ATA Cables. Can a ata100 connect ok with ATA133?

18 replies [Last post]
rongrover
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Joined: Jun 1 2002

I really find it hard to believe just how many task connected with building PC are just left up in the air!!!!

Now I need to connect two ATA133 Hard Drives and the only cable that will reach between the two drives to connect master and slave was purchased when ATA100 was the best.
I cannot rearrange the drives to get a shorter distance.

What I also find difficult is that the cables are not marked as ATA100 or 133 etc. So how would you know which was which if it did not come in a box, as indeed, with OEM they don't?

Thanks, Ron.

bt
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Joined: Aug 16 2000

Hi Ron.

Yes the cable will be ok provided it's the 80 pin variety.

The m/b end should have a blue connector, first drive grey followed by a black one.

They are the standard IDE cable for ATA60 upwards.

Bernie

rongrover
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Joined: Jun 1 2002

Thanks Bernie. the cable certainly has the colour connectors you mention. It is easy to see that it has 40 connectors, but how can you tell that it has 80 wires?

To add confussion, I asked a friend to call into PC World and get me a cable ( this was before I knew that the one I have is ok )

They asked for advise ( surprised that they got any!!) However they were told a certain cable is ok. When I looked at it I had my doubts. No coloured connectors, all black.
It clearly states that it is for Daul Hard Drives. It can be seen here.
http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Merchant_Id=1&Product_Id=17126#

So what would this cable be used for??

It does say on the box that for newer Ultra DMA/ATA and Ultra IDE hard drives, it is best to use their 80 conductor cable. The obviously did not see this??

However, it would be so much easier if the cables were actually marked with something that made sence. There is enough writing on them, even about space shuttles!!!!

Any further comments on cables, most welcome.

Incindently, is there not a limit to the length of a ribbon cable, Belkin seem to be doing some quite long cables??

All the best, Ron.

bcrabtree
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Joined: Mar 7 1999

To see if it's a 40-wire or 80-wire cable is easy - just start counting the strands - if you've got to 20 before you are half-way through counting (at the quarter-way mark), then it's 80.

Bob C

bt
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Joined: Aug 16 2000

Hi Ron

As to the link http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Merchant_Id=1&Product_Id=17126#
It would appear this cable is suitable for the older standard of IDE drives ie. ATA33 and below

Bernie

[This message has been edited by bt (edited 02 August 2003).]

rongrover
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Joined: Jun 1 2002

Thanks Bernie,that is how it seemed to me.

Bob. I really did not think we would have to go back to counting to see how many cables there are!!!!. But it is I guess the obvious way. It seems rather crude when they are talking about space age technology on the cable.

Thanks, Ron.

bcrabtree
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Joined: Mar 7 1999

Ron,

Truth is, if you saw the two side by side, you'd know instantly which was which, and would then be able to say for sure when you next saw either - the extra wires in the 80 means that the appearance of the surface is VERY different from that of the 40 - the 80 is much smoother.

Bob C

quote:Originally posted by rongrover:
Thanks Bernie,that is how it seemed to me.

Bob. I really did not think we would have to go back to counting to see how many cables there are!!!!. But it is I guess the obvious way. It seems rather crude when they are talking about space age technology on the cable.

Thanks, Ron.

rongrover
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Joined: Jun 1 2002

Yes Bob, that is very true. But you have to have the two types of cable to know this and you have to know that you are looking for an 80 cable connector in the first place and indeed even need one.

This type of problem has not existed for me before as I have always just built the same spec computer for my athletes to use. Not used OEM items either, always Retail, so a cable always come with the items.

However since using OEM which I now am, it does leave alot of things in the air.

While on the subject of cables, it is annoying to find that you cannot always connect certain Drives where you would like them due to the distance set between the connectors for master and slave, it is to short. However there must be different lengths between these connectors because I have just located one that is longer.

So another question of general interest.
Are there cables with different distances between the Master and Slave Connectors,or is it just pot luck where they happen to be placed?? I think this is quite important, reasons for which I will expand on in another thread later.

All the best, Ron.

[This message has been edited by rongrover (edited 03 August 2003).]

[This message has been edited by rongrover (edited 03 August 2003).]

Alan Craven
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Joined: Jan 26 2001

Didn't you buy an ASUS P4PE motherboard some time ago, Ron?

Mine had both an 80 wire and a 40 wire IDE cable in the box. As Bob says, once you see them the difference is obvious.

There is a standard specification for lengths of these cables, though you can buy ones which are longer than the permitted length. These have been known to cause problems!

The specification is for 10" minimum and 18" maximum overall.

5" minimum/12" maximum between the (Blue) IDE port connector at one end, and the (Grey) Slave connector part way along the cable.

5" minimum/6" maximum between the Slave connector and the (Black) Master IDE connector on the other end.

This does of course restrict your freedom of positioning your various drives in the case.

As I have suggested before, the answer to all these, any almost all other questions about system building, can be found in Upgrading and Repairing PCs by Scott Mueller, published by QUE. This is normally available in Waterstones or Hammicks bookshops. I have no connection or interest in any of those named.

[This message has been edited by Alan Craven (edited 03 August 2003).]

bt
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Joined: Aug 16 2000

Why buy a book in town when you can ask away on this forum for free, and it's more fun

Alan Craven
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Joined: Jan 26 2001

Ron's original post began with:

"I really find it hard to believe just how many task connected with building PC are just left up in the air!!!!"

I am simply trying to clear that air!

In any case the forum works only because some people have bought the book, and worked the work, to mis-coin a phrase!

rongrover
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Joined: Jun 1 2002

Alan, thanks for the info and yes I will certainly try and get the book. At present I have two.
Build Your Own PC. by R.A Penfold.
and one of those building a PC for Dummies.

The Dummies book is so out of date it is useless. All the basic stuff can be found every week in various magazines.
The Other book is better and I have found it quite usefull, but is still way behind the times. But I guess this will always be a problem.

Yes the forums are great for bringing up individual matters that the books dont ever seem to cover, at least the ones that I have dont.

But maybe the best service the forums provide is when the various books and articles written are in conflict, or offer different ways of doing things. Thats what I call being left in the air. That is when the forum is so valuable as you can call on people who have actually do it and can relate to actual exxperience and respond to any matter that is raised. No book can do that.

I will be posting a question about how best to install XP on the general forum. The reason being that books and magazines have different idea's about it. The forum will I hope produce actual experience of having done it and suggested best method.

So thanks Alan and everyone who has contributed to what to many must seem an extremely basic question.

By the way Alan you are quite right I do have a Asus P4PE Motherboard, but as yet I have not opened the box. That is my next project. What I am working on now is the Asus P4S8X-X and that just had a 80 wire cable and a floppy cable.

Incidently what would a 40 wire cable be used for? It surely is not included to work with older systems. Can it be used with optical Drives as they don't need the ATA133 or ATA100. to function?

All the best, Ron.

Alan Craven
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Joined: Jan 26 2001

Ron,

I am a cynic! 40 conductor cables are a fraction of a penny cheaper to manufacture than 80 conductor, so the Asus bean counters dictate that one of each cable is put in the box, because everyone who buys the board will have an optical drive, and optical drives need only 40 conductors.

Modern ATA 100 and 133 HDDs will only deliver full performance reliably, if they are connected to the controller with a 80 conductor cable. Optical drives generally operate at ATA 33 (DMA 2) and will operate at full performance, and reliably, on a 40 conductor cable.

The 40 cable that came in my box is still in there. Life would be a great deal easier if the bean counters were counted out, and obsolete devices like the 40 conductor cables were banished to the legacy bin (where they would meet most of Pinnacle's recent/current product list, but I digress!).

My recommendation of the sacred text comes from my agreement with you: the manuals that we are given with the product are useless. Most of what I know comes from this book. It might be "fun" as bt puts it, to rely on this board, but it cannot always provide the answer - certainly you cannot be sure of a speedy solution. There is a limit to what people like Gary Mackenzie, Alan Roberts, et al. can provide.

We lesser mortals should be grateful for the unstinting help that is available.

I can't help you on XP, to me that belongs in some kind of legacy bin of the future!

[This message has been edited by Alan Craven (edited 03 August 2003).]

bcrabtree
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Joined: Mar 7 1999

There is, hereabouts, an explanation that I posted about why it is a good idea to use 40-wire ATA cables on CD and DVD drives.

The explanation, I think was Pioneer's or Panasonic's but this will be clear from the posting.

Bob C

bt
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Joined: Aug 16 2000

Alan
Sorry if I offend.
I'm merely offering an observation and not critisizing you

Bernie

rongrover
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Joined: Jun 1 2002

Hi Bob. This was the thread you refer to.
http://www.dvdoctor.net/cgi-bin/ubb/Forum6/HTML/001563.html

I think most would say that it is ok to use the 80 wire cable, but there was a recommendation to use the 40 wire for optical drives from pioneer.

Ron.

Alan Craven
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Joined: Jan 26 2001

Bernie,

No problem.

Stevedh
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Joined: Dec 1 2001

While we're on the subject of cables can I suggest you take a look at rounded cables. They are much neater which most who have built their own PC will greatly appreciate.

Among other places, they're sold by Overclockers at a much lower price than the regular 80 line wide/flat cables by, say, PC World (yuk) http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_IDE_151.html

The page will also answer questions about the suitability of use with ATA133/100/66

I should add that I have no connection with the company other than being a satisfied customer.

Steve

josjac
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Joined: Jul 6 2001

...or you could of course just make your own.

If you look closely at the very end of an IDE cable you will find that it has been merely cut off a much longer run. Many "editors", like myself, utilise a Raid/ATA controller as well as IDE 1 & 2 channels, & have just one device connected to each/most cable(s). In order to improve air flow in my PC cases i`ve always neatly cut the cable off immediatley after the "middle" connector. Saves having all that extra, surplus cable everywhere. Never had a problem with this on any machine i`ve built.

...& for the completely crazy &/or tightfisted...using a sharp craftknife (or similiar) CAREFULLY slice the plastic strip along the length of the cable inbetween the actual wiring. On either 40 or 80 wire cable i`d suggest doing this 4-6 times over the width of the cable, & no closer than within 2" (50mm) of the connectors. Then gently ziptie the 'strips' of cable together every few inches along the length & (cue drumroll)
...streamlined cable.

Sounds mad but if you`re careful they work perfectly.

& zero outlay! errr...apart from the zipties.

There again, those silver braided ones DO look the business...

josjac