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I have a Gigabyte-EX58-UD5 (rev. 1.0) motherboard (reference docs here). The motherboard has a number of SATA connectiors, 6 are powered by an Intel southbridge and 4 are powered by some Gigabyte SATA2 chip.

Additionally, I have 3 hard disks:

  • a 64GB Kingston SSD
  • a 1TB Western Digital Black HDD
  • a 2TB Western Digital Green HDD

(you can google these if you want, they are pretty standard ones)

My goals would be to have a stable system that also have acceptable performance. I don't really care for RAID setups and such, I have external backups of all my important data.

So my questions are:

  • to which SATA connectors should I connect my disks?
  • what BIOS settings would you recommend regarding AHCI and similar things?
  • to which disc should I install Windows 7? (I'd really go for the SSD if nobody convinces otherwise)
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What operating systems are you intending to install? Just Windows 7? –  evol Oct 17 '10 at 18:05
    
@evol: yes, only Windows 7. I have some others in Virtualbox but that doesn't matter. –  Zizzencs Oct 17 '10 at 18:40

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

To answer your questions:

  1. The SATA connectors controlled by the Intel ICH10R Southbridge will give you better performance than the Gigabyte SATA2 chip (Which is actually a JMicron controller). i.e. you should connect your hard disks to any of the blue coloured ports labelled SATA2_0, SATA2_1, SATA2_2, SATA2_3, SATA2_4, SATA2_5. Also, since these ports are native to the chipset you won't have to deal with any JMicron drivers.

  2. You should set the SATA mode to XHD which means the ports will be controlled by Intel RAID BIOS (even though you won't be implementing RAID it doesn't matter), which automatically enables AHCI (essential for SSD's) and provides better flexibility and compatability.

  3. Windows 7 should be installed on the SSD for optimal performance. Programs that you use frequently (eg. browsers, Office etc.) should also be installed on the SSD so they load fast and snappy for you. If you have big programs/games to install that won't fit on the SSD then you should install them on the WD 1TB Black HDD as the Black series has better performance than Green. Everything else such as documents, videos, photos etc. can go on the Green drive.

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Thanks for the exhaustive answer. Actually, I I'll install Windows, Google Chrome and World of Warcraft on the SSH, as these are the only programs I use frequently. –  Zizzencs Oct 17 '10 at 18:42

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