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Old October 13th, 2008, 01:06 PM   #1
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SATA vs. IDE hard drives

Ok. I've got a hunch, but I'd like someone to either confirm or deny it for me.

On my editing computer, I've got 4 SATA ports and 2 IDE ports.

I have three 750GB SATA drives in a RAID-0 for my storage/scratch disks. My IT director decided that I would be better served by filling the 4th SATA port with my DVD-Burner (which is rarely used) and making my OS/Programs drive a slower PATA drive on an IDE port. However, my hunch is that everything is limited by the lowest common denominator, and if my programs are limited to the transfer speed of the slower IDE drive, then the faster speed of my storage drives and CD drive don't make any difference. Is that correct? Would I notice a significant pick-up in power if I had my OS/Programs on the 4th SATA port and the DVD burner on the IDE port?

OS is Windows XP Pro 32bit with 4 GB of Ram and running Adobe Masterworks Collection CS3.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 01:18 PM   #2
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I am fairly knowledgeable about computers, and fairly new to editing. I have my operating system on an IDE drive, to keep my fast drives available for read write operations. my understanding of editing is that most of the accessed information is on the ram, and not the "c" drive. The bottle neck is usually the read write time of the video files, or the CPU speed, or ram. I have two SATA drives and two IDE drives. I use the SATA drives for read write and scratch. I use one ide drive for the oprating system, the other for storage. I was running about 80% of my cpu when rendering, using sata 7200 rpm drives. I upgraded to two rapter 10,000 rpm drives, and my render times dropped, cpu usage went to about 98%, and no glitches at all. I see no evidence that the 7200 rpm IDE "C" drive is affecting my editing or render times.
with that said, I would not waste a sata cable on a dvd drive that doesn't need the speed, at the sacrifice of a slower hard drive for the operating system
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Old October 13th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input. Unfortunately I'm pretty much stuck right now since I've gone through five months of headache even getting my computer set up and now that everything's installed, I'm pretty much not going to be able to get them to change stuff around now. Good to know that the C drive won't be much of an issue. I had an inkling that it might be okay since most everything was in the RAM, but I wasn't sure. Question: would it help to move my Windows swap file to the faster SATA drive? (Both drives are 7200 RPM, the only difference is the transfer speed.)
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:10 PM   #4
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why not buy a sata card for $15.99

Newegg.com - MASSCOOL PCI Card, 1 external SATA + 2 internal SATA and 1 internal IDE Model XWT-RC018 - Add-On Cards
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Old October 21st, 2008, 01:24 PM   #5
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Assuming similar specs you won't get significantly faster performance using either PATA or SATA. But the IT Director was right in moving the DVD burner to the SATA port. When there are two devices on a PATA port, the speed for both devices matches the slowest device on that port. So you may actually get slightly faster performance now that it's all alone on the PATA port.

Additionally, it's easier to re-install Windows XP on an IDE/PATA drive. When installing Windows XP on a SATA drive, you need to have a floppy drive with drivers to do it properly.
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