Big HDD and DVD buner in P-II boxen

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Jon's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804

I've got a Dell Optiplex GX1 400mbr+ that I built up from parts. I got the machine stripped of HDD/RAM/CPU for about $10. I added in various parts to get it back to near orignal specs, including a Slot 1 400Mhz P-II, and 10GB UDMA33 HDD, and 128MB of RAM. Now, I've ended up upgrading the factory CD drive to a DVD-ROM, added a DVD burner, and swapped in a 160GB drive and a 256MB PC-133 DIMM. And all of the drives are on the stock UDMA33 bus. Ick. The BIOS only sees 65-ish GB of the drive, Win2k and FreeDOS only see 130-ish GB, but FreeBSD and Gentoo Linux see the full drive. I'd like to beable to have a multi-boot setup and use the drive at more than UDMA33 speeds, so herein lies my question:
What PCI card does anyone recommend?
I wouldn't mind getting a cheap/used card, and getting a USB 2.0/FW/ATA combo would be just great. Even a simple ATA card would be okay, but less than ideal. SIIG seems to be the easiest cards to find. This UltraATA 100 PCI card would speed things up, but would still leave the 128GB barrier. $29.99 MSRP isn't bad, but for $39.99 the UltraATA 133 PCI would give me the whole 160GB.

For Combo cards, USB2.0+1394+UltraATA RAID would be faster, give the ports I'd like, but probably still have the 137GB limit. SIIG has it reduced to $49.99, which is a great deal, but I wouldn't get the whole drive capacity. The USB2.0+1394+UltraATA133 RAID would be nearly ideal, but it costs $69.99. Ack, more than I paid for either the HDD or the DVD burner, and more than I've spent on the rest of the system itself. Anyone have any other suggestions of cards, or have one they'd like to sell/trade for? I'm a cheap scrounger, so trades are welcome, but a good deal to buy would be ok. Anybody have issues w/ the SIIGs?


I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine. - Fritz Perls

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Joined: Apr 22 2004
Posts: 379
ATA controller

I'm using a SYBA ATA/RAID 133 card that uses a Silicon Image 0680 chipset. It's supposed to support drives over 137GB, but I have nothing that large to try it with.

I'll be more than happy to try if someone would like to send me one.