get a western digital raptor 74gb if you can afford it, second best would be a 36gb raptor, if you are just looking for a 7200 rpm sata hdd they are really all about the same(wd, maxtor, seagate),just preference really, matter of fact they are really no better than an eide hdd.
Seagate are quiter, but you will have to make sure that your PSU has a SATA power cable if you choose Seagate (or you have a molex to SATA adapter) because unlike Maxtor and Western Digital, iSeagate don't use a bridge. If you have the money, get a WD Raptor, they're faster. I wouldn't get a 74GB one though, get two 37GB and run them in Raid 0, then you'll have an ultra fast HD setup.
SATA is a pandora's box to the unknowing buyer. what started out as an ideallic day thinking i needed a new HDD and that it should be a straightup black box purchase (everything should work right out of the box, after all i never have problems with UDMA HDDs)...i bought a Silicon Image 3112A controller card and a brand new 200GB Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 SATA. lo and behold, that was the day 1.
firstly, on installing the card, Windows 2000 takes ages to load. after it does load, my SATA drive only attains 9MB/s read/write (as tested by Passmark's PerformanceTest)... and i can feel it too! copying a 3GB file took me 21 mins!!
ok, mebbe the card needs a new BIOS. i go to Silicon Image's website and flash the bugger with a new version. any difference? nadda.
day 2. my motherboard craps on me. totally dies. fortunately i have a Performance Guarantee on the thing from Fry's... i go to Fry's and get a new Matsonic MS9087C (Intel 965PE chipset) which has builtin SATA support.
i obviously reinstall Windows 2000 and i plug the SATA drive in and still attain crappy performance. not only that, my other UDMA drives decide not to run as fast. how slow? 3MB/s. i could almost cry.
so i go back to Fry's and they give me a new FIC mobo (Intel Chipset 965P). my SATA drive blazes on this brand new thing. but the effect on my other UDMA drives has not disappeared. they still move at 3MB/s.
at this point i'm not sure what i'm going to do. i have read the BIOS may not be updated. or the SATA controller has issues. or some ppl have said the chipset doesnt know how to handle my older UDMA drives.
at this point everything is just speculation but it's really buggering the badger outta me and i'm totally exasperated over the whole affair!