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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My setup:

Asus P4C800-E Deluxe bios 1010
Intel 2.6, 800
Corsair XMS 3200C2's 512mb
LiteOn DVD
LiteOne 52/32/52 CDRW
Enermax 465 PS
Maxtor 120GB 8MB Serial Drive
OnBoard Sound, etc.

What should the proper settings and IDE connections be for the SATA drive and CD Drives?

Currently have the CD's on IDE2 and the serial hard drive on SATA1 (non raid). In the bios should I disable the Promise controller and move the CD's to IDE1 for better performance? Also what should be Bios settings be for the single SATA drive? Currently have enhanced mode set on and PATA+SATA (manual was pretty unclear).

Currently my existing setup seems to work fine I'm just trying to optimize the rig.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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Well you flashed your Bios to v1010 that's good. The two things I would look for is:

1. Change plug and play o/s to yes under PCI/PnP settings.
2. Change operating mode (under promise controller) from Raid to IDE in the Advanced menu.

My P4C800-E seemed to hang when I had my DVD/CD-RW drive in the Primary IDE the performance has been a lot better when placed in the Secondary IDE. But don't let me stop you give it a try and see what works for you. Hope this helps, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Tried a few combinations. First did enable Promise and set to IDE, left SATA connection where it was on SATA1 non raid connection and the Promise wasn't activated (no devices found) So I moved the connection to the SATA1 (raid port) and it worked. Ran SIMAX3 and basically got the same numbers - about 36500 which isn't bad. Moved the CDRW and DVD to IDE Primary and had no problems but did see a speed increase for initial boot time and return from suspend (no idea why unless the bios is looking for something on IDE1) Did set the Plug and Play OS on for all tests. Basically leaving the SATA drive on SATA1 - non Promise as the tests were basically the same no matter what port the drive was on, then disabled the Promise controller. Initial boot times increased since the BIOS doesn't need to search for an active drive. Will continually run tests to see if performance drops.
 

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Leave the SATA drive on the "SATA1" connector, as you did. Don't put it on the Promise ("SATA RAID1"), since that goes over the PCI bus, and with only one HD it will needlessly hog your PCI bandwidth away from future soundcards and such. Having it where you have it, off the Southbridge, is the fastest place to put SATA today.

There's not supposed to be any speed difference between IDE Primary and Secondary, as you also observed (only a minor boot time difference), they're equivalent today. I don't think it was always that way, but it is now, at least with ICHxx family chips, so they say.

Primary IDE is typically reserved for hard drives, though that's not cast in concrete. I've read that you can run into trouble later on if you have your opticals on Primary but add a HD to Secondary. But of course you could just move stuff around at that time, and change your drive letters around (ugh!).


Personally I like your Liteon CDRW as Secondary Master, and your DVD as Secondary Slave, assuming you won't be using them at the same time (most folks don't). You do need to choose which drive you want to boot from, if you have to boot the box from a CD.

o Bus-wise, relative transfer speeds don't matter anymore.

o Real-estate does matter: it's hard to have the topmost drive be on the slave port of an IDE cable.

o Data transfer rate might matter: your DVD might boot CD's faster than a CDRW, you should check.

o And there's a wear-and-tear issue: your DVD ROM drive might be cheaper to replace than your CDRW if it wears out.

The mobo manual doesn't show this, but in the BIOS Setup Boot screen just after the "Hard Disk Drives" section, there's a "CDROM Drives" section. In there you have a "1st Drive" and "2nd Drive" choice. Choose which drive (CD or DVD) you prefer to boot from when you need to boot from CD's, and set that as the "1st Drive", and set the other drive as "2nd". You won't be able to boot from what's "2nd".

Then when you set your "Boot Device Priority", also under the Boot screen, set it to CD-Flop-HD, and you should be fine. (Here, CD might be DVD if that was your choice, above.) Be aware that "Boot Device Priority" will only include your "1st" Hard drive, your "1st" CDROM drive, and your Floppy, as the 3 choices you get to juggle.

Hope this helps,

-clintfan
 

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Adding one more detail here... there was only one HDD in the machine, and it was SATA. Recently there was some question about whether you can load the XP O/S onto a SATA drive, and my testing yesterday, and only one HDD, attached to the "SATA1" port on this mobo, showed it works fine with XP Pro.

AFAIK the same would not work if you attached that sole SATA drive to a Promise port (e.g. "SATA RAID1".)

-clintfan
 
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