Help with 5 IDE devices - onboard IDE or PCI card?

I am still running strong on the good old Abit BH6 board, I believe it has an Ultra DMA/33 IDE controller. I have 5 IDE devices:

120GB Hard Drive (Western Digitial, 8MB buffer, Ultra ATA/100, OS and programs installed on this drive)
120GB Hard Drive (Western Digitial, 2MB buffer, Ultra ATA/100)
160GB Hard Drive (Maxtor, 8MB buffer, Ultra ATA/133)

I have a Ultra DMA/133 PCI Adapter Card which can handle another 4 IDE connections. My question is, what would be the best way to connect those 5 IDE devices?

I was thinking since the PCI card is faster as it is DMA/133 while the onboard one is DMA/33 to connect the slowest device to the onboard IDE. However I am not sure whether I should put that much stock into the DMA rating, plus the PCI bus might decrease the bandwidth as well. The 160GB drive will have to connect to the card for sure as the board can't recognize drives above 120GB. What do you guys think? Thanks for any help!
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  1. There is a performance difference between the IDE channel controllers connected to the Southbridge and a controller connected through the PCI bus. I would think that here, the fact that the integrated controller is only DMA 33 far outweighs the relatively light performance drop.

    Before I could say anything about the best setup, it would help to know the rotational speeds and model numbers of the hard drives.
  2. Here ya go:

    Western Digital WD1200JB 120GB 7200RPM 8MB Buffer ATA100 -OS and Programs installed here

    Western Digital WD1200BB 120GB 7200RPM 2MB Buffer ATA100 - Storage Drive

    Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 160GB 7200RPM 8MB Buffer ATA133 - Storage Drive

  3. I think this would be a good setup:

    Put the WD1200JB as Master on the primary channel on the PCI card.

    Put the DiamondMax as Master on the secondary channel on the PCI card.

    Put the WD1200BB as Slave on the secondary channel on the PCI card.

    Put the CDRW as the Master on the Secondary channel on the motherboard controller.

    Put the DVD-Rom as slave on the Secondary channel on the motherboard controller.

    It doesn't really matter whether you put the CD-roms on the secondary or primary channel. You could also put them both as master on both channels.

    You may run into boot problems or STOP errors while attempting to boot from the Hard drive attached to the PCI controller. Make sure to start Windows (Or other OS) once, with the OS hard drive attached to the motherboard controller. Have the PCI controller installed in a PCI slot and load it's drivers, then try booting through the PCI controller.
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