Need some help with a upgrade

Ok I am thinking of a upgrade on my system at the moment I have a KT7a with a 1.4 and 512 ram and 440gb of hard disc's and am running out of room and speed.

Now I prefer Abit boards (but am willing to listen to suggestions) I like the AT7 board as it has a total of 6 connector's giving a total of 12 ide connections i.e. two CDs and upto 10 drives but dont like the only three pci connections then there is the KX7-333R back to the standard four IDE and 6 PCI now the new AT7 Max2 has four IDE 5 PCI and the AGP plus the two serial ATA connectors fine now question how does the serial ATA work how many hard drives can be added and is there a similar restriction as per normal Raid in that the drives need to be as near damnit the same to take best advantage of the system ? is there new a easy way to add the new Maxtor "Maxline range" i.e. the BIG drives (320Gb)how many can I addd down this new 150 ATA serial connector????

I.e what I am after doing is making a monster for storeage and still having speed
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