Almost there, but confused about SATA selection in BIOS

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Ihatefishsauce, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. Success!! I double checked all connections and finally powered up.
    It went right into the BIOS. It's alive! Temperatures seem to hover
    at around 118-125 degrees F. The only problem I had was a noisy fan,
    which was screwed to the case but when I relocated it, the noise was
    gone. It recognized all the 2GB of memory (2048MB) and the drives.
    Now that I am in the BIOS, I will need to go very slowly to configure
    it. I am now very confused at all the BIOS settings and particularly
    the SATA drives. I really don't know how to configure them. I want
    to get the most efficiency out of them and am wondering exactly how I
    should configure them. Just two 320GB SATA drives. NO RAID.;; Just a
    C and D drive. Per Paul's suggestion, the two DVD burners are on the
    primary ide channel as master and slave. Can someone please tell me
    how exactly to configure these SATA drives for the most efficiency
    since I now need to install the operating system (WIN XP SP1).

    Thanks all!
    Ihatefishsauce, Jul 28, 2007
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  2. Ihatefishsauce

    Paul Guest

    Leave them at Auto ? :)

    The board is P5GDC-V Deluxe.

    Storage devices are ICH6R (one ribbon cable, four SATA) and ITE 8212F
    with two ribbon cables.

    The SATA offers:

    1) Standard IDE
    2) AHCI
    3) RAID mode

    For Standard IDE, the "Enhanced Mode" is the one you should use, as
    it allows all six ports to be used, and places the controllers in
    the PCI address space, for use with the default driver in WinXP SP1/SP2.

    As far as I know, the AHCI and RAID, need the RAID driver (installed via
    F6 during a clean install or a repair install). The IDE option
    should be able to use the built-in driver in WinXP SP1 or SP2.

    AHCI allows command reordering for better performance in server environments.
    The term used here is "Native Command Queueing".

    If you were running a benchmark such as HDTach, the performance should be no
    different, because access would be sequential and already optimal, while the
    surface is being scanned by the benchmark. Presumably, random access, and
    more than one application thread, would be needed to see an advantage.
    (One web article I looked at, used IOMeter to try and spot a performance

    The advantage might be 10%, if you were serving files to several other
    interactive computers, from your computer. If simultaneous requests for
    three different areas of the disk came in, the controller could execute
    them in a seek time optimal fashion.

    AFAIK, switching drivers is a "catch 22" situation. If you have any
    plans of running AHCI or RAID, you should use the RAID driver from
    day one. This will make RAID migration easier. And might even allow you
    to change to AHCI mode, as I think it is the same driver.

    If you are not interested in RAID, and don't want to mess with AHCI,
    the standard IDE driver native to Windows should do the job.

    On my computer, the emphasis during installation, is portability. I
    want the ability to move my disk, to as many other motherboards as possible,
    without issue. For that purpose, I would pick "Standard IDE", as that
    offers the best hope of being able to move the disk. While AHCI/RAID
    are exciting toys to play with, moving the drive later may be a
    scary experience. If you have a thorough backup strategy, with
    "bare metal" recovery capability (i.e. a boot CD that can restore the
    backup image and make a new boot drive), then perhaps you don't care
    about this quite as much.

    If you offered me 60MB/sec non-portable storage, versus 50MB/sec
    portable storage, I would take the latter one.

    Paul, Jul 28, 2007
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  3. Thank you again Paul. Very good and it solves the final question of
    IDE configuration. I am on vacation now, so I can play around more
    and get this thing up. Paul, do you work for ASUS? May I ask you
    what type of work you do for a living? I am thinking that you are an
    engineer of some type. Or just tell me it's none of my business.
    Thanks again, Paul. Your replies are always solid, respectful and
    Ihatefishsauce, Jul 28, 2007
  4. Ihatefishsauce

    Paul Guest

    If I worked for Asus, boy, do they own me a lot of back pay :)
    I do have a number of their motherboards here.

    Paul, Jul 28, 2007
  5. Ihatefishsauce

    Revolt Guest

    Yea, this is what I use. No fuss, no muss. But what does the enhanced option
    do exactly?
    Revolt, Jul 29, 2007
  6. Ihatefishsauce

    Paul Guest

    AFAIK, it places the storage interfaces in the PCI address space.
    Basically, it means a different driver is used. A driver that is
    not present in Win98 or WinME. But the driver is available with
    the right service pack of Win2K or WinXP (or Vista I suppose).

    The "compatible" mode of operation, places the control blocks in
    the I/O space. Only four disks can be handled that way, just like
    the old motherboards used to have. Old motherboards had two ribbon
    cable, for up to four drives. They used INT 14 and INT 15 for
    interrupts. The "compatible" mode looks exactly like an old motherboard,
    to any OS you are using. That allows an older OS like Win98 to
    install its built-in I/O space driver. But it also means you
    can only use four disks.

    Enhanced mode supports more disks, because it doesn't have to look
    like anything. For example, some Southbridges have room for eight
    disks, and as long as they all sat in the PCI address space, the
    PCI driver(s) could use them. For interrupts, PCI allows sharing
    of interrupts, so all of them could be bound to the same interrupt

    You can get more info here, better than I can explain it. Note that
    they don't write a specific version for every new chipset, and this
    doc was only written once, to explain their idea of putting stuff
    in the PCI space (at base address register - BAR, plus offset).

    "Serial ATA Controller Programmers Reference Manual"

    Paul, Jul 29, 2007
  7. Ihatefishsauce

    Pooh-Man Guest

    Thanks a lot for the info. Have downloaded the .pdf for later reading.

    Yes, I am Revolt, just changed my username to something more fitting. ;)
    Pooh-Man, Jul 30, 2007
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