Looking to buy a new HD, and need info on SATA vs ATA-133

I'm looking to purchase a new hard drive, and I'm trying to decide wheather to get a SATA or an ATA-133.
I had two drives (250G and 300G), and my 250G HD just went bad on me.
I don't really think I need something that large for my primary drive, and I think I can do with an 80G drive.
I want the primary drive to be fast, since I do a lot of compiling, and I run several Virtual PC's for testing.
But I don't want to spend extra money if I'm not really going to see a significant difference.

Is there much of a difference in using a single SATA drive VS using a single ATA-133?
Can the computer actually work faster if I used two ATA-133 drives on the same controller instead of using one SATA drive and one ATA-133 drive?
Does adding extra cooling fans make a difference in the speed, or is that just for reliability?

Any information on this would be appriciated.

Thanks
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AxterAsked:
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jdietrichCommented:
On single drive VS drive performance SATA outperforms ATA133, but not by that much.  If you want to improve the speed of compiling you can do 2 things.  Either install a seperate drive for the OS and put the swap file on the second drive.  This improves performance since the swap can be used intensively for compiling and will be on a second controller/drive.  Or, you can increase your RAM, I have 2.5 Gigs, and cut out the swap.  I have found performance to be much better that way, I also compile quite a bit.  Doing it in memory is much faster as your ram is in Nanoseconds, disk is in Milliseconds.  Of course there are other options (requiring controller purchases) such as SCSI or even Raid (striping).  Striping drives gives great write performance which obviously improves compiling....
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shankshankCommented:
If you can, go for the SATA drive. It is faster, in terms it has more thruput. If you want the primary drive to be fast, check out the western Digital RAPTOR drive. Such an awesome drive, it runs at 10,000RPM so it is definitely better then the average 7200rpm drive. The 74GIG model goes for $160 at newegg and the 36 gig model goes for $100. What I actually have in mysetup is the 36GIG SATA 10k rpm drive as my main drive for OS, programs. For music, videos etc I bought a 250GB 7200rpm ATA133 drive, since you don't really need that to be as fast. I think if you want performance, go for that raptor drive, you won't regret it. If cost  is a factor and you cannot get both, then you may have to settle with just that ata133. Cooling usually is just for expanding the life, although if it is too hot the peripherals could run a little inefficient.

The system would run faster with one SATA and one ATA133


Final note

Get a 250GB 7200RPM drive for $99 at newegg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144236

and then get the 36 or 74gb 10k SATA drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?DEPA=0&type=&Description=raptor&Submit=ENE&Ntk=all&N=0&minPrice=&maxPrice=&Go.x=0&Go.y=0


Done deal :)
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shankshankCommented:
Lastly, if you do striping with those 2 10k drives, the speeds are just phenomenol.
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AxterAuthor Commented:
My motherboard supports RAID, but I have no idea what that is, or what that gives me.
Can you guys give me some info on how useful this would be for my requirements, and if I have to purchase a specific type of SATA for this feature?
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AxterAuthor Commented:
>>Striping drives gives great write performance which obviously improves compiling....

What do you mean by striping?
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shankshankCommented:
Striping is raid
http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/D/disk_striping.html

Example, when you do striping with 2 disks, data is written partly one disk 1 and partly on disk 2. So when you goto read the data, it comes much quicker since it access the data part on one and the other of course.

But if one drive fails, you lose it all.

Is it fast? YES!
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shankshankCommented:
More raid descriptions and other raids available


http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/raid/levels/singleLevel0-c.html
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shankshankCommented:
If your motherboard supports SATA raid, then you can get 2 SATA drives, install them and configure your bios to use them as a raid 0 drive.

If you get the 10k RPM drives, awesome, it will be ridiculously fast. If you settle with cheaper and bigger 7200rpm SATA drives, you'll still be happy.

If you get 2 80gb drives, you will have a total of 160gb storage. Just remember, if one drive fails, you lose everything (In the RAID 0 striping setup)
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AxterAuthor Commented:
>>Get a 250GB 7200RPM drive for $99 at newegg

I already have the secondary drive, which is my 300G ATA-133 drive.  I plan to keep that one regardless.  I'm just looking into the best option for the primary drive.

I notice when I looked at newegg that the 74gb SATA drive had 8mb of cache and the 160gb SATA drive had 16mb cache.
Is there much of a performance difference betwee 8mb cache and 16mb?
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shankshankCommented:
Some people say it is a marketing flaw.

Are you talking about the 74GB Raptor drive vs a normal 7200rpm 160gb drive? I would get that 74gb raptor, the increase in RPMS will blow away the increased amount of cache that the 160gb one has
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shankshankCommented:
Well not flaw, but hoax. I've worked with them all, and really didn't see big gains. But the 7200rpm to 10.000rpm, i stand behind that anyday
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AxterAuthor Commented:
>>Example, when you do striping with 2 disks, data is written partly one disk 1 and partly on disk 2. So when you goto read the data, it comes much quicker
>>since it access the data part on one and the other of course.

So is raid and striping the same thing?
If so, that means that raid is not useful if you only have one drive, is that correct?

Can you do striping with two different size HD?  And if so, what happens to the additional space difference?

Can stripping be done with one SATA and one ATA-133?
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shankshankCommented:
The 36gb raptor has made me happy, and I am sure this 74gb one will do the same

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144160
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AxterAuthor Commented:
>>Are you talking about the 74GB Raptor drive vs a normal 7200rpm 160gb drive?

I'm taking about 74GB SATA 10,000RPM vs 150GB SATA 10,000RPM.
I incorrectly stated 160GB before.
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shankshankCommented:
Striping is a type of RAID. The common raids are RAID 0, 1 and 5.

Raid 0 is for performance, data written so it is accessed quickly from both drives. You wouldn't want to do this to your ATA133 and SATA drive together. You need at least 2 drives for this, and you can use different HD sizes, but you only double the smallest size, so a 80GB and 120GB you only get a total of 160GB I believe.

Raid 1 is mirroring, which means it will duplicate data to 2 drives, you won't want this.



Again, get that 74K raptor and you will be happy :)
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shankshankCommented:
If you can afford that 150GB raptor, go for it. You get double the space of course. Performance gains may be noticable slightly when using large files

If you look at it, its $160 for the 74gb and $274 for the 150gb. It is alot cheaper to just get the 150gb one, price per gigabyte is cheaper there :)
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AxterAuthor Commented:
On newegg the 74GB Raptor is $160, and the 36GB is $102.

If I get two 36GB raptors and set them up for striping, will that get me double the speed?
And will my total storage be 72GB?

Will the increase speed be worth the extra $40?
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shankshankCommented:
The increase in speed will definitely be worth the $40. It's just a matter of do you want the speed or the space. You won't necessarily get double the speed, but it will be alot faster than just one drive. And you are in the world of 10,000k rpms which is definitely going to be great. The total drive space will be around 72gb, correct.


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shankshankCommented:
You will notice an increase right away for example when installing Windows XP. I copied the install files to my 3rd HD, then started the XP install, and it just flew on my raid 0 raptor config
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AxterAuthor Commented:
Can you do raid with two ATA-133 drives?
And can you do raid with two exteranl USB drives?
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shankshankCommented:
external USB drives, no.

YOu can do raid with 2 ata 133 drives, yes.
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AxterAuthor Commented:
This has been very educational.
I still get amaze as to how much I don’t know about computers, considering I’ve been programming and taking them apart for almost 20 years.
Every time I have to upgrade my computer, I find a whole new set of technologies to learn.

Thank you both.
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shankshankCommented:
i'm a system admin, and let me tell you, its  abummer that i can't know everything heh
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jdietrichCommented:
USB Drives DO come as raid.  I believe Lacie has a 500 Gig that is 2 - 250's that are striped for performance, but shankshank is correct, you can't do it yourself...
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shankshankCommented:
Yeah the cost factor and performance from USB 2.0 is no where as great as just having SATA or at least ATA133
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