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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    PCI-E SATA controller

    I'm pretty sure there's something wrong with the SATA controller on my motherboard, I have intermittent problems with slow hard drive access ( with multiple drives, exact nature varies), and it frequently fails to detect my DVD drive (same issue with old drive and replacement). Looking on the Asus forums suggests other people have similar series with the same range of motherboards (P5K).

    I also have 5 drives and 4 slots, and don't particularly want to change my motherboard right now. So I want a PCI-E SATA controller I can use, 4 slots minimum (2 of my drives seem to work fine with the motherboard). The price range seems large and I don't know if I need to look for anything in particular to get a good one, so thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
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    This or this should work fine for your purposes, but YMMV with performance and driver stability. I haven't noticed any performance issues on mine (PCI version of the second one with a slightly older controller chip), but it's mainly for storage so there's not a lot of concurrent access between drives.

    If you need a good PCI-E controller, you might as well buy another board (or just upgrade entirely). Given that 775 is a couple of generations old now, you should be able to pick up a used one for relatively cheap. If your board has open PCI slots and high throughput is not a concern, I'd go with a PCI card instead.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Not too keen on replacing the motherboard due to the effort involved. My CPU is still more than enough for my needs so I don't want to do a full upgrade at this point.

    Is your reason for recommending a PCI card just the price? I would be using it for my games drive so the throughput is an issue, and I also don't think I have a PCI slot easily accessible with a sound card and NIC already installed.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelron View Post
    Is your reason for recommending a PCI card just the price? I would be using it for my games drive so the throughput is an issue, and I also don't think I have a PCI slot easily accessible with a sound card and NIC already installed.
    Yes, price. Throughput should still be ok for games, though load times may be a little longer; the common theme with the cheaper cards is that they're using port multipliers so when you access two drives on the same channel, things slow down. I've used a drive on my PCI card as a spare game-installation-location and it's workable (assuming your drive isn't an SSD--you'd probably want that on a PCI-E 4x card or on-board).

  5. #5
    Obscure Node TaBuNiW's Avatar
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    Did you recently add some more powerhungry hardware?
    Could be that your power supply is at it's limit. Strange behaviour from internal components can be an indication for this.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaBuNiW View Post
    Did you recently add some more powerhungry hardware?
    Could be that your power supply is at it's limit. Strange behaviour from internal components can be an indication for this.
    Unlikely, I've recently upgraded my power supply (which sorted out some crashing issues I was having). I'm not experiencing any issues other than the drives playing up, and as I say other people report similar issues with the same range of motherboards.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mrpier's Avatar
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    This may be a stupid tip, but my power saving settings put my inactive harddrives to sleep after 15 minutes, and it always took 3-4 seconds minimum to wake them up again.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    It's not power saving either, I've checked that. Specific issues I've experienced are:

    DVD drive, old LG one and new NEC: Times out detecting the drive at boot. Results in any drives in higher numbered SATA ports not being detected either.

    Older WD 1GB drive: Had an issue for a few months where the transfer speed would randomly drop and spike back up, measured by HD Tune. Noticeable performance issues in some games. Problem stopped with no obvious cause.

    Old Samsung 1GB drive (now replaced due to SMART failure but had problem before that): Would often drop to flat 3MB/s transfer speed.

    New WD 1GB drive: Sometimes drops to a flat 4MB/s or 1.5MB/s transfer speed.

    I've tried swapping cables and SATA ports, these issues occured with my old PSU and with the new one. I've also tried unplugging other drives and it still happens, so I don't think it's a power issue.

    I've had 3 different 500GB drives that didn't display any of these problems (although 2 suffered mechanical failure), so I wonder if it's only affecting the larger drives.

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