New computer, some questions

I will be buying a dvd-burner to place in my new Dell 8400 and am new to all this. The computer is configured with a dvd-rom drive and a cd/rw drive. When I buy the burner should I remove the dvd-rom drive and install the new dvd drive, or should I add the new dvd-burner as a third drive? Any recommendations on a good dvd burner to match with the dell? Currently thinking of going with the Liteon 832, but anything coming out soon I should wait for? Thanks for the help, in the meantime I will read as much as I can on this site to get myself informed.
Dave Scott

Hi and welcome at CDF,

i don’t know how yur system is configured, but i would exchange the dvd-rom or the cd-rw, to add the drive as third device is in my opinion not a really good idea because in that case you would have to add the drive as slave on the primary ide channel and the combination of harddisk and optical drive can cause some problems.
When you are planning to backup computer games, then check our copy protection discussion forum to see if your cd-rw drive is able to beat the newer copyprotections. If it is able to do that i would exchange the dvd-rom.

I would suggest you go for a NEC 3500A or the BenQ DW1620 burner for more information about this drives please check our NEC and BenQ/Philips subforums.

I agree with the 3500 or 1620 recommendation, with a slight bias toward the BenQ. Just because of features.

Also, make sure the ribbon cable connecting your optical drives is 80 pin. It should have the same texture (number of conductors) as the on connecting your hard disk. If it only has 40 conductors (looks more “coarse”) then replace it with an 80-pin.

Some system builders will cheap-out on this. It’s important for signal integrity.

I’d personally take out the cdwriter & palm it off to a friend that’s behind the times, or maybe ebay it :wink:

Stick the DVDR drive where the old cdwriter was :wink:

Yo markvonstriver-

There is an 80 conductor cable - not 80 pin cable (only 40 pins on the back of any burner)-and you have given sage advise on using it on the burner-

I have my Sony 1612 DVD-rom set up as “Master” and my 3500 set up as “Slave” on the secondary IDE channel-

Works great for me-

Most important - use good media like Ritek, Verbatim, Maxell, Taiyo Yuden and you will get good burns-


Careful of Maxell. There’s lots of fakes available ATM.
Also, be careful about buying volume of Riteks. Quality with ritek media tends to vary quite significantly between batches & although the media is fine one week, it may be terrible the next.

I stand corrected. You are, of course correct. I’ve been hanging around forums a little too much and picked up some misnomers.

The IDE standard calls for 40 signal conductors. The extra conductors on the 80 conductor cables are for shielding. Many mainboards can sense which type of cable is present and adjust transfer modes accordingly…


It’s ok bro - we’ve all done it at one time or another-

On the other hand - we have got to help the newbies too- I can just see the thread where one of 'em is looking for a 80 pin connection or adapter…:wink:


i have a dell also and i have the nec 3500 in it and it works very good for me! Also i think most dells come with nec drive in it!!so compatability must be good–