Hot Rod 66: UltraDMA66 for all
1, 2, 3, trying, trying...
Very well, let's leave the theory and let's go with the facts. For the tests we use the following material:
The installation was really how it indicates the manual: we unpack the card, look for a groove free PCI in the motherboard (the BM6), install the card (simply "to puncture it" and to press the corresponding screw), we connect the hard disk, plug in the system and Windows 98 detected the new card; we put the diskette with the controlers, began again and: everything worked! It seems that this is one of these products really Plug and Play... that they are not so many people, for much that Bill Gates insists that something is completely obtained.
To avoid problems with the checker of the motherboard, it is identified before Windows as if it was a card SCSI, something very ingenious. Once installed, the truth is that one forgets completely his existence; as the Englishmen say, in these cases the absence of news is good news in itself. But before forgetting completely, we realize some yield tests, of course:
Since we see, the yield increase is not spectacular, I half-close 4 % for the tests Winstone (Office, WordPerfect Suite, Lotus SmartSuite, Netscape) and 8 % for Disk Winmark (specific tests of hard disk), but this is normal since the disc used Quantum is UltraDMA66 but only it turns 5.400 rpm; with discs of 7.200 rpm (something that probably is standard next year) the increase would be undoubtedly major.
On the other hand, the use of the CPU (the "mike") when we use the Hot Rod instead of the checker of the motherboard is frankly minimal; thanks to this the general speed of the system does not turn out to be penalized, since the CPU can devote to other tasks instead of to manage the data transmission of the hard disk.
Finished the tests with the "classic" motherboard, the BM6, were staying the tests with the BP6, which between other interesting characteristics includes integrated the same control chip that Hot Rod takes. Would there be any difference between Hot Rod and the chip of the BP6? None by no means. The results were differing only in 0,2 % of the obtained ones previously, so there is not doubt that there are exactly the same chip. But if the BP6 can manage thanks to the chip integrated up to 8 devices IDE: it would be possible, installing the Hot Rod, to obtain it never seen codes of: 12 devices IDE!??
The answer seems to be that yes. It is not that we were going so far as to connect 12 devices (it would have been necessary to steal someone), but yes they installed 7 devices to themselves, using them - attention - 6 channels IDE, and seemingly quite it worked correctly; Windows detected the double of "devices SCSI" and appeared some curious peculiarity as that Hot Rod was taking the starter (the unit C) over his integrated sister, except when what we were connecting to her was a CD - ROM (something minor, on the other hand). Insurance that to connect 12 devices IDE to the PC is not one of the targets about which the ABIT engineers were thinking on having done this card, but the temptation was very strong... and it seems that not problematic at all.
Price and conclusion
Well, it is possible that it is very interesting, but: is it also very expensive? It is not anything simple of answering, because in this country the innovations come with dropper, and I have not seen announcements of Hot Rod not of the equivalent card of the company Promise, but a rapid search in Internet gives us a price between 42 and 50 dollars... let's say that approximately 8.000 pts. Is this great?
So, like everything, it depends. If we bear in mind that a cable UltraDMA66 costs approximately 1.000 pts, and that Hot Rod includes two; that Hot Rod and a disc UltraDMA66 of 7.200 rpm (undoubtedly the most advisable at present) cost like the half that his equivalent in SCSI, which for many uses does not offer any more yield; and that also we will be able to install another 4 devices IDE, it does not seem so expensive.
So if it is satisfied with his current motherboard but he wants to have the last thing in hard disks technology without paying the enormous SCSI prices, or if it has many devices IDE and needs more channels IDE, it is not doubt that he needs a card as Hot Rod 66 of ABIT.