New HD - IDE or SATA?


I want to get a new HD for my system and use my 40gb IDE drive as a spare back up drive that I'll only connect when reinstalling cos I seem to get all kinds of problems when trying to install a fresh version of XP.

I have anohter 80gb IDE drive. Both are connected to the primary IDE channel with the 80Gb as master.

As SATA drives are now almost the same price as IDE I'm thinking about getting one...probably 120gb. I'm totally new to SATA vs IDE.

Can I simply get a SATA drive, plug it in and "away I go" or do I need to worry about RAID setup? I think I don't need to worry about RAID at the moment. Also, would it be better to have my Xp on the SATA or IDE drive?

Will I encounter any problems if I have the 80gb drive on the IDE channel and the SATA drive on my SATA1 Connector?

If this will be problematic, I might just stick to an IDE configuration. Help greatly appreciated...

P4 2.8ghz 478 Northwood 533fsb
2X512mb Hynix PC3200 RAM
Abit IS-7e mobo
Sapphire Radeon 9800pro (XT flashed)
425W Antec PSU
LG super multi DVD writer
40Gb ExcelStor Technology J340
80Gb Maxtor ST380011A
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  1. SATA HDD are IDE HDD.. Maybe you want to know if the SATA interface is hard to use?

    If your motherboard has native SATA support, it will be as easy as plugging the drive and go. If it use a third party controller, like Sil or Promise, you may have to install drivers for the controller. Peoples confuse SATA and RAID because when first SATA controller appears on motherboard, they were third party controller, because chipset did not yet support SATA interface. Third party controller, like Promise or Sil, are onboard chip that use the PCI bus to communicate with the system. Just like a sound card on a PCI slot, it need drivers. It needs drivers to work as a normal IDE controller as well as a RAID controller.

    Chipset like the nforce4, for AMD, have native SATA support. What that means, is that the Windows do not need any drivers to use the SATA interface. The controller is a normal IDE controller, with an added SATA interface to communicate with devices. If Windows needs something on a drive that is at the other end of a SATA cable, it ask the controller with simple IDE commands which in turn , as the drive. So, at the end, it will appears like a standard IDE controller and HDD to windows. But the nforce4 controller can be use in RAID. Then windows needs a drivers to communicate with the "transformed" controller. Mistake that some do is to forget to check in BIOS if SATA is activated, or if it is set as RAID instead of SATA. If your chipset has native support, then it will be as easy as turning SATA on and make sure that RAID is disabled, as you dont need RAID with one drive.

    I dont know Intel chipset, so I cannot help you more on that. But some research in your manual or on Intel web site should give you clue. But I would simply buy the drive and try it. Oh, I suggest Seagate. They have a 5 years warranty, and maybe that they might have slower specs than the WD, but you wont really notice it in use, and get at least a 160/200 gigs. look at the price? there is maybe one beers or 2 difference from the next bigger drive..

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  2. Are you buying a new hard drive for performance? In that case, go with a WD Raptor 74GB. This drive is 10,000 RPM, and you will REALLY notice an increase in performance. If your board supports SATA RAID, get two of these and put them in RAID 0. I have this setup and have sustained reads above 100 MB/sec. It was a bit pricey, but definetly worth it. It zips through video editing and large files like nothing.

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  3. Match the 80G with an identical HD and run them in RAID 0.

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  4. Is it really worth me getting 2 more hard drives though? I don't wanna dish out and arm and a arm will suffice I think. 10,000rpm sounds juicy though. If I just get one and run that through my SATA connector with the other IDE 80Gb that should be more than enough storage for me but would that kill the faster dive performance in any way, apart from copying from one to the other?

    I don't really wanna get stuck into RAID setups cos I don't wanna try anything that could cause me nightmares...had enough of those already and feel safer sticking to what I know (or think I know at least). Blistering performance is nice but so is a stress free life and I'm willing to trade.
  5. I meant that you could get one HD that matches one of the two that you already have. The raptor is a very good choice, I was just giving you a cheaper option.

    <font color=green>NED FLANDERS FOR PRESIDENT</font color=green> Its justa nother gansta PARTY!
    Intel P4 Extreme(3.73)@<font color=green>5.6Ghz</font color=green>
    Asus P5AD2-E-Premium
    Crucial Ballistix DDR2 667@DDR2 855
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