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Topic: Attaching 3 harddisks and a DVDR Drive (All IDE) - speed slowdown

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  1. #1

    Attaching 3 harddisks and a DVDR Drive (All IDE) - speed slowdown

    I have 2 120 GB Harddisks. The first has OS and programs, the second has samples. Both are Seagate. I also have a DVDR drive connected. All of these are IDE.

    I bought a new 250 GB Maxtor harddisk for Sonar Project Files (recordings). Im experiencing heavy dropouts playing Sonar Projects on this, the same projects when shifted to the other 2 drives play smoothly. I tested my drive with a drivespeed utility and found the linear read times 10 times slower than the other 2 drives (the other drives show 40-50MB/sec while this shows 3 MB/sec). It has 2 partitions both are showing slow speed.

    What could be the cause of the slow speed? Someone was saying harddisk will operate at the speed of the DVDR drive cos of the IDE cable sharing. Is this true? How can I have all 3 drives plus the DVDR, functioning at their optimum speeds?

  2. #2

    Re: Attaching 3 harddisks and a DVDR Drive (All IDE) - speed slowdown

    Here's a quick fix that may or may not do anything. Make sure the cable you are using came with the Hard Drive and not the DVDR. If you use an ATA 66 or 33 cable (as opposed to ATA 100 or 133 cables) with the hard drive the speed will suffer. Good questions though. I think I've heard something similar before. You could also try putting the hard drive the master position with the DVDR as slave or another option would be to put your OS drive with the DVDR. Although, I still don't understand why this is hurting file playback since the program, Sonar, resides on a hard drive you said isn't having problems. But I don't know anything about Sonar so I can't comment. Curiouser and curiouser...

    Edit: As a rule though, it isn't good to put hard drives with CD or DVD drives. I think this is not a recommended practice with most hardware manuals I have read. You may end up buying a PCI ATA133 controller for your hard drives so you have more IDE slots to plug them into.

  3. #3

    Re: Attaching 3 harddisks and a DVDR Drive (All IDE) - speed slowdown

    Thanks for the reply Joseph. I'll try replacing the IDE cable and set the HD to master if it isnt already.

    So a PCI ATA133 controller should be a surefire solution to my problem?

    The playback is slow even though Sonar resides on the problem-free drive because the recorded wav files for the songs reside on the problem drive. Sonar reads these and plays them back and that slows down the song and causes dropouts. When I move these files to the problem-free drives and play the project it plays fine.

  4. #4

    Re: Attaching 3 harddisks and a DVDR Drive (All IDE) - speed slowdown

    I have 3 IDE HDD's and a DVD drive on my PC and things are working fine. I have my system drive as master on IDE port 1 with my AV drive slaved. Then on IDE Port 2 I have my samples drive as master and the DVD drive as slave.

    This setup has worked fine for me. BTW, I am running cubase and Giga together on this PC with no problems.

    My guess for solving your problem would be to check the cables and make sure you are using the UDMA 133/166 compatible and also check the master slave settings.

    Depending on your motherboard a PCI IDE controller card may introduce latency and further your problems.
    Edward W. Trevino
    Dandlewood Productions
    www.dandlewood.com

  5. #5

    Re: Attaching 3 harddisks and a DVDR Drive (All IDE) - speed slowdown

    Thanks Edward, that gives me some hope.

    Have you benchmarked your harddrives though? If you could and post the results (i.e. if the DVD paired drive runs as fast as the other 2 drives or not) that would be great.

    Here's a small program that does not need to be installed, it just runs and gives a quick result.
    http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~roadkil/dskspeed.htm
    ( http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~roadkil/ )

  6. #6

    Re: Attaching 3 harddisks and a DVDR Drive (All IDE) - speed slowdown

    I ran the utility you posted and my system drive...which is an older Maxtor, I think UDMA 66, was running at 27 MB/s...the AV drive - a Western Digital w/ 8MB buffer and is slaved to the system drive port was running at 47 MB/s. The Samples drive, a new Hatachi w/ 8MB buffer and sharing the 2nd port as master with the DVD was running at 58 MB/s.

    I hope that helps.
    Edward W. Trevino
    Dandlewood Productions
    www.dandlewood.com

  7. #7

    Re: Attaching 3 harddisks and a DVDR Drive (All IDE) - speed slowdown

    Edward - thanks for that, very helpful.

    Lee - I have an Nforce2 A7N8X Deluxe MB - I guess that wont do? Which Motherboard would you recommend for my situation? Is there anything within $100?

  8. #8

    Re: Attaching 3 harddisks and a DVDR Drive (All IDE) - speed slowdown

    Is the optical drive new enough you could trade it in for a firewire or USB 2 burner?



    This could also benefit you in the long run when getting a second or third computer. You could always use this firewire optical drive with all machines.

  9. #9

    Re: Attaching 3 harddisks and a DVDR Drive (All IDE) - speed slowdown

    I would recommend a newer MB with the VIA KT880 chipset. Asus A7V880 and SOYO SY-KT880 DRAGON 2 are two new ones. This chipset keeps the SATA controller off the PCI bus ...the NFORCE boards didn't do this rendering SATA drives worthless with excess latency causing pops and clicks. Plus this board supports dual channel memory and has 4 slots...the NFORCE boards only have three.

    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...139-142&depa=1

    Newegg shows the SOYO board for $133.00. I think it is the best investment with 4 SATA ports plus two IDE ports supporting 4 drives. I was going to build my next system with this board.

    I think the ASUS board is under $100. But I'm not sure who is selling it.

    I know that ABIT should be releasing something soon too.
    Edward W. Trevino
    Dandlewood Productions
    www.dandlewood.com

  10. #10

    Re: Attaching 3 harddisks and a DVDR Drive (All IDE) - speed slowdown

    Marty, no its over 6 months old. How much do these drives come for? I didnt know about them, but I can see a USB DVD burner would allow me to add another harddisk. Are they slower in speed? Are they internal or external? What about a firewire burner, are they internal or external? How do I use them with 2 or more machines?

    Edward - thanks for that, these look good to me. Changing motherboards can sometimes be a big headache - once I did it I had to reinstall everything including OS since it woudlnt boot. Is this a usual occurance or can I get away with changing motherboards without having to install everything again?

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