This problem plagued me for several weeks, and after reading some of the posts here I am obviously not the only one.. and since this site has been such a valuable resource to me in the past, I thought that I would contribute something back.
If you would like to use the new SATA drives, with or without Raid, on RedHat or SUSE, then maybe this will be of help to you.
I purchased a Tyan K8W S2885 (which supports 2 Opterons, 16Gb ECC DDR @ 400Mhz, and has on-board Serial ATA Raid support with 4 ports), and the drivers were finally released for the following OS's.
Redhat 7.x, 8.0, and 9.0 32Bit
RedHat 3.0 Enterprise 64Bit AMD64
SUSE 8.2 32Bit
SUSE 9.0 64Bit AMD64
If you have this board already, the drivers are on the Tyan site here:
(bottom of the page).
As far as the performance of these SATA drives, let me tell you what I have found... our network is all Dual Xeon with U320 SCSI, and we run a very large database (hundreds of millions of records being accessed and manipulated constantly). When I got my new Opteron system with IDE drives, I tried working with that same database at home.. and I literrally killed 3 separate IDE drives in less than a month (clunk, clunk, clunk).. now I have been running the same SATA Raid 0 stripe for 3 weeks at full speed.. and it runs even faster than the 15Krpm U320's we use on the network (although they are Raid 5).. and I have had no problems whatsoever. For a workstation/home pc.. this opteron runs like a dream, and AMD has really blown Intel away for the money.
If you want a low cost way to get better disk performance, go with the SATA drives.. but be sure that the drivers are available for your controller before you spend the money. I don't know about the MSI or ASUS boards, but I think there are a few less expensive Tyan boards with onboard SATA & drivers available. The 2885 is a bit expensive for some budgets, but well worth the investment if you can swing it.
And FYI, RedHat support told me that my SATA Seagate Barracuda's would not work with any version of their OS... They seem to be working just fine now
I hope that some of you find this information helpful...