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How to tell how many hard drives board supports??

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March 26, 2003 11:46:36 AM

I am looking at the specs. of motherboards and would like to know how I can tell how many hard drives the board supports.

My current PC has 3 hard drives, and I am shopping for a new PC. I would like the new motherboard to support 3 hard drives. Also, I will have a floppy drive and at least 1 CD-ROM drive (burner). All the hard drives are regular hard drives, ie. nothing too fancy (Maxtors I think, not scsi).

Could someone explain what I need to look for?

Here is an example of a board's storage description:
South Bridge:
2 x UltraDMA 100
2 x Serial ATA
Promise 20378 RAID controller (optional):
1 x UltraDMA 133 support two hard drives 2 x Serial ATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, Multiple RAID

thanks.
March 26, 2003 11:59:16 AM

all motherboards support 4 IDE devices (HDD cdrom dvd etc). there will be 2 ide channels each cpable of supporting 2 drives. im not sure if you can run SATA and PATA (ide) together on the same board but any board today will definitely handle 3HDD and a cdrom. floppy drives are on a seperate connector and you can have 2 of them if you want

I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.
March 26, 2003 1:01:06 PM

If you get a board with an onboard Promise controller you can set it up to run your HDs in a Raid array (Raid 0 or Raid 1) but you can also instal a driver that will allow it to run as 2 extra Ata 133 IDE ports. This is what I have done: CDRW on IDE1, DVD Rom on IDE2, and my HD on IDE 3 (promise controller running as ATA 133). This setup ensures that I can copy a CD faster and with less chance of errors.

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March 26, 2003 1:51:09 PM

Each IDE/ATA controller can run two devices. So '2 x UltraDMA 100' is two controllers that can run two devices each (DVD, CD, hard drive), for a total of 4 drives. This is pretty standard in motherboards. Just about any motherboard out there has at <i>least</i> this kind of support.

Also standard is a single floppy controller which can also run two devices. So just about any motherboard can support two floppy drives.

On top of that some boards come with RAID controllers as well. These provide additional IDE controllers as well as the logic chip for actually using RAID configurations. Typically RAID controllers will only run hard drives. (So usually there is no running CD or DVD from them.)

The typical use with RAID controllers is that hard drives connected here are used specifically in RAID arrays. However, many RAID controllers <i>will</i> allow you to run devices by themselves as well. So many times you can take a motherboard with a RAID controller and use those additional IDE/ATA ports for just adding more hard drives.

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