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How many drives can you run off of a 350W Power Supply (HOW?)

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How many drives can you run off of a 350W Power Supply (HOW?)

Old 10-14-02, 03:53 PM
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How many drives can you run off of a 350W Power Supply (HOW?)

Can I run the following at the same time:

DVD-drive
DVD-burner
CD-ROM
CD-drive
2-Hard drives
1 Floppy

Can I run all of this off of a 350W power supply? Can I buy extra ribbon cables/connectors to link everything? I have three IDE slots, can I run 2 from each, even though the floppy is a different sized cable?

Understand? I know I didn't word it too well...
Old 10-14-02, 04:07 PM
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I was running more than that off of a generic 250W supply. You are fine.

As for connections, each IDE connector can support 2 drives. Your third connector is your floppy connector and can only support floppy drives so the most drives you have have at once is 4 plus a floppy. Time to upgrade to an ABIT IT7 motherboard where you can have 12 drives at once (i just got one).

You can also buy another IDE controller to get everything running at once. Much cheaper than a new MB.

Last edited by asabase; 10-14-02 at 04:10 PM.
Old 10-14-02, 04:10 PM
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You should be able to run all that on a 350W power supply. However...

Only floppy drives can be connected to the floppy drive channel. So you have 2 usable IDE channels for your other drives. Each IDE channel can have up to 2 devices hooked up to it.

Your DVD burner should be able to read dvd movies so you don't need both the dvd drive and dvd burner.

Now, what do you mean by "CD-ROM" and "CD-drive?"

--HN
Old 10-14-02, 04:34 PM
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You can buy a card that will give you tertiary and quaternary IDE channels. Some motherboards also offer this right out of the package, or a IDE RAID. They aren't common, but I have seen them. This isn't what you have though. The floppy connector is most definately not an IDE channel.

Considering what you want, and the fact that DVD drives read CDs, and most DVD+RW drives will also write to CD-R(W), this is what I recommend:

Floppy channel: 3.5" floppy
IDE1: Faster (if same speed, bigger) hard drive as master, slower hard drive as slave.
IDE2: DVD-ROM as master, DVD+RW as slave.

This should give you 100% of the functionality you're looking for and will cost less and be less complicated.
Old 10-14-02, 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by HN

Your DVD burner should be able to read dvd movies so you don't need both the dvd drive and dvd burner.

Now, what do you mean by "CD-ROM" and "CD-drive?"

--HN
Oops, I was trying to type this fast before I had to leave...

I meant CD-RW & CD-Rom.

I wanted to run a dvd drive & a burner to copy DVD's. I make home movies onto disc and would like to burn them directly to another disc.

The main reason I want to do this setup is...sometimes my Dad needs me to burn some stuff for his job, and I have to burn multiples in a short period of time. This way I could do 2 at a time. (Right???)
Old 10-14-02, 05:24 PM
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...also, if I'm running 4 drives (CD, CDRW, DVD, DVDRW), then what about the hard drives?
Old 10-14-02, 05:32 PM
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cdrw drive will do everything a cdrom drive will
same with dvdrw wrt dvd
so 2 plus the 2 hard drives =4
Old 10-14-02, 05:52 PM
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Originally posted by mikehunt
cdrw drive will do everything a cdrom drive will
same with dvdrw wrt dvd
so 2 plus the 2 hard drives =4
Yeah, but if I go with a CDRW & DVDRW, then I can't make copies of dvds. Also, I'm trying to be able to burn two different CD's at the same time.
Old 10-14-02, 06:56 PM
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Can't you save the DVD image to the hard drive to solve the copying DVDs problem?
Old 10-14-02, 06:57 PM
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I've never tried it, but you'd have to be careful trying to burn two things at once because each one would take a fair bit of the RAM/CPU and bandwidth on the IDE bus. you don't want to start making multiple coasters at the same time :>
Old 10-14-02, 07:00 PM
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Originally posted by asabase
Can't you save the DVD image to the hard drive to solve the copying DVDs problem?
I'm just trying to avoid that much time and drive space. I know the drive space thing sounds stupid, but I would have to leave them on my HD. Sure, the parents want a copy, then grandma, etc...I want to be able to just Burn baby, burn!!
Old 10-14-02, 07:48 PM
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If you really want to run all those drives then your best bet would be the IDE add-on cards. But also take into consideration eeyore's warning above.

--HN
Old 10-14-02, 08:04 PM
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OK, two more questions:

1.) How much are the add-on cards, and how are they installed(what exactly are they)?

2.) In what order would I want to connect stuff? What would be the master drives and slaves? Could I put both hard drives on one set of cables?
Old 10-14-02, 08:16 PM
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1. they cost about 20-30 bux. Just install it into one of your pci slots.

2. If your HDD are of the same specs, then put them both on IDE 1 on the mother board. for the other drives (readers vs. burners), mix them--DVD drive + cd burner; CD-Rom + DVD burner.

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Old 10-14-02, 11:15 PM
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On the fly reading/recording is fine if you have a decent system to read and write. However, it's supposedly a better choice to read to HDD and then burn off image rather than on the fly.

You don't need that much room unless you are dealing with dvd-rw/ram/rw+ whathaveyou.

In any case, a decent powersupply like an Enermax, Antec, Sparkle, PC Power and Cooling (!) will do the job with power to spare. All you have to do is add up the draw and see whether a particular PS will be able to handle it. Remember that a quality 250-300w PS will perform to spec and probably above and beyond compared to a cheap 350w PS. You add up the quality of your 5 and 12 volt rails. A cheap PS will have wattage marketed at peak levels but not indicating quality of power. Similar to the whole RMS VS peak output for car amps.

Additionally, you can find the retail version of the Maxtor 80gig 7200 rpm drive which comes with a "maxtor" - rebadged promise - ata133 ide controller card which will then allow you four ide channels. There were some hot deals awhile back for this HDD including two MIRs which dropped the price down to a very good price. Be forewarned that it's not a fluid bearing drive and may be somewhat prone to drive whine ... maybe. I have one and i'm not hearing it at the moment but .....

Last edited by bill_n_opus; 10-14-02 at 11:20 PM.
Old 10-15-02, 06:07 AM
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Again, for what he is doing, even 250-300W will work, even if it is some crappy powersupply. I was running 3 7200rpm drives, cd and dvd drives, GF3, two overclocked cpus, plus all the normal stuff on a generic 250W without problems. Now that I think about it, it might have been a 230W.
Old 10-15-02, 07:34 AM
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Let's see, I've got

IDE CD-RW
IDE DVD-ROM
SCSI CD-ROM
20GB HD
20GB HD
120GB HD

all running on a 300W power supply with no troubles.
Old 10-15-02, 08:30 AM
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Like some of the others, I wouldn't think burning two at the same time would be the best. If anything, the burners most likely aren't both going to be going at full speed. But, I found a IDE controller card that would suit your needs. I have one of these in my comp now because of 3 HD, CDRW, DVD. I haven't had the least bit of trouble out of it.

Promise Ultra133TX2

It's the one on top for $36
Old 10-15-02, 12:12 PM
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Let me just say that what you're wanting to do is an advanced setup. If you're mistaking the floppy interface for another IDE interface, this might not be the best route for you to go down.

Now, if you simply must burn DVDs and CDs at the same time, or a DVD and CD at the same time, you really want to start looking at SCSI. Not only is it faster and handles more throughput, it supports simultaneous reads and writes, and you can put up to 14 devices on one SCSI channel.

Granted, it won't be cheap, but it's a much better solution than the one you're trying to force. Honestly, it seems like you have decided that to copy DVDs, you need a DVD-ROM and a DVD+RW, which is true, but you have also decided that to copy CDs, you'll also need another CD-ROM and CD-RW, which is not true. Now that you've decided this, you're hell-bent on pursuing it, and justifying it by burning multiple CDs at one time. Don't. Moving that much data across IDE channels is not a very good idea, and if you get a fast burner, like a 48x, you really are not going save that much time doing simultaneous burnings.
Old 10-15-02, 03:24 PM
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Originally posted by einTier
Let me just say that what you're wanting to do is an advanced setup. If you're mistaking the floppy interface for another IDE interface, this might not be the best route for you to go down.

Now, if you simply must burn DVDs and CDs at the same time, or a DVD and CD at the same time, you really want to start looking at SCSI. Not only is it faster and handles more throughput, it supports simultaneous reads and writes, and you can put up to 14 devices on one SCSI channel.

Granted, it won't be cheap, but it's a much better solution than the one you're trying to force. Honestly, it seems like you have decided that to copy DVDs, you need a DVD-ROM and a DVD+RW, which is true, but you have also decided that to copy CDs, you'll also need another CD-ROM and CD-RW, which is not true. Now that you've decided this, you're hell-bent on pursuing it, and justifying it by burning multiple CDs at one time. Don't. Moving that much data across IDE channels is not a very good idea, and if you get a fast burner, like a 48x, you really are not going save that much time doing simultaneous burnings.
POW!!(ouch)...I do know the difference between the IDE & floppy interfaces, I just haven't been inside for a while. Actually, I built my computer from the empty case-->up. I'm not saying I'm computer-smart or anything, but to me, I've accomplished alot from not knowing how to turn a computer on before 1999-2000. I've switched sound cards, video cards, floppy drives, HD's, etc... since then. Believe me, this isn't a rant by any means, I'm just trying to say that I do know a little more than some.
Anyhow, my case has the bays to accommodate 4 drives, 2 hard drives, and 2 floppy drives. When I bought new drives to replace the old, I kept the old, planning to use them all. I have a crapload of drives sitting around and I want to try to use as many as possible. If double-disc-burning is a bad idea, that's cool, I don't want to go SCSI. I would, however, like to have all of the bays loaded...I don't want to use a burner drive for anything other than burning, for example, to prevent unnecessary wear on the drive...I would rather use my chep Acer 52xCD to play a "Motley Crue's greatest hits" disc while I surf.

Thanks for all the help and input. I guess I'll just go for the adapter, keep my 300W power supply, and stick to single disc burning, although I'll probably buy a new CD burner since mine is only a Yamaha 16x(Used to be top speed).
Old 10-16-02, 10:48 AM
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Ah. I didn't understand that you already had most of this stuff laying around, and it wasn't clear that you had built your own PC before.

If you've got the hardware already, and the case room, you could hook up the drives, and buy a cheap tertiary IDE interface and see how it works.

You might be able to move the data fast enough, and do simultaneous burnings. I am just somewhat unsure when you start using IDE that heavily and moving data across the PCI bridge. It might work, or you might get a lot of buffer underruns.

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