[lug] Old PC upgrade pci question

karl horlen horlenkarl at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 16 15:57:44 MST 2007

Sorry if this is a stupid question.

I've got an old PIII system (circa year 2000) that has
redhat 8 (2.4 kernel) on it.  It works fine and is a
scsi based system (hd/cdrw).

I want to upgrade the small scsi drives to newer,
larger and cheaper IDE drives.  I'm wondering about
the performance of newer drives and ATA 100/133 in an
old system like this.

Will the ide controller on this old mobo allow me to
use the speed of a newer drive and ATA 100/133?  I
think not but I thought I'd ask.

How would i check that (down below is some command
output but I'm not sure how to "read" that to the best
of my advantage in solving this problem because the
hardware is older)?

If the onboard IDE controller will not bridge the gap
to the speed of the newer drives, would installing a
new IDE controller card allow the use of the later
technology or is it more a function of the pci
slot/bus?  If you look at the lspci output down below,
it looks like my pci bus is running at 66Mhz.  So what
good is running the IDE channel at greater than 66Mhz 
if the pci slot the IDE card is plugged into will
bottleneck it?

Here's some information gathering.  It looks like I'm
running at udma3 which I would like to get to udma5. 
But again, maybe it makes no difference since the pci
bus on my system may be the bottleneck.  

In which case this system can take advantage of the
"size" and lower cost of the newer drives but little


# hdparm /dev/hda

 multcount    = 16 (on)
 IO_support   =  0 (default 16-bit)
 unmaskirq    =  0 (off)
 using_dma    =  1 (on)
 keepsettings =  0 (off)
 readonly     =  0 (off)
 readahead    =  8 (on)
 geometry     = 14593/255/63, sectors = 234441648,
start = 0


 # hdparm  -I /dev/hda


ATA device, with non-removable media
        Model Number:       WDC WD1200JB-00CRA1
        Serial Number:      WD-WMA8C2474565
        Firmware Revision:  17.07W17
        Supported: 5 4 3 2
        Likely used: 6
        Logical         max     current
        cylinders       16383   16383
        heads           16      16
        sectors/track   63      63
        CHS current addressable sectors:   16514064
        LBA    user addressable sectors:  234441648
        device size with M = 1024*1024:      114473
        device size with M = 1000*1000:      120034
MBytes (120 GB)
        LBA, IORDY(can be disabled)
        bytes avail on r/w long: 40     Queue depth: 1
        Standby timer values: spec'd by Standard, with
device specific minimum
        R/W multiple sector transfer: Max = 16 
Current = 16
        Recommended acoustic management value: 128,
current value: 254
        DMA: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2 udma0 udma1 *udma2
udma3 udma4 udma5
             Cycle time: min=120ns recommended=120ns
        PIO: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
             Cycle time: no flow control=120ns  IORDY
flow control=120ns
        Enabled Supported:
           *    READ BUFFER cmd
           *    WRITE BUFFER cmd
           *    Host Protected Area feature set
           *    Look-ahead
           *    Write cache
           *    Power Management feature set
                Security Mode feature set
           *    SMART feature set
           *    Device Configuration Overlay feature
                Automatic Acoustic Management feature
                SET MAX security extension
           *    DOWNLOAD MICROCODE cmd
           *    SMART self-test
           *    SMART error logging
        not     enabled
        not     locked
        not     frozen
        not     expired: security count
        not     supported: enhanced erase
HW reset results:
        CBLID- above Vih
        Device num = 0 determined by the jumper
Checksum: correct


# lspci -vb
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corp. 440BX/ZX/DX -
82443BX/ZX/DX Host bridge (rev 03)
        Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64
        Memory at f8000000 (32-bit, prefetchable)
        Capabilities: [a0] AGP version 1.0

00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 440BX/ZX/DX -
82443BX/ZX/DX AGP bridge (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [Normal
        Flags: bus master, 66Mhz, medium devsel,
latency 128
        Bus: primary=00, secondary=01, subordinate=01,
        I/O behind bridge: 00009000-00009fff
        Memory behind bridge: f6000000-f7ffffff
        Prefetchable memory behind bridge:

00:07.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corp. 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4
ISA (rev 02)
        Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0

00:07.1 IDE interface: Intel Corp. 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4
IDE (rev 01) (prog-if 80 [Master])
        Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64
        I/O ports at 1000


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