Newbie question on PCI IDE controller cards

Hi guys. I’d been considering about whether to buy a PCI IDE controller card to allow me to add another hard disk, or swap my Asus 4012A CDRW & Lite-on CD-rom drives onto the IDE controller card & allow me to add another HDD onto the secondary ATA controller,(I’ve got 2HDD+2 CD drives occupying all my slots currently).

What sort of IRQ resources will a IDE controller card require? Can they coexist with a Soundblaster Live! or Geforce 3 card (in terms of IRQ M/b resources), & yet operate efficiently at tasks like video capturing for example?

Likewise would there be issues if I plugged the CD drives into the controller card rather than running them off the motherboard ATA controller instead?:confused:

Thanks in advance for your thoughts guys.

I have a PCI IDE controller in my PC connected to a ATA100 20GB Fijitsu hard drive on the primary port an a CD-Recorder & Zip drive on the secondary port. On the motherboard, I have a ATA133 80GB maxtor hard drive connected to the primary port and a DVD-ROM drive connected to the secondary port. :wink: I never had any conflict isssues from what I remember with the PCI IDE card and have several other PCI devices installed: Creative SB Audigy player 5.1, Haupauge Nicam TV tuner and a network card. Also, I haven’t seen it affect the performance of Video capturing or have any affect on graphics performance, such as on checking with 3D-Mark. The card does use two extra IRQs; one for each controller, but on my system, they are shared with other devices from what I remember. I know of many people who use IDE controller cards like mine to use two hard drives simultaneously along with two CD/DVD-ROM drives and a Zip drive. The only problem I heard of is that some older PCs (PII 233MHz, etc.) cannot be configured to boot of a hard drive or CD-ROM drive connected to the PCI IDE controller, but I never heard of anyone having any sort of comflict issues.

Just note that a PCI IDE controller typically adds 10 - 20 seconds to the boot time as the BIOS and Windows starting up must detect 4 extra IDE locations for possible drives.

Whether you have IRQ sharing/conflict will depend on your board and which slot you put the card in. Most boards have sharing between certain slots and/or between slots and other on-board resources.
In general, it’s much better to use the card for HD’s only, and keep the optical drives on the MB. Many burning applications and utilities will not properly access drives on a card.

Thank you very much for the input guys.
:slight_smile: