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New build - SSD/HDD & SATA connectors

Hi guys. Working on my very first custom build and installing storage drives. I have a 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 and a 2TB Seagate 7200 6 GB/s. Adding those to my Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 which has SATA connectors for the following: SATA 6 GB/s by Intel Z68 chipset x2; SATA 3 GB/s by Intel Z68 chipset x3; GSATA 6 GB/s by Marvell 88SE9172 chip x2.

I only got more confused reading through the mobo manual, as it sounds like these two drives ought to be connected strategically to the board for proper RAID configuration.

If I didn't care so much about my new baby, I'd probably toss both drives into the SATA 6 GB/s by Intel and call it a day. But I'm hoping I can get a nice, quick answer from you wonderful people! Thanks!
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  1. Best answer
    Congrats on your 1st build.
    Your motherboard has 4 SATA 3 (6Gb/s) ports. Connect your Vertex 4 to one of the 2 Intel 6Gb/s ports, not one of the 2 Marvell 6Gb/s ports.

    Your Seagate is SATA 3 compatible, not SATA 3 capable. No hard drive can spin fast enough to achieve SATA 3 speeds; so you will get the same performance if you connect it to a SATA 2 port, or a SATA 3 port. Whichever one you chose make sure it's an Intel port.

    You never want to create a RAID array with a HDD & a SSD. Forget about RAID and just use both drives separately.

    Make sure the ports your drives are connected to are in AHCI mode for best performance.
  2. Best answer selected by uberchemist.
  3. Thanks Dereck! I assumed the answer would be quite simple and I was making it more complicated than it actually was. I'll do some research on AHCI and figure that one out myself. These forums ROCK!
  4. uberchemist said:
    I'll do some research on AHCI and figure that one out myself.


    SATA ports can have 3 settings (modes): IDE, AHCI, & RAID.
    Any SSD needs to be in AHCI mode for best performance.
    Your motherboard manual will show you how to change SATA modes on the Intel ports.
  5. Thanks again, plan to do a lot more reading through all the various manuals I've collected! Just to confirm, the best mode for SSDs AND HDDs is AHCI? I may also add a second HDD to my system later on, any particular setting/configuration I should pursue? Is this is where RAID comes into play?
  6. Yes, your HDD will have better performance in AHCI mode as well.

    If you're combining 2 or more identical drives to create a RAID array then the ports the drives are connected to have to be in RAID mode.

    If you're using Intel SRT (Smart Response Technology) to boost the performance of a HDD with an operating system installed on it by using a small (64GB and less) SSD as a cache drive, then the ports your drives are connected to have to be in RAID mode.

    Since you have a 128GB SSD and you will be installing your O/S on it, there's no need for Intel SRT, and therefore your ports should be in AHCI mode.
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