Taking Advantage of MMX and SSE Technology
For the MMX or SSE technology to affect the performance of multimedia devices and software to its full extent, the multimedia software must be written to take advantage of these CPU enhancements. Look on the software package for the “Intel MMX” or “Intel SSE” symbol to make sure that the software is using that technology. Currently, MMX technology is in widespread use in multimedia software, but SSE has not yet been widely utilized.
Inserting the CD-ROM Drive
Some systems use rails on the drive to slide it into the bay. If you have them (the rails should come with your computer), screw the rails in place and slide the drive into the bay. If you have no rails, then put two screws on each slide of the drive, tightening the screws so the drive can’t shift, but avoiding over-tightening them. Use the screws that come with the drive; screws too long can damage the drive. If necessary, buy a mounting kit to extend the sides of the drive so that it will fit into the bay and be securely attached.
Connect the Cables and Cords
Find an unused four-prong power cord from the power supply and plug it into the drive. For IDE drives, connect the 40-pin cable to the IDE adapter and the drive, being careful to follow the Pin 1 rule: match the edge color on the cable to Pin 1 on both the adapter card and the drive.
Some CD-ROM drives come with an audio cord that attaches the interface card to a sound card, which then receives sound input directly from the CD-ROM. Attach the audio cord if you have a sound card. Don’t make the mistake of attaching a miniature power cord designed for a 3 ½ inch disk drive coming from the power supply to the audio input connector on the sound card. The connections appear to fit, but you will probably destroy the drive by doing so.
Inserting the CD-ROM Drive
Some drives have a good connection, with one end of the ground cable attaching to the computer case. Follow the directions included with the drive.
Verify Power to the Drive
speed of the CD-ROM drive and how much memory is installed in the system. You can affect this decision using the Performance tab in System Properties. Click Start, Settings, Control Panel, and select System. From the properties box, click the Performance tab and then click File System. Click CD-ROM on the File System Properties box. By changing the CD-ROM speed in this box, you are changing the amount of memory allotted to the cache. The amount is displayed in the last sentence in this box.
DIAGRAM – Changing CD-ROM speed in the File System Properties Box
CD-R and CD-RW Drives
A CD-ROM is a read-only medium meaning that CD-ROM drives can only read, not write. Until recently, writing to a CD required expensive equipment and was not practical for personal computer use. Now, CD-Recordable (CD-R) drives cost around $300, and the CD-R disc cost less than $5, making “burning” your own CD a viable option. These CD-R discs can be read by regular CD-ROM drives and are excellent ways to distribute software or large amounts of data. Besides allowing for a lot of data storage space on a relatively inexpensive medium, another advantage of disturbing software and/or data on a CD-R disc is that you can be assured that no one will edit or overwrite what’s written on the disc.
A regular CD-ROM is created by physically etching pits into the surface of the disc, but a CD-R disc is created differently. Heat is applied to special chemicals on the disc and causes these chemicals to reflects less light than the areas that are not burned, thus creating the same CD-R is actually fairly accurate. When you purchase and install a CD-R drive, good software to manage the writing process is an important part of the purchase, because some less robust software can make burning a disc a difficult process. Also, some CD-R drivers are multisession drives and some are not.
Also available at a higher cost is a rewritable CD (CD-RW), which allows you to overwrite old data with new data. The process of creating a CD-RW disc is similar to that used by a CD-R disc. The chemicals on the surface of the CD-RW disc are different, allowing the process of writing a less-reflective spot to the surface of the disc to be reversed so that data can be