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A quick opinion on ULTRA DMA 100 Controllers

I will get some more info up soon on IDE drives but first I need to voice my opinion on the latest and greatest Ultra DMA 100 controllers.  I considered buying one but I thought first lets see how much performance I should gain. The maxtor drives are usually some of the fastest ever built so I’ll use their best drive to prove a point. The fastest Maxtor drives available to my knowledge are the performance series: Maxtors' DiamondMax Plus 45 Family 3.5" EIDE / Ultra DMA/100 Drives  Model Numbers 54610H6, 54098H6, 53073H4, 52049H3, 51536H2, 51369H2, 51023H2. The media transfer rate on these drives is a maximum of 49.5 MB/Sec.  Now common sense took over here-  If the drive could only read at 49.5 MBits a sec, what good what a controller that runs at 100 MBits do? Well the truth is that it does nothing at all, we  are not even maxing out the 66 controller!  There are a few exceptions.

  • Exception #1  The data being retrieved is small enough to fit into the buffer on the hard drive itself. In the case of the above Maxtor drive, there is a 2 meg buffer so if you kept requesting that same file that was less than 2 meg, you might see a performance boost.
  • Exception #2  If you utilize RAID 0 ON SEPERATE CHANNELS you could get close to utiilizing the full 100 MBit.  Using RAID 0 on drives on the same channel causes some problems because the IDE cable has to carry the data from both drives along with the timing signals. 

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