We don't review many disk controllers or hard drives at Phoronix but we decided to take a quick look at the Promise Technology SATA300 TX4 PCI controller card, which promises to be a cost-effective 4-port Serial ATA 2.0 controller. Two of the features include Native Command Queuing and Tagged Command Queuing support, but how does its performance compare to solutions integrated on the motherboard? In this review of the Promise SATA300 TX4 we tested it with Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn using an nForce 430 chipset.
· Four Serial ATA 3Gb/s Ports for support of up to 4 drives
· Native Command Queuing (NCQ)
· SATA Tagged Command Queuing (TCQ)
· Large LBA support for drives above 137GB
· Supports Serial ATAPI devices
· Disk Activity LED Headers
· Flexible future-proof upgrade for users with motherboards that only have a PCI interface
The SATA300 TX4 is available from many online stores as an OEM or retail package. Included with the Promise SATA300 TX4 retail was the quick start guide, driver CD, mini PCI bracket, and four Serial ATA data ports. The host bus adapter comes with the full-size PCI bracket attached but the PCB itself is only half the height and has no problems fitting inside a mini PCI slot.
All four of the SATA 2.0 ports are located on the PCB for internal usage with no external eSATA ports. There are two Serial ATA ports at the end of the PCB and the other two are positioned along the top. There are also two headers along the top of the PCB for connecting to LED activity indicators. The two ASICs on the SATA300 TX4 is the Promise PDC40718-GP and AMIC A290021TL-70F Parallel NOR Flash chip. This controller does not support drives in any RAID configuration.