View Full Version : IDE 80 pin cable

Big Al
03-02-2001, 07:09 PM
I just read your IDE pages and they were very good, but one thing surprised me. The fact that you need an 80 pin cable for ATA-66 (or 100 if cards come out for Macs) is only mentioned under the disk controller cards. I personally think it deserves a mention in the introduction where you talk about speed and possibly with the drives themselves. Otherwise, people may use their old cables just because it's easier. I assume the new G4's come with 80 pin cables, but don't know about older Macs. Is it simply a function of whehter or not the model comes with an ATA-66 controller or not?

03-02-2001, 07:25 PM
That sounds like a very good question and I'm anxious to hear the answer. I'm plum ignorant about IDE/ATA/EIDE/ATAPI. I had to install, format and partition one on a Linux box a couple of weeks ago and it was the first one that I ever touched. I typed line commands and closed my eyes.

03-03-2001, 12:54 PM
If the drive is going into a machine with a ATA33 or slower controller, then there isn't really any need for the 80 pin cables even if the drive is an ATA100, because the drive and controller will negotiate down to 33 MB/s or slower, similar to mixed SCSI chains.

I'm not sure what type of cable is shipped with the newer Apple machines, but I hope they are 80 pin.

That said, one is usually better off using better cable than worse and I believe that there is no reason not to use the 80 wire cable on slower installations.

BTW, for any readers who may not know, the 80 wire EIDE cable only uses 40 wires and has 40 pins and holes on the connectors. The other 40 wires are used to shield the 40 active wires from interfereing with each other in their high speed environment. So there is nothing to prevent one from plugging an 80 wire cable into a connector built with the 40 wire cable in mind.

03-04-2001, 04:22 AM
well....I am preparing a rewrite of that IDE page....I'll give some consideration to your recommendation. I think we'll be doing one more rewrite before we break it up into a full-blown IDE section. Once that happens, we'll separate the technical discussion into more detail, and can certainly get into more depth.

03-04-2001, 11:50 AM
It is better to suggest using 80-pin cables regardless of the bus speed. It gives extra shielding , they tend to be a little sturdier and it allows them to be reused when moving to a faster bus.