How can I use my 3500AG on my new PC?

Hi guys,

I’ve recently purchased a new PC, with the intention of replacing its DVD-ROM drive with my old NEC 3500AG. However, the new PC’s DVD-ROM uses SATA connections, and there are no extra IDE slots on my motherboard! :a

So, I’m wondering what is the best thing to do. I’m not really a hardware expert, but I’ve heard that I could:

  1. Buy a new SATA DVD writer (NEC 7170?)
  2. Get a SATA to IDE converter (seen one for £5 on Ebay)
  3. Use one of the PCI slots, get a low-profile card for it, and connect the drive that way.

Please correct any of the above if I’ve misinterpreted what I read.

Do you guys have any advice on the best thing to do? I’ve always been delighted with my 3500 and would prefer to continue using it.


what about putting your NEC into an USB enclosure?


I’d prefer an internal drive, but am open to the suggestion. Actually, when I first bought the 3500, it was to be as an external drive, but there was a problem with SCSI and a particular version of Nero (details are sketchy in my mind) which just made me give up and opt to install it internally.

The best solution would be a PCI IDE card with the [B]Silicon Image 680A chipset[/B]. This would allow upto 4 IDE drives to be used.
Failing that, an IDE to SATA adapter may be the best solution if you want the drive internal.

I’m thinking it is going to be cheaper, and easier, to get a new SATA DVD writer, as I really would prefer an internal drive. That is unless I could get burns that were just as good, with the 3500 connected externally. Is it possible to get just as good a quality of burn while connecting externally?

Thanks for all the helpful replies so far.


normally there is no difference in burn quality if a drive is installed externally. But depending on the USB (or firewire) controller, the corresponding controller in the enclosure, and on the drive, the maximum speed might not be reached.


I have my 3500 in a Prolific chipset based external enclosure and get 12X writing speed with it. 16X is kind of iffi.

To be honest, I’m not worried about speed as long as the quality is there. Is it as simple as connecting the drive/case to the USB port, and just burning as normal?

You just assemble the case and connect the cables plug it in to USB/Firewire and away you go. But you might do some research in the External Enclosure thread on which ones are good to buy now. I don’t even think you can find Prolific chipset anymore but there are good ones out there.

Where are you located?

United Kingdom. :slight_smile:

OK, the choice now seems to be:

  1. Buy an external enclosure to house the 3500.
  2. Buy a new SATA drive.

I’m aware that the 3500 is still considered one of the very best drives available, so I really don’t want to have to replace it. I’m also guessing that I could buy an enclosure for less than a new SATA drive would cost.

Therefore - and I did look at that huge External Enclosures thread! - can anyone recommend a reliable enclosure for the 3500?

I’d really appreciate any replies. :slight_smile: Thanks!

An external enclosure is about the same price as a new drive.
This might be of interest though

Thanks for that, Dee. Have you had any experience in the quality of such a device? Obviously at that price, it would be great if that would allow me to achieve high-quality burns.

The interface itself should not affect burn quality. It could have an effect on max speed available. You would have to try this for yourself though.