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Using * Prototype * (beta) Mac PCI ATA/66 Controller
Consider this page just a curiosity, since the PCI IDE card used was a prototype, never released to the public and clearly had some performance bottlenecks. The firmware in the IDE PCI card (prototype UltraTek card, never released) was a very early version. (The ultratek card was later to be sold by VST, with much improved firmware - dual IDE RAID performance with the retail version and two IBM 75GXP drives had rates more than twice what is shown here, with sustained rates over 50MB/sec.)
The 9600/350 is a "Kansas" motherboard design which is known for lower PCI/Memory performance, which also likely affected scores. (I've seen faster PCI IDE drive performance with one single IDE drive in my Umax S900 with an Acard ATA/66 PCI IDE card for instance than the very, very low rates seen with the 9600 noted below.)
Although I wish I'd had a G4/450 CPU Upgrade for the 9600/350 (instead of a G4/350) so that the CPU speed would be comparable to the G4/450 AGP (aka sawtooth) modern Mac, that was no possible. Hopefully this comparison will still be of interest. (Older motherboard design, slower bus speed mac vs modern Mac with better/faster PCI/memory controller and SDRAM.)
Although the prototype controller card is likely the major factor in the low rates shown below, the two drives used here were IDE Maxtor 27GB models, which seem to have much lower write speeds than normal - even when tested with modern macs and onboard IDE controllers. (See the Maxtor 40GB review, which had nearly 30MB/sec sustained rates in Read and Write with the B&W G3 onboard IDE controller). The rates from a single Maxtor 40GB drive were higher than dual drive RAID in either system with this early firmware PCI IDE card and two Maxtor 27GB drives.
For more current articles on IDE or IDE RAID, see the IDE articles page.
(For a more complete guide, including Softraid setup - see the IDE RAID How-To Article.)
The photos below illustrate the steps required to install two IDE hard drives in an Apple B&W G3 or G4 system (since the case designs are identical). The photos don't go into the simple step of installing the IDE PCI card, since it's assumed you know how to install a PCI Card.
Since the dual drive IDE RAID has each drive on a separate cable, there's no need to change the default Master drive jumper setting of most IDE drives. (Most IDE drives come already set for Master or single drive setting.)
Hardware & Software Required:
I welcome other feedback on IDE Raid Performance - please list your Mac model, OS version, IDE PCI Card, drives used, Raid Software/version, etc.
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