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    SLCentralArticlesComparisons Aug 21st, 2019 - 10:36 AM EST
    ATA Cables: Rounded Vs. Flat
    Author: Mike Kitchenman
    Date Posted: June 19th, 2001
    Updated: 7/24/01


    Recently in a forum I frequent, a comment was made about whether or not rounded cables offered the same performance of unaltered flat ribbon cables. Since I personally run all rounded cables inside of my system, I had my interest peaked, to say the least, as to whether or not this was actually true. So I decided I'd give it a test to see if it was true or not. I was hoping the data cited in the forum was inaccurate as they were quoting as much as a 60% performance drop between a flat ribbon cable and a hand rounded ATA-100 cable.

    The Re-Write

    After this article was first posted here, some very astute (and a couple less astute people who were too scared to register) made some comments on what I had written. Making some suggestions on what I should have added to the article and what I completely missed. One thing I will do for you guys is, I will NEVER write an article in notepad again. The lack of a spell check is quite annoying. Thanks to those of you out there who did catch my mistakes, I appreciate any and all useful and constructive feedback on stuff like this.

    The Test

    Well, before I go into my test here's some system specs to help you gauge what I'm talking about.

    My Computer A.K.A. the test-bed:
    Thunderbird 800 @ 800 (non-OC'd for testing purposes)
    Asus A7V Motherboard with ATA-66 and ATA-100 controllers onboard
    GF2 MX 32MB Video card
    SB Live Platinum classic
    6X DVD
    CD-RW drive
    256MB PC133 Micron SDRAM

    Hard Drives:
    IBM Deskstar 75GXP 30GB drive
    Western Digital 30GB 7200 RPM ATA 100

    System information:
    Windows 2K Pro Original release version, no service packs or unnecessary updates installed.
    Promise ATA-100 controller onboard running driver v1.0.0.0 off the Asus CD original

    Now onto the tests:

    The original test

    The test bed was a non-partitioned Western Digital 30GB ATA-100 drive stationed alone on my Asus A7V's ATA-100 controller. HD Tach was used as the testing/benchmarking software. I ran both the read and write tests on it.

    The cables used:

    - Generic flat ATA-33 40 wire ribbon cable [no picture]
    - Hand Rounded ATA-33 40 wire ribbon cable

    (I had these handy for testing purposes, just to see what happened)

    - WD OEM ATA-100 flat 80 wire ribbon cable
    - WD OEM ATA-100 hand rounded 80 wire ribbon cable
    - Machine Rounded ATA-100 80 wire ribbon cable purchased from

    Hand Rounded ATA-33 40 wire ribbon cable

    WD OEM ATA-100 flat 80 wire ribbon cable

    WD OEM ATA-100 hand rounded 80 wire ribbon cable

    Machine Rounded ATA-100 80 wire ribbon cable purchased from

    For testing I ran HD Tach on the ata-33's once each, and twice each on the ATA-100 cables. Took screencaps of the results and saved them. Now onto the results.

    >> The Results

    Article Options

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    1. Introduction/The Test
    2. The Results
    3. Conclusion

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