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Serial ATA vs. Parallel IDE

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Hardware

Over the past few years SATA has become a standard interface on hard drives and is starting to show up in many peripheral devices. We're taking a look at the performance difference between similar hard drives running on the two interfaces through a range of Linux benchmarks on (where applicable) ReiserFS v3 partitions.

Both parallel and serial ATA support were provided by on-board VIA chipsets.

Linux Kernel 2.6.12.4 was our test kernel running on Mandriva's 2005LE operating system. At the time of testing it was the latest stable release of the 2.6 stable kernel tree.

"libata" is currently a work in progress. Kernel 2.6.13 will include an updated release marked as enterprise ready. SATA drivers currently have simple error handling and features such as hotplug support are being worked on.

Our test suite is comprised of bonnie++, dd, zcav, and DiskWriggler. These should provide a range of direct to hardware i/o statistics and some "real world" FS read/write figures.

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