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SATA: Another step backwards?

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SATA: Another step backwards?

Postby Tubtanic on Fri Jan 24, 2003 1:19 am

Like everyone else, I've been reading about the advantages of SATA over
IDE. So far, it's a big yawn.
Seriously. What does SATA do that FireWire2 can't? Do we have to overlook the fact FireWire2 runs circles around SATA?

As well, I haven't heard anyone complain about external drives running firewire/usb.

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Postby TheWizard on Fri Jan 24, 2003 3:04 am

For one, SATA is for internal drives. I like my computer to be portable, and having external drives doesn't make it very portable. :)
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Jan 24, 2003 7:20 am

there's no reason you can't have an internal FireWire drive.

as a matter of fact i believe such drives do exist, although not very common.

think about it: having an onboard FireWire controller and that's it! nothing else! no IDE, no USB, no PS/2, nothing! FireWire would take care of all your drives - magnetic as well as optical, internal and external, as well all other peripherals, digital I/O for cameras and whatever. sounds sweet!

too bad FireWire is not widespread as USB2 and more expensive. damn those Apple people :x ...
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Postby Tubtanic on Fri Jan 24, 2003 10:47 am

Exactly my point! Clean house. The vast majority of boards worth buying already have Firewire and Usb. If I had to choose, it would be Firewire as the sole controller but Usb is Intel's baby (gotta live with it).

So, why bother with SATA? Keep it clean, simple and fast. That's Firewire/Usb.
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Postby Boone on Fri Jan 24, 2003 12:12 pm

SATA is 150 megabytes per second,
PC Firewire is 400 megabits per second.

SATA = 150MB/s, Firewire = 50MB/s

Of course Macs now have 800 megabit firewire, but that's still only 100 MB/s.

edit:
All the new FireWire 800 products are based on the 'b' version of the IEEE 1394 multimedia standard, developed by the 1394 Trade Association. 1394b delivers speeds starting at 800 megabits/second, scalable to 1.6 Gigabits/second, then to 3.2 Gigabits/second. It also extends the distance that FireWire-equipped devices can send video and audio to more than 100 meters over CAT-5, plastic fiber and other media.


Feel free to bring this up again when these 1.6 and 3.2 Gigabits/second controllers show up.
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Postby cfitz on Fri Jan 24, 2003 12:20 pm

The SATA organization is also making noise that SATA will be as cheap as ATA (read that cheaper than Firewire).

It seems that SATA is being promoted mainly for its ease of manufacture and configuration combined with its backward compatibility for easy adoption, not because it is a technological marvel. On those grounds it may be a worthwhile technology, but I don't know that it qualifies as a great leap forward.

The SATA home page, for those interested in furthur reading:

http://www.serialata.org/

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Postby Ian on Fri Jan 24, 2003 12:32 pm

FireWire can also be chained from one device to another. Of course this means the devices have to share bandwidth, but for stuff like CD-RW drives, thats not that big of a deal.

SATA on the other hand needs to have a cable for each drive. If you have a lot of drives in your case, its going to look like spaghetti!
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Postby cfitz on Fri Jan 24, 2003 12:57 pm

Ian wrote:SATA on the other hand needs to have a cable for each drive. If you have a lot of drives in your case, its going to look like spaghetti!

Of course, SATA promotes that as an advantage:

SATA wrote:Serial ATA specifies a thin, point-to-point connection which allows for easy cable routing within a system. This avoids master/slave, "daisy-chaining", and termination issues.

(from http://www.serialata.org/about/index.shtml#servers )

To be fair, I think it is a reasonable position for them to take. The cables are small, so they don't take up that much space, minimizing the impact of any spaghetti effects.

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Postby TheWizard on Fri Jan 24, 2003 2:15 pm

dodecahedron wrote:there's no reason you can't have an internal FireWire drive.

as a matter of fact i believe such drives do exist, although not very common.

think about it: having an onboard FireWire controller and that's it! nothing else! no IDE, no USB, no PS/2, nothing! FireWire would take care of all your drives - magnetic as well as optical, internal and external, as well all other peripherals, digital I/O for cameras and whatever. sounds sweet!

too bad FireWire is not widespread as USB2 and more expensive. damn those Apple people :x ...


True, but I wanted to make myself feel better because I recently bought a new mobo with SATA onboard. :)
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Postby Derek on Fri Jan 24, 2003 4:15 pm

You can fit 3 Serial ATA connectors in place of one ATA133 connector on the board. Thats a difference right there. The cables are more manageable, meaning you can zip tie them together without a problem, whereas PATA cables don't like that.

Internal Firewire will never happen. It's just not as viable a solution as SATA.

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Postby dodecahedron on Sat Jan 25, 2003 5:49 am

SATA wrote:Serial ATA specifies a thin, point-to-point connection which allows for easy cable routing within a system. This avoids master/slave, "daisy-chaining", and termination issues.

(from http://www.serialata.org/about/index.shtml#servers )
these issues are'nt really much of a problem. what's the problem with USB and FireWire? daisychaining? these issues are only relevant when discussing SATA vs. PATA, and nobody has any problem with that argument.

Derek wrote:Internal Firewire will never happen. It's just not as viable a solution as SATA.

why?
costs? or the lower bandwidth?
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Postby Tubtanic on Mon Jan 27, 2003 5:45 pm

I don't see any reason why they couldn't have several FireWire2 (when it is available) controllers. Same deal with USB2.

Presently, S-ATA is not going to do much. Smaller cables - hee haw!
S-ATA2? Now! That gets me excited!

Unfortunately, NForce boards only have 2 ide connectors and the pci locked at 33. There is no reason why we can't have 4 ide's even if S-ATA
is included. An optional pci setting at 39 would be nice. I try to run everything at 40/41.

The 8k9a3+ has 6 ide connectors (4/Raid) but with the kt400 chipset. KT400A....... where are you?
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Postby dodecahedron on Sat Feb 01, 2003 5:09 am

here, Tubtanic, you might find this an interesting read:
FireWire vs. USB; Apple and Intel Play Hardball
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Postby Tubtanic on Wed Feb 05, 2003 11:03 pm

Very good article! But a real downer. What was Apple thinking?

Thanks Dodecahedron.
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Postby Derek on Thu Feb 06, 2003 1:18 am

The point was Apple wasn't thinking...

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Postby dodecahedron on Thu Feb 06, 2003 3:42 am

yeah, that's too bad for all of us :x :cry:
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Postby Tubtanic on Mon Mar 17, 2003 11:18 pm

I still think SATA is no big deal. This link supports my view. - Tubtanic

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/63/29783.html

1.
"Helbig admits that at 150MB/sec, SATA offers no performance advantage
over IDE, especially as the parallel-to-serial bridging technology in use today can limit real throughput to less than 100MB/sec.

He adds that even when SATA-2 comes along with 300MB/sec and extra
features such as command queuing and drive hot-swapping, SCSI will still
have the high end thanks to its advantages in areas such as error reporting and defect block handling. "


2.
"Kevill says that a 3Ware SATA RAID adapter costs around 20% more than the equivalent IDE RAID card, because of the extra bridging chips needed, and that it adds £15 to £20 to the drive price.


3.
"However, there are still a couple of SATA caveats. Firstly, the connectors are weak and they really need the addition of a locking clip, warns Romain
Cohen-Gonsaud, an area sales manager with disk enclosure supplier CiDesign."


4.
And at the launch of EMC's first IDE-based Clariion storage boxes, senior
vice-president and general manager Joel Schwartz robustly declared that
SATA hard disks are not yet ready for EMC's customers.

"There are no SATA drives on the market today that we feel comfortable
bringing to market," he said. There are reliability questions, he said, and some drives do not support hot-swapping. "We will move to SATA as soon as it meets our commercial standards," he added.
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Postby blakerwry on Thu Mar 27, 2003 5:52 am

everything you emntioned can be fixed by using an S-ATA controller and S-ATA drive... if you by a controller or drive that is natively P-ATA and uses converters why would you expect any difference?

Going to native S-ATA is going to bring several things .. 1) hot swap 2) higher speeds for future drives 3) no more molex power connectors 4) no more master/slave problems with performance. 5) a few percent performance increase becasue of the efficiency of S-ata over p-ata

It's not a huge step, but it sure beats ATA 150 or whatever the next step above ata133 would be.

SA-SCSI is more interesting... and it will work with S-ATA drives... after awhile I think you're going to see the line between IDE and SCSI drives blur.
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Postby vbl117 on Sun Apr 27, 2003 7:55 pm

I think S-ATA-2 and SAS ( Serial ATA SCSI ) will be a great improvement . Firewire can be used as internal interface ( most cards have an internal connector ) but i don't think it'll replace P-ATA .

Hum . a pc with integrated S-ATA-2 internal , integrated Firewire 1 or 2 external , athlon 64 , DDR II , 10000 TPM hard drive , DVD burner . I am hungry :wink:
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