Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

The external 3.5 bays : any ideas ?

Tags:
  • Power Supplies
  • NAS / RAID
  • Floppy Disk
  • Components
Last response: in Components
Share
May 21, 2005 9:17:34 PM

From a modding point of view ? What are my options ?

Because RAID requires a Floppy disk drive, I'm pretty much stuck having to install an FDD, even though I don't need it for anything else. Does anyone know of cool looking or special FDD's out there that would make this easier to swallow for me ? So far the best I could do is an FDD that also has a 6-in-1 card reader.

What about other options for the 3.5 externals ? All ideas welcome. Thanx.

More about : external bays ideas

May 22, 2005 7:30:17 AM

You don't need a floppy drive with some boards. My Asus P4C800-E Deluxe allowed you to treat any USB storage device as a floppy in BIOS. That means XP looks for a floppy and the first one it finds (floppy A) is the USB device. I "sysed" a compact flash card and put it in my card reader, it worked fine and was bootable. You don't even need your device to be bootable, just readable as a floppy.

So if you have the right BIOS options you could use something as simple as a USB Key as a floppy drive for loading the drivers.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
May 22, 2005 10:35:43 AM

Ah but you're wrong there Mr Blue!!

Just slip stream the RAID drivers you need to install onto a custom Windows XP disk. I've done this... so no more floppy drives for me!! NLite (Google!!) is real nice piece of software for people who don't like to hack about at a low level. It even allows you to strip out components of Windows XP you don't need :-) You can even burn the new streamlined Windows XP to a DVD-/+R so the transfer rate is higher (than CD)!!

Its really nice just to auto-install Windows you can go away and leave it. You don't have any of those stupid setup windows to deal with :-)

If I can do it anyone can!!

Bob
Related resources
May 22, 2005 2:20:05 PM

Didn't know that, especially since I already have a copy of NLite lying around here somewhere. But I have heard of a lot of problems with NLite (not necessarily related to RAID though) so I'm a bit reluctant to use it first time around on a new system.

Also, what happens when I upgrade to Longhorn ? How long til they come out with an Nlite for Longhorn ? Quite possibly I may still have to invest in an FDD then. The thing is, I have the 3.5" bays, so the reasoning is, I might as well use them, either for some fancy FDD (if there is such a thing) or something else.
May 22, 2005 2:23:55 PM

Yeah, but we already had this discussion on the mainboard forum, I simply need a lot of expansion slots on my MB, and I can't find a decent PCIe board with at least 4 PCI slots, except for the one I'm looking at, the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum.

I don't see any candidates in the foreseeable future, except maybe if MSI comes out with a P4 Nforce4 board. Otherwise I'd have to wait until the next socket upgrade. Now I'd love that (since current AMD's don't have DDR2 support) but M2 isn't scheduled for release til early 2006.

So simply opting for another MB isn't an option for me.
May 22, 2005 2:40:43 PM

NLite has worked fine for me... :-) I have also added in a U320 SCSI driver manually without a hitch...

As for Longhorn. Long what??? You surely don't buy this M$ upgrade crap. Its probably going to run like a dog...
Anyways if Mr Gates has half a brain he will manage to make Longhorn do without a floppy drive anyway...(I.e. load boot drivers off a CD like this is the year 2005 and all).

Ah for GNU/Linux desktop that could run all my software :-)

Lose the floppy and put in a nice alumnium fronted mult-format card reader :-)

Bob
May 22, 2005 2:54:27 PM

Why the heck are you rambling about DDR2? DDR2 doesn't matter right now.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
May 22, 2005 3:02:19 PM

Ah but I think a DDR2 module with latency 3-3-3 would kick DDR butt no? Its not the raw speed that counts but if you can get the CAS down a bit with the DDR2 4x clock... Didn't THG do an article on this...

As a DDR I haven't really investigated DDR2 that much.. yet.

Just my $0.02

Bob
May 22, 2005 3:18:46 PM

AMD isn't relying on RAM so much to produce CPU performance: Going dual channel with AMD (A64) gives you around 10%, where going dual-channel with Intel (P4) gives you 30%. So AMD doesn't need the added throughput of DDR2.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
May 22, 2005 3:57:36 PM

Was planning on that :)  but that still leaves another 3.5" bay.

And I am actually interested in Longhorn, more because of its visual effects than any type of upgrades. Will wait to hear how it runs, but unless it significantly decreases performance on a high end system, in comparison to XP, I will probably upgrade within months of its release.
May 22, 2005 3:59:10 PM

I know that AMD is less dependent on __bandwidth__ than Intel. But I presume both are affected by the __latency__ of the RAM connected to them. Intel will take much more of a hit with their (more) superpipelined CPU architecture.

HD performance (or lack of it) is more of an issue for most computers. It would be nice to see 5.25" SATA2 drive based on battery-backed standard 1Gbyte SDRAM/DDR266 modules :-). Ouch that would be fast :-) Flash memory appears to be going no where fast after all...

Bob
May 22, 2005 3:59:50 PM

Upgradebility. If AMD moves to DDR2 as well, then that's where the advances in memory will be from now on.

Compare it to buying a board with AGP, when you know in one year all new cards will be PCIe.
May 22, 2005 4:02:22 PM

With NCQ and 16MB+ cache of course :-)
May 22, 2005 4:27:46 PM

Well actually we wouldn't have room :-) You wouldn't need NCQ or cache... Just loads of RAM slots. Imagine booting from a 10 Gigabyte drive through a 3 Gigabit/second SATA2 connection with an access/seek time of microseconds and sustained transfer rate of ~300Mbytes/second... :-) Woooahhh!!

Why the hell can't some produce this board... Development cost would surely pay off when the orders starting rolling in. You could just plug in standard RAM to keep things simple and cheap.

I refer interested parties to the Rocket Drive (Google) - problem here is that it is PCI-based and so not bootable which makes it pretty useless. If it had a SATA2 interface... well kick butt!!

Dreaming on...:-)

Bob
May 22, 2005 8:21:33 PM

Well, SDRAM is reaching densities where 8GB for 16 chips is doable, so a 16-chip device could hold 128GB of data. I was trying to find somone to develope a board for it, but nobody wanted to help.

MRRAM and other technologies could eliminate the need for battery backup. And a PCIe 4x interface card would be faster than SATA2, if you wanted to make a bootable interface card for greater performance.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
May 22, 2005 8:23:30 PM

2 years for AMD to complete their transformation to DDR2 for high end processors, 1 year just to introduce it. In 2 years you'll want a new system if you're that into the latest tech.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
May 22, 2005 8:24:09 PM

He's speaking of a drive with several gigabytes of cache and no disks.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
May 22, 2005 8:31:50 PM

Oh, the raw math says that if bandwidth isn't a concern, DDR2 600 at 3-3-3 will perform the same as DDR 400 at 2-2-2. That's because the real time per cycle is reduced, and latency is measured in cycles.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
May 22, 2005 8:41:15 PM

I'd actually go with a P4 Nforce4, and get the DDR2, but can't find a board with ample PCI slots and enough functionality to rival the Neo4 Platinum board.

This will be my first AMD system and I'm a bit worried, since its not the best choice unless you are a gamer. Of course that's going by benchmark, I'm sure I won't notice much considering the excellent results that Mobo gets, and the fact that I'lll have 4 Gig ram instead of 1, and that new video cards and creative's X-Fi will take a lot of strain off the CPU.

You guys seem to be AMD guys, both single cores seem to have reached their max, with AMD topping out at 2.7 for a stable overclocked system and Intel not being able to cross 3.8 without burning a hole in the MB. Do the two compare equally ?
May 22, 2005 9:19:54 PM

I think my idea is better.

Why you my ask... :-)

Well why would a firm want to write complex drivers for a PCI Express device for Linux, Mac OS, Windblows, etc. Then re-write them the Linux kernel changes, Longhorn comes out, etc., etc. Why not unify it under a generic SATA2 interface? This is supported by many MB right now!!

I know there are alternatives to SDRAM/DDR ram which are non-volatile... But try making a business case for using them when the chip manufacturers are giving away DDR ram... The board might have to be future proofed to use DDR2 ram but this will come down in price at replaces DDR ram.

The primary benefit as I see will be that latency will be massively reduced and multiple simultaneous read/write random accesses to the drive very well supported. You must appreciate that the raw processing speed of even the high-end AMD Athlon 64/Opteron processors would be struggling to _process_ a _sustained_ 3 Gigabit data stream.

A well balanced system would still allow for a storage hierachy with slow and large storage and the bottom. Hard disks just blow chunks when they have move disk heads around. Solid state storage is the way forwards :-)

Bob
May 23, 2005 4:27:39 AM

The latest 2.4GHz Venice cores from AMD compare reasonably to the 3.8GHz Prescotts from Intel, but consume about 1/3 the power and output around 1/3 the heat. That also means you can keep the thing cool at less than 1/2 the noise.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
!