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  1. #1
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    Promise 66 ide conttroller (PCI)

    Anybody know if you can use ide cables longer than 18" with the Promise 66 card? I was going to buy some 36" from cablesnmor.com, but I noticed they advise to check about max lengths for your card first. (Note -- this is NOT the onboard Promise RAID controller that comes on some new mb's).

    I'm using the card in a tall hx08 case with 2 7200's up in the top 5.25" bays to keep 'em cool, and the cables barely reach (when I used them in the lower 3.5" basket they overheated all the time). Now the shorty cables partially block my side blowhole and generally get in the way, so I'd like to run them up the backside of the mb.

    (I modded the card into a FastTrak RAID with THG's resistor hack -- works great!).

    PS I'm not spending fifty bucks on rounded cables which are also too short and would still jam up my ventilation, not that I would pay fifty bucks for ide cables, just on principle.

    Thanks all

    TB900@1000
    K7M
    etc

  2. #2
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    Coincidentally, I asked Promise that exact question just a couple weeks ago (like you, I also use a refrigerator-sized case). I'm not home where I have access to the reply to paste it, but it was simple enough: "The IDE standard for cables is 18 inches. You can try using cables longer than that, but you may experience data loss and/or corruption as a result."

    Basically, the Promise Ultra66 will "work" with >18" cables, but, as with any other IDE controller, the long cables can themselves become the root of data transfer problems. I played it safe and figured out a way to make 18" IDE cables work. I'd fully expect 36" cables to be unusable with most IDE devices, but then again, I've never tried it.

  3. #3
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    Hmm, interesting.

    Well, since I'm running RAID 0 only I have no critical data on the drives anyway. Maybe it's worth a try, the cablesnmor product is cheap enuf @ 8-bucks. These are full 80-wire 66/100 cables too.

    After I get 'em in a week or so and have a chance to run them for a while I'll let y'all know how they work out.

  4. #4
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    I'm running RAID 0 too, but I do care about my data! (So, I backup...) You can use 24" cables too, right? They can only work better than 36", which I hold no hope for.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, I also back up.

    24" would only slightly alleviate rather than solve the issue, so it's 36" or bust. I'll let you know...

    (turns out they are $14 not $8 which was for 48"(!), 40-wire cables).

    For the faint of heart there are 24".

  6. #6
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    OK, I'm back home, and I dug into my email archives. Here are some unedited replies. I actually asked Western Digital the same question (i.e. "Is a >18" IDE cable OK?), with regard to their own products. Their reply:
    The industry standard is 18 inches. By using a longer IDE cable you will have slower transfer rates and possible data loss or corrupted data.

    The reply from Promise (which I had confused with the one from WD, in my own twisted mind) was:
    Yes you can used cable longer than 24" but sometime you will run into data corruption. But not all will.

    They actually answered the wrong question, or mistyped in their reply, because I asked if a 24" cable would be OK--not one >24". Oh well.

  7. #7
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    i do not suggest using any ide cable longer than 18", but definitely nothing longer than 24", youre really pushing it then.

  8. #8
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    Have you tried any longer cables (or know someone who did) -- what happened?

  9. #9
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    signal degradation happens. the controller and/or drive has to resend data, lowering performance consideribally.
    lots of people run at 24" with no problem. although the ide reference calls for a maximum of 18" cables.

  10. #10
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    I know the theories... If you were to _overclock_ your system, you could -- in theory -- shorten the lifespan of components, risk data corruption and generally experience a living hell. The question then becomes, are you willing to take the chance? And of course, no one ever does ;-\

    I'm wondering if you (or anyone) has specific knowledge of somebody daring to go over the ide cable length spec to, say, 36" and what bad bad things did actually occur to the fool.

    Thanks!


  11. #11
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    Here is a link for you. Use Google Usenet Search to find more.

    Subject: Re: cable length specs?

    I wouldn't even try 36" cables, but that's me. I believe what he says, which is that missed bits here and there could be really tough to diagnose, but could also potentially wreak hell on your system.

  12. #12
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    I'm sorry but I just read someone yammering on about would of's, could of's and should of's, and not too coherently at that.

    I'm asking about specific experiences that people have actually had with longer cables, not this theoretical rubbish.

    Thanks.

  13. #13
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    Well, I regret even trying to help. That post is very "coherent", but you are correct that it does not cite specific experiences with >18" cables.

    Part of the problem with expecting a "real-world case" might be exactly what he said--problems encountered when >18" cables are used are often misdiagnosed. So, the schleps who try it probably complain about how "Windows sucks", or blame their hard drive, whatever, but never figure out that it's the garden hose-type cables at fault.

    It sounds to me like you should just go for it and find out. Or perhaps just put the 7,200-RPM drives in lower 5.25 bays, as I've done with my RAID'd pair of IBM 75GXP's. I use a couple Coolermaster 4002's, which seem to be the best thing going, and not terribly expensive.

  14. #14
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    OK, I apologize for the sarcastic tone of my previous post and you're right, the cited explanation is probably very coherant to anyone who understands the jargon.

    There are many many variables to sort out in troubleshooting any sort of problem that may arise especially when working out of spec, which I assume generally that everyone who participates or even reads this forum is probably engaged in at one level or another.

    I've gone and ordered the 36", 80-wire cables and I will stick them in, see what happens and report here on the results in a couple of weeks.

    What I plan to do is benchmark the RAID with Sandra before and after, to establish if there is a performance hit from the longer cables, and in the course of normal computing attempt to learn whether there is any corruption imminent in these long cables, in my particular box (I do a lot of 3d work and use the RAID for my NT swap file, which is hardly ever used, as well as to park renderings) .

    Perhaps I shall come to regret this demented experiment, but in the absence of anecdotal evidence to the contrary I feel there may be some chance of success... I am not risking any irreplaceable data, just a day and a half of reinstalling everything if it comes to that (my systems, apps etc are on a different drive running off the onboard controller with bog-standard, 18" ide cables).

    Thanks for your advice and suggestions and again, I'm sorry if I gave offence in my previous post.

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