I am about to build a system and have to forgo a new SATA hard drive for now. The motherboard I am going to purchase only has one IDE cable slot. Are there major disadvantages to putting a Hard Drive and a DVD+RW drive on the same IDE cable?
It depends. If you plan on using the DVD drive and the HDD at the same time a lot you will see a big performance hit, as they share the same bus. If your DVD drive is just there to install the occasional non-downloadable piece of software it shouldn't be too big of a deal.