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Ata33, Ata66, Ata100

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Ata33, Ata66, Ata100

Old 09-29-01, 08:16 PM
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Ata33, Ata66, Ata100

how can i tell whether or not a cable is ATA100 (66 or 33) compliant? i have a quantum plus LM (ATA66) but for some reason i thought it was ATA100. i bought a teflon-coated true ATA100 cable and was wondering if that meant the cable transfers at ATA100 only.

plus, is ATA100 that much faster than 66? please tell say "no" or i might do something stupid like run out and buy an IBM ATA100 drive. no, seriously, i want to know.

thanks.
Old 09-29-01, 08:26 PM
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If your cable is ata 100 compliant, then it will work fine for 33 or 66. I doubt you would notice a difference in everyday use of the system, unless you do serious disk intensive work.

Dave
Old 09-29-01, 08:38 PM
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I believe that ATA-33 and below run on standard 40 wire cables, and ATA-66 and above use the 80 wire cables (rephrase: requires 80 wire cable for ata-66+ speed, but can also use standard cables at slower speed). The difference is that the extra 40 wires in an 80 wire cable are used to shield the data traffic from interference, thus allowing the higher transfer speed. You have the proper cable for your drive.

My Dell supports ATA-66 (and has an ata-66 drive with 80 wire cable). On a standard pci bus, the difference between ata-66 and ata-100 is mainly theoretical. The drives in our systems probably can't maintain 40 megs/sec much less their 66 spec. The same basically goes for an ata-100 drive as well.

One spec that does make a difference is spindle speed. ATA 66 or 100, a 7200 rpm drive is a lot faster than a 5400 rpm drive.

If you have an intel chipset, download the chipset and ultra ata drivers for your OS. There's a little utility that shows you current transfer rate settings for all IDE devices. Pretty neat.
Old 09-29-01, 08:40 PM
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I just want to add one caveat. I read over at AVS Forum that an older DVD drive did not work properly with an ATA 100 complient cable, only with the ATA 33 40-pin job. Several people reported that problem with that drive. So if you have a problem with a 33 drive, which is highly unlikely, try the older type cable.
Old 09-29-01, 08:45 PM
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thanks for all the quick replies. i haven't had a chance to test it out since i'm waiting for UPS to deliver it. i was going to migrate most of the components from my old computer including an old IBM (ATA33) and a Quantum (ATA66). since i didn't have an 80-pin cable, i ran out and bought one from newegg.

i hope i do see some performance because the quantum does seem slow -- even slower than the IBM sometimes. :P

thanks again.
Old 09-29-01, 08:50 PM
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ATA66 and ATA100 use the same 80 wire ribbon cables while the older IDE cables only had 40 wires. The pin count is identical however, as I believe the 40 new wires are just individual ground wires to reduce interference.

The newer cables also use color coded connectors so that the blue attaches to the adapter/motherboard, the grey attaches to the slave device, and the black attaches to the master device.

The fastest IDE hard drives won't even come close to transferring 66 MB/s much less 100 MB/s, so you aren't losing anything because of that.
Old 09-29-01, 09:07 PM
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Originally posted by quietsoul

i hope i do see some performance because the quantum does seem slow -- even slower than the IBM sometimes. :P

thanks again.
That could have more to do with spindle speed and the amount of data that can be stored per square in on a platter than the speed of the interface.
Old 10-06-01, 08:31 AM
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I agree that you will not see much difference between ATA 66 and 100. In fact many of these specs refer to sudden peaks in data transfer and they typically cannot sustain high data throughput over long periods. That is why you still need RAID and SCSI disk drives for high speed.

Bear in mind that speed on the PC is a bit like driving a Ferrari in the narrow streets of Amsterdam. You are only as fast as your next bottleneck. Dont think you will see any speed increase with ATA 100 if for instance your RAM on board is low.

You have to look at systems level improvement to get the speed you want. ATA 66 is good enough for most things, unless you begin to get into video editing.

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