Would ATA 133 card help old SE440BX motherboard?


M

Moe Hair

I would like to add a 40 or 80 gig hard drive to my Dell XPS 400 with an
Intel SE440BX motherboard (running on Windows 2000). Is a ATA 133 card
compatible and will it help recognize a larger hard drive. The Dell tech
support line (which is always wrong these days) says the largest hard drive
the board can currently read is 16 gig. However, they also told me I
couldn't run Windows 2000 which I'm doing with no problems.

Any help is appreciated.
 
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E

Eric Gisin

Certainly 32GB. There is a BIOS dated 1999 on Intel Support, it may support
more.
 
K

kony

I would like to add a 40 or 80 gig hard drive to my Dell XPS 400 with an
Intel SE440BX motherboard (running on Windows 2000). Is a ATA 133 card
compatible and will it help recognize a larger hard drive. The Dell tech
support line (which is always wrong these days) says the largest hard drive
the board can currently read is 16 gig. However, they also told me I
couldn't run Windows 2000 which I'm doing with no problems.

Any help is appreciated.

It's most likely the board natively supported at least up to 32GB, but you
may need a bios update to support up to 128GB or larger.

Even so, the board can only support up to ATA33. You'd have a significant
performance increase by using an ATA133 PCI IDE controller, which should
be compatible and would support 40-80GB and larger drives without having
to update the motherboard bios.
 
B

Bubba

Moe Hair's log on stardate 12 ožu 2004
I would like to add a 40 or 80 gig hard drive to my Dell XPS 400 with
an Intel SE440BX motherboard (running on Windows 2000). Is a ATA 133
card compatible and will it help recognize a larger hard drive.

Compatibile? Well, if you use any PCI (or whatever bus your MBO supports)
ATA controller, certanly. Will it help? Hmm, it it hard to tell. It
depends on your drive and controller. In theory, controller comunicates
with drive's cache, and there is no reason why it wouldn't communicate at
very high speed (~30 MB/s constantly, wich is more than sufficient). Yet
again, bursting with ATAxxx can go as high as 80 MB/s, but IMHO, it's no
use. Basicly, you have to spend money on controller, but if you plan tu
use drive extensivly, you should think about changeing whloe configuratio.
All in all, i'd leave it as it is, and lay on W2k to recognise the drive.
The Dell tech support line (which is always wrong these days) says the
largest hard drive the board can currently read is 16 gig. However,
they also told me I couldn't run Windows 2000 which I'm doing with no
problems.

Since you use W2k, and you plan to use bigger drive as a secondary (not as
a boot drive), than you don't have to bother with additional controllers,
since W2k will recognise drive without any problem, even it BIOS won't.

My 0.02$.
 
M

Moe Hair

Thanks for all your advice. What I may do is buy the Maxtor 80 or 120 gig
HD which comes with their ATA 100 controller (or 133 - I'm not sure).

I was checking the Dell site as this is a Dimension XPS 400 computer.
Some people have upgraded their processors to 1000 FSB Pentium III or
Celeron 1.4 gigahertz chips. The Dell specs say that all these SE440bx
intel boards can handle is 3x128 SDRAM 168 pin DIMMS yet these guys say
they're using 3x256mg SDRAM SIMMS chips because of the last Phoenix BIOS
upgrade (which I have).

It's amazing how Dell support doesn't know the maching can handle Windows
2000 or that the board (with the BIOS upgrade) can read larger hard
drives. So much for outsourcing loads of jobs to India.
 
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V

*Vanguard*

"Moe Hair" said in news:[email protected]:
I would like to add a 40 or 80 gig hard drive to my Dell XPS 400 with
an Intel SE440BX motherboard (running on Windows 2000). Is a ATA 133
card compatible and will it help recognize a larger hard drive. The
Dell tech support line (which is always wrong these days) says the
largest hard drive the board can currently read is 16 gig. However,
they also told me I couldn't run Windows 2000 which I'm doing with no
problems.

Any help is appreciated.

I had a 3+ year-old AOpen AX6BC motherboard with a Slot1 Pentium3 800MHz
E (enhanced on-die cache). The mobo use the Intel 440BX chipset. It
was a rock solid performer. However, the mobo's IDE ports (because of
the 440BX chipset) only supported ATA-4 (UDMA mode 2 for 33MB/s). That
was fine for my first couple of hard drives but eventually I ended up
with two 40GB hard drives with one at UltraDMA-100 spinning at 7200RPM
(used for the OS and apps) and the other at UltraDMA-66 spinning at
5400RPM (for data).

I went with the Promise Ultra100 IDE controller card to provide better
support of the drives. It also allowed me to put the driver-only
supported ATAPI devices (CD-RW and DVD-ROM) each on their own IDE
channel using the mobo's IDE ports and move the hard drives to the
UltraDMA-100 capable controller card and each on its own channel there.
Unfortunately, this card was a bit flaky. On most boots, both drives
were detected. On occasion, however, the 2nd hard drive got missed. A
warm reboot wouldn't work. A cold reboot was needed to have the POST
have the CPU issue a reset signal to all devices to put the Promise
controller in a known and base state. When I went to sell the old 440BX
box, I decided to remove the Promise card since I figured the buyer
wouldn't like a flaky card and would prefer usability and stability over
speed. However, I immediately noticed the drop in performance. So I
went to eBay and bought a Promise Ultra100 TX2 controller card. Many
users that buy the Western Digital drives over 120GB in size would get
this controller included in the drive package. They didn't need it so
they would sell it off cheap at eBay. I got one for $25 (after shipping
costs were added). This card worked great and the drives were at top
speed again.

The only caveat when using an IDE controller card, or even a SCSI
controller, is that during the install of NT-based Windows that you need
to hit F6 to tell it that you will later be loading the drivers for that
controller. Since the IDE and SCSI controllers have their own BIOS and
perform the geometric translation between the OS and the hard drives,
they all get treated like SCSI controllers. You hit F6 near the very
beginning of the install and later you get prompted to insert the floppy
with the driver for the BIOS-controlled host controller adapter. If you
don't hit F6, you won't get prompted, and the setup will eventually
report that no mass storage devices (i.e., hard drives) were found.
Unfortunately, the OS doesn't then remember to use those "SCSI" drivers
when booting into Recovery Console mode (used on occasion to fix a
broken system) and you'll again have to remember to hit F6 and insert
the floppy.

You will notice a speed boost going from UltraDMA-33 to UltraDMA-66.
From UltraDMA-66 and up, you'll see little improvement. While the
hardware benchmarks showed my drives were much faster on the Promise
card, the ones more important are the application benchmarks to emulate
real-world use. Because I kept my drives defragmented, and by having
each on its own channel by using separate IDE ports for every drive,
what was most noticeable was an improved snappiness in loading an
application due to the higher burst speed supported. I'm not running a
file server or SQL database that is in continual use so sustained
bandwidth for the drives isn't the issue; the OS and apps, once they got
read from the hard drive and loaded, won't run faster with drives faster
than UDMA-66, and the difference from UDMA-33 to UDMA-66 is measurable
but slight, like around 5% to 10% faster. But what I liked most about
using the Promise controller and getting the faster burst mode support
was that the OS and apps loaded faster. Windows got more snappy. That
was enough to make me happy and I figured it would please the buyer, so
the $25 was worth the expense, especially since the buyer was family.
 
V

*Vanguard*

Oh, for my first Promise controller, I did have to flash its BIOS to up
its support from 24-bit to 48-bits addressing so it would support hard
drives over 137GB in size. Promise never did provide an updated driver
for their Ultra100 card (well, they did but they yanked it). Instead
they had users use their Ultra100 TX driver. With the updated BIOS and
driver, I could have used larger drives. The Promise Ultra100 TX2 is
already 48-bit ready and its driver or the one included in Windows
(although, I think, you need to get SP1 for Windows XP) will support
large drives.
 
B

Bubba

Moe Hair's log on stardate 13 ožu 2004
Thanks for all your advice. What I may do is buy the Maxtor 80 or
120 gig HD which comes with their ATA 100 controller (or 133 - I'm
not sure).

Well, if it's free of charge, than why not ... :blush:)
I was checking the Dell site as this is a Dimension XPS 400 computer.
Some people have upgraded their processors to 1000 FSB Pentium III or
Celeron 1.4 gigahertz chips. The Dell specs say that all these
SE440bx intel boards can handle is 3x128 SDRAM 168 pin DIMMS yet
these guys say they're using 3x256mg SDRAM SIMMS chips because of the
last Phoenix BIOS upgrade (which I have).

It's amazing how Dell support doesn't know the maching can handle
Windows 2000 or that the board (with the BIOS upgrade) can read
larger hard drives. So much for outsourcing loads of jobs to India.

Look, it's brand, right? So, basicly, what they do is tell you what will
_definitly_ work on your computer. Take IBM (haven't worked with Dell
that much), they have special memory orders for their computers. Why?
Because they are shure that that patircular memory works on your model.
I have very good reason to belive that the same thing is with Dell. So,
you can use 3x256 MB of RAM, however, Dell guaranties you that only
3x128 MB will work.

BTW, here is a tip if you plan to use 256 MB moduls.128Mbit DRAM is
supported by the C-1 (and later) steppings of the 440BX chipset in
certain configurations (16Mx8 organization). So, what you have to take
care of is taking 128Mbit 256 MB memory, and hope your BX chipset is
above C-1 stepping. Just a word of advice, since you will have problems
locating 128 Mbit 256 MB moduls, not to say 64 bit (wich I am not shure
they even exist).
 
G

Gary L.

Thanks for all your advice. What I may do is buy the Maxtor 80 or 120 gig
HD which comes with their ATA 100 controller (or 133 - I'm not sure).

I was checking the Dell site as this is a Dimension XPS 400 computer.
Some people have upgraded their processors to 1000 FSB Pentium III or
Celeron 1.4 gigahertz chips. The Dell specs say that all these SE440bx
intel boards can handle is 3x128 SDRAM 168 pin DIMMS yet these guys say
they're using 3x256mg SDRAM SIMMS chips because of the last Phoenix BIOS
upgrade (which I have).

It's amazing how Dell support doesn't know the maching can handle Windows
2000 or that the board (with the BIOS upgrade) can read larger hard
drives. So much for outsourcing loads of jobs to India.

Dell used a custom version of the Intel "Seattle" main board in this
product line. The Seattle board came in three different version: the
original SE-440BX board supported Pentium II processors up to 400 MHz
and up to 384 MB or RAM. The SE440BX-2 supported Pentium III
processors up to 550 MHz, up to 768 MB of RAM, and used a different
audio chip in versions with on-board sound. The later "V" version had
a re-designed voltage regulator that supported "Coppermine" Pentium
III Slot 1 processors with a 100 MHz front side bus (up to 1000 MHz,
but there are rare in the Slot 1 100 MHz FSB version; the 800-900 MHz
CPUs were used more often). "Tualatin" chips are definitely not
supported and won't work unless some sort of Slotkey with a voltage
adapter is used. Dell used different versions of the board and they
probably just gave you the specs for the lowest common denominator.

In any event, I had no problem using a Maxtor ATA-133 controller with
both the SE-440BX-2 and a SE440BX-2 "V" boards. I think it would work
fine in your system and give you a bit of a performance boost. Be sure
to re-configure the BIOS if you want to boot from the add-in card.

- -
Gary L.
Reply to the newsgroup only
 
T

TE Cheah

| 440BX chipset. It was a rock solid performer.

Performer my foot, Intel's IDE hdd controller is slow & inferior as usual
( like Mercury / 440LX / BX ). www.theinquirer.net/17010203.htm
In 4-02 I enabled a 440BX's IDE controller's DMA transfer, & could not
see any extra speed ! On ALi / VIA hdd controllers, I always see extra
speed, after enabling DMA trnsfr.
In 2-99, the same Seagate medalist hdd ( ATA33, in DOS 7.1 & FAT16 )
scored just 12 in Norton SI on 440LX ( & PII233 ), but 15 on ALi
Aladdin IV ( & IBM mx233 ), both pc`s had 64mb sdram @66.6 mhz CL3 !
 
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K

kony

| 440BX chipset. It was a rock solid performer.

Performer my foot, Intel's IDE hdd controller is slow & inferior as usual
( like Mercury / 440LX / BX ). www.theinquirer.net/17010203.htm
In 4-02 I enabled a 440BX's IDE controller's DMA transfer, & could not
see any extra speed ! On ALi / VIA hdd controllers, I always see extra
speed, after enabling DMA trnsfr.
In 2-99, the same Seagate medalist hdd ( ATA33, in DOS 7.1 & FAT16 )
scored just 12 in Norton SI on 440LX ( & PII233 ), but 15 on ALi
Aladdin IV ( & IBM mx233 ), both pc`s had 64mb sdram @66.6 mhz CL3 !

You had something configured wrong if an Aladdin IV board beat an LX board
at *anything* with comparable CPUs installed, same memory bus freq.

Intel had a virtual performance lock-down until the Via 694X boards
matured. Anything ALI, SIS, and Via pre-694, looked pitiful compared to a
BX board.
 
M

~misfit~

kony said:
You had something configured wrong if an Aladdin IV board beat an LX
board at *anything* with comparable CPUs installed, same memory bus
freq.

Intel had a virtual performance lock-down until the Via 694X boards
matured. Anything ALI, SIS, and Via pre-694, looked pitiful compared
to a BX board.

And even if he did get faster disk access times with an Aladdin board,
what's the use when the CPU and memory is ham-strung?
 
T

TE Cheah

| You had something configured wrong
Bullshit, the same hdd booted up 2 different pc`s into dos 7.1 with
DMA enabled. U obviously cannot think of any other factor.

| if an Aladdin IV board beat an LX board at *anything*
LX* & PII233 ( except its math coprocessor ) was also inferior to
Aladdin IV & IBM mx233 : * took > 4x as long to do IBM's puzzle
..exe test.

| ALI, SIS, and Via pre-694, looked pitiful compared to a BX board.
Mysterious posters can bluff all they want, to push ( without proof ) /
sell their prdts ; no 1 will know who bluffed him / her. Vanguard & u
are shareholders / salesmen of intel.
www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2440675,00.html?chkpt=zdhpnews01
www.tomshardware.com/storage/97q3/970829/index.html
www.techweb.com/wire/story/TWB20000828S0021
www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2566782,00.html
www.winmag.com/fixes/txchips.htm
www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,5093961,00.html?chkpt=zdhpnews
 
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K

kony

| You had something configured wrong
Bullshit, the same hdd booted up 2 different pc`s into dos 7.1 with
DMA enabled. U obviously cannot think of any other factor.

DOS?
LOL, try running chipset drivers THEN compare them.

| if an Aladdin IV board beat an LX board at *anything*
LX* & PII233 ( except its math coprocessor ) was also inferior to
Aladdin IV & IBM mx233 : * took > 4x as long to do IBM's puzzle
.exe test.

ONE WHOLE TEST?
Wow, I guess If we're building an IBM-puzzle-test workstation then we
should go with an MX233 during that era, except that it and the Aladdin
chipset would still be problem for most every other use.

A CPU manufacturer's benchmark wouldn't be intended to show off that
manufacturer's processor? Extensive testing was done during that era, the
low-end MX CPU and 3rd party chipsets were seen for what they are, low
performance relative to Intel's offerings.

To come back years later and whine about intel is just silly and a waste
of time. Nothing but budget low-end boxes had the MX CPU in them. For a
brief while the super 7 platform was a good alternative if the user didn't
need strong floating point performance but rather memory throughput
(relative to the similar cost Celeron w/66MHz FSB alternative) but the LX
and BX chipsets had much better performance otherwise.

| ALI, SIS, and Via pre-694, looked pitiful compared to a BX board.
Mysterious posters can bluff all they want, to push ( without proof ) /
sell their prdts ; no 1 will know who bluffed him / her. Vanguard & u
are shareholders / salesmen of intel.
www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2440675,00.html?chkpt=zdhpnews01
www.tomshardware.com/storage/97q3/970829/index.html
www.techweb.com/wire/story/TWB20000828S0021
www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2566782,00.html
www.winmag.com/fixes/txchips.htm
www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,5093961,00.html?chkpt=zdhpnews

Half of your links don't even work. Don't post links if you haven't even
bothered to check them.

From the remaining working links we can see that you're not really
interested in the viability of the BX chipset, but rather you have a chip
on your shoulder against Intel. I made no claim that all of Intel's
products are bug-free, but if you're going to ignore the bugs in Sis or
ALI products then you must be wearing blinders.

I don't think Intel's products are worth their price-premium in all cases,
but nobody who'd read the hundreds of benchmarks (not synthetic IDE driver
benchmarks but a variety of them) would choose an ALI Aladdin IV or SIS
chipset compared to the BX if the cost were equal. A couple of years
after the BX's release it was still the most efficient chipset for PCs,
prompting many people to o'c them to 133Mhz FSB just to continue reaping
the performance benefit of the BX.
 

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