Hardware & Memory Specs Help, Please?

I am very new to this and I don’t even know where to go and look. I am considering getting a DVD burner. I’ve got the basics down on the software. Now can someone please point me in the direction of where I can find specs on the hardware and memory that is needed to run these burners and get a successful burn? Thanks in advance.

if your PC + Operating System is fairly new, you may not need to make any changes to your current system.

download Everest from

go to Computer/Summary when you lanch it.

post results here and we can take a look and help you out if necessary

I’ll do that and post the results. This PC is about 1.5 years old, but it’s a cheapy $500.00 bargain model. My other PC is an ungraded older Gateway but I doubt it’s up to speed. Thanks, I’ll do this and see what happens.

When I started making backups of my discs I was running a fairly old machine with the following:

-AMD K6-2 @500Mhz
-512MB of ram
-40GB hard disk (IDE-66 interface)
-Pioneer DVR-109 burner (on an IDE-66 interface)
-Liteon 167T reader (on an IDE-66 interface)

Did I have any problems with burning? No
Did the machine produce good results? Yes
Was it slow as death? YES…
A typical DVD copy took 2~3 hours to complete, not 30 minutes.

From what I have seen the burning process eats processor cycles. If you have at least 512MB of ram you are in good shape for memory. As you can see from my sig I have done a good size upgrade and from what I have seen the memory in worse case is only at 50% utillization. If you can go for an upgrade you will see the difference in the ripping speed, but in most cases older machines will work for DVD copies.

I did my upgrade for about $600.00 getting everything (except for the case) from newegg. My upgrade drastically increased the processor speed and memory speed (100Mhz to 400Mhz) and this was directly translated into better ripping performance. Instead of taking 2~3 hours for a backup it’s now down to 20~30 minutes!

BTW if you look at my sig and see my processor you can see that I am overclocking the part. AMD processors love this setting and I have ran the machine 36~48 hours straight without any problems. Overclocking is one way you could go with a lower end AMD processor and get the performance you are looking at.

So what you’re saying is that an older PC can still give you a good qaulity burn, but it just takes longer?

I can’t recall the specs on my hardware exactly, it’s been so long since I’ve done anything to them, so I’ll have to get back to you on that with exact details. Just from memory though, my Gateway is a 500Mhz Pentium 3 with RAM maxed out at 512 I think. It also has a DVD reader in it and a CD Burner (if that makes a difference). My newer PC is a crappy unit - Compaq cheapy Celeron with no DVD reader in it. Not sure what the RAM is on it, I’m thinking it’s only 256 (never upgraded it yet), and I believe something like 2.4 Ghz processor speed. Which of these machines do you think would be better to install a DVD burner? Hard drive is 40 on both. Another question. Is it better to burn with both a DVD Burner AND a DVD Reader, or is it better to do the backup to the hard drive then to the DVD Burner?

Off hand I would say if you can bump up your memory in the 2.4Ghz Celeron that it would be fine for burning DVD’s. My older AMD machine was a very high quality machine when I bought it and it did burn DVDS it just took forever.

OK, thanks. Do I need a DVD Reader too, or is a 40Gig hard drive enough?

You should get a DVD reader as well. There are many members here that could help you with the selection of readers and burners, but I can tell you what I have and suggestions I would have for the system setup.

DVD Burner ($50.00)
For the DVD Burner I am running a Pioneer DVR-109 with updated software (version 1.58). This drive is connected to the primary IDE interface as the master.

DVD Reader ($25.00)
For the DVD reader I am running a Liteon 167T. This drive is connected to the secondary IDE interface as the Master.

Hard Drives
For the hard drives I am running two SATA2 hard drives. An 80GB and 250GB. The 80GB is the main boot drive that is running Windows XP with all the service packs. The 250GB drive is for DVD images and temp files.

For your system 40GB would be enough as long as you have at least 10GB free for images. When a commercial DVD is ripped it’s usually much larger than the single layer 4.7GB so I would say 10GB is a minimum for free hard disk space.

Suggestions I have for your setup

  • Make sure you have at least 10GB free disk space
  • Make sure you have DMA enabled on your IDE drives
  • Upgrade/update to Windows XP with all the service packs
  • Run spyware software to clean up your system
  • Run defrag on your hard drive.
  • Update your memory to 512MB

As far as software I can recommend DVDFAB for making backup copies. Anydvd is also a good choice. If you get a chance tell us what exactly you have as far as memory, processor, free hard drive space.

Hope this helps…

Hope this helps…

Yes, you have been extremely helpful and I appreciate it very much. I’ve learned a lot with your assistance. Thanks again!


You may want to look at www.newegg.com to get great prices and customer service if you want to shop online for a large variety of componants (and it beats running around to a bunch of stores)

Handy little free program that will tell you what’s in your computer here:

Good stuff-


I ordered something from them this week for the first time, so I’m familiar with that site. I’ll check out their stuff. :slight_smile: Thanks, Mike!

You might want to see if the memory in the pentium 3 computer is compatible with the celeron computer. If it is I would max out the celeron computer. Extra memory can really help out. It really depends on what you are doing as far as how long it will take though. The actual burning process will be the same. It is processing of files that can take time (like compressing a movie to fit on a single layer disk or converting an avi to dved format).
As far as useing a dvd rom and a burner, even if you use both, you still copy to the hard drive. Burning dvd on the fly is not a very good idea. There are still advantages to a dvd rom though. It is more convienient (you dont have to swap disks). Some of the beter burners are not the best or the fastest readers. Sometimes a drive will not like reading a particular disk so having a second drive of any kind can make things easier. Fyi the liteon 16p9s is also a good dvd-rom.

Just to follow up with Ripit’s post. The burning of the DVD on my machine is about 11 minutes and it didn’t make one difference if the machine was the AMD K6 running at 500Mhz or the new machine running at 2.45Ghz.

The compressing is what can drastically change from machine to machine (depending on system memory and CPU). As said here I would try to max out the memory on your machine.

Something else that has not come up in this post is the type of memory in your machine. If it is running DDR type memory than you will get pretty good performance, however if it’s running the older type PC100 memory than the performance is going to suffer along with PC100 memory is more expensive. Use CPUZ program to determine processor speed, type, memory size and type. Its a great free tool.

Another thing you could do before you invest in more memory is once you get a reader in the machine copy a nice size DVD (6gb or more) onto your hard drive and run DVD Shrink (free tool) to see how long it takes to read the DVD and compress the image. During this test in Windows XP open the resources window and take a look at the memory and CPU usage, this will give you a good idea if more memory would even help. This little test would allow you to see how long its going to take for a backup copy on your machine without spending $$$ on more memory,ect…

Sorry for posting twice. I thought I might as well give you the link for the CPUZ program.