes with one IDE cable. I have two more 80 conductor ones at home, so I should be all set.

    Randy, I should be good to go as far as slots, the only extra card I have is a Soundblaster Live.

    I'm leaving work early to pick this guy up. I'll be doing the install on Monday, and I'll be sure to benchmark a few things to give an idea of how much improvement this all makes!

    Thanks,

    -Brett.
     

Share This Page