Serial ATA - not quite worth switching ...

  TOPCAT® 18:37 05 Mar 2003

... but it's getting there according to this:

'Serial ATA can quickly become a heated topic of conversation among PC users. "There's no benefit," is one view; "It's the future," is another. Here at Tom's Hardware, we favour the middle ground. At the moment, Serial ATA has little more to offer than convenience, because the controllers we have tested so far have delivered fairly lackluster performance.

Now, Silicon Image shows that Serial ATA has more to offer. The performance of its Sil3112 is simply head and shoulders above what has gone before.'

click here


  powerless 18:41 05 Mar 2003

:-) I actually knew this a few months back...

  TOPCAT® 20:25 05 Mar 2003

Only recommended if buying a new mobo or PC at the moment, I see.

Doubtless, Serial ATA will take-off fairly soon as several makers are already bringing out drives. Do the benefits justify the extra cost though?


  Aspman 14:23 07 Mar 2003

Probably not yet. Like any new technology its often not worth being one of the first to try. Give it another year and I think the benefits will be clearer.

  MartinT-B 14:55 07 Mar 2003

A review of Western Digitals SATA HDD is click here

or http: //click here

delete space between : and // when pasting.

I have just bought a new mobo that supports sata and I think it will be affordable and more effective in 6 months or so. ATM it's about the same performance as UDMA - but I'll be able to free up 2 IDE channels and get a DVD burner once they've ironed out the kinks.

Here is a brief copy of the review

The race to bring Serial ATA drives to the market has not been made nearly as quickly as users would like, and the drive manufacturers saw no need in accelerating the process thanks to the lack of Serial ATA controllers in the majority of systems. So instead of focusing on being first to market with a line of Serial ATA Special Edition drives, Western Digital went one step further and announced the world's first 10,000RPM Serial ATA hard drive - the Raptor WD360.

We managed to get our hands on a pre-release Raptor drive for testing and put it through a brand new set of hard drive benchmarks designed to find out if this drive is really worth the attention it's getting.

Final Words
As impressive and respectable as bringing a 10,000 RPM drive to the Serial ATA market is, the Western Digital Raptor, in its current state, does not cut it. The drive exhibits all of the characteristics of a 10,000 RPM SCSI drive, including the high pitched whine (arguably more annoying than either of the SCSI drives in this roundup) and very low access times, but without the overall performance of the 10,000 RPM SCSI drives we're used to.

According to Western Digital's initial press release, the Raptor is supposed to already be shipping, indicating that there's not much room left for serious design changes; this obviously limits the amount we can expect performance to improve with the Raptor by the time it hits retail.

Even with significantly improved performance, we'd say that for those looking for a new desktop hard drive, the Raptor will most likely not be the best option; Western Digital's Caviar line equipped with 8MB buffers will continue to be the highest performing solutions for desktop users. For the enterprise world, we'll have to wait and see what the final version of the Raptor can deliver, but if Western Digital is serious about offering a cheap alternative to the server market, then performance must improve.

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