SSD for a PATA desktop

vbimport

#1

I have an old PATA desktop machine that I would like to upgrade to SSD. Since, as far as I know, native 40-pin PATA SSD drives don’t exist, it seems that I have the following options.

  1. Buy a 44-pin 2.5’’ PATA SSD with 3.5’’ mounting brackets and a 44-pin to 40-pin adapter.

  2. Buy an “upgrade kit” like OWC Mercury Pro Legacy 3.5" IDE/ATA SSD Internal Drive Kit, which, as far as I understand, contains a SATA SSD, 3.5’’ mounting brackets, and a PATA to SATA adapter.

  3. Make my own “upgrade kit”: buy a SATA SSD and a PATA to SATA adapter like Startech PATA2SATA2 or IDE2SAT separately.

Right now the third option seems most appropriate, because the makers of the “upgrade kit” apparently very much want to rip off those who for whatever reason still use the machines with PATA interface - the 120GB upgrade kit costs about $45 more than the SSD it seems to contain, and $45 is clearly too much for a PATA to SATA adapter, which retails for $18.50 in addition, sequential read/write for the SSD in the kit is given as 285/275 MB/s, which is an overkill when used with a PATA machine. In other words, there should be cheaper SSDs available that will perform just as fast.

So what I should look for is, probably, a reliable, preferably 3.5’’ SSD with a good random read/write, while sequential read/write is not critical. Can anyone suggest a particular model (or some online database where I could look for it myself)?


#2

I’d be looking at adding a SATA PCI card. Assuming your motherboard allows booting from PCI.


#3

No point in wasting a PCI slot as long as SATA to PATA adapters are available. Besides, my question is about SSD, not about the way to connect it.


#4

I would go along with what CDan said and add a SATA PCI card. It’s your best chance of getting it working, and will give extra speed over a PATA 40 pin which I believe if my memory serves me correctly will only give 33MB/s bandwidth.
Also PATA 40 pin may not work at all with an SSD. But it’s your money, so do what you think is best.


#5

Dare I say that if you go for an SSD with decent random performance, the drive will automatically have a pretty good sequential write that would saturate the actual bandwidth provided with most PATA controllers? I don’t think you can avoid that. Having a fast seek performance with a weak read/write is no better than having a mechanical hard drive with 100 MB/s average sequential reads but 20ms seek times.

So don’t be afraid to look at Samsung or Intel drives of the current or previous generation, as they are generally reliable (and/or well supported) from what I’ve read. They occasionally have some of the slower drives, but even then they are still plenty fast for what you want, and they prefer stability over raw speed.

Edit: Regarding the PCI card versus SATA-to-PATA adapter: I think getting a native SATA controller on the PCI bus will have fewer issues – if not somewhat better performance – than the ATA adapter. You just have to find a decent card that supports boot drives and ensure the motherboard will work with it as such. Silicon Image-based cards are generally recommended for the optical drives around here, and if you get a basic (non-RAID) version, they use Windows’ stock drivers with no issue. Use with an SSD should still be just as stable & problem-free.


#6

If the motherboard has only PCI slots, no PCI-E, you’ll likely be limited to older SATA-1 or SATA-2 cards. Thus you can save a ton of cash by going with an earlier model SSD too, since a SATA-3 SSD won’t be running at that speed. Likewise the older SSD will be far more likely to play nice with the older card.

The only way you will “waste” a PCI slot is by not using it. Since most cards will be RAID type, just be sure it’s able to run in IDE mode and use IDE drivers.


#7

[QUOTE=naaloh;2674740]I have an old PATA desktop machine that I would like to upgrade to SSD. Since, as far as I know, native 40-pin PATA SSD drives don’t exist, it seems that I have the following options.

  1. Buy a 44-pin 2.5’’ PATA SSD with 3.5’’ mounting brackets and a 44-pin to 40-pin adapter.

  2. Buy an “upgrade kit” like OWC Mercury Pro Legacy 3.5" IDE/ATA SSD Internal Drive Kit, which, as far as I understand, contains a SATA SSD, 3.5’’ mounting brackets, and a PATA to SATA adapter.

  3. Make my own “upgrade kit”: buy a SATA SSD and a PATA to SATA adapter like Startech PATA2SATA2 or IDE2SAT separately.

Right now the third option seems most appropriate, because the makers of the “upgrade kit” apparently very much want to rip off those who for whatever reason still use the machines with PATA interface - the 120GB upgrade kit costs about $45 more than the SSD it seems to contain, and $45 is clearly too much for a PATA to SATA adapter, which retails for $18.50 in addition, sequential read/write for the SSD in the kit is given as 285/275 MB/s, which is an overkill when used with a PATA machine. In other words, there should be cheaper SSDs available that will perform just as fast.

So what I should look for is, probably, a reliable, preferably 3.5’’ SSD with a good random read/write, while sequential read/write is not critical. Can anyone suggest a particular model (or some online database where I could look for it myself)?[/QUOTE]

I wouldn’t waste money on a PATA connected SSD. If the motherboard supports ATA600 or you purchase a PCIe controller you’re in business. It’s stated 600Gb but most reasonably priced PCIe controllers are PCI 4x which peak at a theoretical 5Gb. You’ll never see 5GB. The SYBA/Crucial M4 controller, SSD and SYBA I own uses a Marvel controller that gets 4.4Gb max. Jeff


#8

I didn’t expect so many replies, but I did expect the replies to have at least something to do with my question. Looks like I was twice wrong. For those who need to be told thrice to understand something I repeat that the question is NOT about the way to connect an SSD to a motherboad that has no SATA connectors, but about choosing the most suitable SSD for that.

[QUOTE=Dee;2674749]I would go along with what CDan said and add a SATA PCI card. It’s your best chance of getting it working, and will give extra speed over a PATA 40 pin which I believe if my memory serves me correctly will only give 33MB/s bandwidth.[/QUOTE]
Your memory serves you compelety incorrectly. PATA bandwidth limit is 133 MB/s, it’s equal to the limit of PCI bandwidth in most implementations. Posts like this (someone presenting his random thought on a subject he has no knowledge of as a fact) is exactly what makes researching on the Internet so difficult.

[QUOTE=Dee;2674749]Also PATA 40 pin may not work at all with an SSD.[/QUOTE]
Do you know a reason why it would not? Since you didn’t specify it, I assume you don’t. Then why waste the time on typing the sentence?

[QUOTE=Dee;2674749]But it’s your money, so do what you think is best.[/QUOTE]
You have my undying gratitude for your permission.

[QUOTE=CDan;2674766]The only way you will “waste” a PCI slot is by not using it.[/QUOTE]
What makes you think I will not have anything better to put into this board than a SATA controller?

[QUOTE=Albert;2674759]Dare I say that if you go for an SSD with decent random performance, the drive will automatically have a pretty good sequential write that would saturate the actual bandwidth provided with most PATA controllers? I don’t think you can avoid that. Having a fast seek performance with a weak read/write is no better than having a mechanical hard drive with 100 MB/s average sequential reads but 20ms seek times.

So don’t be afraid to look at Samsung or Intel drives of the current or previous generation, as they are generally reliable (and/or well supported) from what I’ve read. They occasionally have some of the slower drives, but even then they are still plenty fast for what you want, and they prefer stability over raw speed.[/QUOTE]
Thanks for posting on topic, which is more than I can say about the rest who replied. Do you know a website where I can can look at the specs of those drives to choose the most suitable? Finding a datasheet for each Samsung and Intel model on their websites seems somewhat daunting.
BTW, what do you think about that OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSD in the kit? The link contains its specs and they elaborate a lot about its supposed reliability. Its size (120 GB) is just about what I was looking for, though I would also consider a smaller drive, no smaller than 64GB, though.

[QUOTE=Jeffrey_P;2674772]I wouldn’t waste money on a PATA connected SSD.[/QUOTE]
It isn’t a waste, since I certainly get a large performance improvement, even if not as large as with native SATA interface. Besides, I can freely use the drive with a SATA board if I choose to later. The adapter costs about 15 - 20 bucks, not something to lose one’s sleep about.


#9

No, I was correct.
The max speed supported on PATA 40 pin is 33MB/s.

From Wiki, after 10 seconds of research. :rolleyes:

UDMA and ATA-4

The ATA/ATAPI-4 also introduced several “Ultra DMA” transfer modes. These initially supported speeds from 16 MByte/s to 33 MByte/second. In later versions faster Ultra DMA modes were added, requiring a new 80-wire cable to reduce crosstalk. The latest versions of Parallel ATA support up to 133 MByte/s.

[edit] Current terminology

The terms “integrated drive electronics” (IDE), “enhanced IDE” and “EIDE” have come to be used interchangeably with ATA (now Parallel ATA, or PATA).

In addition there have been several generations of “EIDE” drives marketed, compliant with various versions of the ATA specification. An early “EIDE” drive might be compatible with ATA-2, while a later one with ATA-6.

Nevertheless a request for an “IDE” or “EIDE” drive from a computer parts vendor will almost always yield a drive that will work with most Parallel ATA interfaces.

Another common usage is to refer to the specification version by the fastest mode supported. For example, ATA-4 supported Ultra DMA modes 0 through 2, the latter providing a maximum transfer rate of 33 megabytes per second. ATA-4 drives are thus sometimes called “UDMA-33” drives, and sometimes “ATA-33” drives. Similarly, ATA-6 introduced a maximum transfer speed of 100 megabytes per second, and some drives complying to this version of the standard are marketed as “PATA/100” drives.


#10

HOW you connect the drive is more important than you realize.

Because a drive on a PCI or PCIe controller is not “seen” the same way
by the operating system as a directly connected drive.

One of the effects of this is that typically S.M.A.R.T. is disabled.
Which suggests that TRIM would also be.

Typically drives connected via a controller are seen by Windows
operating systems as “SCSI Devices”

I’m going to suggest is that it’s time for a new Motherboard.

One with atleast SATA 3.0GB/sec


#11

[QUOTE=Dee;2674854]No, I was correct.
The max speed supported on PATA 40 pin is 33MB/s.

From Wiki, after 10 seconds of research. :rolleyes:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_ATA[/QUOTE]
You just insist on being ignorant, don’t you? An 80-[B]wire[/B] cable is still going to use 40-[B]pin[/B] connectors. Extra wires are only used for shielding. Read this article.

[QUOTE=AllanDeGroot;2674855]HOW you connect the drive is more important than you realize.

Because a drive on a PCI or PCIe controller is not “seen” the same way
by the operating system as a directly connected drive.

One of the effects of this is that typically S.M.A.R.T. is disabled.
Which suggests that TRIM would also be.

Typically drives connected via a controller are seen by Windows
operating systems as “SCSI Devices”

I’m going to suggest is that it’s time for a new Motherboard.

One with atleast SATA 3.0GB/sec[/QUOTE]
Off topic and unimportant, since I’m not going to use a PCI or PCIe card anyway.


#12

[QUOTE=naaloh;2674740]I have an old PATA desktop machine that I would like to upgrade to SSD. Since, as far as I know, native 40-pin PATA SSD drives don’t exist, it seems that I have the following options.

  1. Buy a 44-pin 2.5’’ PATA SSD with 3.5’’ mounting brackets and a 44-pin to 40-pin adapter.

  2. Buy an “upgrade kit” like OWC Mercury Pro Legacy 3.5" IDE/ATA SSD Internal Drive Kit, which, as far as I understand, contains a SATA SSD, 3.5’’ mounting brackets, and a PATA to SATA adapter.

  3. Make my own “upgrade kit”: buy a SATA SSD and a PATA to SATA adapter like Startech PATA2SATA2 or IDE2SAT separately.

Right now the third option seems most appropriate, because the makers of the “upgrade kit” apparently very much want to rip off those who for whatever reason still use the machines with PATA interface - the 120GB upgrade kit costs about $45 more than the SSD it seems to contain, and $45 is clearly too much for a PATA to SATA adapter, which retails for $18.50 in addition, sequential read/write for the SSD in the kit is given as 285/275 MB/s, which is an overkill when used with a PATA machine. In other words, there should be cheaper SSDs available that will perform just as fast.

So what I should look for is, probably, a reliable, preferably 3.5’’ SSD with a good random read/write, while sequential read/write is not critical. Can anyone suggest a particular model (or some online database where I could look for it myself)?[/QUOTE]

I agree, the third option appears to be the best choice.
As you correctly point sequential random/write is unimportant so i would look for build quality first, so my choices will be the plextor M5, the samsung 840 pro and also intel drives are very reliable. You can also look at the corsair Neutron series or the ocz Vertex4 or Vector.

My first choice would be to get a drive with good warranty and also good reliability, since you wont get anywhere near as what the SSD is capable of achieving.
If you decide to go this way post your experience here, it’s something that would make a very interesting read.


#13

Thanks for the recomendation. What’s your opinion on OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSD judging by the specs at the page?


#14

Specs look OK, but paying 125$ for a SATA2 drive is to much for me, plus plextor, corasir and OZC in all of their latest drives are SATA3 and have 5 year warranty.
However knowing that you will be limited from the PATA interface the SATA2 should be more than enough for your current needs. Unless you thinking of upgrading your PC in the future, so then a SATA3 drive will be a better option.

off topic
Also if my memory serves me, the 44pin ata cable has the extra 4pins to provide power to the drive, i think that they are 5volts. Not very sure about it.


#15

[QUOTE=vroom;2674863]
Specs look OK, but paying 125$ for a SATA2 drive is to much for me, plus plextor, corasir and OZC in all of their latest drives are SATA3 and have 5 year warranty.
However knowing that you will be limited from the PATA interface the SATA2 should be more than enough for your current needs. Unless you thinking of upgrading your PC in the future, so then a SATA3 drive will be a better option.[/QUOTE]
What’s this “SandForce 2181 Processor and DuraClass technology” as well as “RAISE technology for RAID like data protection and reliability” they are referring to? Something serious?

[QUOTE=vroom;2674863]
Also if my memory serves me, the 44pin ata cable has the extra 4pins to provide power to the drive, i think that they are 5volts. Not very sure about it.[/QUOTE]
44-pin ATA is a laptop interface. Thus, there generally are no cables such as 40-pin ones. But you are right, the extra pins are for power and they only provide 5 volts. Here is the pinout - http://pc-level.com/2012/02/44-pin-parallel-ata-ide-pinout/.


#16

[QUOTE=naaloh;2674856]You just insist on being ignorant, don’t you? An 80-[B]wire[/B] cable is still going to use 40-[B]pin[/B] connectors. Extra wires are only used for shielding. Read this article.

Off topic and unimportant, since I’m not going to use a PCI or PCIe card anyway.[/QUOTE]Your attitude sucks, and I’m done with you insulting people who have tried to help you.
Thread closed.