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New comp; curious about optimum config.

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Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 25, 2001 5:34:51 AM

Like I said, I'm building a new computer. The current plan as far as IDE devices go is to have 1 new hard drive, a 45 gig Deskstar, as the master, one smaller drive as a slave, and a CD drive. I'm curious as to how to set these up as far as speed goes. My motherboard is one of the brand-new ABIT KT7A-RAID boards, so I have four different slots for IDE cables. Questions:

1)I know not to combine a CD and HD on the same IDE cable, but should I segregate my new hard drive and the older, slower one? If they're on the same cable, will the new one be slower than it would be if it were on its own cable?

2)I believe the older HD is only ATA/66 compatible; if I share an IDE cable between it and the new HD, will the new HD be slowed down to ATA/66, even though it's capable of ATA/100?

3) Is setting up a RAID array worth the trouble? I could get another hard drive fairly easily and make an array. What are the general benefits of this tech? Any links to a general FAQ of RAID would be appreciated.

Sorry for the newbie questions; I thought I knew a lot about computers, but putting one together has made me quite anal about being absolutely sure of everything.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 25, 2001 9:18:42 PM

>>1)I know not to combine a CD and HD on the same IDE cable, but should I segregate my new hard drive and the older, slower one? If they're on the same cable, will the new one be slower than it would be if it were on its own cable?<<

The reason people advise this is because you can not read and right simultaneously to 2 devices on the same IDE controller. For two hard drive not in RAID, you don't usually have to worry about this as much (it occurs most assuredly but you have to pick the lesser of two evils here). The CD-Rom when installing and running software though does often have to be used in conjuction with the hard drive. (A side note if you choose just one new drive, you might be able to run it soley by itself on one of the RAID IDE controllers.. I wish someone would confirm that because I haven't done it and most people don't, but I'm sure it's a possability).

>>2)I believe the older HD is only ATA/66 compatible; if I share an IDE cable between it and the new HD, will the new HD be slowed down to ATA/66, even though it's capable of ATA/100? <<

No it wouldn't if using a 40pin 80 conducter IDE cable if the integrated controller supported ATA 100. I think they only support ATA 66, and the RAID controllers are the only ones that support ATA 100.

>>3) Is setting up a RAID array worth the trouble? I could get another hard drive fairly easily and make an array. What are the general benefits of this tech? Any links to a general FAQ of RAID would be appreciated. <<

It's a relative question and answer. But theoretically in a RAID 0 setup with 2 drives you get double the sequential read performance with a tiny hit in access time, which can be beneficial in a lot of applications. Getting the latest bios and drivers probably elminate some of the trouble if not most of it.

http://www.sunworld.com/swol-06-1999/swol-06-raid1.html
http://www.systemlogic.net/articles/01/1/raid/
http://www.zmicro.com/products/raid-faq.htm
http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/raid/index.htm




***Hey I run Intel... but let's get real***
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 26, 2001 12:31:26 AM

Thanks for the answers.

"A side note if you choose just one new drive, you might be able to run it soley by itself on one of the RAID IDE controllers.. I wish someone would confirm that because I haven't done it and most people don't, but I'm sure it's a possability."

I plan to try this with the new computer, by just running the DeskStar from one of the orange RAID controllers. Dunno if it'll work or not, but it'll be simple to fix if it doesn't. I'll post back when I find out...

"I think they only support ATA 66, and the RAID controllers are the only ones that support ATA 100."

The mobo guide, though otherwise well written, was somewhat vague on this point. Since the abit.co.tw site lists the KT7A as supporting ATA 100, then I imagine the regular IDE ports on the KT7A-RAID would as well. I'll still try to hook them up via the RAID ports, just to see if it works.

Thanks again for the info on the RAID stuff; now I just have to get the computer up and running before I see if I want to worry about it. :) 
!