Which is better for one SATA-150 drive? Promise or Intel IDE?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by KenV, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. KenV

    KenV Guest

    ASUS gives the choice of using either the Intel SATA or the Promise RAID,
    configured as IDE, for a single, SATA-150 HD.

    Is there a good reason to use one or the other in terms of performance or
    reliability? On what basis do you choose the Intel SATA versus the Promise
    SATA connectors?

    Or doesn't it matter at all?

    KenV, Jan 19, 2006
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  2. The Intel SATA interface (or any other interface on a motherboard that's
    built into the chipset) will be faster than the Promise because the
    Promise chip will be connected to the PCI bus, limiting its performance.
    Robert Hancock, Jan 19, 2006
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  3. KenV

    KenV Guest

    In the P4p800-E, the Promise is also built into the MB--does it have a
    separate chipset?

    When I look in the Device Manager using devices by connection, both the
    on-board Promise and the Intel controllers appear under the PCI listing.
    Again, I don't have the technical know-how to interpret these things, but
    they appear to be both using the PCI bus.

    I wonder if there is a way to test one against the other?

    KenV, Jan 19, 2006
  4. KenV

    Paul Guest

    Here is a typical block diagram for an 875P based board. The
    865PE is similar, but doesn't have the bus for the "Intel GbE"
    on the side of the Northbridge.


    When other external peripheral chips are connected to a board
    like this, they are chained to the PCI. The PCI bus has a
    133MB/sec theoretical max. The SATA ports on the Southbridge,
    get to enjoy the 266MB/sec bus bandwidth between the
    Northbridge and Southbridge, so there is less of a bandwidth
    bottleneck for them. That is why Robert is recommending the
    use of Southbridge ports.

    To test them, look for a copy of HDTach.


    Some of the technical details of the bus architecture are
    hidden away in the Intel datasheets for the chipset. Drivers
    and enumerations can be fooled into thinking the connectivity
    is PCI, and that is why a utility will not give the right
    answers about how the busses work.

    Paul, Jan 19, 2006
  5. KenV

    KenV Guest

    Paul and Robert,

    Indeed, your responses did help, and quite a bit. Thank you for your input.

    Using HDTach, here are the results. I compared the Seagate Barracuda 160
    SATA drive on the Promise controller and on the Intel SATA controller, both
    with updated drivers:

    Random Access time: 12.6ms for each controller
    CPU utilization, 7% on the Promise, 2% on the Intel
    Average Read 47.7 on the Promise, 48.0 on the Intel
    Burst Speed 81.1 MB/S on the Promise, 126.8 MB/Second on the Intel.

    Looks as though the Intel controller wins, as you both said it would. And it
    /feels/ faster to me on the Intel controller, but maybe there isn't that big
    of a difference.

    KenV, Jan 20, 2006
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