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Stickman

A cheap, 200+ gig hard drive?

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I read somewhere that you could get a fairly big kick, as long as the chipset supports it. There was a review a while ago that said that most SATA 300 drives do not have the 300 capability 'activated' by default. You need to have a driver or a special utility from the manufacturer to set it on. If I remember correctly (it was a while ago), Hitachi, for example, could run much better after using their utility.

 

I'll have to look for it.

 

That said, I update components quite often because I out grow the capacity fairly quickly. As you said, I might as well get a SATA 300.

 

 

Most things I buy are just below the bleeding edge. Eg, the current MPU in my main home machine is a 4400 AMD DX2, dual core. When I bought it, it had the best bang for the buck in the performance range I was looking at.

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That's new to me that some SATA II drives need the function to be activated. But then I don't know everything. Looks like I need to check with google. I am quite sure from the reviews of my drive that the SATA II feature is active, Chipset supports it and driver is up-to-date.

What I know (actually read about it) is that some SATA II drives don't work with certain SATA (the 150 one) interface chips (mainly VIA chips). Then the drive have to be clipped to SATA (the 150 one) by bridging two pins with a jumper (just like the master/slave jumpers with IDE drives).

 

 

One thing about buying a drive and a case and put it together as an external drive: When I did that some time ago not all of the chipsets used in the enclosures could support drives as big as 300GB or more. Not sure if this is still valid info. So if someone plans on a big external drive and putting it together himself, it might be clever to check if the enclosure suits the drives capacity.

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It was a while ago that I read that particular review. Don't know where I saw it.

 

It may have been a dream. Or simply faulty memory.

 

As you mentioned, there is very little or no premium for buying SATA 2, so might as well.

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I have both 3.5 inch and 2.5 inch external enclosures and both have Firewire and USB 2.0 ports, so they are available. If you are going to go with a 2.5 inch drive, a handy and cheap accessory to have is a 2.5 inch to 3.5 inch interface converter. This allows you to connect the bare 2.5 inch drive directly to a spare 3.5 inch drive connector in your desktop which can be very useful.

 

Also, be aware that when using external 2.5 inch drive enclosures they all have a jack for an external 5 volt supply (rarely included) and its there for a reason. USB ports will only supply 500 milliamps of current, which I understand is not quite enough juice to fully power most drives while maintaining maximum USB 2.0 transfer rates. Some enclosures come with a double USB connector where the additional connector is used to ?steal? extra current for the drive.

 

I have not seen external enclosures that will handle the SATA drives mentioned. For those looking for increased disk performance in a desktop - SATA is the way to go in my opinion. But instead of a single large drive like a 300GB consider two of the smaller Western Digital Raptor 10,000 rpm drives in a RAID stripe configuration.

 

The increase in disk performance is very noticeable. I use two of the WD Raptor 37 GB drives in a RAID stripe for my C drive and a standard 300 GB drive as a secondary which serves as a scratch disk and for doing backups. Not a bad compromise as this combination delivers both high speed and large storage capacity (although on different drives).

 

ST

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I recently went thru this experience. I ended up with a 400 gb seagate barracuda drive think I paid about 10,500 baht for it at one of the Panthip shops on the 3rd floor. I also paid something like 3.7k thb for the enclosure at the shop that's owned by the nice Thai/Chinese family on the 3rd floor. They have a very expensive malaysian fish in a tank in the corner and they sell good quality imported firewire enclosures by Mapower from Taiwan. Don't bother with the Mac stores as their enclosures are overpriced.

 

My criteria was firewire 800 / USB 2 as that's what my PB lets me use.

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There is a very good Mac dealer called The Mac Store in Fortune Town and they have a surprsingly good selection of Firewire enclosures there. In fact I was very impressed with what this particular Mac dealer had only display compared to the others.

 

But again if you want a reasonably priced drive and enclosure you can find it at Panthip. 10500 for the IDE not SATA as my enclosure doesn't support that interface. 7200 rpm, Seagate Baracuda 400gb drive. But the best deal was on the enclosure at that shop I mentioned.

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ST,

 

I saw a mainboards with an external SATA connector. Check the ASUS A8N32 SLi.

Also saw an drive enclosure with SATA connector and SATA disk inside. Connected to the SATA connectors on the mainboard via bracket.

I hope to see more of these, speed will be up quite a lot as it is a simple SATA connection. No interface chip necessary like for IDE to USB or IDE to Firewire.

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Stickman,

 

Take a look at:

 

http://www.pcclub.com/

 

to get an idea on US pricing. There are enough board members that go back and forth that I am sure at least one would be happy to do a favor for you if the difference wa huge.

 

Last time I checked- early last year- the made in Thailand Seagate drives were much cheaper in the US.

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I had forgotten about this until I read a review of the new Seagate 750GB drive. Extreme Tech's techies had poor Burst Mode measurements until they changed the hard drive jumper to allow the "SATA 2" mode of transfer. Reading the full review shows that the faster mode can make a fairly significant performace imporvement in RAID 0 configurations.

 

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1964056,00.asp

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