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I'm interested in an Intel Atom D510 based RAID system. The manufacturer lists the maximum drive limit as 2TB, yet everything I've read says that SATA supports much more than that.

Is the 2TB "limit" based on current 3.5" drive densities, or is there something preventing an Atom system from handling drives larger than 2TB?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The 2.2TB limit is actually a limitation of the MBR Partition Table. To address larger drives you have to use a GPT (GUID Partition Table). However not all OS's support booting off a GPT Partition Table.

However I have no idea if there are any imposed limitations with the ATOM cpu beyond these considerations.

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thanks, if it's just an OS issue than I'm not concerned – cmcginty Dec 17 '10 at 8:42

The BIOS in most computers will not address more than about 2.2TB. This can be overcome on some systems, most you would need a different SATA card to support the larger drive. Additionally no 32-bit OS supports drives larger than 2.2TB (that I know of), and only "newer" 64-bit OSes support larger.

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The SATA is onboard since the Intel Atom is on a Mini-ITX form factor. There is no room for an expansion card. – cmcginty Dec 17 '10 at 8:40

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