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Thread: Abit AT7-MAX2




  1. #11
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    Whew.. My head hurts. After roughly 2 hours of browsing, I've come up with a few tidbits of info. This isn't the defininitive answer.. just what I understand of it so far. I may be wrong when you get down to the nitty gritty, but this is ballpark information.

    One of the major communication similarities between UATA and SATA is the simple fact that they BOTH use the existing parallel device driver. Moving to SATA doesn't require any additional upgrades from Microsoft (such as the FireWire/USB 2.0 patch they added), or anyone else. Manufacturers simply needed to find a way to integrate the technology.

    -UATA-

    UATA operates similarly to DDR. It sends its data on both the rising and falling segments of a sincle clock cycle. It gets its initial timing (IE: Data rate) from a preset "strobe". To understand that, here are some basics:
    <ul>
    1. The standard for the parallel bus is 16 bits wide using 16 control signals per channel. Through this, two bytes of data are transmitted per 'transaction' across the bus for ATA. Remember this.. its an important part of the ATA/SATA equation.

    2. Data must be clocked at 50MHz to acheive the 100MB/s.

    3. Because DDR transmits up/down, the timing "strobe" is 25MHz, half the 50MHZ required.
    </ul>
    So, here's the equation that makes ATA work:

    25MHz Strobe X 2 [for Double Data Rate] X 16 [bits/cycle] / 8 [bits/byte] = 100MB/s

    -SATA-

    Now for the new guys. SATA works with the previous UATA standard. Hell, it IS the previous ATA standard, it just goes about things a different way. Think of SATA as taking a step back in time.

    SATA is like RAM before DDR. That is: it transmits only once per clock cycle, not up/down. Once again, the here are some basics:
    <ul>
    1. SATA works on the same 16 bit wide bus that UATA does, however SATA only uses four control signals per channel. It has two , two wire signal paths. One path for sending data, and another for receiving acknoledgement of data transmittal.

    2. Going back to the SDR side of things: SATA only transmits once per clock. (SDR=Single Data Rate)

    3. SATA is encoded using something called 8b/10b. This method is an 80% effective encoding used with the digital differential method (send/receipt) to maintain a constant average. Technical jargon.. but hey, I guess it works.

    4. SATA starts at 1500 Mbits/s, or 1.5 Gbits/s. Otherwise known as 150MB/s.. Funny how that works, isn't it? Using this theory, its clock would operate at 1500 MHz.
    </ul>

    Equation:

    1500MHz [embedded clock] X 1 [bit, SDR] X 80% [8b/10b effectiveness] / 8 [bits/byte] = 150MHz

    -----------------------------

    Now remember: 100MHz (UATA) and 150MHz (SATA) are only the maximum acheivable throughputs. This is NOT a sustained data rate.

    As I understand things, the answer to your question would be: Since SATA transmits at SDR, not DDR, it is able to accomodate the higher transfer rate without having to develop the a new standard. All that would be required is a simple controller chip to regulate the frequency of the clock for SATA, and the connectors.

    I hope to GOD this helped. I spent a while typing it!
    :thumb:

    All of this information can be gathered by anyone by going to these two links:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&i...p;q=serial+ata

    www.serialata.org
    Chris "Raven"
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  2. #12
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    Cool, thanks for the info.
    I will read into the links that you supplied! :thumb:

  3. #13
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    I was under tje impression that the current offerings of SATA were sort of a hybrid mix with EIDE so that it is compatable with Windows. I have seen a quote somewhere from MS that says SATA will be fully supported in the next version of windows. I have also read of several instances of the ATI and AGP8X problems being resolved with BIOS upgrades for the mobos. I would think this indicates a problem with with the implimentation of AGP8X on the mobos, not with the ATI cards.
    As a personal note, I would not be willing to move to a legacy-free board for some time. I still have too many perfectly good devices that depend on them i.e. parallel port laser printer, parallel port HP R-40 all-in-one (that won't work with my standard print servers), a serial connection on a digital camera that I still like and use a lot, a P-Touch lable printer on a serial port, and an external 56k modem that I can hang on a serial port if DSL goes down.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigjackusa
    I was under tje impression that the current offerings of SATA were sort of a hybrid mix with EIDE so that it is compatable with Windows. I have seen a quote somewhere from MS that says SATA will be fully supported in the next version of windows.
    You're right. The current version of SATA IS a hybrid, but not to make it compatible with windows. IT's to keep the IDE in the mix since all drives at this moment are IDE. Since SATA uses the parallel drivers natively, there should be zero compatibility problems with them. The only thing manufacturers should have to work out are the design of the motherboards and SATA drives themselves.

    The whole approach of the SATA crew right now is to leave it at 50/50 until they can ultimately phase out the IDE's. However, according to their site, this isn't really going to happen full on until a couple years from now. Of course this is a projected analysis. I figure it'll happen faster than that.

    Their current plans are to stick at 150MB/s then go to 300MB/s, and later 600MB/s.
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  5. #15
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    On another interesting note.. SATA drives are supposed to support full-on hot swapping, just like USB and FireWire.

    I'm all for seeing some SATA optical drives.. such as DVD-RW's.
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  6. #16
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    bigjackusa:

    1. The abit at7 removed all the serial ports. The abit at7 max2 reinstated the serial ports.

    2. Please refer here for ATI's response to the 8x problem. At the time I first posted anything about the problem I was under the impression ATI was having trouble with its cards. I am still not sure on what is causing the problem. There official statement has done little to clarify the issue, at least in my mind!:rolleyes:

  7. #17
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    As I understand it, hot swapping SATA hard drives will require trays and docks with some kind of "smart" power connector. These may take a while to show up in the marketplace. Hot swapping in the box with the "dumb" connectors we all have now may kill drives (mobos too?). I wonder how they will make a tray/dock system work with optical drives that are already 51/4" wide?

  8. #18
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    Quote from ATI's press release:

    "Some end users have reported issues to our Customer Service department that we are investigating. From the data that has been gathered, it appears that issues that have been reported are caused by individual board issues and are not indicative of a general compatibility issue. RADEON 9700 PRO product owners are encouraged to contact our Customer Service Department should they have an operational problem with their product.

    In addition, it is important to ensure that appropriate system preparation is done prior to installing the RADEON 9700 PRO. We recommend installing the latest motherboard BIOS in the system as well as the latest available AGP drivers. Many of the 8X issues have been resolved with an updated BIOS from the motherboard manufacturer."

    It sounds to me like it is a mobo issue if a Bios upgrade fixes it.
    I went back and read the specs for the Max2 mobo, and it does indeed say that there are serial ports. But I looked at the picture of the board and couldn't see any. I downloaded the manual and could find no reference to a header for adding a bracket or anything about serial ports on the board.
    Attached is a pic from the manual.(Pics still won't post!) Where do they put the serial ports?

  9. #19
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    Go to the newegg.com and look at the pictures they have of the AT7 Max2
    No serial, just ps/2 and keyboard.....
    why would you need serial?!?!?!

  10. #20
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    As I posted earlier in this thread, I have a digital camera with a serial connection, a P-touch lable printer with a serial connection, and an external 56k modem for a backup to my DSL. Would hate to buy adaptors or replacements for them. Need parallel ports too!

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