Is my PC Optimized?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JasenP, Jun 17, 2002.

  1. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    Specifically, I want to know if the following configuration could be improved:


    Primary Master = Maxtor 80gb HD 5400RPM ATA100 with two equal partitions. First partition is for Windows XP Pro and software. Second partion is used for storage (MP3 completed video files etc...)

    Primary Slave = Maxtor 80gb HD 7200RPM ATA133. This drive is used exclusively for video capture.

    Secondary Master
    Lite-On 16X DVD-Rom

    Secondary Slave
    Lite-On 40X CDRW

    Here are my full System Specs:
    MSI6380LE Motherboard
    AMD 1700+ XP Athlon (OC to 1.5ghz)
    ATI All-In-Wonder 8500DV Video Card
    SoundBlaster Audigy Platinum Sound Card
    512mb Crucial DDR Ram

    I attempted to install an ATA133 controller card to have my capture drive on it's own IDE channel, but when I tried to install it, my system wouldn't recognize my network card! I switched PCI slots and I still had the same problem. Weird.

    So, what could I do to improve this configuration?
     
  2. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    The only thing I can suggest is to have the two HDs on separate IDE channels, but it sounds like you've already had grief with that idea [​IMG]
     
  3. JJR512

    JJR512 Supporting Actor

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    This can be difficult with cabling, but you could have the two hard drives as masters of two separate channels, with the DVD-ROM and CD-RW as slaves.
    If you're looking for improvements, I'd replace the 5400rpm drive with a 7200rpm drive. It looks like you already know about the speed benefit of a 7200rpm drive, since you've got one for recording video, but that speed benefit will also make Windows look a little snappier, too (as well as whatever other programs you have). Also, I'd make that drive into one partition. I don't know the exact details, but I've read (in computer magazines) that XP works better with one partition.
    Want more? OK. How about a motherboard with the KT333 chipset. This chipset supports a memory bus speed of 167MHz (333MHz DDR), compared to 133MHz (266MHz DDR) of your current motherboard. Couple that with some PC-2700 memory, let's say a full gigabyte (which I'd recommend whether you get a 333 system or keep your current core). Actually, even better than PC-2700 memory is...no, not PC-3000!...it's PC-2100, a very special PC-2100 memory stick from Mushkin, the 512MB Hi Perf LEVEL 2 2100 222, which, even when overclocked to PC-2700 levels (which is what will happen when you stick this memory into a 333 system), performs better than ordinary PC-2700 memory.
    Here's a specific motherboard to consider: the Asus A7V333. It comes with ATA133, plus ATA133 RAID, but the RAID channels don't have to be used for RAID, if you don't want; they can be used as regular channels, allowing you to have each drive on its own channel.
     
  4. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Unfortunately you dont have 2 7200 rpm drives and since they are both on the same IDE channel you lose all the speed benefits your 7200 rpm drive offers you. But you could certainly upgrade your 5400 drive. Other then that is personal preference I usually notice less failed burns when I set my cdrw drives as master but that is just something I see and not fact.
    As Justin noted you could see some speed increases by moving to the faster memory and depending on how large the video files are that you work with more memory couldnt hurt. Unfortunately the downside is that the 333 memory is more expensive as is another HD (Everything costs money) [​IMG]
    KyleS
     
  5. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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  6. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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  7. Ken Garrison

    Ken Garrison Supporting Actor

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    The way you got your drives setup is perfect. Don't even mix a CD ROM type drive with a HDD. CD DRives are only ATA 33 and it will affect the HDD. Also, if you use an 80 wire cable on a CD drive, it will somehow affect the HDD and think it's ATA 33. That happened to me. Couldn't figure out why my HDD was only reading 33. I unplugged both my DVD and CDRW from the motherboard, booted, and it said ATA 66. So I put a 40 wire cable on the CD drives, booted it up and it said ATA 66. Here's the way it should be. HDDs on IDE 1 and CD Drives on IDE 2. That's the best and fastest hookup to go.
     
  8. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    I attempted to install an ATA133 controller card to have my capture drive on it's own IDE channel, but when I tried to install it, my system wouldn't recognize my network card! I switched PCI slots and I still had the same problem. Weird.

    My guess is that the IDE controller is trying to grab the same resources that the network card needs, probably the IRQ.

    If you go into the BIOS and reserve the IRQ the network card needs for the slot its plugged into, I bet that will solve your problem.
     
  9. JJR512

    JJR512 Supporting Actor

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  10. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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  11. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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  12. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    Thanks all.
    SCSI is not an option really, my home computer doesn't make me $$$ it only costs me $$$. [​IMG]
    The 5400rpm drive has a partiton because the second partition was used as a capture drive before the additional HD was installed. It takes a lot less time to defrag a partitioned drive.
    I have the CDRW and DVD on the same channel because I knew they ran slower than my HDD.
    The memory and Motherboard/Processor are probably going to be in this system at least a year before I replace them.
    It's been a while since I have messed around with IRQ settings so I'll give that a try. I only need to install the network card and then reserve that IRQ for it in the BIOS and then install the controller card and let they system assign an IRQ, is that correct?
     
  13. JJR512

    JJR512 Supporting Actor

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  14. Dave E H

    Dave E H Supporting Actor

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  15. JJR512

    JJR512 Supporting Actor

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    The performance difference may not be that great, but it's still an improvement, which is the point of this thread.
    Two other motherboards I would recommend, actually either of these are better than the Asus, are the Gigabyte GA-7VRXP and the EPoX EP-8K3A. You can read all about KT333 motherboards in a comparison between 18 of them at Tom's Hardware Guide here.
    I don't know about Windows support for ATA/133, but I'm sure that if it doesn't, then whatever drive or card would add that support to Windows. ATA/133 does have some potential advantage over ATA/100, but I think that the 8MB buffer (cache) would be more useful more of the time. Western Digital has a model, the WD1200JB, otherwise known as the 120GB Special Edition, which is ATA/100, 7200rpm, with an 8MB buffer. I have this drive, in fact. They also have a 100GB SE model.
     
  16. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Supporting Actor

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    Jasen,

    I am curious: what kind of transfer rates (writing) do you get when you capture video?

    Thanks,

    -Christian
     
  17. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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  18. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    Christian,
    I can capture 720 X 480 in Uncompressed AVI with no frame loss, if that's what you mean. If you are looking for different info, tell me where to look and I'll tell you. [​IMG]
     
  19. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Supporting Actor

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    I just got a new Maxtor HD which came with an PCI Ultra-ATA 133 controller, but I only get about 10 MB/s (writing), so I was wondering whether I need a faster CPU or not (it's only an AMD at 400 MHz right now) [​IMG].
    -Christian
     
  20. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Do you have the ATA-133 drivers installed?
     

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