Abit BE6 & 5+ IDE devices - does it work?

7 replies [Last post]
deanf
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Joined: Aug 20 1999

Abit make a motherboard -the BE6- which has got 2xUDMA33 ports as well as 2xUDMA66's - does anyone have any experience of using all of these at the same time?

I'm about to build a new machine - for video editing & want to run 3x HDs in addition to a CD & a CD writer.

The idea is to have IBM8.4Gb boot disk (udma33 primary master), IBM8.4Gb 'target' data (udma33 Primary Slave), and a new 27Gb Maxtor as edit drive on one of the udma66 ports. My CD & CD writer then go on the secondary udma33 port.

The theory being to capture & edit on to the 27Gb Maxtor, and write finished videos to the 8.4Gb IBM - thus having a big, fast drive for capture & edit - but spreading disk access on writing & therefore minimising conflict & dropped frames.

I plan to combine this with a PII or PIII 450, 128mb PC100 SDRAM, Matrox Mystique & RR combo, Guillemot Isis multitrack Soundcard. (I already have the RR, but possible future upgrades maybe DV raptor to replace it - but that's definitely future).

Now comes the question - has anybody any experience with these boards or thoughts on this? - I've seen a couple of posts on the Abit message board which seem to indicate there may be problems - but the three disk set-up does sound tempting.

Thanks

deanf1

proposed system:

Dave
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Looked at the ABIT site, there is a ultra 66 controller chip independant of the BX chipset so it may work but their site didn't confirm that. Also even if you can there could be a problem using both busses at the sametime (there shouldn't be but if hardware always worked the way it should there would only be a few messages on this site).

I use a SCSI CD & cd writer, and a removable drive kit for my boot drive.

Try droping the ABIT support team a note to see if they confirm that you can use all 4 channels at the same time.

All the best

------------------
marsh_dave@hotmail.com

Lon
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Joined: Aug 17 1999

I cannot give direct info about this setup.

One big problem you may encounter, lack of IRQ's. The UDMA/33 controller will require 2 IRQs (if you use both legs, and it sounds like you are). The UDMA/66 controller will require 2 IRQs. That's four total. You might be OK, but you better go on a diet for other hardware and this system. You may need to do some or all of the following to give yourself some IRQ breathing room.

· Disable in the BIOS the serial port(s), and parallel ports
· Enable the USB ports and use as many USB devices as possible such as a USB mouse, USB printers, USB scanners, USB modem (I would avoid a USB keyboard for now).

You may also need to resign yourself to using this system as a dedicated DV box (no modem, no scanner, etc unless they can be USB).

With IDE devices encumbering 4 IRQs, things are going to be tight, and a juggling act.

Enjoy! Lon

David Mills
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Joined: Jun 22 1999

I have just built a machine using this motherboard and can confirm performance is superb. The only snag is that on IDE 1&2 it is necessary to use the Standard IDE Driver for some reason attempts to use the Intel Bus Mastering driver fail.

David Mills
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Joined: Jun 22 1999

I have just built a machine using this motherboard and can confirm performance is superb. The only snag is that on IDE 1&2 it is necessary to use the Standard IDE Driver for some reason attempts to use the Intel Bus Mastering driver fail.

Noel Thomas
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Joined: Nov 3 1999

Hi deanf
I have a general use PII 333, 128M RAM, 4.3 G boot drive, and Raptor
I have just ordered an Abit BE6 II, and an IBM 34GXP 27.3G 66 DMA hard drive. I already have an IBM 8.4g 33 DMA, and plan to use the set-up just as you described. Have you built the system yet, and if so what were the results?
Regards Noel

Noel Thomas

deanf
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Joined: Aug 20 1999

Hi Noel,
In the end, I didn't go for the BE6 - I visted the Abit website / message boards and was put off somewhat by the number of people saying that they had problems with drives not being recognised etc. (However - there is now a BE6 version 2 - so the problems may have been resolved)

I opted for adding a promise ultra 66 card to my existing system. This was completely painless and gives me the option of putting the card into another machine when I next upgrade.

Oh, and I went for an IBM 25Gb drive rather than the Maxtor 27Gb - for no other reason than price & availablilty - they seem pretty similar performance wise.

However, I'm now seeing a lot of motherboards with UDMA66 on board (only two IDE ports though) made possible with the new VIA chipset - so I'm half considering another upgrade involving another motherboard - but keeping the ultra66 of course! However - these are just thoughts at the moment.

Lon's comments were right - IRQ's were getting tight - but I managed eventually by disabling plug & play on the bios & manually setting some IRQs.

However - another advantage of the ultra66 card is that the whole card takes up just one IRQ - so in my next change-around I'll use only one mobo IDE channel for the boot disk & disable the other, then put my CD & writer on the second ultra 66 channel - which shoould result in up to 6 ide devices for only 2 IRQs - bargain!

The only problem is that it all started because I wanted to edit video - but has resulted in me spending more time building, rebuilding & configuring PCs!
Still fun though (well most of the time).

Happy machine building
DeanF

Taurus
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Joined: Aug 27 1999

I would just like to add to the discussion about IRQ's on this mobo. I do not have one, but I do have a BP6 which is almost the same. The UDMA/66 controller will, when activated, take one and only one IRQ! Yes, I was quite surprised myself, but this is a fact!

/Jocke

/Taurus