~~~SATA Card For Optical~~~

What is a good sata card to use with optical drives. I think I would prefer one on the Silicone Image chipset as I have two onboard sata connectors on the mobo and they are promise.

Thanks for any recommendations

Any one any Ideas?

I see a thread on IDE cards but nothing on sata cards for optical?

That’s probably because you’d be wasting your time using it for optical SATA drives. Current SATA optical drives cannot utilize the speed that SATA bus architecture can offer, nothing remotely close. You’d get just as good if not better results and speed from IDE optical drives.
I’m betting you are using the two onboard SATA connectors for harddrives, correct? So you’d be better off using your IDE connectors with IDE optical drives for the time being. And eventually getting a mobo that offers more onboard SATA slots, preferrably SATA II.

I have an Abit mobo that has 6 SATA II slots and two external eSATA ports, and only a single IDE slot. This would be your best bet for utilizing the SATA technology in the future. For now, my two IDE drives perform as good or better than my single SATA optical drive, even on my SATA favorable mobo.

JMHO… :wink:

On minor nit: SATA optical drives do avoid one problem you might have with ATA optical drives - the dreaded DMA->PIO problem. SATA doesn’t do PIO, so the drive can’t step down the interface speed.


That is unless you run them in IDE compatible mode. Then the possibility of the DMA -> PIO problem returns (I faced it myself the other day with an SATA optical drive). :slight_smile:

Thanks for the clarification. I assumed that the compat mode was for BIOS and older OSes only and that once you got to 32-bit mode Windows XP/Vista would change the driver model.

So, SATA only avoids that problem if you don’t tell the BIOS to treat the drive as ATA.


Yeah, I can’t find any SATA drivers for my Dell, so when I installed WinXP, since I had no drivers, I had to set it in the BIOS to IDE mode to get it to install.

Vista however may be different though :slight_smile:

Almost all of the above in relation to SATA is not quite true.
As at present SATA DVDRWs have a IDE > SATA bridge internally. No DVDRW is a true SATA.
So all this about the bus etc is not applicable anyway.(Whilst true).
SATA will have the edge on IDE, especially as f/w matures in a way to fully exploit it.
Sil SATA PCI cards are the best option.
& they work.
All you have to do is flash the cards BIOS to the latest BASE BIOS (so non Raid).
I currently have a Sil3512 card with a Lite-On LH-20A1S & Samsung SH-S203B connected to it.
All my SATA DVDRWs outperform my IDE ones.
The exception being the NEC 7170S. Which is comfortably out done by all my other drives. Regardles of whether they are SATA or IDE.
[]My card:[/B]](http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?NOV-SATAR[B) [[B]Newegg:[/B]](http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816132006)*
*This card will need to have the Bios flashed.
Just download the latest bios, this will include Base & Raid. Flash the Base & off you go. :iagree: :bigsmile:

Thanks guys

The reason for my post mostly was because of the sammy 202/203 posts. It seems the 203 sata model is getting the better burns for some reason.

BTW–any one know if the 203 is a decent dvd or cd scanner?

The link to the newegg/pci-sata card is cheap (price) and the fact that it works is even better.

**This problem with a writer dropping to PIO. I have only had this problem once. The culprit was a game that installed starforce drivers on my system (game copy protection):

This pio problem took me a long time to figure out what was going on. Only the fact that I stumbled upon this and other articles was I able to get back on the right track. I had a game called GTR Racing which installed these drivers. My son was having the same problem and it seems he just installed a demo game that also installed starforce.

Since then I have never had my system drop down to PIO??

Which card do you mean and do you have a link handy for the bios update as I do not see it on the Rosewill Site?

Your newegg link:

It has sil3114 Raid function and 4 sata ports.(RC-209)

Did you mean a card like this:

It has Sil3512 (what you refer to in your post) and 2 sata non-raid? (RC-210)


So by your stating that all SATA optical drives have IDE > SATA bridges, how then could updating future firmware allow these SATA drives to better utilize that bridge, if they are truly IDE drives instead?? Are you saying that future firmware will allow these SATA drives to all of a sudden be able to utilize the speed of the SATA technology??
So having stated that all SATA drives are not truly, technically SATA drives…how then would having an SATA Sil3512 card all of a sudden allow these SATA drives to utilize the full potential?..Especially right now??

I am in need of further explanation as to what sounds almost contradictory…
Can current SATA drives benefit from an SATA card or not?? Sounds as if your saying in one hand yes, then in the next breath no?? I’m trying to understand exactly what you’re stating zeb… :slight_smile:

I agree that in the future, improved SATA optical drives will be better able to utilize the full potential, or at least closer to the full potential, than any current SATA drives can. Was I wrong to think that way, and suggest to stick with IDE drives for now and plan for a future PC with a motherboard that will have more onboard SATA II slots??

BTW…My SATA Samsung does nothing more special than my IDE drives. My Sony DRU-810 is a faster reader, and my BenQ 1655 is a faster burner. So I would disagree that SATA optical drives, connected to SATA slots, can currently outperform IDE drives, connected to IDE slots.

Different story if we were talking of HardDrives, correct?? :flower:

Hi :slight_smile:
Either card will be OK.
All of of the 3*** series SATA PCI cards work.
When you download the latest f/w it is like a pack.
So you get to choose. BASE or Raid.
Get bios f/w [B]here:[/B]
Follow this procedure found [B]here:[/B]

I know my post can/is confusing.
However it remains.
What I’m saying is that SATA DVDRWs cannot currently maximise the full ‘Potential’ due to the fact that they have a internal IDE > SATA bridge.
Nonetheless they still make use of all the SATA advantages. Cabling motherboard interface etc.
This currently should still give an advantage, despite the bridge.
Also f/w (like that for the BenQ 1640 <> E164B which utilised USB interface better) can exploit SATA more. Although this will still be somewhat limited.
The gains of SATA over IDE are currently marginal & more likely to be of interest for those who have problems relating to CPU/bufferring loads.
In terms of percentage as a figure, it is probably in the single figures for now.
As for your experience with the 183, when compared to the 203. It is already almost ‘different leagues’.
This of course will change rapidly over the next couple of years.
BTW the Sony 810 (which is a 1640 clone) is one of the fastest reader/rippers to date with BenQ ‘MCSE’ speedpatched f/w.
In native form the latest Samsung is the quickest (& that includes being better than Lite-On,BenQ,Sony etc).

What precisely do you mean by advantages?? Burst rates?, size/speed of cable?, Remembering that we are talking about a SATA PCI card for use with optical drives, right? What exact advantages would there be using a SATA DVD-RW over using an IDE DVD-RW?
Also, will SATA to PCI lose something in the transfer (never really thought of it so wondered if you know), I guess not since it is still inserted into the mobo…but am curious about that?

I don’t have the 203, but doubt that it can even utilize anything much more than the Samsung 183 that I have. If so, how did you come to that conclusion? Do you have a 203? Oh I see that you do)…I’d be really shocked if the speeds are much different. What are the actual differences…read/ write speeds?
SATA harddrives compared to IDE harddrives, yes I agree that it makes quite a bit of difference, but optical drives??

Again, I’m also a believer that SATA is the future, but just doubt that there would be any gains by using a SATA card for optical drives…perhaps some day, but not now. And I still feel that a motherboard with actual onboard SATA or SATA II ports will better prepare for the longterm potential of the SATA technology than a SATA PCI card…but that’s only JMHO… :stuck_out_tongue:

BTW, we all gotta ultimately decide what we feel is best for us…So I made it a point to study what hardware technology I felt would better prepare me for future maximum potential. I too at first thought that current SATA optical drives would be more beneficial than current IDE drives, but have since learned for myself that it’s nothing nowhere near…in fact it makes a lot of common sense if you think…‘How can an optical drive be fast enough to utilize SATA’s tranfer rate potentials’???..
LOL, perhaps I’m not thinking and that’s the problem… :frowning: :bigsmile:

  1. Other than cleaner and more reliable cabling, plus avoiding the DMA->PIO bug/feature of windows, not much!

Standard PCI’s max througput is ~133 MB/sec.
ATA100’s max throughput is 100MB/sec.
ATA133’s max throughput is 133MB/sec.
SATA I’s max throughput is 150MB/sec.
SATA II’s max throughput is 300MB/sec.

Firewire 400’s max throughput is 50MB/sec.

The fastest optical drives out there top out at what, 20-25 MB/sec for 16-18x DVD-xyz discs?

The drive and disc technology is the bottleneck. ATA100 is more than enough for current consumer optical drives. Even Firewire isn’t a bottleneck.

  1. The performance of a PCI-based SATA board is largely dependent on the driver. A good chipset and well optimized driver should work almost as well as an onboard SATA controller for this. Remember, however, that PCI will be a bottleneck when using faster storage technology in the future.


[B]As I stated, it’s each individual’s prerogative on what they’d like. So if it’s the SATA card…then I’ll just say…‘Good Luck with that’… [/B] :wink:

Thanks “Z” for the info on the sata cards…

Can you (or any one) any one answer a couple questions:

  1. Do you know if the sammy 202 and 203 are the exact same drives except for the bridge chip?? It seems from the threads on cdfreaks that the 203 is just a tad faster which I do not care too much about. However, the 203 seems to be giving the better burns and I wonder why this is?

  2. Z…since you have the 203 can you tell me if it is an acceptable " cd" and/or “dvd” scanner??

  3. How is the 203 as far as cd burns?

Thanks all

The 202 isn’t available in the UK AFAIK.(Haven’t seen the chip, so can’t say if it’s the same as the 203. Although this has been implied by Samsung).
When in full flow going by the f/w releases, there will be a couple of models at least LS & non LS(there is more than 2 f/w, so maybe oem & retail as well).
From what I’ve seen & heard the 203 is the better allround.
Not only faster but quality is better too.
IMHO the 203 is excellent at CDr burning too.
As for scanning the Samsung can be used used for very basic scanning with a bit of reg editing. There is no jitter reporting, or the possibility of any advanced features.
However this basic scanning along with TRT (TransferRateTest) can be adquate. Unless you want to go the whole hog.