Hard Disk Buying

  allstar 17:37 24 May 2003


When purchasing a hard disk, what are the features to look out for?

Also, which manufacturers have a good reputation?

  MartinT-B 17:43 24 May 2003

I thoroughly reccommend the Western Digital Caviar 'Special' with 8MB cache and spinning at 7200.

This (with the cache) is almost as good as a scsi drive spinning at 10,000rpm.

the faster the HDD spins the lower the 'seek time' and therefore the quicker it fnds info.

My HDD LED barely blinks once windows are loaded, only when recording or playing a game.

  allstar 17:46 24 May 2003

Thanks for the reply.

Just looking and am not sure what the difference between IDE and Serial ATA is. Should I get one or the other?

  MartinT-B 17:55 24 May 2003

With serial ATA you need a serial ATA controller. Only the newer boards have that.

IDE means integrated device electronics and is the old version of the HDD controller. Most people still call it an IDE connection when it is Techncally an ATA connection.

You should look for a HDD with ATA 100. You might be able to get an ATA 133, but most are 100. (ATA means Advanced Technology Attachment)

  allstar 18:00 24 May 2003

Thank you.

I was looking at the Abit NF7-S mobo with 2 x Serial ATA 150 Connectors.

I assume that ATA 150 is better than ATA 100?

  MartinT-B 18:04 24 May 2003


Yes but serial ATA HDDs are more expensive than normal ones atm.

My mobo (Asus A7N8X deluxe) has 2 controllers, but I won't be using them for a while.

Seagate make one - click here for a review of it.

so do Maxtor click here

as do Western Digital click here

  allstar 18:16 24 May 2003

What if I was to ge tan IDE to Serial ATA converter cable. Would that work with an IDE HDD master and HDD slave to a Serial ATA mobo?

  MartinT-B 18:30 24 May 2003


I have seen you other post :)

You want to get the Abit Mobo, and want an HDD to go with.

If you're getting a mobo with the controllers then you should get the Serial ATA (SATA) cable with it (I did). If you decide to use them with the SATA HDDs the your IDE connector will be free for your DVDF, CDR-R/W.

Why would you need an IDE to SATA converter cable? Either you buy SATA Hard Drive(s) in whcih case use the SATA cable, or IDE Hard Drive(s), in which case use the IDE cable.

  allstar 19:57 24 May 2003

Martin T-B - thanks for the replies. I appreciate your help. The problem is as far as I can see the Abit mobo doesnt have an IDE connector interface.

  allstar 20:01 24 May 2003

forgot to say, I have a fixed budget and a Serial ATA hard disk is taking it above the budget. I am trying to tweak the other components, but the smallest Serial ATA hard disk I have found is 80 Gb and I dont really think I need that. Also, I have a 10Gb IDE hard disk already and was looking for really a 30Gb hard disk at most to run as the master.

  MartinT-B 20:07 24 May 2003

yes it does :0

It's just a bit confusing - too many name sofr essentially the same thing

click here is your board right?

this: 2 x Ultra DMA 33/66/100/133 Connectors
means 2 IDE connectors. Ultra DMA means Ultra Direct Memory Access at 33/66/100 or 133 MB per sec.

My real concern, looking at it again, is that it has 2x USB2 "headers". I think this means that the USB2 is not already there, they suppy some cables and a backplate that covers goes over one of your PCI exit slots.

Same with Firewire. Having said that My PC has Firewire headers and I don't need them.

It has on-board LAN, which is good. But for £77 + VAT and Post I'd want proper USB (at least 2) with extra headers too.

I have the Asus A7N8X Deluxe with 4 usb2, and header for 2 more. + 2 LAN, onboard 6.1 sound etc.

click here

it's only slighty more than the Abit

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