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.
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.
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
256MB PC133 Micron SDRAM
IBM Deskstar 75GXP 30GB drive
Western Digital 30GB 7200 RPM ATA 100
Windows 2K Pro Original release version, no service packs or unnecessary updates installed.
Promise ATA-100 controller onboard running driver v188.8.131.52 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 FrozenCPU.com
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 FrozenCPU.com
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