Round Them Cables?

July 24, 2002
Round or flat drive cables? Which is best?
Tags Hardware

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Page 1
<B>Introduction :</B>
On a recent trip to Houston I took the opportunity to visit the <a href="">Directron’s</a> showroom and pick up a set of rounded cables. These are to be used in my latest project of rebuilding my water cooler setup. I knew I would need a longer (24”) EIDE cable to connect my CD-ROM and CD-RW in my new full ATX tower case.

<B>A Look At The Cables :</B>
These cables are from the Directron’s brand of rounded cables. As shown in the below photo I have a lime green FDD cable, a blue 24” EIDE cable, and a blue 18” EIDE cable. The shorter EIDE cable has markings to indicate it is ATA 33 - 133 compliant. I am about to find out if that is true or not.

<center><img src="/~nivram/RndCbl/cables.jpg">My Rounded Cables</center>

The first photo below shows the end connector of the cables, which is of typical construction. The second photo is the middle connection construction, which shows how it is first covered with a clear plastic sleeve before pressing on the connector. The outer covers are easy to move back from the connector to get a good view of the construction. This also means you can move them right up to the connector after installing the cables for a clean and neat appearance.

<center><img src="/~nivram/RndCbl/cblend.jpg">End Cable Connector</center>
<center><img src="/~nivram/RndCbl/cblmk.jpg">Middle Cable Construction</center>
Page 2
<B>Testing The Cables :</B>
I tested each hard drive a baker’s dozen (in other words 13 times) with each cable to get a range for each drive, which is depicted in the table below. I did the test series using a streaming video test utility.

<center><img src="/~nivram/RndCbl/speed.jpg">Speed Readings Table (MByte/s) </center>

<center><img src="/~nivram/RndCbl/fltcblin.jpg">Flat Cable Installed</center>
<center><img src="/~nivram/RndCbl/rndcblin.jpg">Round Cable Installed</center>

<B>Conclusion :</B>
I am very surprised at the results, as I am sure you are. I would have thought the design for the newer cables would require a ground wire directly between all the wires. But considering the fact that the flat cables are often twisted to fit a specific situation by many users, including me, it should have dawned on me that this was not totally necessary. I am not saying that it is not needed, but that maybe only some lines need adjacent ground wires.
Check out the availably of the different lengths and colors available at <a href=""></a>. I know that I am going to use these rounded cables exclusively on my own computers and recommend them to all my fr


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