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Thread: How's an Adaptec 39160 Dual Channel Ultra160 card?

  1. #1
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    Ok, I can get an Adaptec 39160 Dual Channel Ultra 160 PCI SCSI card for $160. Currently I am running a VST Ultratek/66 ATA PCI card and 46GB IBM Deskstar 75GXP drive in my 8600/XLR9 500Mhz G3 setup, and Reads are 26MB/sec max, Writes are 11MB/sec max. In this machine, how would the speeds be with the Adaptec 39150 and a single 10k RPM drive? two? Would there be any significant speed boost with drives on this card? Opinions on this card?

    Aaaalso, do really fast SCSI drives on a fast controller speed up Quicktime playback? I also capture video with the built in A/V on this Mac, and the captured movies are rather slow in framerates. Is this a limitation of the A/V hardware or the disk drive? TIA

  2. #2
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    I would be leary of $160 39160 and make sure that it is Mac compatible and warranted. You'll need to invest in SCSI drives. Those numbers from the Ultratek seem low. Are they inline with other users on that machine, and have you checked the database on www.xlr8yourmac.com ? You might be better off for now with the new ATA/100 board or RAID ATA/100 which support older Macs better (vintage PCI). Sonnet has an adjustable model of ATA/100 to deal with A-V on 7xxx series Macs. Using the same IDE card on Yosemite I would see sustained r/w in 33MB/s range.

    Don't forget the cost of cables, terminators, and what drives you planned to buy. I made the mistake of trying to cut corners and having to learn as I went. All from buying a controller and drive I couldn't pass up on. $2000 later I have my setup. 4 x 18GB, controller, cases, ribbons, cables, terminators and spares.

    Gregory

    Gregory

  3. #3
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    careful.

    is it a 39160? or a 39150? both exist, and only one will work in the Mac.

    whatever you do, make sure you have recourse, in the event you get a lemon. Pay on a credit card, at minimum, so you can always contest the charge and execute a charge-back with your credit carcd company.

    the built-in capture hardware is low-end, but your writes w that UltraTek are certainly low. Did you use the included version of SoftRAID on your drive(s), and did you update to revision 2.2.2?

  4. #4
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    I just have a Pioneer DVD-ROM and a single 46GB IBM Deskstar 75GXP hard drive on the Ultratek. I am using the Apple hard disk driver on the Deskstar, as SoftRAID won't install it's driver onto that drive for some reason. Theres also a 1.1.2w firmware update out for the card that is supposed to boost performance...I'll try that first before I jump into SCSI.

    ------------------
    ObsoleteMac
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  5. #5
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    Hi,

    I've just got one of these card in the UK. for a similar price, fortunately it's still boxed with cables etc. Anyway I can't get this card to work in my 7500, the flash utility sees it there and have updated to the latest firmware etc. but when I launch the powerdomain control panel, it cannot detect the device, I previously had a 2940UW card in there and that was ok. on reading adaptec requirements it became clear it only works in a rev. b G3 or better, so unless someone can tell me how to get my card working! I doubt it will work in the 8600 either. can anyone tell me why this is?

  6. #6
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    The Adaptec 39160 is a 64-bit PCI card and will notwork in a Mac with only a 32-bit slot ( the shorter ones). I know, I bought my 39160 to go in my PowerTowerPro clone (9500) and it didn't work. Upon contacting Adaptec they told me it requires at least a G-3 unit. Nowhere in anyof their product info did it mention that, it even soundeed like it was compatible with any PCI PowerMac. I now have one running in my new QuickSilver G4 and it rocks.

    Can anyone direct me to info on how to get my system to recognize my SCSI drive as a start-up disk on this unit (G4)?

  7. #7
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    Ok so on reading the documentation it says this card has 32bit support. has anyone trie it in a beige G3??? I realise the card probably won't be as great as in a B&W but should still be good. have a couple G3 300's coming so will test then

  8. #8
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    Hi Guys,

    To update this topic I have now got a G4 450Mhz, Couldn't get this card to work in a G3 (Beige) Anyway I don't seem to get any performance gain over my 2940UW when I look in SYS profiler it shows the card as Scsi 2 it recognizes it as 39160 and has rom vesion 1.2. I only have one drive connected to it. and it's a 36.7 Gb 10000rpm cheetah. (I know I'm not doing this card justice) I am selling it infact.But i would just like to know should I be getting better write speeds than 33Mb/sec?

  9. #9
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    A 10k Cheetah from a year ago would only get 33MB/s on my B&W using Ultra2 2940U2B but if you look at the numbers on new Cheetahs, the 10k now has 50-63MB/s write thruput... you'll feel the difference.

    Gregory

  10. #10
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    Here's the info from the latest 39160 OS X driver. Sort of interesting read:
    quote:
    - A mirrored RAID configured using Apple's RAID utility that is built into Mac OS X will cause errors when copying to or from the RAID partitions.

    - Booting off of an IBM UltraStar 9.1 GB (DDYS-T09170) or Seagate Cheetah 18 GB (ST318404LW) into Mac OS X does not work; we are currently investigating this issue.

    - On QuickSilver G4s (733, 800, 867, 933, Dual Processor 800 and Dual Processor 1-GHz) if the PRAM is zapped you will not be able to boot off drives attached to the PowerDomain 39160. To work around this issue please see Article #011220-000013 in the Adaptec Knowledgebase at http://ask.adaptec.com

    - On a beige G3 Macintosh computer, you cannot currently boot into Mac OS X from a SCSI drive connected to a SCSI host bus adapter card such as the PowerDomain 39160.

    While it points out 'weaknesses' it is hard to blame Adaptec. In fact, it is this type of up-front information that I welcome and prize. Something I never saw or got from ATTO. Can you imagine if ATTO etc made their customer bug reports PUBLIC so that other users could search for information?

    Adaptec has added value by making their knowledge base easy to use, and is my idea of what online support should look like.

    Gregory

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