Serial ATA Drive recommendations

Just wanted to see what you guys recommended fot Serial ATA drives. I’m going to be picking some up soon for digital video editing, I could slap them in a RAID configuration in my Mac, and I would need them to be at least 160gb each (2 drives total).

I would prefer at least 200gb drives, but I could go down to 160gb drives if the Seagate drives were really that much better than the Western Digital or Maxtor offerings. Also, anyone know much about Samsung drives? They seem to be new to the game. Thanks.

Seagate now makes 200GB drives.

Which Mac do you have that supports SATA? Just curious.

I actually have a Quicksilver Dual 1 gig G4 with 1 gig RAM. I saw the Seagate 200MB drives with an IDE interface, do they now have them with Serial ATA (I think I was reading an article about their new platter sizes or something).

I just picked up some controller cards to throw in the PCI slots. I know I could have gone with regular ATA controller cards but I figured what the hell.

edit: Is Seagate basically the way to go? Any word on the new Samsung drives? Thanks again.

It’s a toss up. Once you go RAID, differences between individual drives diminish somewhat. Maxtor, Hitachi and WD have the edge over Seagate in linear throughput, but Seagate drives seem to have lower CPU utilization and better random access scores.

Yes, the 200GB drives are available as SATA drives. Seagate just sent me a pair. I don’t know if they’re in the sales channel yet, though.

One other thought is reliability. If you’re going RAID 0, you’ll want rugged drives. You might consider the WD740’s (Western Digital 10,000RPM SATA drives). They are more expensive and lower capacity, but you’ll still get a 140GB RAID volume out of a pair of them. They’re built like server drives, so are somewhat more rugged.

Edit to add: I know nothing about Samsung drives, but I’ll look into them. And the Seagate drives are a touch quieter than the competition.

Hmmm, I didn’t know it was possible for different drives to affect CPU utilization. Do different drive manufacturers provide different SATA drivers?

Dunno about the Mac, but on the PC, the way the drive transfers data on the bus is different for different drives, and may require more CPU utilization than others. We’re not talking about a big number here, and only when you’re really hammering the drive.

RAID, on the other hand, can eat up to 30% of the CPU under heavy load if the RAID controller is of the “soft” variety (rather than having its own hardware coprocessor).

RAID5 can, yes. Even with a top of the line ridiculously expensive for IDE card that handles XOR in hardware, like a 3ware, RAID5 is slow, too.

1+0 is the way to go. It’ll cost you an extra drive, but it’s stable and fast.

Thanks for the feedback. I have a WD 10K Serial ATA drive in my PC and love it but in this case I would need to get the most storage space I could inside my case. I’ve heard Seagates are cooler, which is nice, and I imagine for digital video and audio editing, sustained transfer rates are more important than random access times.

I imagine most Serial ATA RAID controller cards use a software RAID solutions (especially since I only paid 70$ for it).

Again, thanks for the info.