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cliveb
2015-02-03, 04:55
Sorry for this being off-topic, but I am hoping someone out there might be able to help.

My old tower machine is beginning to get temperamental about switching on. (Often on power-up, it just dies. If it does manage to get beyond a couple of seconds, it's fine). I suspect something on the motherboard has degraded (capacitors?). So time for a new mobo.

Problem is, I have a traditional PCI soundcard (M-Audio AP2496), an IDE DVDRW drive and a load of IDE disks that it seems pointless to replace, so I'm looking for a ATX (or micro-ATX) motherboard that has onboard IDE controllers and standard PCI slots. Every website I visit can't filter on those kind of requirements, and there are hundreds to go through trying to find what I need.

Does anyone around here know if such antique mobos are still made? If so, can you suggest any model numbers? I don't mind whether it's AMD or Intel.

JJZolx
2015-02-03, 05:51
Added all together, what is the combined total of the disk space you have on your IDE hard drives?

cliveb
2015-02-03, 06:46
Added all together, what is the combined total of the disk space you have on your IDE hard drives?
About 900GB.

I see where you're heading here: why not just ditch the IDE drives and replace them with SATA? And while I'm at it, replace the IDE DVDRW with SATA and the AP2496 with a USB audio interface. Basically, replace pretty much everything except the case and PSU. I guess you're right: it's the simplest thing to do.

It's just that if there happens to be a suitable mobo still available, my thrifty nature is not to chuck out a load of still functioning stuff.

JJZolx
2015-02-03, 07:11
Yes, that's exactly where I was going. What is the motherboard and CPU that you currently have? I think your best bet to do it inexpensively would be to find a used motherboard of the same model for sale on ebay or similar. Otherwise, you may have to replace the CPU and the memory, maybe the video card, and possibly even the power supply as well.

Searching Newegg (http://newegg.com), there are four Intel CPU based motherboards that have IDE (PATA) ports onboard. Only one has two IDE ports, so the rest would only support two IDE devices.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=Property&Subcategory=280&N=100007627%20600029944%20600029945&IsNodeId=1&IsPowerSearch=1

And five AMD based boards.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=Property&Subcategory=22&N=100007625%20600029948&IsNodeId=1&IsPowerSearch=1

I think they all have at least one PCI slot as well.

cliveb
2015-02-03, 07:29
Yes, that's exactly where I was going. What is the motherboard and CPU that you currently have?
The mobo is a Gigabyte of some kind (can't remember the model no) and the CPU's an old Athlon XP2400. Yes, it's that old!


Searching Newegg (http://newegg.com), ...
Thanks for mentioning Newegg. I'm in the UK, so didn't think of trying them. Theirs is the first website I've seen where you can specify the need for PATA. So even if I don't buy from them, their site gives me a chance to find some candidate models. (NB. the links you posted didn't work for me - I just got dumped at the Newegg homepage).

But on reflection perhaps it will be easier to just replace the whole shooting match. Problem is my tower is very rarely used - only for audio and video processing, all my day-to-day stuff is on a laptop, so buying a whole new setup just for that seems extravagant. I'll have a rethink.

Thanks for your help, anyhow.

JJZolx
2015-02-03, 07:47
But on reflection perhaps it will be easier to just replace the whole shooting match. Problem is my tower is very rarely used - only for audio and video processing, all my day-to-day stuff is on a laptop, so buying a whole new setup just for that seems extravagant. I'll have a rethink.

You should be able to rip CDs easily enough on a laptop. Even if there's no internal optical drive, an external drive isn't expensive. Does the system also run your LMS server?

SuperQ
2015-02-03, 08:02
If you're just looking to replace the board, it's much harder to deal with finding compatible ram/cpu than finding a board with PCI slots for the M-Audio.

Basically it sounds like the only thing worth saving (besides case and PSU, but the PSU may also be questionable these days) is the PCI audio interface.

SuperQ
2015-02-03, 08:08
An Athlon XP2400 is so old that the latest raspberry pi CPU is probably faster.

For example, this very bare basic PC is 10x faster:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856110124

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp%5B%5D=226&cmp%5B%5D=1850

cliveb
2015-02-03, 08:37
You should be able to rip CDs easily enough on a laptop. Even if there's no internal optical drive, an external drive isn't expensive. Does the system also run your LMS server?
No, it is nothing to do with my LMS system (that runs on a Vortexbox in the loft).
This is the system I use to transfer LPs and VHS tapes.

cliveb
2015-02-03, 08:39
An Athlon XP2400 is so old that the latest raspberry pi CPU is probably faster.
Yes, the XP2400 is an old dog, but I have a RaspPi and can assure you that it's not faster!
It does the job I need it to do, but of course getting a faster CPU will be a bonus when I do change the mobo.

SuperQ
2015-02-03, 08:49
Yes, the XP2400 is an old dog, but I have a RaspPi and can assure you that it's not faster!
It does the job I need it to do, but of course getting a faster CPU will be a bonus when I do change the mobo.

I was talking about the new model that can run Windows 10:
http://www.raspberrypi.org/raspberry-pi-2-on-sale/

The new model could give the XP2400 a run for it's money. :-)

d6jg
2015-02-03, 10:56
About 900GB.

I see where you're heading here: why not just ditch the IDE drives and replace them with SATA? And while I'm at it, replace the IDE DVDRW with SATA and the AP2496 with a USB audio interface. Basically, replace pretty much everything except the case and PSU. I guess you're right: it's the simplest thing to do.

It's just that if there happens to be a suitable mobo still available, my thrifty nature is not to chuck out a load of still functioning stuff.

Does it have to be Windows and does it have to be a PC ?
If all you want to do is to run LMS and have significant storage then what about a 2 disk intel QNAP NAS - there is QNAP QPKG that gives you LMS 7.7.2 which is then very easy to upgrade to 7.7.5 or 7.8.

cliveb
2015-02-03, 11:36
Does it have to be Windows and does it have to be a PC ?
Yes, it has to be Windows - I have a number of applications that are Windows-only.
And preferably it should be XP - I don't like Win7 (and don't get me started on Win8)


If all you want to do is to run LMS [snip]
This machine is nothing to do with LMS (which is on a Vortexbox elsewhere).
It's my LP transfer/restoration machine - and I occasionally transfer the odd VHS tape.

I've considered just switching to a high end laptop, but they cost silly money (and getting XP installed on one is a major headache).

poing
2015-02-03, 11:49
Basically, replace pretty much everything except the case and PSU.
I'd replace the PSU as well. A new one will be much more efficient (considering how old your equipment seems to be) and will pay for itself over its lifetime through energy consumption saved. Besides, your current PSU may lack the appropriate connectors for a modern mobo and CPU.

Mobos with PCI ports still exist but I know of none which provide IDE. You can still get IDE via a PCI (or pci-e) card.

Honestly, I'd ditch the IDE drives, too, for performance, reliability, and compatibility reasons.

If you stick to your legacy hardware, you'll limit your options a lot (e.g., lack of available hardware, lack of drivers for modern OSes).

d6jg
2015-02-03, 11:52
I see.
A few points then.
If you buy a new PC it is unlikely that there will be XP drivers for all of its hardware. There isn't much wrong with W7 except it may take a bit of getting used to.
If it is a transfer station do you really need 900Gb of HD space?
I think I would look in the second hand market for a name brand machine with specs such as Intel i3, min 4Gb Ram, 500Gb HD but accept that it is going to have to be W7. By name brand I mean HP, Fujitsu, Lenovo etc - NB this sort of spec you can get new for around 275 plus VAT.
I would avoid W8 as well.
Is your existing tower case and power supply really worth trying to preserve?

I note you say vinyl transfer. What software do you use? If it's VinylStudio then I can confirm it runs fine on W7.

poing
2015-02-03, 11:55
And preferably it should be XP - I don't like Win7 (and don't get me started on Win8).

I've considered just switching to a high end laptop, but they cost silly money (and getting XP installed on one is a major headache).
Go with the times, man.

XP is a horrible idea. Support has ended. Security holes are not being fixed. Virus scanners and browsers will stop supporting it relatively soon.

You are almost sure to get infections.

JJZolx
2015-02-03, 11:58
Getting XP installed on _any_ modern hardware will fall somewhere between a major headache and impossible. More likely the latter. They stopped writing XP drivers for hardware years ago. Most chipsets and peripherals produced in the last five years or so have no XP drivers.

If you really think it's the motherboard, I would seriously look into replacing it with the exact model, or at least one that will accept your CPU and RAM.

cliveb
2015-02-04, 01:34
Go with the times, man.

XP is a horrible idea. Support has ended. Security holes are not being fixed. Virus scanners and browsers will stop supporting it relatively soon.

You are almost sure to get infections.
While I appreciate the concern, please don't lecture me about which OS I should use.
I am very familiar with Win7 - I use it every day at work. They have seriously screwed up the way Windows Explorer behaves. For example, have you tried searching for specific content in a directory of files? Good luck with that. It's inexcusable that you need to buy a third party application to get the searching facilities that were built in to XP.

My LP/VHS transfer machine has a specific job to do and it isn't used for web browsing or email, so infections are not a concern. I don't need support from Microsoft for a legacy OS that does the job required of it. And last of all, I don't know if some of the applications I use do actually work on Win7. I really don't want to have to buy (and learn to use) a whole new raft of apps as well, when the ones I already own work just fine.

On reflection, JJZolx's suggestion of trying to find a replacement mobo on the used market is sensible. Although I must admit getting a faster CPU would be nice...

steve-g
2015-02-04, 04:31
Personally I'd try changing the power supply first - being temperamental about switching on is often the sign that the PSU is starting to get a bit lazy.

This is particularly true if the PSU is a cheap supplied with case item.

Apesbrain
2015-02-04, 06:40
Some options here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&N=100007627%20600009017%20600009016%20600008723%20 600008722%20600029944%20600029945

Another low-cost path is to purchase a refurbished PC although it will be hard to find one with XP:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=refurbished&N=100006550&isNodeId=1

As someone earlier said, I would replace the power supply first.

cliveb
2015-02-04, 09:26
Personally I'd try changing the power supply first - being temperamental about switching on is often the sign that the PSU is starting to get a bit lazy.

This is particularly true if the PSU is a cheap supplied with case item.
I did that a while back when it first started playing up. So I already have a pretty decent high-efficiency PSU. (It's got all the connectors needed if I switch to SATA devices).

I also tried replacing the case power switch - wondering if it was perhaps intermittently staying connected.

I'm pretty sure it's the mobo, but perhaps it makes sense to pull out an old PSU from my box of bits to see what happens.