Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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 SuperUser.com, 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.

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 0 down vote accepted

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.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.