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I'm having some issues configuring my SATA hard drives on my new HTPC with the Gigabyte GA-MA78GPM-UD2H motherboard. I have always had Asus motherboards in the past and never had to do anything special with my SATA drives. However, with this board I must select Native IDE, AHCI, or RAID for my SATA controller. I've done some searching here and on google but can't find the direct answer I'm looking for.


If my SATA drives are set to IDE mode, is this just the default mode and they'll run like normal SATA drives with the speed benefits, or will it be just like an old IDE drive? I'd do AHCI but I had problems booting with them before and after I got Windows installed, and it sounds like it causes a lot of trouble. And I'm not doing any RAID setup so that's out of the question.


Sorry if this is a noob question, but like I said, the two computers I've built in the past have used ASUS motherboards and I never ran into anything like this.
 

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if you are not raiding your drive then set it to ide...it stupid and it should be changed but gigabyte is not awesome like asus...but asus is expensive so....i dunno....def put it to ide setting if you do not plan on raiding your hard drive setup
 

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I always use AHCI mode. As you may know, the motherboard should be set to this mode before the full OS installation is complete.


If you wish to utilize the functionality of AHCI after the OS has been installed with the SATA ports configured as "IDE," then you could try this method at your own small risk.
 

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Performance wise there is no difference running a SATA drive in AHCI mode or in IDE mode. They still use the same 3GB/s interface.


AHCI just opens up a few features such as hot swapping and NCQ (which is only really useful on a server with multiple users writing to the disk at once). Not worth the trouble unless you really need one of those features.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cetra00 /forum/post/16924106


Performance wise there is no difference running a SATA drive in AHCI mode or in IDE mode. They still use the same 3GB/s interface.


AHCI just opens up a few features such as hot swapping and NCQ (which is only really useful on a server with multiple users writing to the disk at once). Not worth the trouble unless you really need one of those features.

Wouldn't this also be helpful when writing multiple video streams at once (IE recording several shows at one time)?

Just about to do a new OS install and trying to figure out the best configuration.
 

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it would be of marginal use, yea. It's still one user, though, and one user can only do so much.


Of course, if a PC is recording multiple streams to the same drive, it might be merely alternating the files but not seeking to a whole new zone (it would defrag later). In that case, NCC isn't useful at all. I'm not familiar enough with how the OS and drive controller handle multiple streams, though.


I can say I've had no problems doing 4 simultaneous HD recordings to one drive at the same time. None of the files had playback issues.
 

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The cluster size of the drive has far more impact than the marginal gains you get with NCQ. Format your recording drive with 64k clusters instead of the windoze default of 4k. Not saying that 4k isn't OK but 64 k reduces fragmentation and makes the hard drive do a lot less seeks when recording and/or playing back multiple files. And use a separate small drive for your OS.


FWIW, BTV had a test rig that recorded something like 6 or 8 HD shows simultaneously on a single drive with no issues. HD TV recordings are about 9 GB/hr = 2.5 MB/sec. Even a slow IDE drive can sustain a write speed of 40 MB/sec so maybe 12 or so recordings at one time.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbird999 /forum/post/16925310


The cluster size of the drive has far more impact than the marginal gains you get with NCQ. Format your recording drive with 64k clusters instead of the windoze default of 4k. Not saying that 4k isn't OK but 64 k reduces fragmentation and makes the hard drive do a lot less seeks when recording and/or playing back multiple files. And use a separate small drive for your OS.


FWIW, BTV had a test rig that recorded something like 6 or 8 HD shows simultaneously on a single drive with no issues. HD TV recordings are about 9 GB/hr = 2.5 MB/sec. Even a slow IDE drive can sustain a write speed of 40 MB/sec so maybe 12 or so recordings at one time.


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Writing multiple files slows down write speeds dramatically. Also, having large cluster sizes on your system disk might waste a lot of space. I wouldn't go all the way to 64k if you've got programs and your OS installed on it.
 

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Quote:
Writing multiple files slows down write speeds dramatically. Also, having large cluster sizes on your system disk might waste a lot of space. I wouldn't go all the way to 64k if you've got programs and your OS installed on it.

Sorry if I wasn't clear, 64k on the recording disk only, not the system disk. Video recordings are >>>greater than 64k so there is no wasted space. If you have a lot of small files, like on the OS drive, use the default 4k because even a 1 byte file takes up a full cluster.


The point I am making is that you can record many streams at once without disk I/O being a problem. Steven975 does 4 HD streams at once with no issues and could probably do a lot more, while playing back a couple more. The BTV test rig way back in 2005 did 10 SD shows at once without issue. Disk I/O for video recording is simply not an issue.


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