SATA controller question

Apologies if this is slightly OT for this forum, but I couldn’t find a more appropriate one.

My current mainboard, based on the nForce 4 Ultra chipset, has its SATA ports natively listed as IDE channels, which I find very useful since I don’t have to mess with drivers when installing Windows, and on the rare occasions when I need to boot with something else like a disk utility or an older OS, it can see all my ATA drives without further complication.

This was actually a major improvement over the old Radeon xPress 200P based board, where I found the effective use of SATA drives in this way to be virtually impossible, to the point where I needed a PATA drive to install Windows and things like the Maxtor Utility, Partition Magic Rescue Utility, and so on, simply could not see the Maxtor Serial ATA HD that I had at that time.

So it doesn’t take a genious to figure out which approach I prefer.

But I was browsing an article on Wikipedia today and came across this:

In early motherboard implementations of SATA, backward compatibility allowed SATA drives to be used as drop-in replacements for PATA drives, even without native (driver-level) support at the operating system level.

:eek: Early implementations?

So what is the story with modern implementations of SATA on newer mainboards? If this native support for SATA as IDE channels has been abandoned, why?

Actually, not long after I posted this I saw the “General Hardware” forum. Could the mods please move this thread there? It might be more appropriate.