View Full Version : ATA/66 card and beige G3

02-13-2002, 03:51 PM
Got a question that more or less asks, "Is it worth it?"
OWC has the VST UltraTek ATA/66 controller card w/SoftRaid for $50. I thought this a nice price. I also found a couple of 10g DiamondMax 40 ATA/66 drives for about $65 each. So, for $180, I can have some nice speed, not SCSI speed, but better than what I got now. And what I got now is a beige G3 with a couple of 4g SCSI drives that are old and their longevity is questionable. I also am still running the stock 4g Quantum drive. So, would I see a performance difference? Or no?


02-20-2002, 07:28 PM
The biggest problem with the Ultratek ATA66 is that it sets IDE drives up on a SCSI bus! This has the effect of making the drives specific to that card. In other words if you unplugged a drive off the card and swapped it with your stock drive your mac would not recognise it. I have this card, and I have this problem. Personally I wouldn't recommend it. For $180 you can heavily upgrade your stock drive into something more meaningful, like an 80gb DiamondMax 7200rpm Maxtor - a touch better than a couple of 10gb drives!
Another option would be to pick up a revision B or C rom for around $80 and fit a 40gb drive - any of these are better than your original suggestion.

02-21-2002, 08:11 AM
Putting a fast BIG drive on the stock ATA bus will not gain you any speed though. So an ATA card is needed (or a faster scsi card/drive) for speed. What Baggy says about the ata/scsi issue is correct and is inconvenient if you do a lot of drive swapping. Your mac will think that any drive attached to the ATA card is a scsi drive so when you move them to a native ATA bus they will have to be reformatted.

Also keep in mind that the VST card will never work in OS X according to VST they plan NO support for it.

But then again beige G3's do not run X very well anyway and 50$ is a GREAT price for Softraid plus you get the card as well.

02-21-2002, 12:43 PM
Baggy-> <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The biggest problem with the Ultratek ATA66 is that it sets IDE drives up on a SCSI bus! This has the effect of making the drives specific to that card.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Is there any sort of 'lamen' explanation of the "how"?
I'm kinda torn between adding a ATA card opposed to just waiting it out and getting a new(er, it'll be used) G4.

The fact that I'd feel guilty sticking a IDE drive in my 9500 (I've used the hell out of the SCSI drives that came with it, and just now ready to up to, -embarressed- Ultra2).

Really though, the VST turns the drives into SCSI mutants?


"I made a conscience decision in a semi-conscious state"

02-22-2002, 05:43 AM
Damien has a point about the RAID, but it won't be of any use to you unless you put two drives on the card. Although it says on the box that it supports four drives - it doesn't support four cards in anything less than a G3 b & w, or Beige G3 with a RevC rom. So therefore I still would advise you to AVOID IT!! If you put in a Tempo ATA 100 you will have a better, abeit $50 more, solution.
As for drive speed, the 20gb Maxtor 7200rpm on the stock 33 bus is faster than the 40gb Quantum 5400 on the UT 66 bus - need I say more?

02-22-2002, 11:30 AM
A quick take on the ATA RAID cards and PCI macs. The Acard or Siig(mfg by Acard) ATA133 will work in PCI Macs running OS8.5 or better. I think Kaye currently is running one in a PTP.

For a easy and cheap way to setup a Hardware RAID on your mac these cards are great.

I would never bother to setup a software based RAID0 with IDE drives. They don't get any speed benifit because the drives are accessed by alternating from drive to drive. SCSI will access many drives at the same time which is why software RAID0 speeds up so well with scsi.


02-28-2002, 03:09 AM
Advice: All these cards do basically the same thing: they allow you to connect ATA drives to your Mac by making them look like SCSI drives. http://www.macworld.com/2000/09/18/reviews/ata.html
this gives the full rundown on ATA cards. Although they come out on UltraTek's side the comments still stand about the other issues.
Oh, and it is not compatible with OSX - I found that out yesterday when I installed it, and even under Classic the drives disappeared, I had to startup using my original 9.2 to get them back. So my advice would still be to avoid it.
Put in a Rev B or C rom and use the master/slave drives and have full compatibility. Personally I am happier to lose a few milliseconds rather than waste hours trying to get a bit of "extra" speed.
Good luck.

02-28-2002, 05:55 PM
Hi all.

Some data has come up that should be posted on this thread. In pre G3 PCI macs and a PTP the ATA133 HardRAID produced almost exactly the same performance with one drive as with 2 in a RAID config. Now others may find that it works differently, but that is so far what we've found.

Next, ATA133 RAID cards WILL boot in OSX just fine. I have 2 machines that do and I know of no issues with a hardware RAID0 and booting OSX. The RAID itself is absolutely transparent to the OS and the computer and is treated as such by the OS.

Last, the beige G3 has shown acceptable performance gain with the ATA133 Hardware RAID (thanks Louie). Take this with a grain of salt since I have knowledge of only ONE case with a ATA RAID in a Beige G3.


[This message has been edited by ricks (edited 28 February 2002).]

04-04-2002, 02:03 PM
I've got some different data here. According to http://www.barefeats.com/hard8.html:

The G4 Yikes produces higher write speeds than the G4 Sawtooth. The PCI bus controller chip in the Sawtooth does not support "PCI Memory Read Multiple" command. In other words, it "chokes" when you try to exceed a sustained write speed of 30MB/sec on a single Ultra ATA/66 controller.

The VST UtraTek/66 can be used to create a striped array of drives (dual 80 conductor cables and SoftRAID software). I used dual 30GB IBM Deskstar 75GXP drives. The resulting performance rivals Ultra2 SCSI striped arrays.

04-04-2002, 03:40 PM
I don't know how your synopsis could be. The Yikes has the Grackle memory controller same as the B&W, PCI writes have always been the complaint with the Yosemite and the Yikes motherboard with writes truncated to below 53 MB/sec sustained or so.

I have tested Acard and Siig hardware RAIDs in both yosemite and sawtooth machines and there is no such problem in a sawtooth, sustained writes in the mid 60s and sustained reads in the 70s were possible using IBM 60GXPs. With IBM 120GXPs writes were in the low 90s and reads in the high 80s in the sawtooth.

In the B&W reads with the Acard were around 70 sustained and writes were around 50 sustained. This was also true with SCSI RAID0 arrays, reads all the way into the 150 MB/sec range with writes truncatred down to the max of aroound 53 MB/sec.

Sawtooth SCSI throughput is only limited by the PCI bus saturation level of around 220-225 MB/sec throughput either way. Reaching saturation has not been hard with 4 Cheetahs or AtlasIIIs topping out the PCI bus at least in the fast outer tracks of the drives.

I don't see where the "PCI Memory Read Multiple" command could possibly be a problem that Yikes and Yosemite don't have but sawtooth does.

I am always happy to learn more, I could be wrong on just about anything but this doesn't make sense to me. Your link didn't work for me or I'd a maybe learned something from Rob-Arts article.


[This message has been edited by ricks (edited 04 April 2002).]