They will not necessarily take longer - depends on the buffer and speed of the fdrive and type of data - there is no way it is necessarily going to take longer (think about it, the data could be on "cylinder zero" or whatever, the first one, for any drive regardless of size).
You can consider striping the drive if you want to increase speed - these days there are a lot of people moving toward RAID and SATA drives also - these have their own pros rather than any cons.
Consider your needs and priorities - then make a more informed choice, maybe? Also remember if you keep all your data on one large drive you will need to try to cover that from a backup point of view too... Just a thought.
One thing id like to point out regardless what any revies on the net says is that with the hard drives stick for normal everyday PATA Hard drives as my 2nd job i work for a IT Wholesaler and it is amazing how many SATA hard drives come back faulty... apparently the SATA Raptors seem alright otherwise try and stay clear of SATA otherwise if you already got one good luck...
don't worry, someone else on the site was raving about theirs (think they had dual set up in RAID!).... anyway at 10k they are NOT quiet, but their speed is screaming, esp. if you have them in RAID.... Just have to be prepared for that kinda jet engine sound effect!
Actually, nowerdays if you get something like Diskeeper Pro or the one I use on my system O&O defrag pro, your hard-drive can be hot defragged while using other programs (although not of course on the partition you are using which is why I use multiple partitions)
O&O defrag on my system tends to go off and defrags bits when it urgently needs defragging after a certain amount of idle CPU time which eliminates the need to leave the computer on overnight or over a weekend and situations where you can half-fall asleep waiting for the defrag process to finish.
yeah, but in the case of my new pc, dual sata raptor drives, in raid 0. In raid setup like that, it takes just as long to stripe partition the two drives as one and format as it does to format just one of the drives, theoretically speaking. I didnt mind waiting for a good thing.
Try maybe try an extenal HD or a slave. Either way you can keep all your current settings n stuff without goin through any kinda rigga-marroo, and just use the external to keep everything backed up. You can also partition it and use something like norton ghost to back up all your settings so if u do ever crash(god forbid) even your desktop,themes, etc are backed up just how you like em. I use a usb2 external HD just for storage space...it was one of the best investments I ever made.