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Thread: new SCSI 160 card?

  1. #1
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    in my seemingly never ending quest for an affordable and non buggy SCSI 160 card I've come across a new one.
    The Formac SCSI 160 card ... Has anyone heard of this one? Is it any good?

  2. #2
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    I had bad luck with their Jan 2001 Ultra40 which they never updated, hard to configure. They never offered any support for OS X on it. I know they have video cards, a new LCD, but I would be leery of their SCSI. I would search the drive database on www.xlr8yourmac.com and see if anyone else has posted their results.
    I don't see Ultra160 on their site, just the 40. I figured "couldn't go wrong" at $49. Ha! The 2940U2B has been great. In fact I have more trouble booting from UL3S and still use the U2B (ATTO can require some serious "turboing" customer service and arm twisting.

    It depends on what OS you will use, what Mac model?

    Gregory

  3. #3
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    I think the 'Ultra40' is actually an UW (40MB/s) card. These are WAY out of date - which is why they are so cheap.

    zinn,

    You would probably be fine with an Ultra2/LVD card like the MilesU2W or AdpatecU2b. The MilesU2 comes with quality Twisted Pair LVD cabling & termination and SoftRAID - making it a great deal for people who do not have cables or QUALITY cabling & term. The Miles is the best card for legacy PCI Macs. You might want to check some posts to see if there are any performance issues with new systems. Ultra2/LVD is much more compatible with Ultra3 (Ultra160/320) so it should work fine with current drives. Since single drives are maxing out at about 60MB/s (15K Cheetahs) you should still be fine because the Ultra2 gives you (in theory) 80MB/s of sustained read/write bandwidth. This is faster than any stock bus in any Mac ever made!

    There is always the potential of SCSI voodoo, but make sure you get quality cabling, termination and drives. Often people go with 80pin drives on 68pin cards, they use adaptors or they skimp on cabling and they often regret this many weeks later (after spending many, many hours tearing their hair out). I have tried going the cheap route myself and found it was definately not worth it. Penny wise, pound foolish.

    If you do get the Formac card - make sure it has:
    1) support for X and 9
    2) cabling and termination
    3) you can return it for ANY reason within 30 days
    4) 3 year warranty or more (typically a SCSI card will have a 5 year)
    5) back up their product
    6) any RAID software or other utilities included? Are they any good?

    If you have a new Mac and want cheap, fast, large storage - a 60GB or large Cuda IV is a good deal. Also firewire drives can make great backup drives since they do not always need to be on and you can remove them and store them (in safe or off site) if necessary.

    ------------------
    The Cost Of Freedom:
    Every bit of energy.
    Every ounce of courage.
    Every drop of blood.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2002
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    fyi, here is the info on the card - seems it is quite new as not all the national formac sites have the info yet. http://www.formac.fr/site/fiche_prod...pdt=48&rub=STO

    Something I could not find out yet is the difference between LVD and LVD2 ? Can anyone tell?

  5. #5
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    I do not think there is a different. That is I do not think 'LVD2' exists. I could be wrong. The SCSI terminology is fairly confusing - either by a lack of planning or on purpose I dont know.

    LVD stands for Low Voltage Differential - as you probably know.
    HVD standard for High Voltage Differential. This required special cards and special drives and as such was not all that popular and besides you could FRY hardware if you did not connect the right cards to the right drives.

    The LVD 'standard' seems to include the Ultra2 and Ultra3 spec. Ultra2 is pretty much on its own. Ultra3 actually has Ultra160 and Ultra320 specs. Ultra160 does not use ALL the features of Ultra3, but its still pretty darn fast and a lot more descriptive than Ultra3, since we can guess that it has a bandwidth of 160MB/s - like UltraATA 100 has a bandwidth of 100MB/s.

    Ultra320 is about as fast as you could ever go with a personal computer anyway. You can actually get a dual channel Ultra320- for a theoretical throughput of 640MB/s. 2xPCI (what Apple uses now) will only handle 266MB/s in theory - and only about 220MB/s in reality - not bad - actually very good since most x86 hardware is only PCI 1x (33Mhz/32bit) and would only handle 133MB/s. At 60MB/s for the x15 Cheetah it would take about 4 to 6 of them to hit the limits of todays SCSI cards - and you would probably want a 4xPCI (66Mhz/64bit) and thats a TON of money.

    I would guess that someone accidentially typed LVD2 when they ment LVD Ultra2. Trag or others might know different.

    ------------------
    The Cost Of Freedom:
    Every bit of energy.
    Every ounce of courage.
    Every drop of blood.

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