200GB vs 250GB, IDE vs S-ATA

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by ray_gillespie, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. ray_gillespie

    ray_gillespie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    I'm about to buy a new HD, probably Seagate as I've always found them to be excellent. However, I have a couple of questions:

    1) Is there some kind of problem with Windows XP and HDs over 200GB in size? I read somewhere that certain drivers require special software to initially boot or something.
    2) In a nutshell, is it worth getting S-ATA for the extra few quid? I've got 1 80GB IDE HD at the moment, but I'm not bothered about RAID or anything. I've been told by some people that S-ATA is much quicker than IDE, but others have said there there is no noticeable difference except when running benchmarks. Can anyone confirm either of these stories?

    Thanks. Reps as usual.
     
  2. kcnychief

    kcnychief █▄█ ▀█▄ █ Political User Folding Team

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    #1As far as size goes, you can't have a Hard Drive with more than 137GB be recognized in Windows XP unless you have at least SP1. Since most computers are at SP1 or later (mostly SP2), you will be fine in that regard. There are also LBA issues for the BIOS, but I would say that issue is pretty much extinct.

    #2 I think it really depends on what you are doing. SATA has it's benefits mostly in bechmark testing yes, and the real benefit is if you were to get the 10krpm raptor SATA drive. Otherwise, to be honest, the only real difference is cable management. SATA cables are much smaller and thinner. I would go with SATA if you can afford it, because going forward with computing (64 bit computing, Windows Longhorn, etc.) the higher your ceiling for hardware performance, the more you will benefit.
     
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  3. ray_gillespie

    ray_gillespie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Ok cool, thanks for the info. I'm running SP2 so the size should be fine. Out of curiosity, what's the limit for SP2?
    I've got an upgrade copy of XP with SP2 integrated, will this have S-ATA drivers for when I do a fresh install on the new HD?
     
  4. kcnychief

    kcnychief █▄█ ▀█▄ █ Political User Folding Team

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    I believe the limit is 2 or 4TB, I can't recall of the top of my head. Either way, you should be fine :)

    As far as the CD you have, you SHOULD be fine, but it's not a bad idea to have a floppy with the SATA drivers handy just in case. Personally, I have NEVER needed to do that, but you never know :) Good luck!
     
  5. ray_gillespie

    ray_gillespie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Thanks, I'll have a think and then get one later. I'm definitely going for the 250GB, I have yet to decide about S-ATA or IDE though.
     
  6. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    these days its more about what your wallet can handle and what connectivity optionsare open to you . SATA has the advantage of having full 150Mbps throughput to each individual drive, rather than sharing upto 100Mbps throughpot between 2 drives at the same time, so you will garner a minor boost when performing drive cache to ram cache transactions.

    As soon as you have to hit the disk surface for data, flip a coin :)
     
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  7. ray_gillespie

    ray_gillespie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Thanks for the info. Can you tell me what the difference is between the internal and external data transfer rates? From what I can gather, only the external DTR is increased with the SATA drives that I have looked at, compared to IDE drives of the same size.
     
  8. mlakrid

    mlakrid OSNN BASSMASTER Political User Folding Team

    Im not one for benchmarking my rigs except to see overall system performance after OC'ing. With that said I have 2 WD 36GB Raptors, and not only are they faster, they are more quiet as well. That was HUGE for me personally. Also, if you do complete installs to run of cached info for games, you will notice that runs faster also.
    I love my Raptors... my previous HD was an IBM 120GB Deskstar. It was loud, dependable yes, but VERY loud...
     
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  9. Mainframeguy

    Mainframeguy Debiant by way of Ubuntu Folding Team

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    sometimes you will find you have to buy the leads extra for SATA - but chances are you got them with your mobo... of course there is the SATA airflow improvement and tidier internal look - sure you are aware of that, but not mentioned thus far.

    Often these days the SATA equivalent drive seems the cheaper one to me - guess it is simply down to the volumes they are shipping (you assumed IDE would be cheaper). I do believe it may often pay to have an IDE available and that SATA's lend themselves to RAID striping more readily. A lot of this may depend on any quirks of your particular mobo though and also BIOS revisions (I know my NEO2 has some issues with teh SATA 1,2 channels - so I am using the SATA 3,4 and happen to have a couple of IDE drives in there too.

    My particular recipe is to stick with IDE for my C: drive but move my data largely out to SATA I think (if I can even remember how I set this machine up :p)....

    A little rambly - but some missing info there for you maybe? Not a big choice you are making here - I got excited about sata once, but really it is no big deal, as you will see I think.
     
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  10. Steevo

    Steevo Spammer representing. Political User Folding Team

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    Internal data rate and External data transfer rate are just what they say. Internal is moving data from one part of the disk surface to another and external is to the motherboard.

    In benchmark tests I have run against other drives two 120Gb Maxtors will outperform 2 Raptors any day except a few miliseconds in seek time. The data density per disk and per drive seems to have a bigger effect on transfer rates than does the RPM as of yet. The 300Gb drives here at work are still faster yet, beating my system by 10% on average.

    The cache is a big benefit, but only in burst, and even one 150MBps (Sata) drive can only transfer 40-50MBps sustained rate in the real world.

    Go with whatever you are most comfortable with. And the realisation that some motherboards require a driver to be installed for the SATA to work in windows.
     
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  11. ray_gillespie

    ray_gillespie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Thanks for all the help guys. After some thought I decided to get the IDE version, purely to make life simple for myself, and to save a few pints worth of money :)