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If a hard drive has a name like sda1 or sdb1 does that mean DMA is automatically being used?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The sdx device nodes don't really have anything to do with DMA. They refer to how the device is connected to the machine. SCSI, SATA and many USB devices expose themselves as sdx devces whereas older PATA devices are typically exposed as hdx devices.

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In Ubuntu 10.4, it should be using DMA anyway whether your HDD is IDE/SCSI/SATA or anything else that supports it. Also, some IDE drives will show up as sdx devices, especially newer (post-2000 or so) ones. CD burners for example will almost always show up as sdc or similar even if they're IDE because they use a form of SCSI emulation for burning. – TuxRug Aug 14 '10 at 19:56

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