I am planning on building a new machine in the next couple of weeks and wanted to know if I am making a mistake. The question is the SATA DVD drive...will I be able to install Vista Ultimate or do I need to get a IDE drive instead? I am planning on:
- Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6
- Conroe E6600 CPU
- 4GB of Corsair DDR2800 Twin2x2048-6400C4
- Seagate 7200.10 400GB x 2
- Gigabyte 7600GS 512MB Videocard
- Plextor PX-755SA - Serial ATA Drive
- Corsiar CMPSU-520HX Modular Power Supply
- LianLi Case PC-6070A Plus
The computer will be used for photo editing (Photoshop CS3 when released) and some video editing (Photoshop Premiere Elements) along with the usual home computing. I don't plan on using this for gaming.
I would prefer to stick to a SATA drive but if I must change I guess I will look for another chioce. Feel free to make any comments on the above build.
I've done two installs of Vista on all SATA systems. Both were set to use native SATA/RAID mode instead of P-ATA compatible mode, both worked fine.You will, of course, have to make sure your system is set to boot off the DVD drive.
What you may have problems with is the 4x1 GB setup of RAM. Mine, and apparently many other consumer motherboards, are not actually engineered to run all four RAM slots with high speed RAM. You may have to downclock the RAM to get the system stable. 667 MHz is most commonly recommended, I was able to manage 711 MHz with 4 sticks of Corsair PC6400C4. 2x2 GB would be better if you want maximum performance at full speed, but you may well pay more for the larger modules. Of course, your motherboard may not have any issues with a 4x1 configuration but I figured I'd give you a heads up beforehand.
Also, be aware that if you use a 32bit version of Vista Ultimate, the OS will not report the full 4 GBs in Windows. Most likely it will see 3.5 GB as it must, at minimum, set aside 512 MBs under the 4 GB limit for addressing your video card's RAM. If you run with DEP off (it's on by default in Ultimate) and PAE not explicitly enabled (via bcdedit) it may even report less. If you run the 64bit version of Vista Ulitmate this will be a non-issue, but going 64bit is a decision I will leave up to you.
A tip if you decide to build that system with the Plextor drive if you experience this problem.
I built a computer lately with a Plextor px-760sa dvd recorder with vista 64 bit on my amd x2 4600 with an asus m2n32-sli deluxe. I installed the operating system with no problems but after a couple of days I did notice that I was having trouble with burning cds with the drive and then it did not read the Plextor on a reboot, to fix the problem I had to flash the firmware of the drive to the latest one from plextor to fix the problem. Mine shipped with firmware revision 1.03 and I updated it to 1.06. My drive is a sata drive
If I were building a system for the purposes you mentioned I would have a 3rd HD. It does not need to be bigger than 100 GB (course it may not make sense economically to buy something that small) but should be a reasonable preformer.
I would install the OS to that disk and put the 2 400 GB disks into a RAID 1 array. That would protect your data and help your read speeds.
Edit: It will also allow Photo Shop and your video editing software to put their scratch files on a different disk than the windows swap file.
I had all kinds of problems installing Vista with my SATA drive. First, vista wanted the drivers for my CD/DVD drive, even though windows uses a generic driver. I borrowed a friends IDE drive to install vista, when I plugged my SATA drive back in, windows wouldn't boot. Ultimately, I had to install the SATA drivers to get Vista to boot with the drive and be able to recognize the drive. And because I have the first four SATA ports being used for my HDDs, I have to use my DVD drive on the extra SATA ports on my mobo that aren't being controlled by the Intel SATA controller, but by the Marvell SATA controller, meaning I can't ever boot from the device without having to temporarily remove a HDD from my RAID. I think I'm going to get a cheap DVD ROM drive to attach to my IDE cable so I have something to boot with. But I don't think you need to go that far. You should be alright.
edit: I don't see my sig yet so I'll just add my specs here:
chip: C2D E6700
mobo: Intel D975XBX2
memory: 1GB (x4) OCZ DDR2-667
hd: 320GB Hitachi SATA2 (x4) + 120GB Maxtor UATA133
video: EVGA 8800GTS 320MB
drive: Samsung SH-S183L SATA
os: Vista Ultimate (x64)
edit2: Also, I haven't had any issues with my 4x1GB memory setup. Although, my mobo seems to want to default the timings to 5-5-5-15 when they are supposed to be 4-4-4-12.
Could it be that you are using a 975 chipset versus the new 965 chipset that is on the Gigabyte DQ6. My understanding is that the 965 uses the ICH8 controller that natively supports SATA. It needs to use a JMicron companion chip to support the IDE interface.
I am hoping that this is the reason why I can get away without using any IDE cables within my system. I don't plan on installing a floppy drive either...I installed one in my last system and I can't even remember if I ever used it.