Mixed SATA and IDE system

Posted on 2005-05-14
Last Modified: 2012-05-09
I am looking into building a home system that will be used for many things including some video editing.  I have narrowed the MB down to the Asus P5GDC Deluxe and will be running under Windows XP pro. The question comes into play pertaining to the hard drives.  The video editing software recommends one HD for the software and another drive for the data.  
Question One - is there any advantage to placing the OS and software on a smaller IDE drive and using a large SATA drive for the data?  
Question Two - I need a little clarification on the use of SATA channels.  The board has four SATA channels can an independent (non-RAID) drive be used on each of these channels?
Question Three - If the answer is yes to the second question, would it be better to install two SATA drives rater then one IDE and one SATA?

Question by:jllabs
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    I have an MSI motherboard with 4 serial ata ports - I'm using 3 of them plus one traditional ide and it all works fine

    For my setup, I have the 2 standard sata ports (from the intel chipset) setup as raid0 with the WD 10,000 RPM drives I get about 140 MB/Sec in the begging of this array.
    Then I have a 120 SATA on the secondary chip that came with my MB (this one is a promise) It's supposed to be a raid chip, but I'm only using one drive and it works fine.

    I like you idea of the OS drive and the data drive - for the data drive, consider an inexpensive SATA raid 5 card- the benefit here - not only is raid 5 a little better and faster, but if it's on an add in card, you can pick up the whole array and move it easily to a new Machine if your mother board dies or you get the itch to move to a new setup some day - if you base your raid off the motherboard's ata controller, you might have issues moving that to a new machine.

    - Jack
    LVL 91

    Assisted Solution

    Q1 :is there any advantage to placing the OS and software on a smaller IDE drive and using a large SATA drive for the data?  -- You can do that; but check at what speed your drive accesses and transfers data; small drives will be slower in most cases, so you would slow down your system.  
    I would use the fastest drive for the OS and software. You can Partition this drive in 2 partitions however, or use 2 different drives, as you wish.
    Q2 : i think yes, but i could not check in the manual, download inoperative
    Q3 : Yes, faster drives
    LVL 25

    Accepted Solution

    First if you are buying a new machine there is no need to buy IDE hard drives at all.  SATA drives will perform better than the old style IDE drives.  Granted it is no huge but they are better and the cost difference is small to none.  If you need performance take a look at the Raptor drives from Western Digital (the 10,000 RPM unit already mentioned) - these do cost a lot more but are really faster (and louder and hotter).  

    Also compare the specs of any drives you are considering,  capacity is one thing but also look at the seek time and sustained transfer rates.  You want lower seek times and higher transfer rates.  Some of the large SATA drives are a bit slower but that is not true of all units the manufacturers are working hard to keep speeds up.  So some have 16 MB buffers on the large capacity models or have done other things to keep the speeds up with the smaller sized models.

    Yes the board will support 4 SATA drives in a non raid setup.  Another reason to stick with SATA hard drives is to leave your IDE ports free for optical drives.  Ideally you will want to have only one per IDE port for best performance.

    So the board can do SATA and old IDE together with no issues but there is no reason to use and old IDE drive unless you are doing a upgrade or have one handy.  The cost difference on a system may amount to about $10.00.

    Expert Comment

    SATA is much better than IDE.
    It is more reliable, you get batter airflow through your case (thinner, more flexible cables), and it is faster.
    There is no point buying IDE when your board supports SATA, escpecially on a new system.

    You should install your OS onto the fastest drive you can find. eg: WD Raptor SATA (10,000RPM)
    If you have some spare cash i'd recommend running a RAID 0 array with two 32GB drives, it will be a little more expensive than buying one 72GB, but you will get WAY more speed.
    Then just put all your other data on a 120GB+ SATA drive on a different channel.
    Hope this helps mate.

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