View Full Version : which upgrade would be good?

6th February 2010, 17:01
I have a PC that was custom built about 6 years ago. It still works great, it has a Tyan Tiger MPX motherboard, dual Athalon processors, and 1gb RAM. I currently have 2 DVD burners that are hooked together as a slave/master using a single 80 wire IDE straight to the motherboard in the ATA 100 suported secondary IDE port . I also have 2 HDD - my C: drive has my OS (WinXP) and all of my program files on it, and it is wired to the motherboard using a 40 wire IDE cable to the primary IDE port. My other HDD is a SATA drive that is wired to a 2 port SATA card using a 32 bit PCI socket.

One of the DVD buners needs replacing and I was considering a newer SATA DVD burner wired to the open port that I have on my SATA card. But then I started thinking about other options and which ones would be best for video capture/editing/burning.

I currently have 2 open 64 bit PCI slots, and 1 open IDE port under the primary and secondary IDE ports that is not labeled. When checking my device manager under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, it shows a Primary IDE channel, Secondary IDE channel, and a Standard Dual channel PCI IDE controller. So I am assuming this open IDE port that is not labeled is the dual channel controller listed??

Questions for the PC guru's:

1. If I change my current C: drive IDE wire from a 40 to a 80 wire will I gain a faster data transfer rate?

2. Should I invest in a new C: drive and use the open SATA port for this drive?

3. Should I just replace the bad DVD burner with a new IDE interface and leave all else as is?

Looking for advice and suggestions on which way to go....


6th February 2010, 20:53
1) OMG YES!!! You _MUST_ wire IDE hard drives with an 80 wire cable, otherwise they only get ~ATA33 speeds!! 40 wire cables are fine for optical drives, but really you should always use 80 wire.

2) Yes. Hard drives are cheap and a lot faster than they used to be! This is a much better option than #1

3) Yes. Do that as well. You can get a good IDE DVD-RW for ~ $30

So, get a SATA HDD, and an IDE DVD-RW. When you rebuild Windows XP, you'll need to either integrate your motherboard's SATA drivers into an installation disk (check out nLite for that procedure), or have a floppy handy. Yes, a floppy. That's the ONLY way to load 3rd party storage controller drivers during installation. Thankfully, Vista and 7 let you load off a flash drive (><)

Alternatively, you could save up some cash and get yourself something a lot better :) You can get a Dell Studio desktop with a Core 2 Quad processor for about $400 these days, less if you only want a dual core.

This will provide such a massive performance improvement, you'll literally Laugh Out Loud!!


7th February 2010, 08:03
A 1tb SATA is faster than 2 80gb in raid 0, believe it or not. Consolidate everything into 2 SATA drives: If you have a lot of money, C: on an Intel SSD or a 10k drive, or just two large 7k drives. (Don't bother with a 5k WD green drive except for external mass storage.)

I actually went Blue_Misfit's route a couple of years ago; bought a dirt cheap media system with a quad core, lots of memory, and 500gb hard drive ($500), and already had eSATA drives to boost it. Since then I've upgraded it cheaply with new drives, graphics, and fans - The only downside is that I didn't find out until last week that it had no gigabit! That was unexpected, even my much older laptop did, another upgrade. PCI express will also cut way down on PCI bus contention, which kills your disk+network transfer speeds in heavy use. Check all your specs carefully with the future in mind. I would strongly recommend it, just get an enclosure for your old IDE drive if you can't consolidate and transfer everything.

7th February 2010, 09:27
As you already have a SATA card, either invest in a new SATA hard drive that you will use for booting and everything you want or convert the old one into a bootable drive. If you decide on getting a new one, get a 500 - 1 TB drive, it will be much faster than ANY IDE drive you could get.

That motherboard supports ATA100, meaning in theory the IDE drives can reach 100 MB/s reads and writes with a 80 wire cable. SATA 150 does 150 MB/s so obviously is better.
Keep the SATA card only for hard drives.

You have one DVD drive on one IDE connector. Buy another IDE DVD-RW, it's very cheap. Be careful though, some of the most recent DVD writers will work in ATA66, so you'll need a 80 wire cable to make it work at fast speed - some switch back to a lower speed and use more processor (PIO4) if the cable is the old style 40 wire .

So I'd recommend 2 x SATA drives on the SATA card and two IDE writers, one on each cable as master.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010100005%201038406818&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&Order=REVIEWS ide dvd rw drives

Oh, and get 1 GB of memory in addition to your existing 1 GB, it makes wonders. But check first if the current one you have is registered or not (ecc registered chips usually have one extra memory chip on them, usually 9 chips or 5 small memory chips) and if the motherboard accepts 1 GB modules - you may have to get 512 MB modules or your motherboard may require you use pairs of modules of the same size (I don't think so)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010170147%201052407861&name=DDR%20266%20%28PC%202100%29 for regular PC2100 memory

PS. For that system, it would really speed it up if your boot drive is a SSD one, but considering you're probably going to use Windows 2000 or XP or something that supports two physical processors, even a 40 GB one will do. So I'd suggest the Kingston 40 GB drive, which actually uses the controller chip found in the Intel drives, but only uses half of it (because Intel doesn't allow them). It's still 170 MB/s reads and 70 MB/s writes though.

It's funny, I actually can't find it anywhere on newegg, ncix.com, ebuyer.com, only the 64 version can be found but that uses another controller that's less good. It's available in my country though and you can read about it here:


7th February 2010, 15:37
thx guys...I really appreciate the help. As it turns out, after taking a closer look inside, my current HDD IDE (C: drive) is connected with a 80 wire and my DVD has a 40 wire.

New questions:

Should I swap the 40 for a 80 on my current working DVD drive? Will this make any difference?

I am planning to buy a new SATA HDD to replace my current IDE C: drive (main boot drive). How hard will it be for me to copy all the data to the new drive and configure it as the new boot drive?

I can get by with only one DVD burner for now. It is currently set up as a master on a single cable. If I need to add another DVD burner later I will use your advice above.

9th February 2010, 02:06
Transferring files is fairly easy. There are quite a few utilities that can copy a drive directly onto another one, then you can use the extra space to create another partition. I usually use Acronis Migrate Easy (Kingston even has a package including that!), it makes the migration a snap with automatic resized partition, and you don't need a spare computer or linux LiveCD.

3So I'd suggest the Kingston 40 GB drive, which actually uses the controller chip found in the Intel drives, but only uses half of it (because Intel doesn't allow them). It's still 170 MB/s reads and 70 MB/s writes though. It's funny, I actually can't find it anywhere on newegg, ncix.com, ebuyer.com, only the 64 version can be found but that uses another controller that's less good.

SSD generations go by so fast right now that once a model is sold out, it's gone for good. The current high-speed series is the V+ (http://www.insidehw.com/Reviews/Storage/Kingston-SSDNow-V-Plus-64GB-Drive.html). That said, it's pretty overkill for this unless you need a lightning fast system; the cpu might even become the bottleneck!

9th March 2010, 17:34
To be honest, it would be better for you to save up and build a new rig. You can build a system much faster and more flexible for about $500. If you are interested in that let me know and I could post a parts list. Otherwise, the best thing to do is what Blue_MiSfit recommended. Get a new SATA HDD (1Gb can be had for under $100). Although, honestly, there are other things that will affect the system like bus speed and such. You really would be better off building a new system. Here is a good example...

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042 $55
MB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130233 $90
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103846 $101
Mem: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227496 $125
HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136284 $100
ODD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289 $26
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139008 $55

Total = $552

With some rebates that would bring you down to almost $500

Other things to consider...

BRD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106325 $62
CPU (4core): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103808 $160
Video: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125314 $55 (only if you feel you need more power)

So I guess for between $500 and $600 you could have a sytem with 2-4 CPU cores, 4Gb of ram, DVD burner or Blu-ray drive/DVD burner, 1TB HDD, great on board graphics and audio both capable of handling HD content. Also, this system could last you quite a while and would bring you about as current as you can get.

17th March 2010, 12:17
I have one year old version which have intel processor 2.2 Ghz with SATA hard disk and 512 Mb graphics card whci have well and good capacity to built system.I have also one DVD drive with writer so any one who suggested me to updating new features so tell me in detailed.
Thank you in advance.