Yes, a PCI card will be slower. And if the SATA ports are starting to go on the motherboard, who knows what might be next. Odds are you'll have to replace it eventually anyway, so I'd just bite the bullet now, save yourself $20 later.
I believe that my mobo (MSI 7093) is slowly dying. Before I launch into my question though, I'll explain how I came to that conclusion.
My computer had been having troubles getting past the Windows Vista splash screen. Worried that my HD might be going, I booted into in Kubuntu partition and backed up everything to my external HD. Since I hadn't done it in a few months, I decided to reformat my Windows partition except this time I was going to put the Windows 7 RC on it. I was able to do that without a problem and used it for 24 hours. But after that, my computer couldn't find my internal HD at all. BIOS couldn't find it anywhere. I tried plugging it in to different SATA ports on my mobo but it didn't help. BIOS could still see my 2 optical drives and my external drives.
I had wanted to upgrade my HD from 250 GB to 1 TB for a while so I got a Seagate Barracudo (7200.12 ST31000528AS) from Newegg. When I plugged that in though BIOS couldn't see that either. It looks like the SATA ports on my mobo may be dead. Has anyone ever seen anything like that? I don't normally see partial mobo death.
Anyways, I'm still going to try a few other things to get it to work (including changing the jumpers to limit it to 1.5 Gb/s) but I'm now quite convinced that it's the mobo and not the HD. That's because I put the old 250 GB HD in a G5 at work and that computer found it without a problem.
So, here's the question. I'm thinking about buying a PCI SATA controller card. Will that be slower than when I was able to plug the HD directly into the mobo SATA port?
I'd prefer not to have to buy a new mobo (which would run me around $100 compared to $20 for the PCI card) but might it be worth it. Could this be a warning of complete mobo failure in the near future? What's the forum's thoughts on this?