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Rounded IDE Cable Review

Bosco    -   January 11, 2003
Category: Modding
GF City Computers
Price: $20 USD


Introduction

This time for something a little bit more basic, I'll be looking at some rounded IDE cables that were no longer used by a friend of mine, after he was enlightened by the "psuedu-origami" styles of folded regular IDE ribbon cables. There is nothing fancy about these ribbon cables; just for looks and I'll also see if there are any hard drive performance differences.


The rounded IDE cable

The rounded IDE cable is simply a regular ribbon cable that has its individual wires separated and then twisted so that pretty much all of its body is round, like a cylinder, hence the name "rounded". This one is just a regular rounded cable, first wrapped in foil to reduce RF interference, then a nylon mesh, and then finally a plastic body.


This one plugs into the motherboard

The plugs are also wrapped in a rubber-like plastic, so that the the user doesn't have to touch the foil when plugging or removing the cable, reducing the risk of tearing the foil.


A grounding cable to reduce RF interference as to not hamper file transfer speeds

Because twisting so many small cables can render them even more sensitive to RF interference, a grounding cable is also attached as part of the cable itself. All you have to to is attach this to one of your drive bays on the outside, and you should be set.


Plugged in and ready for testing!

Not exactly a pretty picture at the moment, but this is because I am using regular IDE cables at the same time.

While it is true that a rounded cable will allow the airflow to "wrap around" the cable, instead of a regular ribbon cable blocking the airflow completely, folding regular ribbon cables allows you to shape them in ways that reduce airflow blockage from happening in the first place. While folding cables isn't that difficult, patience is required in order to make good folds that keep their shape and take up as little space as possible. Try that with a rounded cable!

Testing

Test System

  • Intel Pentium 4 2.53GHz CPU
  • Asus P4S533 (SiS645DX) Motherboard
  • Maxtor 60GB ATA133 7200RPM Hard Drive
  • Memory: 512MB DDR333 (Samsung)
  • Running Windows XP Professional
  • Tested Mediums

  • Regular ATA133 IDE cable
  • Rounded ATA133 IDE cable
  • I will run SiSoftware Sandra 2003 Standard, running the File System Benchmark test 3 times for each cable, and then taking the averaged results. The hard drive is running at ATA133 (or UDMA 6).

    Pretty much no difference. Very few individuals (except for really strange computer user) will notice a difference of 2MB/s in games or when playing around with large files.

    Conclusion

    It all boils down to personal preference. Some users will stick to the rounded cable to no end, while others (such as myself), are more leaning towards putting some effort into hiding regular IDE ribbon cables. Do keep in mind that neatly folded IDE cables have also caught the eyes of many geeks too, much like when rounded cables first made their appearance.

    Which side are you on? =)

    Pros

  • Good asthetic appearances (although not so much in my own opinion)
  • Blocks less air than unfolded IDE ribbon cables.
  • Cons

  • Blocks more air than neatly folded IDE ribbon cables



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