[lug] Old PC upgrade pci question

Hugh Brown hugh at math.byu.edu
Tue Jan 16 18:50:18 MST 2007

On Tue, 16 Jan 2007, karl horlen wrote:

> 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.

I've purchased ATA 100/133 disks and put them in machines that were
probably only running at 66 (though I'm not positive).

> 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.

The speed of the controller will be your limiting factor.  It won't be
able to push the drives to their fullest speeds at all.

> 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?

"What good..."  the answer is no good.  I was gifted a number of gig nics
and I've got one in a P3 from 2000 and the speed of the PCI bus is
definitely the limiter.  So if you really want to get fast disks and push
them full throttle, get a newer system to put them in.

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