nForce4-SLI, AHCI and NCQ and FreeBSD 6.0

Malachi de Ælfweald malachid at
Thu Sep 22 17:49:16 PDT 2005

Asus's site seems to be down right now.... but at least Google caches it...
 It could very well be marketing hype. All I know is that one of the selling
points I chose it on was: "SATA 3Gb/s" (on that page)
site and manual both say that the Si3114 supports 3Gb/sec, but they don't
say that about the nVidia, which is why I was choosing it.
I am not sure why it would be via the PCI32 bus... checking this page ( it says that a PCI 64-bit bus running at
66MHz would be 4Gb/sec.... maybe they reserved the pciE for the SLI?
 As far as the performance, the manual says that the performance of raid 5
is greatly affected by block size.. from what I have seen online it has to
do with whether the files being written are big enough to end up striped.
Maybe the 10Mb/s is with a very large block size and very small files? Maybe
a 4k block size and larger files would do better? Just guessing here, really
not sure.
 As far as why I chose the Premium instead of the Deluxe (for my Windows
workstation and my FreeBSD server), there were a few reasons. The
workstation primarily because it allows software-controlled flipping between
SLI and non-SLI, which I thought would be nice if I were to accidentally
play games. For the server, I was going to go with a different board, but it
didn't support RAID5, so I switched to this one.
 Of course, now I am seeing that RAID5 doesn't appear very realistic with
FreeBSD :(

 On 9/8/05, O. Hartmann <ohartman at> wrote:
> Hello.
> Are you really sure the onboard Sil SATA controller supports SATA II?
> When I studied the handbook of both motherboards, the A8N-SLI Deluxe and
> A8N-SLI Premium I found both motherboards are idetically equipted with
> the *not* SATA II capable SilI3114 SATA controller. By the way, as I
> know, the second SATA controller is attached via the PCI32 bus, not via
> PCIe! That means (in my opinion) there is no benefit using this
> controller. It is more a marketing GAG than a serious add-on.
> RAID5 performance of ICH7R and SilI is said to be very, very poor (about
> 10 MB/s read/write performance), so what benefit I do have using this
> controller with it's senseless 'capabilities' and non-PCIe attachment?
> This is only a thought based on my personal available informations and
> maybe wrong ...
> Oliver
> Malachi de Ælfweald wrote:
> > I have noticed the same thing with the onboard Silicon Image controller.
> > I am using the A8N-SLI Premium. I am using the Silicon Image controller
> > instead of the nForce4 controller because it specifically said SATAII
> > and said it supported RAID5 (whereas the nForce did not support RAID5).
> > However, on boot it recognizes it as SATA150 (which should be SATA300).
> >
> > Malachi
> >
> > On 9/6/05, *O. Hartmann* <ohartman at
> > <mailto:ohartman at>> wrote:
> >
> > Hello.
> > I have a little question about the popular nForce4-SLI chipset for the
> > Socket 939 platform. The onboard SATA controller of the nForce4-SLI
> > chipset claims to be NCQ (or SATA II) capable, but nVidia implemented
> > this feature in a not-AHCI-standardised way, but as an own solution. My
> > question is: Is the FBSD 6.X driver for the nForce4-SLI chipset capable
> > of using NCQ (as I know, the driver has to enable NCQ and it's not done
> > automatically by the harddrive-controller interaction).
> >
> > Thanks in advance,
> > Oliver
> > _______________________________________________
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