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Building a cheap comp

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November 7, 2006 10:44:33 PM

I am wanting to build a cheap computer for my friend. He was looking at crappy pre-builts but I talked him out of it by telling him pre-builts cannot be improved really. I told him I could build him a comp for around his price range (450$) that he will be able to upgrade as he goes along in terms of new graphics card and more ram. Right now all he plays is Diablo 2 and WOW but he wants to get into some of the better games out there in the next four months or so. All I need to do is build him a comp (no monitor) that can play those two games for now but can be upgraded to play better later on. I am linking to newegg to show the items but I will shop around on each item to find the best deal.

Here is what I have figured so far, please feel free to tell me if I am on the right track or just plain retarded:

DVD PLAYER: SAMSUNG Black 18X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 30$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

TOWER: Linkworld 3210-04-C2628 Black 25$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

HD: Western Digital Caviar SE WD800JB 80GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA100 44$ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

Video Card: POWERCOLOR X800GTO256MBDDR3 Radeon X800GTO 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card 87$ (I hesitate to even give him this card because he was talking about buying a good card here in a few months. Should I buy him a little 128mb card for like 40$ so he can continue playing d2 and wow and then when he throws this one away for a better one he will be out less money or is the x800gto a good compromise where he will be able to play newer games at decent settings and can avoid buying a new card for a year?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

PSU: Rosewill RV350 ATX 1.3 350W Power Supply 25$ (I don't know if this is enough power or what but it had good reviews, if this is not enough power please point me in the right direction)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

RAM: WINTEC AMPO 512MB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) 48$ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
(I figured 512 is ok for now and he can upgrade in a month or two.)

MB: ASUS P5L-MX Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 945G Micro ATX Intel Motherboard 76$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Processor: Intel Pentium D 805 Smithfield 2.66GHz 98$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
(Here I am also conflicted. He will only be playing games on this comp, not really multitasking so I don't know if he needs a dual core. I looked at pent 4 but the motherboards for it are all plain DDR ram boards and only a few of them have a PCI express x16 for the video card. Is there any cheaper alternative or is this as good as I am going to find for the price?)

Tentative price 430$ not including shipping or for keyboard and mouse but I think I can get this price down a little by comparison shopping.

I am currently trying to get him to hold off for an extra month so he can start with more cash on the initial build which would make it easier for me but he is all about the instant gratification and is very stubborn, he wants it in a week or so. I am really trying to keep him from wasting money on a crappy dell or something. Once again any advice would be appreciated.

More about : building cheap comp

November 8, 2006 4:14:58 AM

Quote:
Save some money and get a cheaper case.


The most I could save there is 5-10 dollars and I found it for 30$ with shipping.
Related resources
November 8, 2006 6:27:08 PM

Quote:
POWERCOLOR X800GTO256MBDDR3 Radeon X800GTO 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card 87$

It might help here to consider/contrast whatever video card you're thinking about getting with whatever he would get with the "crappy dell or something".

If you start by looking at whatever system he is threatening to buy for instant gratification, it will give you a baseline against which to evaluate your choices. It will also give you talking points to use when discussing with your friend the need to take a breath and chill so he can be happier for a longer time with whatever he eventually gets.

FWIW, -john
November 8, 2006 6:38:24 PM

Quote:
He will only be playing games on this comp, not really multitasking so I don't know if he needs a dual core.

Warning: I should not even open my mouth about anything game related because I am clueless in that department.

That said, my understanding from what I've read (e.g. this article), adding multi-processor support to games appears to be the "next big thing" in PC games. I would guess the most important thing is to keep his options open for an "even better" multi-CPU processor in the future. Look at how good a fit the motherboard you get him will be with Core 2 Duo or even (thinking big) a quad core CPU. (Not for today, but maybe a year or two from now).

-john
November 8, 2006 11:43:16 PM

Quote:
If you start by looking at whatever system he is threatening to buy for instant gratification, it will give you a baseline against which to evaluate your choices. It will also give you talking points to use when discussing with your friend the need to take a breath and chill so he can be happier for a longer time with whatever he eventually gets.

FWIW, -john


Well I kinda did that and the comp I would build comes out on top in everything except price and included software. The E machine and Compaq he was looking at were 370$ or so. Both had cheap ass processors. Both had integrated video cards which I looked them up and they both are crappy and can't play half the games the card I picked would.

He is going to gut the cd drive, keyboard, and mouse from his old comp so that saves some money on this build. The final total with shipping is 465$. I am going to loan him 60$ of that so he can get the comp sooner.
November 8, 2006 11:50:01 PM

Quote:
I would guess the most important thing is to keep his options open for an "even better" multi-CPU processor in the future. Look at how good a fit the motherboard you get him will be with Core 2 Duo or even (thinking big) a quad core CPU. (Not for today, but maybe a year or two from now).

-john


From what I know you usually need to buy a new motherboard whenever you buy a new processor(s) that is outside that original processors category. While this mobo will work with dual processors I doubt it can use all dual core processors Intel makes, that would be too nice of them. Quad core is definitely going to need a new mobo because all the current ones only have the ability to recognize up to two processors.
November 9, 2006 12:11:07 AM

eh P5W DH Deluxe should support quad ? :0
November 9, 2006 1:44:42 AM

I just noticed that the ASUS P5L-MX 945G Micro ATX motherboard you picked (in your original post) has onboard video. If you're going to be buying him a video card why are you getting a motherboard with onboard video?

Quote:
From what I know you usually need to buy a new motherboard whenever you buy a new processor(s) that is outside that original processors category.

Not necessarily. Core 2 Duo is supposed to work in your ASUS P5L-MX mobo, so it is likely it will also support the future quad processors that Intel releases ... at least for a bit. Intel doesn't appear to be giving up on the LGA 775 socket for the near future at least. (Thankfully)

-john
November 9, 2006 7:36:04 AM

Well here is what I was looking for when I looked at motherboards. I wanted at least 1 pci express x16 slot and 2 slots for 240 pin ddr2 ram. This is the board I found that was both moderately priced and well reviewed. A lot of the motherboards have on board video but I don't think that is meant to be used as a video card it think it is more for the initial set up of the computer to get it to the point where you can install all the hardware. Am I wrong in this assumption?

I also added http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1683...
as my Ethernet card. It looked like a good cheap card.
November 9, 2006 7:40:00 AM

Quote:
Not necessarily. Core 2 Duo is supposed to work in your ASUS P5L-MX mobo, so it is likely it will also support the future quad processors that Intel releases ... at least for a bit. Intel doesn't appear to be giving up on the LGA 775 socket for the near future at least. (Thankfully)

-john


I really don't know, this is my first time dealing with a dual core setup. Do the processors sit side by side or are they stacked? When I said I doubt that the mobo would be able to be used on quad core I based that on the assumption that the use of four processors would also require an upgrade because it is a different set up and if I know anything about computer manufacturing businesses it is that they will never pass up an opportunity to make someone have to buy a new something to make another new something work on their computer.
November 9, 2006 8:36:59 AM

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I really don't know, this is my first time dealing with a dual core setup. Do the processors sit side by side or are they stacked?


um, come again? if you have a dual core processor then both the dies are like infused in a single package, i guess they would sit side by side if you looked at them through like a microcope or something, but um yeah, you must be thinking of dual processors, not cores.
November 9, 2006 8:39:22 AM

dude omg there is Ethernet card in the mb u wanted 2 order.. jeez read the specs
November 9, 2006 8:55:19 AM

Have you looked at the AMD AM2 Athlon 3200 ? Pretty cheap here in the UK. Also 7600GTS are coming down in price. Get 2x512mb DDR2 667 RAM and the MSI Neo-F or an Asus M2NPV-VM motherboard.
November 9, 2006 3:10:32 PM

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A lot of the motherboards have on board video but I don't think that is meant to be used as a video card it think it is more for the initial set up of the computer to get it to the point where you can install all the hardware. Am I wrong in this assumption?

Well, yes, sort of. The onboard video is intended to provide adequate video for non-gaming (or more generally, non-video intensive) use of the computer.

If your friend went with a "crappy Dell" for around $400 he'd probably end up with onboard video and would be expected to use it for everything, not just to "get started". In other words, yes, the onboard video is intended to be "used as a video card". Just how good of a job it does is another matter though. Everything I've read says onboard video won't work well-enough to support gaming. But if all you wanted to do was web-surf and maybe play some non-HD video it's probably fine.

Quote:
I also added http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1683...
as my Ethernet card. It looked like a good cheap card.

As someone else pointed out, the Asus motherboard you selected comes with support for a single ethernet connection. The only reason to buy an ethernet card would be if you wanted more than one LAN connection. Do you? (If so, why? I'd be curious).

-john
November 9, 2006 3:36:17 PM

did you forget the cost of the OS?...windows xp will be another cost to add in
November 9, 2006 4:20:35 PM

Some interesting stuff going on in this thread.

Who pays for OS? :p  Just use the serial he had with his old setup.

Remind him if he is planning on upgrading parts in the next few months, a Dell is going to cost him much more to upgrade and be more a pain in the ass.

Custom built PC's are infinitely easier and cheaper to upgrade than pre built company PC's.

Onboard video will run Diablo 2 fairly well, but WoW doesn't run very well on onboard video.

I would say to get the FSP PSU recommended and to get the X800GTO as it will run many of the games he is looking to upgrade to, most likely. If he wants more graphic horsepower he can easily salvage 75% of the cost on eBay and put another $100 into a better card later.
November 9, 2006 5:48:47 PM

Just some stuff I didn't think about before ...

Quote:
He is going to gut the cd drive, keyboard, and mouse from his old comp so that saves some money on this build.

When I first read this I didn't think to ask why you're not carrying forward his old hard drive. In your OP you listed a Western Digital Caviar SE WD800JB 80GB IDE Ultra ATA100 for ~$44. Why?

A number of things bother me about getting an 80GB IDE drive. Your selected motherboard only has 1 IDE connector for a max of 2 devices. With an IDE drive and CD you've maxed it out. Going with SATA is a much better bet if you're going to buy new. Using an IDE drive is a reasonable compromise only if you're carrying over an old drive. If you buy new go SATA.

Every day in every way folks in the computer biz are working long hours to make it harder and harder for you to use an IDE drive. Either stay with the drive he already has or scrounge up the extra bucks to get a decent SATA drive. But don't throw money away buying an IDE drive at this time.

(FWIW, as I write this Fry's has a Seagate ST3300622ASRK 300GB SATA going for $90. Shipped. That's 16MB of cache (twice what the WD has) and over 3 1/2 times as much storage for less than $40 more than what you'd pay for the WD).

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WINTEC AMPO 512MB DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) 48$ (I figured 512 is ok for now and he can upgrade in a month or two.)

If he wants to play games, you want to get him more RAM. Now, not later. In terms of performance, you're probably better off spending less on the processor (i.e. go single-core for now) and getting at least 1GB of dual channel RAM.

When you cut down on the RAM you force programs that use a lot of memory (e.g. games) to use virtual memory in the swap file on the hard drive. This really slow things down. Don't go lower than 1GB on the memory. You'll regret it the first time you try to fire up a demanding game.


I really wish someone else who knows something about Intel processors would speak up at this point. I already said above that I think it's better to skimp on the processor in order to have at least 1GB of RAM. But it would be nice to get another 2 or 3 opinions on that.

Frankly, the only reason to go with an Intel Pentium-D at this point is just to give your friend the option of upgrading to a Conroe Core 2 processor in the (nearer) future. Depending on what you see your friend doing in terms of upgrading in the future, going with an AMD on a socket AM2 motherboard might be the more prudent and cost-efficient path to take.

-john
November 9, 2006 8:02:46 PM

Because I was curious ... and also because I have no life ... I decided to take a quick look at where I thought you might be on component choices and costs so far. The list below assumes no new hard drive. You carry forward the old hard drive as well as the mouse, keyboard, and CD drive.

It also goes with of 1GB of memory which is what I think is the min accepetable amount for a gaming intentioned machine. I used what seemed to be a reasonable RAM du jour on newegg.

The prices are from newegg and include shipping charges. (Hey, they add up ...) The percentages are the component's cost as a percent of the total cost.

POWERCOLOR X800GTO Radeon 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 $93 (19%)
2x512MB (1GB) G.SKILL DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) $101 (21%)
ASUS P5L-MX Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 945G Micro ATX $82 (17%)
Intel Pentium D 805 Smithfield 2.66GHz 2x1MB L2, Dual Core $ 98 (21%)
FSP Group (Fortron Source) AX450-PN 450W PSU, 12cm FAN 2xSATA 1xPCIe $62 (13%)
Linkworld 3210-04-C2628 Black/Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $41 (9%)
Total Cost (inc shipping) ~$477FWIW, the single stick of 512MB RAM selected in the OP costs ~$53. Going with only 512MB brings the cost down to ~$430.

Maybe you could get by with a cheaper CPU, but I'm not qualified to make a call on that.

Could you post the specific Dell system your friend is thinking of getting instead? It would be interesting (to me) to compare it's price and configuration to the component choices above. (BTW, when pricing the Dell, don't forget to include the shipping cost for it as well. It can be significant).

-john
November 10, 2006 4:15:27 AM

Quote:
dude omg there is Ethernet card in the mb u wanted 2 order.. jeez read the specs


I read the specs but I wasn't sure if that meant it was an ethernet card built into the computer or just something else entirely. I guess that is my stupid mistake, oh well.
November 10, 2006 4:23:42 AM

Quote:
Just some stuff I didn't think about before ...

In your OP you listed a Digital Caviar SE WD800JB 80GB IDE Ultra ATA100 for ~$44. Why?

A number of things bother me about getting an 80GB IDE drive. Your selected motherboard only has 1 IDE connector for a max of 2 devices. With an IDE drive and CD you've maxed it out. Going with SATA is a much better bet if you're going to buy new. Using an IDE drive is a reasonable compromise only if you're carrying over an old drive. If you buy new go SATA.

Every day in every way folks in the computer biz are working long hours to make it harder and harder for you to use an IDE drive. Either stay with the drive he already has or scrounge up the extra bucks to get a decent SATA drive. But don't throw money away buying an IDE drive at this time.


If he wants to play games, you want to get him more RAM. Now, not later. In terms of performance, you're probably better off spending less on the processor (i.e. go single-core for now) and getting at least 1GB of dual channel RAM.

When you cut down on the RAM you force programs that use a lot of memory (e.g. games) to use virtual memory in the swap file on the hard drive. This really slow things down. Don't go lower than 1GB on the memory. You'll regret it the first time you try to fire up a demanding game.


I really wish someone else who knows something about Intel processors would speak up at this point. I already said above that I think it's better to skimp on the processor in order to have at least 1GB of RAM. But it would be nice to get another 2 or 3 opinions on that.

Frankly, the only reason to go with an Intel Pentium-D at this point is just to give your friend the option of upgrading to a Conroe Core 2 processor in the (nearer) future. Depending on what you see your friend doing in terms of upgrading in the future, going with an AMD on a socket AM2 motherboard might be the more prudent and cost-efficient path to take.

-john
[/url]


His HD is starting to go bad on his old comp, plus it is only a 20 gb. I got him just an 80 gb because he doesn't download any media he would just play games on it so that is really all he needs. I went with IDE because that was the cheapest I could find with the best reviews.

As for the RAM issue he is only going to be playing lower end games for the next few months, I already told him he has to add ram before he can even think of playing any game made in the past year and a half.

I went with the 805 because it is a pretty sold processor. Also I doubt he will want to upgrade processors for at least another two years. He is not expecting Oblivion or Crysis on max settings, he will not be dumping a lot more money into this for a while, just RAM in a few months and maybe a new card within a year.
November 10, 2006 6:11:07 AM

Ok, first off...get a mobo with onboard graphics rather than buying a cheap vid card. With the DX10 cards coming out soon he'll probably want one, or at the very least a DX9 card with it's price lowered as a result of DX10 cards. The onboard video can always be disabled in the bios. If you do buy a card, you can still disable it right off, all video cards include VGA support, which can also be seen through DVI connections. Just hook it up and you'll be able to see what's going on. Secondly, the case consideration can go both ways. I myself prefer to have a sexy sturdy case and then buy cheap cases to sell off my old systems in. Some people like to buy a new cheap case everytime they build a new system. It's really up to you and how budget tight you are. As far as upgradeability of a mobo, you certainly want to be able to have quad core in the future, however, by the time you get around to buying a new chip you can often buy a new socket that will enable even far better chips. Try to balance your budget. Use one of the few PSU Calculator's (Google "psu calculator" or "power supply calculator" to find the size of power supply you MUST have, and then add another 100watts. Who knows how much power the new cards are going to be using, or quad core really. Plus, you want to be able to add fans and other devices without worry. I have a couple of Enermax Liberty PSU's, and the new Thermaltake's are a good price too. Read some "expert" reviews online, or, go buy a tester and a ton of PSU's and test them yourself. :-P Dual core right now is really only best for multi-tasking...but your system can see a slight decrease in getting "bogging down" too. Soon though, applications will be able to use more than one core at a time. Core 2 Duo's are probably the best value for the money right now, just make sure your mobo can support quad core if you plan to upgrade. Any onboard graphics you find on one of these boards should be suitable for your friend's older games now, and in a few months it will be a better time to buy a graphics card. One thing to note, is that part of AMD's strategy is probably to drop the prices on their CPU's any day now......I for one am waiting. :-) Also, was that two caviars you're getting? If Raid isn't too complicated, go for it. Raid-0 is good stuff, and for a gamer it's especially wonderful as he'll see big saves load uber-fast.
November 10, 2006 6:25:29 AM

Lower end pre-manufactured systems are difficult to upgrade and just crappy for the following reasons...

Cases are hard to open, they're cheaply made with sharp edges, and getting to components can be difficult.

They include ram in 256 or 512mb modules, which if you have two ram slots and want 2 gigs or 4 slots and want 4 gigs, you have to buy all new ram. Try to buy modules that are one gigabyte big, not the 512mb modules. They're really about the same price (2 512mb sticks or 1 1gb stick)

Crappy processors, or they use a good processor as a selling point with a motherboard that has low bus speeds/not enough ram.

Integrated video. If you do get a card from them, they charge a lot more for it than what you can buy the same card for online.

I have a 3 year old socket 478 Dell Dimension with a 2.2ghz processor. The system is still fairly fast. The motherboard has AGP solder points, but no AGP slot. They purposely did not solder the plastic form onto the board. I feel so ripped off. My girlfriend didn't know any better. $1500 could've bought a better system.

Power supply is minimal, as is case air flow. If the case is tough to open and/or there are "nooks and crannies" that are hard to reach and see into, cleaning out the dust can be a trick too.

Those are all reasons not to buy pre-manufactured. The only reason I can think of TO buy one is because you aren't a computer knowledgeable consumer or don't trust your "friend" that much.

You probably do want 2 sata drives. Even if he doesn't upgrade his system for 5 years, a few things can last till then, and all he'll have to buy is graphics card, mobo, ram, and processor. If he spends extra on case, PSU, and hard drives, they can maybe last him for 6 years. Hard drives are one thing people don't realize are a huge bottleneck. Your system accesses your hard drive more than you know, so raid-0 with two small cheap drives is a lot better than one big one. There are rumors about data loss floating around, but if you build it right and don't mess with it and back up really important stuff to another drive yo'ull be JUST FINE.
November 10, 2006 12:07:02 PM

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I went with IDE because that was the cheapest I could find with the best reviews.

If you're going to get a low-capacity drive, at least make it a SATA drive. Here is the SATA version of the drive you selected. Costs the same I believe. Western Digital Caviar SE WD800JD 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA
With only room for 2 IDE devices you want to keep your options open. SATA is also a lot easier to install.

Quote:
I went with the 805 because it is a pretty sold processor. Also I doubt he will want to upgrade processors for at least another two years.

I noticed that the 805 is a 533MHz FSB processor. You can do better for essentially the same price by going with the 820 which is 800MHz FSB. Intel Pentium D 820 Smithfield 2.8GHz Processor

If he's not going to upgrade for 2 years, then maybe you also want to forget about the C2D upgrade capability and try for an older maybe cheaper mobo? (Not sure about this, just a speculation off the top of my head? Older mobo's may also be slower ...)

Then again, if you don't care about upgrading to a C2D, then why even bother with an Intel platform? AMD was the clear way to go before C2D and it may be the best way for your friend to go.

Quote:
He is not expecting Oblivion or Crysis on max settings, he will not be dumping a lot more money into this for a while, just RAM in a few months and maybe a new card within a year.

Video and games I know next to nothing about. But it's worth asking at this point if he could live with an integrated video mobo for those games as well. Postponing the video card purchase is not a bad idea at this time in the product update cycle.

Anyone else out there able/care to comment on the feasibility of low-end gaming with
(1) just 512MB of RAM and a Radeon x800
(2) 1GB of RAM and integrated video
(3) 512MB and integrated video

-john

Edited to add some links ... and AMD and video speculations.
November 10, 2006 2:58:34 PM

Quote:
One thing to note, is that part of AMD's strategy is probably to drop the prices on their CPU's any day now......I for one am waiting. :-)

Who knows what AMD might be thinking at this point? :roll:

But FWIW I agree with you that another price drop should be coming soon. If I bop over to newegg and look at prices for AMD socket AM2 Athlon X2 processors it seems I'm supposed to believe that an Athlon 64 X2 4200+ is just as good as a Core 2 Duo E6300.

Well ............. sorry. I just don't believe that.

And the prices for anything after the X2 4200 make absolutely no sense to me at all.

I haven't jumped on a C2D system yet because I'm waiting for DDR2 memory prices to drop a tad more (I can dream, can't I?). And, now that's it's just around the corner, I'm also intrigued by the possibility of a motherboard with the Nvidia 650i Ultra chipset.

If AMD prices get more real to me while I'm waiting on Conroe, maybe I'd still jump that way. But to date AMD dual core prices still don't make (enough) sense to me to make me buy.

-john
November 15, 2006 3:10:01 AM

Ok I had already ordered everything on Thursday afternoon and I had made the mistake of getting the ide HD instead of the sata. I tried putting the computer together and just have the HD and the DVD-R drive on the same cable. I had a lot of trouble doubling the ide cable around to put the master part in the HD and the dvd-r as the slave. I boot the comp up and the bios doesn't acknowledge their is any kind of drive at all in the comp. I checked to make sure the cables were in all the way (including the power) and still nothing. Just out of curiosity I switched the dvd-r to master and the slave to HD and they both showed up in Bios. Bios will not allow me to reassign them though and when I tried to proceed with windows installation it failed and cited the lack of a master HD as the reason. Am I doing something wrong here? Could anyone help me figure out what is going on?
November 15, 2006 5:26:56 AM

Quote:
I had made the mistake of getting the ide HD instead of the sata.

Sorry I didn't think to mention getting a SATA drive sooner. :oops:  Unfortunately you now know how much easier SATA can be to use from direct experience. SATA only has one cable per device and there is no master or slave to worry about.

Quote:
Bios will not allow me to reassign them though and when I tried to proceed with windows installation it failed and cited the lack of a master HD as the reason.

I'm afraid I'm not understanding what is happening. :( 

What do you mean when you say the BIOS will not let you reassign them? Are you trying to change the master/slave assignments of the CD and hard drive from within the BIOS. I believe that is impossible.

The only way I know of to set an IDE device as master or slave is by changing the jumpers on the device. All the BIOS can do is display how the IDE devices have been configured. It can't change those settings.

If it was me, I'd probably approach it this way. First, I'd verify each device works by itself. So unplug the power for one device (or detach the cable ... whichever is easier to you), then boot to the BIOS and see whether that device is the master or the slave.

Then repeat with the other device and see what the BIOS reports.

If one is master and the other is slave, then things should work. But if they aren't, then also check to make sure the master is attached at the connector at the end of the cable and the slave is attached to the connector in the middle of the cable.

At the risk of confusing you, there is another way to set your devices that might be easier for you to work with. Instead of setting one to master and the other to slave, you could try setting them both to "cable select". That setting instructs the drive to figure out whether it is a master or a slave by looking at which connector on the IDE cable it is plugged into. I've found using cable select makes things a lot simpler. But if it's not clear what I'm talking about then ignore this and just go with what you already know.

The important things to remember are:
-> One device must be the master and the other must be the slave.
-> If you set a device to be the master device it must be plugged into the end connector of the IDE cable.
-> If you set a device to be the slave, it must be plugged into the middle connector of the cable.
-> If you set both devices to cable select, the device shouldn't need to worry about master or slave. They should figure it out themselves.
-> The blue end connector is the one that must be plugged into the motherboard.

I sort of ran off at the mouth there. Hope I haven't confused you and made things worse .... :oops: 

-john, the redundant legacy dinosaur
November 15, 2006 6:12:07 PM

Yeah you are right about changing it in bios, I just remembered I changed the boot drive in it, not the slave/master assignments. I will try your suggestions here when I get home, thank you.
November 16, 2006 3:11:11 AM

I couldn't get them to work together on the same ide cable. I went out and bought a 100$ sata drive to put in his computer and that worked just fine.
November 16, 2006 3:36:10 AM

Quote:
I couldn't get them to work together on the same ide cable. I went out and bought a 100$ sata drive to put in his computer and that worked just fine.

Sorry you couldn't get the IDE side to work. :( 
November 16, 2006 3:57:58 AM

Hey at least you now have an 80gb HD that you can use yourself if you can get it to work in your system. :) 
November 16, 2006 5:46:27 AM

actually I am sending it back along with the ethernet card.
November 16, 2006 5:48:46 AM

No biggie, I just had to loan him the extra cost on the HD till next week. I am wondering if it was even possible to get a hd and an optical device to work on the same ide cable, every comp I have ever had two HDs set up as slave/master and two optical drives on another ide cable slave/master.
November 16, 2006 6:07:34 AM

Quote:
I am wondering if it was even possible to get a hd and an optical device to work on the same ide cable, every comp I have ever had two HDs set up as slave/master and two optical drives on another ide cable slave/master.

Yes, a HD and an optical on the same IDE should work. It's not an ideal situation, especially if the HD is the main HD of the system and the optical is a DVD/CD burner. But there is nothing I know of that should prevent this setup from working. I'm pretty sure I've done it at some time in the past, though not with the HD holding the OS.

I'm confused why it didn't work for you. Maybe it's a problem with those bloody "glued on" JMicron IDE controller chips that Intel has forced the motherboard makers to resort to as a way to provide any IDE capability at all. :x :( 

Oh, well.

-john
November 17, 2006 10:44:08 PM

Quote:
I'm confused why it didn't work for you. Maybe it's a problem with those bloody "glued on" JMicron IDE controller chips that Intel has forced the motherboard makers to resort to as a way to provide any IDE capability at all. :x :( 

Oh, well.

-john


Hmmm that might have been it because I hooked it up every way possible and the mobo would only acknowledge something being hooked up when there was only one device on the ide cable.
November 18, 2006 5:52:30 AM

I doubt it, even the oldest motherboards support 2 devices on each channel
!