Onboard Promise 20276 - Fix for stuttering in ATA133 mode?

Discussion in 'Gigabyte' started by Will Dormann, Oct 2, 2003.

  1. Will Dormann

    Will Dormann Guest

    I've read messages about this problem and also experienced it myself,
    but I was just wondering if anybody has come across any solution to it.

    I've got a GA-7DXR+ that has onboard 20276, but when using it in ATA133
    mode I noticed stuttering and other multitasking problems. When the HD
    is under heavy use, my MP3s will skip and the mouse movement is somewhat

    I'd like to be able to use the controller, as I've had to play a little
    bit of musical chairs with my devies now that I have a DVD burner. I
    did have both HD's on one channel, but to reduce contention for the IDE
    bus I've moved them so that each has its own channel. But
    unfortunately this involved removing one of my 5-1/4" devices and also
    moving the HD to a part of the case where the airflow is significantly less.

    I'm almost considering getting a PCI IDE controller, but it seems like
    such a waste, since my motherboard *should* have that capability onboard.


    P.S. My current config is:

    IDE1 Master - HD
    IDE1 Slave - CD-RW
    IDE2 Master - HD
    IDE2 Slave - DVD-RW

    I'd like to have something like:
    IDE1 Master - HD
    IDE1 Slave - CD-RW
    IDE2 Master - DVD-RW
    IDE3 Master - HD

    The reason for the change include neater cabling, plus the ability to
    move the HD in front of my case intake fan for cooling.
    Will Dormann, Oct 2, 2003
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  2. Will Dormann

    Alien Zord Guest

    Piece of cake (if your OS is Windows). Install (add) RAID driver to you OS.
    Shut down, connect your OS drive jumperred as a master to IDE3, leave other
    HDDs disconnected. Set BIOS boot order to "RAID/SCSI", RAID controller
    function to "RAID", enter Promise BIOS via ctrl+F, set the drive up as a
    single drive RAID array 1 (you will not loose the drive's content unlike
    with GigaRAID controllers). Reboot to Windows. You should instantly notice
    the perfect sound and faultless mouse movement. Shut down, connect second
    HDD jumperred as a master to IDE4, enter Promise BIOS and set it up as a
    single drive RAID array 2.

    My favourite setups:
    IDE1: optical readers
    IDE2: optical writers
    IDE3: master: OS hard drive preferably 8MB cache type
    IDE3: slave: empty
    IDE4: master: Main data HDD also holding pagefile
    IDE4: slave: Source HDD for holding video or audio files to be processed and
    stored on the Main data drive.

    I have experimented with RAID0 and yes, it was faster but after a few months
    I started getting read or write errors and heard strange clonking sounds
    from the HDDs so I abandoned it and reverted to single drive RAID arrays.
    Systems have been perfect ever since.
    Alien Zord, Oct 3, 2003
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  3. Will Dormann

    Will Dormann Guest

    Thanks! That definately did the job. Nothing's choppy, and FWIW, the
    drive benchmarks faster connected to the RAID controller as opposed to
    the onboard.

    But the important thing is that the system *feels* smooth, and the
    cabling is much cleaner now. (to keep airflow unobstructed)

    Will Dormann, Oct 3, 2003
  4. Will Dormann

    Will Dormann Guest

    One question, though...
    Do you know of any SMART monitoring software that supports drives
    connected via the 20276 controller in RAID mode?

    Will Dormann, Oct 3, 2003
  5. Will Dormann

    Alien Zord Guest

    No, not yet. AIDA32 displays most things but its Storage/Smart section is
    still greyed out. Maybe next release.
    Alien Zord, Oct 3, 2003
  6. Will Dormann

    Will Dormann Guest

    I found out that the Promise FastCheck utility (should be included with
    your driver in the "utility" directory) does supposedly have SMART
    monitoring. Well, it has a checkbox labled "Enable S.M.A.R.T Check"
    and it is enabled.

    As for what exactly it does with the SMART data, I'm not sure.

    Will Dormann, Oct 3, 2003
  7. Will Dormann

    Muttley Guest

    Re: the Promise Fastcheck Monitoring Utility:

    If you click on each drive in the "Array" tab, the S.M.A.R.T. status shows
    up in the right-hand side pane of the window.

    Only shows as "Functional" for all my drives.

    Seems to be a simple GO/NOGO indication, rather than allowing you to see all
    the values....

    John S.
    Muttley, Oct 4, 2003
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