As far as I can tell from reading various reviews most/all Dual Core motherboards have at least 1 IDE slot. These will be required until DVD drives become standard with a SATA connection.
I’m using an ASUS P5W DH Deluxe motherboard. This has 2 IDE slots although one is located in an awkward position at the very bottom of the motherboard and in my case requires a longer than normal cable. The board also includes 6 SATA and 1 e-SATA slots. (
I use 2 SATA drives, 2 DVD writers and 2 IDE drives. The IDE drives are in a striped RAID configuration as a scratch disk for video editing, DVD & CD ripping. I haven’t tried booting to an IDE Hard Drive but I see no reason why it wouldn’t work as I can boot from a DVD drive on the other IDE channel. Although the second IDE channel is for use in RAID configuration you don’t have to set it up in this way.
I do notice that the SATA drives are faster than those on the IDE channel in a non-RAID configuration and about the same in Striped RAID. I’m using a simple benchmark program though which probably bears no resemblance to the real world.
I would recommend buying a SATA drive to use as the OS disk and your other drive(s) as backups if you do get a board with.
I cannot recommend this motherboard at the moment if you’re going to run Vista and want to use the SATA drivers rather than IDE emulation. I tried loading the SATA drivers and ‘lost’ the IDE drivers being then unable to boot from CD/DVD. Maybe in a few months when ASUS have sorted out the drivers then it should be OK. You can run Vista without the SATA drivers but ALL the drives will be IDE/IDE emulation with a subsequent (slight) loss of speed. There may be workarounds for this problem but in my case ‘life’s too short’ to pursue this at the moment.
Other than that I’m very impressed and I can easily overclock the E6600, 2.4 Ghz CPU I have to 3.1Ghz through simple BIOS settings. Temperatures rise only a couple of ºC (although my large case and an Artic Freezer Pro heatsink may help).
I haven’t tried IDE/SATA converters so can’t comment.