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I have a machine with the following controllers:

  • 82801IR/IO/IH (ICH9R/DO/DH) 4 port SATA IDE Controller
  • 82801I (ICH9 Family) 2 port SATA IDE Controller

I have a Seagate ST3250310AS ATA Disk plugged into the 4 port controller (along with a DVD drive). I would like to add another disk to this machine and completely overwhelmed by the options. It has been ages since I've bought a harddrive.

I am not sure that specific hardware recommendations are allowed on, but if people can make some generic suggestions about what type of harddrive, that would be great. The kind of thing I don't know but probably need to know is: the differences between SATA I/II/III, whether a SATA III device is compatible with a SATA I controller, and so on.

While I would like a quick drive, capacity is more important than speed, so SSD is not an option. Thanks in advance for any generic advice. Also, I don't think it really makes any difference, but this machine dual boots Vista and Ubuntu 10.10 with most of the time spent in Ubuntu - I wouldn't be using this new disk outside of Ubuntu.

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SATA II drives will work fine on your SATA I controller. The biggest difference is speed: SATA I allows 1.5 Gbps throughput and SATA II allow 3.0 Gbps, there is also the addition of NCQ. If your not going for a solid state drive it really won't matter if you get SATA I or II. Mechanical drives don't max out SATA I connections, the only benefit of getting a SATA II drive would be the ability to use NCQ (Native Command Queuing) if you ever upgrade your Mobo. Since you don't have a SATA II controller getting an SSD is kind of a waste, it will still be faster, but not nearly as useful for the price if you hook it up to a SATA I controller. As far as what drive to get that depends on the your need/budget. If you have money to burn and are upgrading your PC soon go ahead and get an SSD, if you just need more room than get a SATA II mechanical drive with a good cost/space ratio (generally . Seagate and Western Digital are good consumer brands and $50 is usually the avg. for 500-1000 GB.

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