SATA vs IDE SuperDrive... speed increase?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by trancepriest, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. trancepriest macrumors 6502

    trancepriest

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    #1
    I've noticed a huge speed increase installing Final Cut Studio 2 DVDs on new Mac Pro Nehalem. If the IDE SuperDrive bandwidth is sufficient for the media... what gives in the speed increase?
     
  2. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

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    #2
    SATA has a much faster transfer speed as to the older ide cables (same with hdd's, ide's or also known as ATA has been discarded years ago). This is why your seeing the much faster install speeds on your Nehalem Mac Pros (SATA optical drives) either compared to the previous gen mac pros or the any other computer you've used with ata cabled optical drives.

    I think in the long run this will benefit with bluray player/burners as well.
     
  3. aibo macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Although I don't know the answer to your question, I can say with 100% certainty the reason isn'tt jjanshik's answer above. To suggest that even the fastest DVD drive in the world is capable of saturating an IDE/ATA bus is laughable.
     
  4. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

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    #4
    Oh Jesus, WHY DO YOU 08 MAC PRO OWNERS HAVE TO DEFEND EVERYTHING!!!!

    What your thinking about not saturating all of ATA or SATA's bus is due to the mechanics of the HDD that cannot keep up. This was true with older hardware but these days ATA vs. SATA there is a clear winner. SATA.

    Especially when were talking about optical drive speeds which CAN keep up. Why do you think we stopped using ATA as a standard, especially in HDDs?!?

    Would you choose to use an ATA as your mac pro's main hdd, hmm I bet a 100% NOT.
     
  5. aibo macrumors 6502

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    #5
    What was I defending? Logic?

    He talking about installing off a DVD drive, not a HDD. Why are you mentioning HDDs? The HDDs in his old machine were on a SATA bus too. All of that is irrelevant.

    New DVD drives don't ATA anymore because no drive manufacturer works with it anymore -- and it wasn't due to the speed. Why are new mice USB 2.0 instead of 1.1? Was the optical sensor saturating a USB 1.1 bus? No, It's because the new interface eventually becomes the same price to produce and it doesn't make sense to keep the old one around any longer.

    Once again, who is using a ATA for their HDD in a mac pro? Can you even find one example? What does this have to do with anything?
     
  6. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

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    #6
    If your thinking of LOGIC, and I mean straight logic/common sense. What the OP is noticing a faster install speed on the Nehalem is infact due to the SATA optical drives being able to read/write faster due to the bigger bus speed which the SATA offers as to the older ATA optical drives used in the previous gen mac pro.

    I mentioned HDDs because your so called logic about the sata's bus speed not nearly being fully saturated has to do with older SATA-I hdds when it was a hot debate back then about ATA vs. SATA-I (1.5Gbit/s).

    But nowadays SATA 3Gbit/s is faster than any old ATA HDD hence faster bus speeds. So this applies to the optical drives as well.
     
  7. aibo macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Since you still don't seem to get it, I'll try to say it as clear as I can...
    No DVD in the world is physically capable of spinning a disc fast enough to take advantage of the speed benefit from the optical drive bus moving from ATA to SATA in the new Mac Pro. You'd probably need a DVD drive with 10,000x read, which unfortunately will never exist due to something called the laws of physics.

    You can continue to keep posting how SATA buses are faster than ATA buses. No one disputed this, so I don't know who you're trying to argue with. Also, keep bringing up HDDs like he was somehow trying to install Final Cut Pro off an ATA hard drive.
     
  8. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

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    #8
    Even so, there is no argument that SATA is faster than ATA. So this is why the OP's SATA optical drive reads/writes faster. If not probably due to Nehalems superior memory and 40% less latency features as to the 08 mac pro models. It could also be with Nehalem's QPI compared to the slow FSB. Many different things.

    Or simply because Nehalem is faster than what he was used to like the 08 mac pro models.

    Anyway SATA faster/bigger bus get more data through at a time, ATA slower/smaller bus gets less data through at a time. There you go nothing to do with harddrives.
     
  9. aibo macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Oh yeah, it must be the RAM latency bottlenecking the install time from the Final Cut DVD now.

    What else have you got?
     
  10. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

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    #10
    Dont forget the QPI.

    Its a simple answer. Good God!!!! SATA>>ATA thats why SATA optical>>> ATA optical. Thats it.

    I'm sure the Op wont only notice the install time of FCP being faster but read speeds and write speeds will be significantly faster as well.
     
  11. sine-nomine macrumors regular

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    #11
    jjahshik32, whatever the case for the OP's faster drive, aibo's argument is that an optical drive can only send data so fast, and both PATA and SATA can already handle far more data than the drive can send it.

    A 16x DVD reads data at up to about 20MB/s. An old PATA bus has a transfer rate of around 133MB/s, which means it can send everything a DVD drive can throw at it with room to spare. Just because the SATA supports higher transfer speeds doesn't mean every device on the bus will now run at those speeds.

    To be more clear:
    A 16x DVD drive on a PATA bus will transfer data at about 20MB/s
    A 16x DVD drive on a SATA bus will transfer data at about 20MB/s

    Put another way, my car has a top speed of around 115mph. The highways in my area are very straight and are in good-enough condition that I could technically drive at this speed. A racetrack, however, is going to be maintained in such a way that a car could travel at very high speeds - say over 200mph. If I put my car on such a racetrack, I would still only be able to get it up to about 115mph. The road is not the determining factor in how fast I am able to drive my car.

    Whatever the cause of the OP's speed, it is not immediately attributable solely to the move from PATA to SATA.
     
  12. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

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    #12
    Gotcha thanks for the clearer explanation. If this is infact true I would think some other reasons from the Nehalem based mac pros are benefitting the faster installs.
     
  13. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #13
    God, you're dense.

    Let's say that a typical optical disc drive will read a DVD at 16x. That's 21.6MB/sec. A SATA-II bus is capable of 3Gb/sec throughput (375MB/sec). At full read speed, a 16x DVD drive doesn't even saturate 1/10 of the available throughput on a SATA-II bus.

    Okay, now let's explore the ATAPI/PATA bus used to connect optical disc drives on the 06 and 08 model Mac Pros. I'm not totally clear, but assuming that it's based on ATA/133 specs, it's maximum theoretical throughput would be 133MB/sec. Again, a fast 16x optical disc drive barely even begins to saturate the bus.

    The point here? The bus has NOTHING to do with why the ODDs on the new Nehalam MPs might be faster. The drives are probably physically faster, if slightly. 06/08 MPs came with 16x drives; 09 MPs come with newer 18x drives. Further, some drive models sustain higher transfer rates than others at the same rated speeds. For example, on the 08 MPs, it was luck of the draw whether you got a Pioneer or Optiarc drive. Is one better than the other? I suppose that's up for debate.

    The move to SATA for the ODDs is just modernizing and nothing more. SATA ODDs cost no more than PATA ones now and Apple was able to eliminate a large PATA header on the logic board.
     
  14. aibo macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Thank you, sine-nomie.

    To be fair, jjashik didn't attributing it soley on the move from PATA to SATA. He said it was a combination of that... and faster Nehalem RAM latency. (facepalm)
     
  15. trancepriest thread starter macrumors 6502

    trancepriest

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    #15
    This install was a couple hours faster (2). I'm sure anyone installing Final Cut Studio 2 which has exactly 52.2GB of data in 8 DVD's can attest to how long it takes off optical media. At first I thought the speed increase was due to the move to SATA but then learned that PATA has way more than enough bandwidth. I'm still perplexed by this. I was installing before on a 2007 Mac Pro 8 core 3GHz with a 16x SuperDrive, 16GB RAM, RAID 5 (4x750). You would think it has enough processing power to handle an install. I also got into the habit on the 2007 Mac Pro of installing FCS2 off .DMG images. When doing so the install was much faster. I doubt its the processing power. This limitation seems to be affected by the optical drive. Only going from 16x to 18x... its hard to believe the optical drive itself can produce these differences.

    I am doing some testing on the drives. Here's a screenshot of both drives simultaneously burning Windows 7 build 7000 .iso from a no RAID drive:
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3552/3372346588_a7c4c57df1_o.png

    I am running out of blanks so I couldn't test the result on a 07 Mac Pro. Will try to do so today.
     
  16. Ploki macrumors 68020

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    #16
    jjahshik: here you are, in another thread, spreading disinformation.
    nehalem hasnt got rats ass to do with optical media since the systems years ago were already much faster than the optical media.

    to teh op: here is your answer its simple

    09 mac pro:
    18x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Writes DVD+R and DVD-R discs at up to 18x speed
    Writes DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL discs at up to 8x speed
    Writes DVD+RW discs at up to 8x speed
    Writes DVD-RW discs at up to 6x speed
    Reads DVDs at up to 18x speed
    Writes CD-R and CD-RW discs at up to 32x speed
    Reads CDs at up to 32x speed

    mac pro 06
    16x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Writes DVD-R discs at up to 16x speed
    Writes DVD+R DL discs at up to 8x speed
    Reads DVDs at up to 16x speed
    Writes CD-R discs at up to 32x speed
    Writes CD-RW discs at up to 24x speed
    Reads CDs at up to 32x speed

    2x speed in such a HUGH package as FCP is shows. :)

    you can hook the same superdrive to 08 macpro since it has a free sata port, 06 however im not certain..
     
  17. trancepriest thread starter macrumors 6502

    trancepriest

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    #17
    Would going from 16x to 18x explain a lead time of about 90 minutes to 2 hours?
     
  18. Ploki macrumors 68020

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    #18
    probably the drive is better quality, as captainchunk posted.
    read his post entirely he nailed it pretty much.
     
  19. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #19
    This is a significant difference.

    One idea crossed my mind. It might simply be that the new SATA ODs can read the DVDs with less error correction/re-reads to load the data. This can slow down a drive substantially.

    The older OD lens may be dirty and need a cleaning. Or it may not be working at optimum levels due to something else.
     
  20. trancepriest thread starter macrumors 6502

    trancepriest

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    #20
    So the old 16x drive (OPTIARC AD-7170A) could have really been sustainable reading at say 10x? That would explain a difference. Especially if the new drive is sustainable reading at 18x. This seems like a likely scenario.

    *** Update: CDRinfo conducted testing on the Optiarc with various media:
    http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/Reviews/Specific.aspx?ArticleId=18307&PageId=0

    Seems the sustained data rate maybe the issue as CaptainChunk stated.
     
  21. kevink2 macrumors 65816

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    #21
    Another possibility, not mentioned here.

    For a given file, stored sequentially, the spin rate matters. But if it was reading files all over the disk, the drive has to move it's head from one spot to the other. And when it is moving it's head, it isn't reading any data, for either drive.

    So, if there are thousands of files on the disk, and the drive seeks a lot to the different files, the drive isn't going to read at anything like it's peak transfer speed. To reach the max read, then a DD needs to be made from the disk to copy it to an ISO image, which would keep the head on the track and reduce the seek times. One, long, substained read limited by the spin rate of the drive.

    In addition, since for data drives nowadays tend to read at CAV, the data is read fastest at the outer edge. So much of the data won't even be read at the maximum speed.
     
  22. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #22
    Correct you are.

    For everyone:

    Optical discs have their data written starting from the inside (close to the disc hub) and finish at the outside edge. On a CAV (constant angular velocity drive), data is read much faster on the outside edge because more information is read at the same spin speed. A simple way to demonstrate this is ripping a CD in iTunes. You'll notice that the rip rate will start at 3-6x typically, and will eventually get to 20-24x near the end of the disc. Of course, that also depends on how much data is written to the disc. It's physics. A CD with 45 minutes of music probably won't come close to ripping at the advertised 24x CD read speed, and likely closer to 12-16x.

    I remember back in the late 90s when Kenwood made 52x and 72x CD-ROM drives based on CLV (constant linear velocity). Those drives were extremely fast (I had a 52x model in a past PC rig), but they sounded like aircraft carriers. They faded off the horizon after DVD-ROM drives started becoming popular.
     
  23. trancepriest thread starter macrumors 6502

    trancepriest

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    #23
    This is very good information but how is it relevant if both 07 and 09 Mac Pro drives have to abide by the same laws of physics?
     
  24. kevink2 macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Possibly just a better all around drive in the 09. Being SATA may just be a red herring.
     
  25. trancepriest thread starter macrumors 6502

    trancepriest

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    #25
    I'm just happy that it's faster. Now spending time to see what apps can utilize two SATA SuperDrives to their full capabilities. I would like to find an App that can back up data to two DVD DL at once. Also a Mac app that can burn from an iso/dmg to two SuperDrives at once. Too bad Toast hasn't come out with this feature as of yet... it's in Nero and some other PC apps. Duplicating Toast just to do this sucks and takes up more space and memory.
     

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