Onboard Controller Help

I have searched the forums looking for information on the ICH8 and Jmicron controllers. If someone knows a good site that explains the difference and when to use I would appreciate. The manual is not the best :)

Here is what I am looking to understand. I just bought a P5B Vista Premium Edition motherboard and have set it up with one Raptor 150 drive in IDE mode. Working fine right now. I do not expect this install to be my final; just wanted to get a feel for the board first. Running Vista 64bit ultimate, 6600 dual core, 2GB RAM and ATI 1900 with 512 MB RAM.

The two controllers confuse me. There is an ICH8 controller that supports 6 SATA drives (some bootable some not) and there is a JMicron that supports an internal and an external. I believe the Jmicron is referred to as PATA which implies one can use IDE drives or that SATA drives are used in parallel mode as opposed to serial? Just not sure. When would someone use one over the other? And if I am using the ICH8 controller can I connect a single eSata drive to the Jmicron?

As far as AHCI goes from what I can tell the only time I use it is when I will have a single SATA drive (no RAID) but plan to add a RAID later; I must start out with AHCI before installing OS or else I have to rebuild. Can someone confirm this? And this means (I believe) that I have to have a floppy to install the driver via F6. Also, I believe there is a queing benefit but not sure exactly how that would help me.

I understand that now that I have it set as IDE I will not be able to change to AHCI or RAID without reinstalling OS from scratch. No problem if I choose that route since I never expected my first install to be my final.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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  1. Try the stickies at the front of the Hard Disk forums. I find they're pretty helpful.
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