In recent times, some user has asked about the 32-bit data transfer option of BIOS (Basic Input Output System). They felt confused about it; what is this feature and whether they should enable that feature or leave that feature disabled? In this article, we will be discussing this feature of the BIOS setting and what should you need to do with it. Keep reading this article to know more about this BIOS feature.
What is 32-Bit Data Transfer in BIOS?
Similar to the 32-bit disk access BIOS feature, the 32-bit data transfer feature of BIOS allows the user to command the IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) controller to combine two 16-bit HDD reads into a single data transfer of 32-bit to the device processor. This feature improves the IDE controller’s performance and the PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) bus. This data transfer refers to transfers that occur over the PCI bus to the host system memory.
What if I Enable 32-Bit Data Transfer BIOS?
In most motherboards, the 32-bit data transfer feature is enabled by default and most of them do not even give you an option to disable this feature. As mentioned, this feature of BIOS settings allows you to command the IDE controller to combine two 16-bit HDD reads into a single 32-bit data transfer to the processor of the device system.
Enabling it will allow the user to maximize the IDE controller to HDD data transfer rate. Also, the IDE controller will be set to temporarily store the data from one read until the data is available from the next read before mastering a transfer over the PCI bus. So it can collapse two transactions on the IDE side of the controller into one transaction on the PCI side of the controller.
What if I Disable 32-Bit Data Transfer in BIOS?
The 32-bit data transfer of BIOS feature only applies to PATA devices, and it is pretty irrelevant on SATA devices. Leaving it disabled may lead you to encounter some issues if you are using any PATA (Parallel ATA) devices on your device. Because PATA is the older one, it is limited to reading 16-bit chunks of data at a time from a drive. It is certain that you will be losing a large amount of HDD performance if you don’t enable this feature in BIOS.
But if you are using SATA devices, it doesn’t even matter whether you enable or disable it on your device. SATA doesn’t require this data transfer mode of BIOS. Because, it’s always running in 32-bit mode, and basically it transfers data in serialized packets across the interface to the drive and the controller Will Just buffer the data until it has enough to send across the PCI bus. So, there is no need to enable this on the device with the SATA controller.
You won’t face any significant issues for leaving that disabled unless you are using an older HDD on your device. If you leave it disabled, data transfers from the IDE controller to the device processor will only occur in 16-bit, and it won’t be able to combine two 16-bit HDD reads into a single 32-bit data transfer to the processor of the device system.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the PATA Devices?
Based on parallel signaling technology, parallel ATA or PATA is a standard for connecting hard drives with the device system. It generally refers to the types of cables and connections that follow the standard.
What are the Differences Between SATA and PATA?
SATA is a term with the acronym for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, whilst PATA refers to Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment. PATA is an older technology compared to SATA.
What Does IDE Controller Mean?
IDE or Integrated Drive Electronics means a type of electronic interface standard that defines the connection between the bus on a motherboard and the disk storage devices.
Being here, you have known enough about the 32-bit data transfer feature of BIOS. Data transfers from the IDE controller to the device processor will only occur in 16-bit, and it won’t be able to combine two 16-bit HDD reads into a single 32-bit data transfer to the processor of the device system, if you leave this feature disabled in PATA devices. That’s all for today, have a great day.