There has been recently a spate of folk having problems with these ADDON cards.
So some information to help you decide what type will work for you.
Firstly the “Chipset”.
If playing safe the card should be Silicon Image based.
The following cards “SiI0680A” - PCI to 2 Port IDE/PATA , SiI3124 - PCI/PCI-X to 4 Port SATA300 , SiI3114 - PCI to 4 Port SATA150 , SiI3512 - PCI to 2 Port SATA150 , SiI3132 - PCI Express (1x) to 2 Port SATA300. There possibly might be others (example Sil3112 is variant of 3512).
Note ALL cards are SATA I. With the obvious exception of the Sil0680A which is IDE.
Plus the PCIe (express x1), not so obvious. Which is SATA II.
All the above have RAID & BASE BIOSes. (BASE BIOS = Non-RAID).
So if wishing to use as a controller for devices like CDRW’s/DVDRW’s.
You’ll most likely have to *flash card with the BASE BIOS.
This applies whether the card is IDE or SATA.
However things to look for.
I have discovered that some cards are either very difficult to flash. Even virtually impossible.
This is PIN Configuration related.
In order to make sure this doesn’t apply to you.
Get one of the following
Things to note are the tail section - Length (See Amber oblong) - (The relevant) Number of Pins (See red circle).
Note has some pins missing.
Things to note as above.
Difference is all pins are present. This may have to do with greater compatibility with the likes of SATA II.
This is pure speculation on my part here.
I do know that these cards seems to be less likely to require BIOS flashing. As they work with ODD’s regardless (in my experience).
You may still want to flash to BASE BIOS to avoid the RAID set up message in the POST (during booting).
Newer cards only:
Things to note:
Shorter tail section, hence missing Relevant Pins.
These cards can be flashed, usually in DOS.
However you need to know which BIOS chip (i.e. SST 39VF010 , PMC Pm39LV010) is present.
There are many.
Get the wrong one & you could render not only the card. But your motherboard useless.