Pentium II @ 233MHz usable for DVD RW drive?

A friend has a 1998 PC with a Pentium II (Pentium 2) @ 233MHz and just 192MB of memory and Win XP Pro.

It is actually AMAZINGLY usable for email / surfing / MP3 audio and basic file/printer networking with another Win XP Pro.

Currently it has no working writable optical media, just an inherited DVD-ROM drive.

Need to add A writable optical drive and decision is

[li]CD RW drive c£15
[/li][li]DVD RW drive c£35

The issue with a DVD drive is whether the CPU is up to the job. Can’t find much detail but the few drives I have found proper “minimum system requirements” for say Pentium III 550MHz (which is more than double the Specmark of a Pentium II @ 233MHz).

The applications are music CDs, and backing up data from the 2 PC’s hard-drives.

No idea what would happen with the “underpowered” CPU ? Lots of coasters ? Operating at just 1x rather than 16x or 54x ?

(Obviously the real solution is a better PC, but take the existing PC/CPU as a given and the only choice between CD or DVD capabiltiy.)

Any help/advice/experience appreciated.

If it’s a 440bx chipset, NO, it will be a horrible DOG. My friend had a P3 700 laptop with the 440bx chipset, and it wouldn’t burn right @ 8x, the buffer would drop, which made for funky burns. I’d say if it’s an 810 chipset or better, it will work OK, but DVD shrink is pretty much out of the question. If all it’s going to do is burn files, it will be allright. Nero, or other burning software may refuse to install on a puter that slow, I’d say it’s a BAD IDEA no matter how you look at it. Another friend of mine has a P3 500 that he can run DVD shrink on, and it’s decent, but SLOW! The encoding process SUX, it can take 2+ hours if it’s got a lot to do. So that would be less than half the speed, so probably 4 hour encode times. It might not meet the minimum requirements though, so it might not run. :doh:

If the processor is that old, the chipset is almost gauranteed to be problematic.

I’d it’s say the opposite, 440BX is known to be a very good chipset that surpasses even newer ones (esp. i810) when it comes to performance. It’ll work fine but you will certainly need a new hard drive as the ones “included” in the first place are very slow (honestly, dont even think about trying).
4x will work without a doubt but it needs to be dedicated.

And for the record, my old K6-2 400Mhz using 430TX (a lot slower than 440BX) can push about 30mbyte/s so it’ll work fine.

IMHO, too less power and too less mem with that.
You could maybe burn up dvd to 4x if you are lucky, but never more.
All that obsolete hardware is best described as a bottleneck.

Guyz. Thanks for the prompt and interesting feedback.

The motherboard is an Intel one with Intel 440LX chipset.

It’s got two reasonable added in hard-drives a 9GB IBM SCSI and a 13GB Maxtor Diamondmax 7200 - (and a beefed up power supply hand-me down from another PC).

Sounds as if the view is that for CD writing will be fine, and can expect to make successful SLOW DVD writes of raw data (ie file backups at 1x or 4x speed), but obviously unsuited to DVD Video data processing.

Hence buying an older/cheaper DVD-RW drive with 1x 4x (8x as few retailers seem to have 4x left) rather than a modern 16x seems appropriate and can be found for £23 which is worth it.

I’m kinda in the middle on this one…
your main bottleneck is the FSB @ 66MHz - hence the 440LX
only a PII 350MHz and higher get/use the 100MHZ FSB - and the 440BX set - which was awesome at the time. I have a 350 setup as I describe - and I burn CDs at 40x with it easily…BUT encoding / decoding or copying 2+GB files across partitions pins the CPU @100% - but it doesn’t crash :bigsmile:

I would ADD MORE RAM too

btw - the 1st 810s were excruciatingly slow and hampered - even compared to the 440bx - but the 810 era is when the main mobo design changed from a traditional N/S Bridge to MCH/ICH…so the 815s are better as th increase in UDMA from 2 to 4 became available then. The P3 w/815 chipset has SSE - whereas the PII/440bx doesn’t. (MMXII only)

what are you testing your transfer rates with ? I’d like to try myself

At the time I used HDTach 2.61 (newer versions seems to benchmark poorly).

thanks - but can’t seem to find it easily - anywho - found ATTO tech utilities (Bench32 and Windows HBA Utilities v3.00) and may try them - had to register to d/l
Second hit on Google if you search for hdtach 2.61…

thanks - I did exactly that search (I’m actually good at that searching crap) - and found the Orig site “simplisoft” (tlcdlabs ?) - which is how I like to obtain any previously unknown (atleast to me) tools – but anyway, that link seems to be in a diff language :eek: (Polish ?) - but perhaps when installing, it will allow me to choose English/US ?

oops - google translation don’t work too well either…but if you can verify the validity of that site for me - I’ll take the plunge. I usually d/l and scan anything/everything I d/l before executing, but I recently formatted and have decided against installing any resident AV software. Not that scanning with AV is a be-all / end-all for stopping malware / trojans / worms - I usually have a look at the ZIP files with a hexeditor too, prior to opening/executing


yep - it’s a cracked version. - just checked…but that’s ok, i guess, depending

ah …36 min - (over 30) - so new post;

just to try and give back a little - and FYI, in case you’d like a non-intrusive, small , fast AV scanner, that really only scans for th newest / dangerous threats (Standalone app, like HJT et al :bigsmile: no installation ) - try AVERT’s Stinger -> D/l and run - add your paths to scan to the list (browse) and scan at will - use preferences to adjust some settings…


sorry, that this is a little off-topic.
A friend of mine thinks about buying a Pentium II 266Mhz laptop with 160MB. Does one of you know whether such a laptop will be able to use skype or google talk (skype states linux system requirements 400Mhz, 128MB, but I don’t know whether this is too optimistic or too pessimistic - I didn’t find google talk system requirements).

Very many thanks,

PII Mobile should handle it … u have still more soft to talk by Internet

It’ll work, but I think that burning at 4x will the the max your system can handle. Thing is that at these lower speeds, modern media that is rated for higher speeds won’t achieve such great results as they can achieve at higher speeds. The differences aren’t that big, but they sure are there.

Maybe a modern DVD writer costs more than a 233MHz P II desktop. Most internet service providers here promise a free P III PC per (new) subscription. A used 500MHz P II/III PC including HDD, CD-ROM, RAM, but not keyboard, mouse, monitor costs under US$50. I can trade 4-5 466MHz Samsung desktops for one PX-760SA or PX-716SA. :slight_smile:

max transfer rate for Intel 440LX(witch pentium 2) chipset and DVD writer is 1~2x.
FSB is only 66Mhz. High FSB is high transfer but the chipset don`t use DMA witch opical driver or hard drive.

And have you actually used this chipset for high-speed DVD burning? I have, and it ain’t pretty…

I have used it for 8x DVD burning and thank who-ever-who for buffer underrun prevention technologies. At 4x it worked all fine though.

@ code65536
Yes, 4X works perfectly fine.
Haven’t tried 8X since I know that that HDD wont handle it but with a faster one it should be no issues at all.