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  1. #1
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    73

    Exclamation Serillel-SATA SLOWER than ATA? No really! Please help.

    I built this system a few months back. I have noticed weirdness that acted like DMA mode wasn't activated or something. (Occasional skipping audio or video in playback from HDD or CD if other things are running). Tried changing a bunch of settings and minimized it. (Turned on bus mastering in the bios seemed to help for the CD issue).

    NOW, with the recent release of the impressive Katana mod for Max Payne, I realize this problem is worse than I thought.

    The system:
    NF7-S v2 bios 24 (using onboard audio)
    Athlon-M o/c @ 2.3+ ghz (11x430) (about a 3200+ rating)
    1 Gb DDR 433 Mushkin Dual Channel Level One memory at 2-3-3-6
    GF4 Ti4400 (I know, I'm upgrading soon)
    (pagefile is set to 1536mb on C: drive (min and max) and defragmented

    Drive C: hitachi 7k250 with 200gb on SATA line using Serillel 2 converter (even updated the SI3112 driver to 1.0.0.51 to see if that would fix the problem)
    Drive D: IDE0 Master WD 120gb 2mb cache
    Drive E: IDE1 Master TDK CD-RW
    Drive F: IDE1 Slave Mad Dog DVD ROM

    Here's the problem...
    During certain moves in the game (wall jumps/wall walks), the hard drive accesses and the framerate skipped/dropped: every single time.

    Also the game load time is looong.

    After much hair pulling I disconnected C: drive from the SATA line, plugged it into the IDE line and the skipping stopped and the load time improved.

    I was under the impression performance should be the same (to slightly improved depending on who you listen to) using an ATA->SATA converter. If nothing else it let me put C: and D: drive on separate channels for better drive to drive copy performance.

    ANYWAY, are we talking that SATA is using a high amount of CPU cycles or something? This doesn't make any sense to me. I need some guidance, or I'll just have to remove the SATA altogether.
    Last edited by DoctorM; 10-02-2004 at 01:30 PM.
    ====
    Dr. M

  2. #2
    Joined
    Apr 2001
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    73

    SOLVED! - Serillel-SATA SLOWER than ATA? No really! Please help.

    Ok, killed the better part of an afternoon on this.

    Yes, PATA performed better in Katana, it also showed 2% CPU utilization under HDtach as opposed to 4% with SATA.

    The fix? EXT-P2P's Discard Time. Yup was running 30uS without seeming problems, but turning it up to 1mS and it lowered CPU utilization and Katana loads faster and runs smooth.

    If you are using 30uS and think it isn't causing you problems, I recommend benchmarking it.
    Last edited by DoctorM; 10-02-2004 at 07:37 PM.
    ====
    Dr. M

  3. #3
    Joined
    Dec 2003
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    726

    Re: Serillel-SATA SLOWER than ATA? No really! Please help.

    You might want to take advantage of having 2 disk controllers in play..... put the windows PAGEFILE on the IDE drive, this will allow simultaneous pagefile and sata accesses during game....reading movie/loading level while hitting virtual memory.
    DFI Infinity, 2600+Mobile 250x10
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    520W OCZ PS, LX-6A19 soundproofed, wt. 38Lbs
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  4. #4
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    73

    Re: Serillel-SATA SLOWER than ATA? No really! Please help.

    Hmmm. Wouldn't the WD 120 (with 2mb cache) be slower with the pagefile than the Hitachi 7k250?

    I also found after doing this on another set up that if you have to remove the second drive you can't boot into windows because it can't find the pagefile anymore. Do you know a work around for that?
    ====
    Dr. M

  5. #5
    Joined
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    264

    Re: Serillel-SATA SLOWER than ATA? No really! Please help.

    I also found after doing this on another set up that if you have to remove the second drive you can't boot into windows because it can't find the pagefile anymore. Do you know a work around for that?
    Yup. Create another partition on the hard drive that has your operating system, so that you have a C:\ and a D:\ partition. On the C:\ partition, let Windows operate and maintain that pagefile. On the D:\ partition, create a fixed page file that is 1.5 - 2x the amount of physical RAM that you have. Windows OS's will utilize the page file on the least accessed partition for games, programs, etc... The Windows maintained page file on C:/, will be used by the operating system for memeory dump information or other error reports, if necessary. Windows is written this way to eliminate page file fragmentation and to provide more efficient page file access. This method is recommended by Microsoft in a tech bulletin, that's where i found it. I have been using this set-up for the past year and everything runs fine. My page files are never fragmented. One note, once the D:\ partition is created, you need to format the partition using Disk Management in the Control Panel (if you have XP).
    DFI LP SLI-DR Expert (06/04/2006 BIOS)
    Big Typhoon
    4400 X2 (285x10)
    2x1024 Mushkin Redline pc4000
    (Infineon CE-6) (3.0, 3, 8, 2; 259 FSB @ 9/10)
    OCZ GamerX 700
    EVGA 7950 GX2
    1-Seagate SATA 120 G
    2-Seagate IDE 120 G RAID 0
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  6. #6
    Joined
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    726

    Re: Serillel-SATA SLOWER than ATA? No really! Please help.

    Well, you can always leave a small "50 MB" pagefile on C:, but windows will use the other one 99.9%.

    Having it on a seperate drive/controller allows the NForce2 to shine with one of its best abilities.... accessing SATA and IDE simultaneously, so level loading or texturemap loading wont interfere with pagefile access. It's esp useful when you have only 512M.
    DFI Infinity, 2600+Mobile 250x10
    1.875Vcore, 1.9Vdd, 3.50Vdimm, 1.6Vagp
    2x512 Twinmos SP UTT Hellfire 8KAr2 bios
    8,2,2,2,2.0;14,16;5,4,5,3,3,5,4;e,e,f,E;4-DS/11-SR
    X800XTPE 582/582 1.685v 2.20/2.28v
    2xRaptor 36G SataRaid0, 80G IDE, 16x NEC5920A
    520W OCZ PS, LX-6A19 soundproofed, wt. 38Lbs
    3D01-24412 3D03-13245 (935cpu) 3D05 6430 (4086)

  7. #7
    Joined
    Nov 2003
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    264

    Re: Serillel-SATA SLOWER than ATA? No really! Please help.

    The fix? EXT-P2P's Discard Time. Yup was running 30uS without seeming problems, but turning it up to 1mS and it lowered CPU utilization and Katana loads faster and runs smooth.
    I'm running a PATA HDD w/ the SATA adapter also. I had been leaving the EXT-P2P at 30ums, because I had not seen any of the "problems" that were associated w/ a true SATA, as described within this forum. After reading your post, I changed the EXT-P2P to 1 ums, rebooted and tried Far Cry. With 30 ums, I cannot use EAX. I drop sound continually. With the 1ums setting, I can run EAX, with no sound dropping out. Pretty sweet.

    Thanks.

    Edit:
    ums should be mS
    Last edited by SailinDawg; 10-03-2004 at 01:11 PM.
    DFI LP SLI-DR Expert (06/04/2006 BIOS)
    Big Typhoon
    4400 X2 (285x10)
    2x1024 Mushkin Redline pc4000
    (Infineon CE-6) (3.0, 3, 8, 2; 259 FSB @ 9/10)
    OCZ GamerX 700
    EVGA 7950 GX2
    1-Seagate SATA 120 G
    2-Seagate IDE 120 G RAID 0
    X-Fi Xtreme Music
    WinXP Home

  8. #8
    Joined
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    73

    Re: Serillel-SATA SLOWER than ATA? No really! Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by SailinDawg
    Yup. Create another partition on the hard drive that has your operating system, so that you have a C:\ and a D:\ partition. On the C:\ partition, let Windows operate and maintain that pagefile. On the D:\ partition, create a fixed page file that is 1.5 - 2x the amount of physical RAM that you have. Windows OS's will utilize the page file on the least accessed partition for games, programs, etc... The Windows maintained page file on C:/, will be used by the operating system for memeory dump information or other error reports, if necessary. Windows is written this way to eliminate page file fragmentation and to provide more efficient page file access. This method is recommended by Microsoft in a tech bulletin, that's where i found it. I have been using this set-up for the past year and everything runs fine. My page files are never fragmented. One note, once the D:\ partition is created, you need to format the partition using Disk Management in the Control Panel (if you have XP).
    Um, but then you have both page files on the same physical drive. Doesn't sound like that really helps much.

    And again, if I remove the D: drive will windows fail to load or it'll just ignore the missing part of the pagefile and just use C:?
    Last edited by DoctorM; 10-03-2004 at 04:51 PM.
    ====
    Dr. M

  9. #9
    Joined
    Apr 2001
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    73

    Re: Serillel-SATA SLOWER than ATA? No really! Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by SailinDawg
    I'm running a PATA HDD w/ the SATA adapter also. I had been leaving the EXT-P2P at 30ums, because I had not seen any of the "problems" that were associated w/ a true SATA, as described within this forum. After reading your post, I changed the EXT-P2P to 1 ums, rebooted and tried Far Cry. With 30 ums, I cannot use EAX. I drop sound continually. With the 1ums setting, I can run EAX, with no sound dropping out. Pretty sweet.

    Thanks.

    Edit:
    ums should be mS
    Hmm. I was getting some sound drop outs in other games, I wonder if that's related. (Though given my fsb is overclocked, I'm using onboard audio, and my northbridge fan died. I blamed that.) Hmm.

    Sounds like the Nvidia recommended 30us isn't all it's cracked up to be.
    ====
    Dr. M

  10. #10
    Joined
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    73

    Re: Serillel-SATA SLOWER than ATA? No really! Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by uwackme
    Well, you can always leave a small "50 MB" pagefile on C:, but windows will use the other one 99.9%.

    Having it on a seperate drive/controller allows the NForce2 to shine with one of its best abilities.... accessing SATA and IDE simultaneously, so level loading or texturemap loading wont interfere with pagefile access. It's esp useful when you have only 512M.
    Intrigued now.
    So is this similar to what SailinDawg said? Let windows manage the C: drive cache and put the full cache on D:, or just lock down min and max on both drives.

    Eg. C: min 0 max 50mb, D: min & max 1500mb
    OR C: min/man 50mb and D: min/max 1500mb?

    Also is the 50mb a fairly certain number or what? Where does that come from?
    I use 1500mb right now because I have 1gb of ram. (XP suggested that number and it sounded pretty good.)
    ====
    Dr. M

  11. #11
    Joined
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    264

    Re: Serillel-SATA SLOWER than ATA? No really! Please help.

    Um, but then you have both page files on the same physical drive. Doesn't sound like that really helps much.
    Taken from the MS Tech bulletin:

    " To enhance performance, it is good practice to put the paging file on a different partition and on a different physical hard disk drive. That way, Windows can handle multiple I/O requests more quickly. When the paging file is on the boot partition, Windows must perform disk reading and writing requests on both the system folder and the paging file. When the paging file is moved to a different partition, there is less competition between reading and writing requests.

    However, if you remove the paging file from the boot partition, Windows cannot create a dump file (Memory.dmp) in which to write debugging information in the event that a kernel mode Stop Error message occurs. This could lead to extended downtime if you must debug to troubleshoot the Stop error message.

    The optimal solution is to create one paging file that is stored on the boot partition, and then create one paging file on another partition that is less frequently accessed on a different physical hard disk if a different physical hard disk is available. Additionally, it is optimal to create the second paging file so that it exists on its own partition, with no data or operating-system-specific files. By design, Windows uses the paging file on the less frequently accessed partition over the paging file on the more heavily accessed boot partition. An internal algorithm is used to determine which paging file to use for virtual memory management."

    The entire bulletin can be read here:
    http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;314482

    You are correct, it is optimum to be able to use a second hard drive for a paging file, however, on the boot partition, you still need a page file. In my case, I let WinXP manage the page file on the boot partition. Because I only have 1 disk, I put the second page file on a different partition. I don't think that this kind of tweak is measurable. But, my page files do not get fragmented. Uwackme's opinion to set the boot partition page file to a static size is fine. I just let XP manage my boot partition page file with no ill effects.
    DFI LP SLI-DR Expert (06/04/2006 BIOS)
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  12. #12
    Joined
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    73

    Re: Serillel-SATA SLOWER than ATA? No really! Please help.

    Thanks for the excellent tip. I will be switching to that configuration.
    ====
    Dr. M

  13. #13
    Joined
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    264

    Re: Serillel-SATA SLOWER than ATA? No really! Please help.

    No problem. Glad to be of help.
    DFI LP SLI-DR Expert (06/04/2006 BIOS)
    Big Typhoon
    4400 X2 (285x10)
    2x1024 Mushkin Redline pc4000
    (Infineon CE-6) (3.0, 3, 8, 2; 259 FSB @ 9/10)
    OCZ GamerX 700
    EVGA 7950 GX2
    1-Seagate SATA 120 G
    2-Seagate IDE 120 G RAID 0
    X-Fi Xtreme Music
    WinXP Home

  14. #14
    Joined
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    491

    Re: Serillel-SATA SLOWER than ATA? No really! Please help.

    Although I did not know about Windows' not being able to do memory dumps if there isn't a pagefile on the boot partition, everything else you said I have heard and employ in my system.

    Essentially, it is optimal to have OS and pagefiles on separate HDDs AND channel, i.e. primary and secondary IDE channel, and/or SATA channels.

    Currently I have 3 HDDs in my system, though soon it will be 5 when I get my SATA card.

    I have the OS and one other drive on the primary channel, and one HDD on the second channel. I have pagefiles on the drive on the second channel (no channel competition unless my optical drive is running), and on the second drive on the first channel (not same drive as OS, so although it shares the channel with the OS, it at least does not compete with the OS for HDD physical movements).

    I figure with 2 pagefiles set up the way I have them, I will likely at most times have at least one that has adequate resources for fast response.

    I also have dedicated partitions for each pagefile, and have set the pagefile size not to grow so it doesn't get fragmented.

  15. #15
    Joined
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    726

    Re: Serillel-SATA SLOWER than ATA? No really! Please help.

    Yes, first thing to do is kill off the crash-dump file thing, it's in the "system" control panel applet, error reporting section. Tell it "NONE"....when was the last time you ran the debugger to analyze a program crash?...exactly.

    Yes, on my setup Ive had no issue with NO PAGEFILE on C: at all. Even if I remove the IDE drive completely.

    I have 2x sata Raid0 with windows/programs, and a ata133 IDE drive with a 2GB partition as the FIRST partition on the drive, formated FAT32 with 4K cluster size to match the pagefile page size for x86 cpus.

    This way the pagefile is on a seperate partition, on a seperate drive, on a seperate disk controller. On NForce2 systems this allows SIMULTANEOUS ACCESS of the pagefile and the raid0 array. Trust me it adds some PEP. Doing this has a bigger impact on peppyness than whether the IDE drive is ATA100/2MBcache or ATA133/8mb cache. Either will help.
    DFI Infinity, 2600+Mobile 250x10
    1.875Vcore, 1.9Vdd, 3.50Vdimm, 1.6Vagp
    2x512 Twinmos SP UTT Hellfire 8KAr2 bios
    8,2,2,2,2.0;14,16;5,4,5,3,3,5,4;e,e,f,E;4-DS/11-SR
    X800XTPE 582/582 1.685v 2.20/2.28v
    2xRaptor 36G SataRaid0, 80G IDE, 16x NEC5920A
    520W OCZ PS, LX-6A19 soundproofed, wt. 38Lbs
    3D01-24412 3D03-13245 (935cpu) 3D05 6430 (4086)

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