Sil3114 and HDs larger than 1TB?

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Sil3114 and HDs larger than 1TB?

Postposted on Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:15 pm

I have already upgraded my Sil3114 PCI SATA-150 controller to support 1TB drives (BIOS: 5.4.0.3), as I am currently running a WD1001FALS. My question is: Does anyone have any experience with Sil3114 controllers and hard drives larger than 1TB? Ideally, I'd like to populate this controller with 2TB drives, however, cannot find any data as to its compatibility with large drives. If anyone has any experience with these types of controllers and large hard drives, I'd love to hear your success or failures (to at least know what I'll be able to get away with :wink: ).

Looking into the readme on the 5.4.0.3 BIOS, it looks like 2TB should work, however, doesn't specifically state. I just downloaded the latest BIOS (5.5.0.0), and there was no readme file at all, so no clue as to what this update will accomplish over the 5.4.0.3 BIOS.

So, if you've got either 1.5TB or 2TB drives attached to a PCI Sil3114 controller, please let me know (also, let me know what BIOS your card is running with).

Thank you for your time.

Back to surfing.......
Last edited by sircharles32 on Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sil3114 and HDs larger than 1TB?

Postposted on Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:11 am

I'm using 5.3.14 and my 1.5TB worked fine on it with what limited testing I did (quick HDTach, some reading/writing). For what it's worth, my 1TB drives have been working fine on that bios for ages, though I have been meaning to update it.
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Re: Sil3114 and HDs larger than 1TB?

Postposted on Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:16 pm

Excellent.
Thanks for the reply. Now, if we could just increase the sample size just a bit...... :)
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Re: Sil3114 and HDs larger than 1TB?

Postposted on Sat May 29, 2010 3:24 pm

Alright, I'm posting an update to my thread about 2TB drives and Sil3114 controllers.

I've now successfully formatted a Samsung HD203WI 2TB SATA-300 drive on my Sil3114 PCI controller.
I updated the controller's BIOS to the latest Base/IDE version (5.5.0.0), and am running it with the latest Base/IDE driver (1.3.11.0).
The drive was formatted and resides under Windows 2000 Professional.

Just thought others might like to know that Sil3114 controllers will work with 2TB drives.
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Re: Sil3114 and HDs larger than 1TB?

Postposted on Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:46 pm

sircharles32, thanks for your post. I am just about to buy a 4 Port SATA RAID Sil3114 Chipset Pci Card & worried it won't take my Samsung 1.5TB HD154UI. I also have 2x 1TB hdds to add. I am going to chance it on ebay today. I was using a VT6421A card, although it recognises the 1.5TB, it won't transfer files out of the drive well (extremely slow). Transfering in files works great. No issues on 1TB drives.
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Re: Sil3114 and HDs larger than 1TB?

Postposted on Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:26 pm

Update: Rigged up my new SIL3114 & works 100% with my Samsung 1.5TB HD154UI plus 1TB WD10EARS (advanced format drive: never buy 'em again) plus 1TB Seagate. Perfect read/write speeds & no need to use jumpers to limit speed. Also I note that when booting up, I could hit ctrl+s to go into SIL3114 BIOS to set up RAID, something VT6421a is lacking. Also, I could choose to boot via hdd attached to SIL3114 in my computer BIOS. SWEET especially when the card costs so little (US$15 incl postage).
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Re: Sil3114 and HDs larger than 1TB?

Postposted on Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:33 am

Glad it worked out for you, Dreamerman. I, myself, don't use the raid capabilities of the controller, having flashed it's BIOS to the IDE version. I've got 4 samsung 2TB drives in my personal server, running off this controller. I perform a manual mirroring between the two sets of drives.

Could you explain your comment about the "advanced format" drives. I'm assuming that you are in reference to Western digitals's 4K sector drives (WD10EARS). Are they a pain to setup, or what, exactly?
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Re: Sil3114 and HDs larger than 1TB?

Postposted on Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:41 am

sircharles32 wrote:Glad it worked out for you, Dreamerman. I, myself, don't use the raid capabilities of the controller, having flashed it's BIOS to the IDE version. I've got 4 samsung 2TB drives in my personal server, running off this controller. I perform a manual mirroring between the two sets of drives.Could you explain your comment about the "advanced format" drives. I'm assuming that you are in reference to Western digitals's 4K sector drives (WD10EARS). Are they a pain to setup, or what, exactly?
What do you mean by "flashed it's BIOS to the IDE version"? My card uses SATARAID5 driver v1.5.15.0 which came in driver CD. There is a non-RAID driver folder but the detect hardware process won't recognise it. Also I don't have a Flash BIOS tab under hardware properties. It works fine using SATARAID5 driver v1.5.15.0 in a non-RAID setup.
As for the advanced format drive, it is a pain getting it aligned (4k sectors). XP do not support 4k sector drives natively so it is slower on any XP machine (think I read it somewhere). Only Win 7 & Linux supports it natively (also I think I read it somewhere). I am too much in a love-hate relationship with XP Pro to adopt any other OS.
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Re: Sil3114 and HDs larger than 1TB?

Postposted on Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:48 pm

By "IDE", I mean the non-RAID BIOS. I believe mine is running with version 5.5.0.0.
I downloaded and manually installed the latest BIOS and drivers (at the time) directly from Silicon Image's website.
Also, I manually installed the BIOS via a floppy.

I'm in a similar boat in regards to using "older" operating systems.
I've read that the performance hit can be as high as 50%, when using a 4K sector drive with XP (or 2K, or NT X.X), when it's not properly aligned.
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Re: Sil3114 and HDs larger than 1TB?

Postposted on Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:21 pm

Did your card came with SATARAID5 BIOS like mine & you flash it with a IDE BIOS (called SiI 3114 IDE BIOS v5.5.0.0)? I would have thought flashing it with a different BIOS rather than a newer version of the same BIOS will brick it. Does the IDE BIOS makes the card works better? I am very interested to know. Thanks.
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Re: Sil3114 and HDs larger than 1TB?

Postposted on Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:35 am

Yes, originally, the card was a RAID controller.
It's my understanding that Silicon Image based controllers can be changed from RAID to non-Raid (at the least, it worked for two controllers I've got running). However, I have never tried to go in the other direction, so once done, I'm not sure it can be undone, as I've never enabled RAID on a non-Raid Silicon Image controller.

As for "better", that's probably a matter for debate. If your controller works with what you've got, I say leave it alone. Only upgrade/change BIOSes to fix "issues" that you may have. If you start playing around, you could "brick" the controller.

Let's face it, the PCI Bus and how many things you've got currently running off the PCI Bus, are going to dictate the performance you get from these types of controllers.

I could post some basic HDTach values for you, but they'd be constrained by the fact that they are being gathered on a system where "everything" is running off the PCI Bus. So, performance is going to be relative.
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Re: Sil3114 and HDs larger than 1TB?

Postposted on Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:55 am

I just did it.......flashed it from 5.4.03 to 5.5.0.0 using a bootable floppy with updflash.exe & b5500.bin. Used latest non-RAID driver 1.3.11.0. Still have no "flash BIOS" tab but other than that, all sweet. I have 1 more vacant SATA slot on the card & will buy a 2TB hdd when it is under $100.

Tested read/write speed & confirm no difference to previous 5.4.03 BIOS but feels good to have the latest !!
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Re: Sil3114 and HDs larger than 1TB?

Postposted on Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:51 pm

Congrats.

Hopefully, everything works to your satisfaction.
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Re: Sil3114 and HDs larger than 1TB?

Postposted on Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:18 am

Regarding Via VT6421 chip: on Via forum admin says that VT6421 chip does not support larger disks than 750 GB (but some people which have this chip on their motherboards claim that it works with larger HDs). I was not even able to format 2TB WD EARS caviar (the one with advanced format) on the PCI card with that chip. Alleged bad sectors are reported as well. With another non WD 2TB HD, although it formatted, also alleged bad sectors appeared, apparently due to the PCI card with Via VT6421 chip. Reading speeds were very erratic.
To those complaining of Advanced Format: from January 2011 all new HDs sold will be Advanced Format, so no choice, resistance is futile. ;>.
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