- A little of theory

- Why does it serve?

- How is it

- 1, 2, 3, trying, trying...

- Price and conclusion

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Hot Rod 66: UltraDMA66 for all

Not long ago we have commented on the arrival of the first hard disks UltraDMA66, and it does even less we have analyzed two basic badges first in supporting the above mentioned technology, the BE6 and BP6 of ABIT. But: is it that we have to change motherboard to enjoy the UltraDMA66? Not necessary, always we can install a card checker as Hot Rod 66 of ABIT.

(Certainly: for those who are surprised at the big number of products ABIT that we analyze, it is due simply to the fact that this company puts them nicely at our disposal; no economic compensation exists, I bribe not even secret agreement... although we are opened for all kinds of proposals The day :) that Intel gives us a Xeon or although it is a "vulgar" Pentium III to prove them, we will do it with supreme taste).

A little of theory

We are going to comment quickly on the technological topics that atañen to the UltraDMA66, trying to sum up a little what we already said in the last report on hard disks. First, let's remember that UltraDMA66 (or ATA66, or UltraATA66) it is a method of transference of information for the hard disks IDE (the most common of the market). The principal innovations with regard to the current standard (UltraDMA33) are:

  1. It allows to reach a speed of up to 66 Mb / century
  2. He needs a special cable, of 40 pines but with 80 drivers.

Although to go on from 33 MB/s with UltraDMA33 to just the double looks like an increase of impressive speed, we must tint it a little: this speed is the attainable maxim between the computer and the hard disk, not that of the hard disk in itself. In fact, few discs go so far as to rub at least 33 MB/s, although the most modern and expensive models (that turn 7.200 rpm and even rpm) begin 10.000 to obtain it, what motivates the change to UltraDMA66.

To finish this rapid summary, let's remember that all the computers from the Pentium (and even great 486) have a checker IDE integrated to the motherboard with two channels, who allows to tune in up to 4 devices (2 for channel), supposing that the checker is EIDE (Extended-IDE) - which is not great to suppose, since it is the habitual case in integrated checkers or with less than 4 years-.

Why does it serve?

Obviously, to be able to use the new hard disks UltraDMA66 in basic badges that are not prepared for it, for example the cradles in the chipset BX. In fact it is supposed that all the hard disks UltraDMA66 are compatible with the previous ways of transference (UltraDMA33 and ways IT CHIRPED), but obviously we will be wasting partly the disc.

On the other hand, Hot Rod 66 includes two channels IDE, like any another checker modern IDE (the only peculiarity is that they allow UltraDMA66), in each of which 2 devices can settle. Thus the second application of this card is to provide to us the aptitude to install in our PC: up to 8 devices IDE!

This is something really interesting for two motives; first, the new chipsets (i810, i810e, i820) are going to offer UltraDMA66, but only with 2 channels (= 4 devices). Second, in these times in which everything seems to come with connection IDE (hard disk, CD - ROM, DVD-ROM, Zip, CD tape recorder...), it turns out to be very common to have two full channels or to turn out to be forced to mix in the same channel rapid devices with slow devices, what must be avoided at all costs. A checker IDE like Hot Rod can help us very much in this aspect.

How is it

Photo of the ABIT Hot Rod 66

Physically, like any other checker IDE. A card of expansion with connection PCI, with two connectors of 40 pines (one for channel, or what is the same, one for cable), with a connector for the cable that indicates the activity of the hard disk (the typical red bombillita of the casing)... and it is already.

Of two only ones chips that we find, the square is the control chip, which is not different but the HPT366 of High Point, the same one who take the BE6 and the BP6. The elongated one is the BIOS of the checker, who fortunately is a chip of Flash ROM, what means that we will be able to update it on the ABIT web page to settle possible future problems.

What is the checker in itself is finished here, but the bundle includes more things:

  • an absolutely magnificent manual, better than that of many basic badges (on 24 pages there are neither more nor less than 47 photos and drawings) although only in English, how it is habitual;
  • a diskette with controlers for Windows 95, 98 and NT (for TWO they do not need);
  • two cables UltraDMA66.

He is the result of being grateful much for the inclusion of two cables UltraDMA66, since at present they are very difficult to find and more expensive enough than the cables normal IDE. These cables are very showy, with different colors in the connectors (black, gray, blue) as where there should get a job each one (master disk, I dial slave, motherboard).


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