SATA sustained speeds question. What is yours?

By Vigilante
Sep 1, 2005
  1. Hi all, quick question.
    For those of your running Windows XP, and have a SATA hard drive. I want you to try this. This may only work on an nForce chipset, not sure.

    Go into Device Manager.

    Under the heading "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers", double click your Serial ATA controller to get into the Properties.

    Once in Properties, go to the Primary Channel tab (if your main drive is in primary channel).

    Now here is my question/expirement.
    In my properties box, it shows my Transfer mode as "Serial ATA DMA" with the box checked called "Let BIOS select transfer mode". So is "Serial ATA DMA" the fastest SATA speed? Or is there another speed that is faster?

    Als my Enable write caching box is checked. Everything else in here is greyed out and I can't select or change anything.

    Now then, click the "Speed test..." button. Write down the 3 speeds it gives you. Mine were as follows:

    Theoretical Speed.......150MBs
    Burst Speed...............111.6
    Sustained Speed...........57.6

    My SATA is supposed to be a SATA 150, my drive is new. The motherboard is new. It's all new, fast, stuff. So what is yours? And is this what I should expect from my drive? Seems to me a SATA 150 drive should be significantly faster then 57.6. What can I do? Or is this normal?

  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    This is a normal misconception caused by marketing hype and misleading ads.

    The HD interface speed is meaningless - the real bottleneck is the drive mechanics that limit the transfer rates well below the interface speeds. As you can see you wouldn't lose anything even if you had ATA133 and the difference would be nonexistent even with ATA100.

    Those speeds you got are perfectly normal and I'm sure they match the quoted speeds from your hard drive manufacturer.
  3. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    If that is what I should expect, speed wise, fine. But I'd still like to see other's benchmarks. And if someone has a single (non RAID) SATA drive that get's much faster sustained, I want to know how.

    Other subquestions were, is the "Serial ATA DMA" the only speed choice, or are there other ways?

    Can I speed up?

  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Western Digital WD800JD-00HKA0

    Seagate Barracuda ST3200826AS
  5. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    I don't use sata (soon will be getting sata for my intel project board)
    heres standard and scsi
    not sure how well this reads
  6. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    SNG your Barracuda is running a lot faster. Is that the 10000rpm drive? Or is there something special with that one? Cause mine is a Seagate also. Have to look it up, not sure if it's a Barracuda.

    But ya, I guess I can't expect to much more out of it. Not that I think it's slow, cause it was significantly faster then my old IDE. I ran a benchmark specific to hard drives, did a "before and after", the Seagate was over 3 times faster then the IDE. But I still wanted to make sure that this is what I should expect from the drive.

    Thanks guys.
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