4 or more Burners on 1 Machine: USB, SATA, PATA or IDE

How did you do it?

Do you have sucesss using them all at once?

I have a pretty fast system so I’m sure I could serve up the data quick enough for the DVDs, but the question is USB, SATA, PATA, Firewire or IDE or extra PCI controller card? Which would have the best chance of them all working happily together. Usually people say stay away from SATA for CD and DVD drives.

I am a photographer and on 3 or more days a week I sit at my computer and burn the days DVD’s. I would like to set up multiple burners so I can use a function I’ve seen written into my software that allows you to burn them all at once! Say 4 burners or more on one computer! :bigsmile:


I would think externals would most liklly get you into trouble trying that. I have heard of people doing it with 4 drives though I have not done more than 2 at a time myself. I see in your sig that you are running raptors in raid 0 so that should help with supplying data to the drives fast enough. Normal ide should work just fine though you may have to play with how they are setup a little. Are your raptors sata or pata (ie how many ide spots do you have open on your motherboard)? Burning at 16x takes about 22MBps if I am not mistaken so 4 drives might need data faster than a single raid array could provide but if you use diffrent source drives that might help (your sig doesn’t tell if you have a 4 drive raid or 2 2 drive arrays). What you are thinking of doing is pheasable though if you get it setup right.

I did it by throwing all my HDD’s onto SATA and I have 4 PATA available this way. I also occasionally use for scanning DVD’s external USB setups. I can potentially use FireWire if need be but have not yet.

I have a 10 drive system. Main drive is 4, 74GB Raptors (SATA 1.5GB) RAID0 and Data drive is 6, 75GB Raptors (SATA 1.5GB) RAID 5 all running off a Areca 1230 RAID card (which made my video card look cheap ) that’s plugged into one off my extra SLI PCI Express x8 slots. I have a huge Lian Li server case that holds 12 drives internally and 7 external 5.25 slots are available. So you see… my case is begging me to fill her up! :iagree:

Just wanted to clarify, I have 3 burners and 1 rom in a computer right now and have had 4 burners before. I just did the same as xtacydima, put all hard drives on sata (and or pic card raid), and ran opticals off all ide channels. What I meant by only having done two at a time was actually having the drives activly burning at the same time. I have heard of people having 3 or 4 drives all activly burning at the same time, but that is where I would think that you would have to have things set up right. 4 burners burning at 16x might require data faster than a raptor raid could continiously provide (if you were pulling data for all 4 burns off the same raid array). Of course since you are only burning at 16x at the end of the burn, you could stagger the start of your burn. Further, if you are burning the same data, I guess that depends on how your software handles it (it might not have to read the data 4 times). 8x burning which Is almost as fast would also relieve the maximum data flow required and or you could just read from two diffrent drives/arrays. I’m just guessing at what issues you might run into though and how to best set it up as I have not run 4 at the same time.

Thanks for your effort in helping me through this. I think I might call ASUS to see what they think. And buy the way, I would be burning basically 4 different ISOs at the same time, in a worst case scenario, not 4 identical copies. Again thanks, and I will post whatever they recommend.

Obviously, the best solution is to distribute.

SATA ch.1: 1 HDD
SATA ch 2: 1 ODD
PATA ch 1: 1 HDD
PATA ch 2: 1 ODD
IEEE 1394: 1 ODD

You can also add one or more PCI SCSI cards, PCI PATA cards, PCI USB 2.0 cards, PCI IEEE 1394 cards, PCI SATA cards, and so on.

Call Asus? They are not CDFreaks.

I would suspect that people here might know more about doing such things than ausu tech support would (tech support usally uses underpaid techs that may not be the most knoledgable unless you get lucky and get the right person). I strongly suspec that with a dual core athlon, raptor raid arrays (and I assume plenty of memory), you have the power to do it. It just might require a little playing with the setup.

I did the all hd on SATA and all opticals on the IDE route. I have done 5 at once but it really only goes about 2x with all the traffic on the bus and buffer underuns. all the disks did work though and tested pretty good too. In reality you can do 2 at mostly full speed, maybe 3 at about 8x depending on where they are on the bus. I agree if you had them all on SATA or another fast bus it might work better but you’d need a fast machine with fast HD’s too and a bit of luck.
The five at once took 45 minutes and one burner was in my USB/firewire case hooked to firewire side.
Other problem is the burn only goes at the lowest speed supported by the slowest burner in the stack, so most might do 12 or 16 but one doesn’t like the blank and picks 4 :a

I just ordered one of these to add some more burners in my system. It got great reviews. Link

@Dartman, I’m just curious what you were using for hard drives (just typical 7200rpm drives)? Also, were you reading data for all the burns from the same drive? I’m just wondering if your hard drive speed was a major factor, and if raid or even dual raid would help the situation?

Also for anyone knows, dont sata controlers (at least the nforce4 ones) comunicate directlly (not through the pci bus)? I’m kind of wondering where there might be bottle necks and how you might set it up to avoid them?

I was doing a dvd dub and it went into the main 7200 rpm 8 meg 200 gig WD boot drive here, Nero, disc copy I think, to 5 drives. I used a top quality disk and I think the original speed was set for 12x. four of the drives were master/slave on the IDE ports and the last one was on my vantec external box.
The ide drive runs through a SATA converter to the main SATA port because I dont have any native SATA drives yet and only 2 IDE ports but 6 SATA ports.
Its a 754 A64 3200 with a gig of 3200 ddr and all the usual goodies on a Asus K8N-E deluxe.
The SATA converters have worked perfectly so far for me by the way :iagree:
I just did it to see if I could…

thats pretty close to my main computer (athlon 64 3000 939, 1gig pc3200, abit ax8). I’m also running sata converters to run pata drives but I have two 7200 rpm 160 gig segates in raid 0. It might be interesting to see if the raid allows more burns at the same time as it might allow faster data flow. I might have to try that when I have some free time. Mine is overclocked though so I’m not sure if that would give an advantage. I would think that it wouldn’t and that data bandwith between the drives would be the most limiting factor.

Fyi on a side note, what kind of sata adapters are you using. I have two abit ones but they are imposible to find here and I need some more. I was thinking of just getting the cheap syba ones but even with those, there are to kinds with diffrent contolers or whatever.

This was kind of interesting. I tried 3 16x burns at the same time. I used three diffrent image files (same file but 3 diffrent copies on the same raid array). A plextor was master with another burner as slave, but the slave drive was idle (not one of the three burning). an nec and an aopen were on the other channel as master and slave and were the other two burners used to burn. I used three instances of nero to burn, and started them all in less than a minute (the aopen was the first to start).
The plextor that was the only burner running on that channel finished a 16x burn in 6:43 (and was aparently not limited by not getting data fast enough even though the other drives were burning too).
the aopen and nec which were on the same channel took 24:50 and 25:02 for a 16x burn. They did not seem to change speed at all when the plextor finished burning. It would seem that trying to run a slave and master at the same time is an issue.

Convientlly, this motherboard has 3 ide channels (for 6 drives). I think I’ll have to try running the third drive off the third channel.

So much for the therory that they had to be master. with all three drive that were burning (including the benq that previouslly burned in 6 minutes) set as master and the only drive burning on that channel, times were 15:34, 15:45 and 15:53. I guess either the hard drive or the pci bus must be bottlenecking it.
I guess I could try using two source drives but I don’t have a free drive to do that right now.

PCI can be a pretty serious limit…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pci - Total capacity is only 133MB/s, at least for PCI without any extensions, so PCI can NEVER exceed 6 simultaneous 16x DVD (at ending speed) transfers.

Any resources running through PCI-E or directly on the southbridge don’t count toward that limit. On older motherboards, the controllers were often part of the PCI subsystem and did count toward the capacity, but modern boards would be using a PCI-E lane for them, or southbridge interconnect.

Thanks for all the interest, it sure helps. I just got the rest of my Raptor drives in, 4 of them. Just for example of transfer throughput right now, it takes 1:30 secs to copy 8.5GB from D to C or C to D. The C drive is on the NVidia Raid with 4 74GB Raptors in a Raid 0. Drive D is on the Areca ARC1230 RAID controller card right now with only 2 Raptors in a Raid 0 configuration. I am about to finalize the setup by installing the 4 new Raptors on my D drive. Total specs will be 2 RAID arrays and both will be on the one RAID card. C = 4 drives in Raid 0, D = 6 drive in Raid 5
I haven’t decided if I will use C in Raid 0 or 5 yet…
I will probably try buying 3 SATA DVD drives and putting them on the Nvidia controller. Sounds like the right step, right?