View Full Version : Diminishing returns?

04-09-2002, 10:52 AM
I have been gathering data and collecting parts for my next major tweak/upgrade for my 7300/7600 Mac. My question has to do with my decision to order the SIIG ATA 133 IDE PCI card, and combine it with a new Maxtor 133 ATA HD. I could also go with Seagate, as Seagate and Maxtor seem to be the only 2 manufacturers who offer the ATA 133 models so far.

And yes, I am definitely going ATA instead of scci. I have already purchased a Sony CDRW internal ide drive. After much review, and having a friend install the SIIG card on his 7300 without a hitch, and, having thoroughly tested it for the alleged stuttering problem, I found it flawless. (The test involved creating several MP3 files of low, medium and very high quality and then playing them back from an IDE drive through th SIIG. His HD was an old 33 MHZ)

I am wondering about where the wall lies in getting the fastest drive with the older 50 MHz system bus? I mean, is a 133 interface going to do anything beyond say, a 66 or even a 33 Mhz drive? Is the ATA figure a true bus or data transfer figure or are there other factors involved? I am planning on getting the 133 drive in a 60 gig size. In part this is because I will have everything still working, if tomorrow, I come across a great deal on a G4 or a B&W. And the costs are relatively similar looking at a 60 gig vs a 20 gig.

So, does anyone know when too much ATA transfer rate is just so much overkill? I assume it can't hurt to use too much? The only potential pitfall would be that I could end up with a 133 drive that would only run at 33 Mhz. Not a problem to the system but something I might consider if it saved me enough money. But again, almost all drives that I have found seem to sell for $80 and above. And I found the ATA 133 60 Gig Maxtor at Provantage.com for $114. So, as I was saying, getting the best with the future in mind seems logical.

Can anyone check/verify my logic on this?

Much thanks.


04-09-2002, 12:17 PM

I can give you some more data to ponder. Hard to make the columns line up.

Model_____ATA-SingleDrive__________________PRead_SRead_PWrite_SW rite_MB5Disk_PubDisk
QS-800DP_1x120GXP/ATA66int_bus/AppleDriver_61.78_46.01_59.61___46.05__3241____264 6
QS-800DP_1x120GXP/Acard6880M/AppleDriver___94.55_45.53_83.97___46.10__3371____2 813

What does that tell me? BTW, these are single drives, in fact same drive. An ATA/33 bus/card would slow the 120GXP ATA/100 drive down bigtime. Even an ATA/66 bus/card slows the drive down somewhat, not in sustained read/write but in peak read/write bigtime. Note the increase in MB5 comparing the G4-800 internal ATA/66 bus with the Acard 6880M ATA/133 bus. Those increases in peak read/write do have an effect in MB5.

In my PowerTower Pro with xlr8 G3-540/270:
Model______ATA-SingleDrive__________________PRead_SRead_PWrite_SW rite

Vintage machines, there is a slowdown but still good performance. One other thing to ponder, even if a drive is ATA/133, what is its RPM? My preference would be an ATA/100 7200rpm drive rather than an ATA/133 drive truckin at 5400rpm. k

04-09-2002, 12:38 PM
Hmmmm.... I couldn't decipher all of what you said. But I think your examples were pointing to a conclusion that, putting a less than full speed (ATA) drive on a faster ATA speed card, slowed the card down. Correct?

I think sometimes it is hard to tell with the older Macs as so many variables are at play here. I saw one report on XLR8yourmac.com that mentioned slow write speeds on some, but not all older macs with the ide cards. The article did not know why. My friend with the ATA 33 HD in his 7300 and the SIIG 133 card has a MUCH faster drive than I do on my old 2 gig stock scci. He and I were wondering how much faster it would be with a newer, faster, ATA drive, and if there was a point where faster would just not matter with the older bus.

All else being considered, with the potential for stuttering, the need for stability to mess with X eventually, and the desire to be able to keep what I buy today , in case tomorrow I move to a B&W or a G4, I think I will still get the 133 HD.

And yes I am talking about the 7200rpm spindle drives. The only real question would be getting either of two features, on similarly priced drives. One is standard and the others has "UDMA". Currently I am leaning towards UDMA.

Maxtor 60GB ATA/133 7200RPM UDMA 3.5LP D740X