Will an ATA/66 controller run a Seagate Barracuda ATA/66 drive faster than an ATA/33 controller?
Posted 2/9/2000
© 2000 Rob Art Morgan, editor of BARE FEATS
The G3 Yosemite and G4 Yikes come with built-in ATA/33 controllers. The Sawtooth, on the other hand, sports a built-in ATA/66 controller. Will adding an ATA/66 controller enhance the G4 Yikes? Here's the test results rounded to the nearest whole MB/sec:





The ATA/66 controller tested produced no faster times than the ATA/33 controller. More importantly, the same Seagate Barracuda went no faster on the G4/400 Sawtooth with built-in ATA/66 controller than it did on the G4/400 Yikes using the built-in ATA/33 controller.

This leads me to believe what was said by a long time industry observer: "The current crop of Ultra ATA drives are running as fast as they can. A faster controller won't help."

FLASH. There's now a faster drive that takes advantage of the Ultra ATA/66 controller. It's the IBM 75GXP.

Reader questions:
Did you use 80 conductor cables (designed for ATA/66)? Yes

Does the drive/card "know" to run in ATA/66 mode? If the correct cable is present, the firmware detects which cable is being used and automatically adjusts the speed accordingly.

Where do I get an ATA/66 controller for the Mac? It was a pre-release of the UltraTek/66 from VST Technology. It's now a "real" product and available for as little as $155 from Buy.Com.

Doesn't the Seagate Barracuda have to be "told" to run in ATA/66 mode? Since completing the test, I found out it needs to be "told" to run in ATA/66 mode using a utility from Seagate. Here's the catch: the utility only runs on Windows OS. So I installed the drive in a PC, ran the utility to modify the firmware, stuck it back in the Mac, same result. So much for that theory.


Test Configurations & Procedures


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© 2000 Rob Art Morgan, editor of BARE FEATS
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