PCI SATA adapter

Ok, I was thinking about buying a SATA HDD for my desktop, but only have standard PCI slots, and therefore can’t practically buy a 3Gb/s card. Do any of you use a SATA PCI card, and, if so, is it fast enough to be worth the upgrade?

Thanks :slight_smile:

Not good. PCI bus is limited to 133 MB/s transfer speed. Your PATA drive should do 100 or 133 MB/s itself if new enough - no advantage in burst speed (ie: 3 Gb/s). Speed wise you should see some difference because the drive is newer and more advanced ( stores data more compact ).

Also, you may not be able to run Haiku on it or mount it by Haiku ( which requires Legacy mode or AHCI for SATA ). So, you would still have to run PATA drive for Haiku. I don’t believe these work in Legacy mode but not sure.

Depending on motherboard, you may not be able to boot off of SATA drive. I had one awhile back and had to modify my motherboard BIOS ( inject SATA BIOS ) and flash motherboard BIOS to get it to boot from PCI SATA. It is better to upgrade motherboard but SATA card can provide short term, limited option.

I’ve heard that some of them use multiplexing and compression to transfer the data. Will this effect the speed, or is it just fancy talk?

PCI SATA supports only SATA 1.

Not sure about multiplexing & compression but I do not think you will find them on PCI SATA cards and if you did, I would expect little in performance.

A newer SATA drive will give faster sequential disk read and write performance. So you should notice a speed difference depending how old and specs of your PATA drive. ( ie: 7200 RPM? 8 MB cache? over 200 GB? - more you answer yes, less performance difference ).

PCI SATA is only good for temporary solution ( 6 to 12 months ). Having on-board SATA is better overall. Depending on motherboard, you may not boot from SATA drive and end up using it for storage only ( movies, songs, programs, games - no OSes ).

The Silicon Image 3114 chip is supported in Haiku. I know it from the guy who writes the driver. He tould me that the last time he tested the SIL 3114 under haiku it works.
So you can use this Sil 3114 based Card for example. It has it’s own bios chip, so you schould be able to boot from the card without modifying your mainboard bios.

By the way, I have a Western Digital Caviar Black 1000GB, SATA II (WD1001FALS) HDD, and the transfer rate of the drive is: Max.: 106MB/s; Min.: 53MB/s and AVERAGE 85MB/s (tested with HD Tune 2.55).
So the PCI- Performance should be enough for modern drives.

I am now definitively sure that the Sil3114 works.
Because there is a IDE emulating Bios available. So it should work, even if it works not natively as a SATA- controller.

I was considering buying a Promise FastTrak TX2300. I don’t want to boot Haiku from it, but do you know if the drives can be mounted?


If the controller has a AHCI oder IDE mode, the answer is Yes.
If not, in this case I don’t think that you can mount a HDD which is connected to this controller.

Sorry, but what is that mode, and what does it do?
If makes any difference, it’s bootable, so using my primitive mind, I would imagine it’s a bit more compatible with things, although I’m probably wrong.

BTW tonestone57, this card says that it can support up to 266 MB/s, using burst modes and the 66mhz bus speed, if you were interested.

(Advanced Host Controller Interface):
A standard API which is also supported by haiku

IDE Mode:
Some controller are able to emulate ide.
So haiku thinks there is a IDE drive in the system and not a SATA- Drive.
And IDE is also supported in Haiku.

It has RAID functionality. Will that support AHCI?

Also, it uses NCQ and TCQ. Is this dealt with on the OS level, and if so, is it supported by Haiku?

Thanks :slight_smile:

support up to 266 MB/s

yes, but almost all motherboards come with 33 Mhz, 33 bit PCI slots limiting speed to 133 MB/s which should be ok for use. Keep in mind this is burst speed ( from drive cache ) and not physical drive speed. Xberti provided physical speed test of 106 MB/s Maximum on his 1 TB WD SATA drive.

[quote=Xbertl]I am now definitively sure that the Sil3114 works.
Because there is an IDE emulating BIOS available. So it should work, even if it works not natively as a SATA- controller.[/quote]

I believe there is a Silicon Image driver in the Haiku image so this is an excellent choice.

You won’t be able to do RAID with Haiku with the Promise card and I doubt it will support AHCI. Edit: I do not see AHCI support but it may work with IDE (legacy PATA) emulation. You will have to try & see.

Yes you are right, see my post a little bit below

I’m afraid that I’ve already used a card with a sil3114, and it hung at boot. I was told that it was either faulty or incompatible with my mobo, so I would rather stick with the Promise, as it will definitely work with XP, and is much faster. If the FastTrak isn’t supported in Haiku, how difficult would it be to port the driver?

I am not a Programmer, but as far i know it’s hard work.
Especially because normaly the hardware manufacturer gives you no information about the hardware.

Try to update the Bios for your Sil3114, maybe it helps.

I’ve downloaded the source code for the linux driver, which comes with a makefile and instructions for using gcc. Does anyone know how to compile/edit it if the card doesn’t work out of the box?

For such questions, I think the Mailing List is a better place.

Driver has to be re-written for Haiku. Not going to happen to get developer to create the driver.

I go into my mobo BIOS and change to IDE emulation and it works with Haiku. Promise may allow you to go into SATA BIOS & do the same. So, it could still work.