What Mobo will support 10 Opticals

I am currently building a computer and am looking for a Mobo that will support more than 4 device without the use of other components, I think I have found that most will only support 4, but my new case Thermalake Full Tower has 10 internal bays. Any suggestions?

Unless you are going to use IDE-SATA adapters, you have to use PCI add-on cards. Even with the adapters, you will still need at least 6 floppy power plugs, in addition to 10 four-pin molex connectors. The easier way is just to use add-on cards. I have one Silicon Image non-RAID card nstalled, and a RAID one coming in. I would like to fit 2 more optical drives in the case, in addition to the 8 in there now. The only drawback with using add-on cards is that it may not operate UDMA-2 drives at their supported transfer rate. I’ve found that the Silicon Image chip will operate UDMA-4 drives properly, whereas UDMA-2 drives operate only in Multiword DMA modes.

How will you support 10 optical drives and the rest of the components with one PSU, unless you have a secondary one? I’m running a dual PSU setup in my Coolermaster Stacker case, and the secondardy PSU is powering all the optical drives. That PSU is a modular type, in which I can power up to 12 optical drives.

Hold up here,

The only drawback with using add-on cards is that it may not operate UDMA-2 drives at their supported transfer rate. I’ve found that the Silicon Image chip will operate UDMA-4 drives properly, whereas UDMA-2 drives operate only in Multiword DMA modes.
I need a setup that will allow me to operate all of the drives in the UDMA mode that they made for. The BIOS will have the DMA set to auto, are you saying that if I use addon cards, this will not work?

Hi :slight_smile:
In your other thread I recommend a card that was/would be ideal. That’s why the card was more expensive than that suggested by ftp1020. Although some of his theories had merit the pci card didn’t. Just like opting for cheaper components then resorting to ‘overclocking’. Curious to say the least.
BTW that controller card info:

I’ve got an PCI IDE controller with a CMD PCI-0649 chip which works fine with opticals. It’s currently running an LG4163B (UDMA mode 2) & Liteon 1635s (UDMA mode 4).

It’s a generic brand but you might be able to find something similar.

With the add-on cards, the motherboard’s BIOS has no control over the DMA settings, only the BIOS on the cards can control that. I can’t say I’ve done extensive tests on the Silicon Image- and ITE-based cards, but there is someone by the name of “engine” that had also dealt add-on cards.

I’ve had no luck with ITE 8212F RAID and non-RAID add-on cards at all, but engine had some luck with them, as he was able to use an “intermediate” ATAPI BIOS to recognize some optical drives. However, he couldn’t achieve the 24-MB/s burst rate on UDMA-2 drives like BenQ or NEC. My tests with ITE-based cards were unfruitful, the cards (bought from CUSA) never worked properly as they caused hang-ups on my setup: Windows XP Pro had a hard time configuring and booting up. Secondly, the FLASH chips on the ITE cards weren’t reprogrammable, thus, I couldn’t test other BIOS versions.

Thus, I tried the Silicon Image-based card, which worked perfectly with LiteOn and BenQ (DQ60 & 1670) because they were all UDMA-4 drives. The LG 4163B identified and showed UDMA-2 support, but errored out whenever 16x burn was attempted. The BenQ (1655 and 1640), NEC (4550 and 3500), and AOpen drives were identified correctly by the Silicon Image chipset, however, they only operated in Multiword DMA mode. Even with SiI’s own RAID software, UDMA-2 mode wasn’t even listed as a selectable option.

Another attempt was done using Promise’s UltraTX2 controller card with the latest BIOS. That resulted in an infinite loop of rebooting the computer if it sensed any optical drives connected to it, yet the computer booted up perfectly with no optical drives connected. Go figure.

So if you attempt to put various BenQ 165x and 1640 drives on the cards, you will NOT achieve UDMA-2 transfer rate. Only way is to use the on-board IDE controller, as that’s how I’m using them now.

Here are two threads:
IT8212F flash update problem
Add-on PCI to IDE card won’t DMA

Hi :slight_smile:
@ KTL.
I’ve used ITE 8211F(non-raid) for adding on ODDs for several years without any problems at all. The ITE 8212F has downloads for both card bios & drivers. These should resolve problems, although it is better to start with a non-raid card. As to mixing UDMA 2 & UDMA 4. Again no problems experienced. Plextor 716/760 Pioneer 110/111 Nec 4570/4571 Lite-On 16H5S all UDMA 4 at sometime mixed with any of the following BenQ 1620/1640/1650/1655 Nec 3520/3540/4550/4551 all UDMA 2.
ITE 8211F with Lite-On 16H5S & BenQ 1655 connected. See attached.

Hi zebadee, I was trying to find a 8211F-based card, but it doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Yes, for the 8212F, there are the RAID and ATAPI BIOSes, however, only those cards with certain FLASH chips can they be reprogrammed. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find any. The FLASH chips on those CUSA cards couldn’t even be identified. engine had suggested some vendors to get ITE-based cards, but even with the 8212F running ATAPI BIOS, it doesn’t seem to support the speed that the 8211F had in the past.

Hi :slight_smile:
Not having a 8212F I wasn’t aware of any problems flashing this card. Only that in theory it was possible. Try searching NewLink. To my knowledge the last & possibly still manufacturers of ITE cards. I believe that Tandy had some of these(8211F), but that a long time ago (maybe 2yrs).
BTW This card will do all you require, apart from raid.

If you’ve had (good) experiences with this card, then that’s the best recommendation for alan1476. I suggested staying away from motherboards that specialize in having 3-5 IDE controllers onboard simply because that’s all they tend to do - no onboard video, maybe old SATA, no firewire etc etc. I should have made more clear when I linked to that particular controller card that I was just demonstrating that they were inexpensive and not that I had experiences with using it, sorry.

Ten optical drives … that’s gonna eat up a lot of Windows drive letters! :slight_smile:
Now, humour me here and tell me how having 10 burners hooked up at the same time is useful? I could see it if one was interested in mass-duplication, but otherwise…?

Hi :slight_smile:
No need to apologise, the idea of a forum is to throw more than 1 option into the pot in a thread like this.
For me having several drives is about horses for courses.
In other words one drive may excell in one area but not another.
My current setup (although I could have 12 drives max) has 6 drives.
Plextor 760 (audio/scanner) Pioneer 111 (DL + RAM) Lite-On 16H5S (reader/scanner) BenQ 1640 (ripper/scanner) BenQ 1650 (currently writing to + media) BenQ 1655 (currently writing to - media).
When I first got the BenQ 1650/1655, I had two of each installed (so had 8 drives) this was to enable comparing drives, oem vs retail. I have repeated this since in order to compare f/w.

That SIIG card uses the Silicon Image chipset, I believe, since the ASIC size is about right. I bought a Syba SiI non-RAID card for $20 from NE also, and I’m currently using it. I have a Syba SiI RAID card coming for $15, hopefully, that will work as well.

ftp1020, my friends always kid me about why having so many drives, perhaps to copy something. But in actuality, I like to have all the drives within the case such that when new firmware and/or media comes out, it eases the trouble of swapping the drives out when test burn them. I don’t like repetitive drives unless the price is just too good to pass up. Besides, it’s a shock factor too to my non-CDFreaks friends. :smiley: In addition to these, I also have 2 external drives via 1394. Luckily, this computer isn’t on 24/7. :slight_smile:

I really pray that this exact card you have recommeded will work with my BenQ drives, LG, and Nec drives. I ordered two of them, so you are correct I will have the onboard channells, Primary and secondary and the two cards, Worst come to worst, it should definitelt support 1 drive per channell, giving me a minimum of eight drives connected. I hope I can utilize all 10, we will see. This SIIG card you recommended, is it the one you use with your BenQs? I hope this all works out. I really appreciate all your help, I have been reading all the threads ( I Pmd you one in particular.) This thread has me worried, but I trust your judgement. You are the best Martin.

Well, good luck to you Alan. I checked with SIIG’s site here for the driver, and it’s the Silicon Image 680A chipset I was talking about. I hope I’m wrong, but with this chipset, you may not get UDMA-2 support with NEC or BenQ (165*, 1640).

I have been told thats only in a Raid array not in non raid. Most drives are UDMA 2, what good would the card be if it didn’t support UDMA 2 in a non raid setup.

I couldn’t tell you why it wouldn’t work, I just know what I’ve experienced. So let us know how it goes then.

I got my second Silicon Image 680A-based card that was flash with the RAID BIOS. Unfortunately, it conflicted with the non-RAID BIOS card which wouldn’t allow my computer to boot. Luckily, I was able to flash the ATAPE/IDE BIOS from Silicon Image’s website to it, and now both non-RAID cards are running fine. All ten of my optical drives are up. HOWEVER, Nero software (CD/DVD Speed 4.51.1 and Burning ROM only sees 8 drives, whereas Windows Explorer, DVD Identifier, KProbe, etc. all see 10. Hopefully, there’s an explanation for this.

I haate to bring back this old thread but the computer is finally finished and beleive it or not all the opticals that are on the cards work fine. The SIIG that Zebadee suggested works great, I have a BenQ 1655 and my LG 4163 both on this card and no problems 16X write speed on both (15.65X) on the BenQ. I want to thank all of you for helping and especially Zebadee for almost taking me by the hand and pointing me in the right direction countless times. He is a great help to many on this forum and should be thanked for his dedication and sharing of knowledge. Moderator material for sure. ( I hope the powers that be are listening.)

Yo alan-

Am SO happy that your new rig works essentially as you envisioned it would-

You were so smart in soliciting input from all the great (and not so great) minds here on the boards - between the 225k members - there are pleanty that have much greater knowledge than most of us-

Again - I am really happy for you - enjoy your new toy-eh!

Your bud-


Alan, thanks for the update. I may try SIIG’s BIOS on their site and see that would help – seems like they have an older version: vs. on Silicon Image’s site.

Yo, are you implying something?

I think he was saying you have a great mind. These SIIG Cards works exactly as Zebadee said they would.