Short rounded IDE cable -- important for cooling?

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dan
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Short rounded IDE cable -- important for cooling?

Post by dan » Fri May 07, 2004 7:52 am

hi,
since both my SOYO motherboard AND HD came with standard ultra ATA cables and i still use my floppy cable from the 386 days, (i have a couple more ultra ATA cables than i even need)

does rounded IDE cables and floppy cables make a difference in cooling and airflow? unless the impact is rather dramatic, i'm not sure why i should buy such a cable when i have a regular cable for "free"

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Post by Shadowknight » Fri May 07, 2004 8:18 am

Go to the general Gallery and look at Ralph Hutter's P4 machine. If you fold the cables like he does, you'll get MUCH better airflow than with round cables...
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Post by loren_brothers » Fri May 07, 2004 11:21 am

Shadowknight wrote:Go to the general Gallery and look at Ralph Hutter's P4 machine. If you fold the cables like he does, you'll get MUCH better airflow than with round cables...
matter of opinion only.

(prove me wrong :wink: )
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Post by Putz » Fri May 07, 2004 11:27 am

Be aware, if you decide to use rounded cables, that standard rounded cables should only be used with CD-ROM drives. You risk data corruption if you use them with faster-interfaced hard drives. If you would still like to use rounded cables with hard drives, at least be sure that the cables you choose are of the twisted-pair variety, as they are less prone to cross-talk interference. Or consider SATA :)

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Post by Ralf Hutter » Fri May 07, 2004 2:02 pm

loren_brothers wrote:
Shadowknight wrote:Go to the general Gallery and look at Ralph Hutter's P4 machine. If you fold the cables like he does, you'll get MUCH better airflow than with round cables...
matter of opinion only.

(prove me wrong :wink: )
Umm, I dunno. Seems logical to me.

Flat cables laying flat against the case walls vs. rounded cables snaking around throughout the case that are too stiff to manage to any decent degree. The rounded cables may not reduce the airflow by any great degree but there's no way in hell they're as good, or even better than flat cables laying flat against the sides of the case. Add to that the fact that rounded cables are out of spec for IDE (potential data corruption, and I've personally seen it) and that they cost 2-5x as much as flat cables and it seems a no-brainer to me.
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Post by loren_brothers » Fri May 07, 2004 6:41 pm

Ralf Hutter wrote: Flat cables laying flat against the case walls vs. rounded cables snaking around throughout the case that are too stiff to manage to any decent degree. The rounded cables may not reduce the airflow by any great degree but there's no way in hell they're as good, or even better than flat cables laying flat against the sides of the case. Add to that the fact that rounded cables are out of spec for IDE (potential data corruption, and I've personally seen it) and that they cost 2-5x as much as flat cables and it seems a no-brainer to me.
I just have never seen any data to support that statement (opinion). That is all I meant, Ralf. But to address your points:
  1. 1. You still have to get those nice big ribbon cables from the middle of the hardware to the side of the box. (unless you have side access bays for everything! :wink: )
    2. Out of spec? Opinion or fact? Where's the technical data links? Why then does MSI include them as a standard accesssory with the K8T Motherboard? Newegg K8T. (silly ignorant folk! :wink:)
    3. My rounded 18" cables cost me $11 and the 24" flats on the peg next to them were $13. (of course that is retail price in a retail store in Friday Harbor :wink: )
Yep, sure seems like a no-brainer alrightee! :wink: (just teasing, Ralf :wink: )
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Post by ahrbruz » Fri May 07, 2004 10:12 pm

Ralf has got it right. Flat cables tucked up to the case side via 'cable oragami' will reduce any impedence to air flow through the central portions of the case.

If rounded cables could be 'flattened' against the back of the case, similar results could be realized. However, trying to flatten rounded cables is just like the oft quoted phrases: "jumbo shrimp", "military intelligence", etc.

Just a thought Loren, not a proven technique.

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Post by Ralf Hutter » Sat May 08, 2004 6:39 am

loren_brothers wrote: I just have never seen any data to support that statement (opinion). That is all I meant, Ralf. But to address your points:
1. You still have to get those nice big ribbon cables from the middle of the hardware to the side of the box. (unless you have side access bays for everything! :wink: )
You just fold the cable over on itself at a 90° angle and it heads right towards the side of the case. Look at the numerous pictures of my cablegami in the "General Gallery". There's also pics of other folks cablegami as well.

loren_brothers wrote:2. Out of spec?
Yes.
loren_brothers wrote:Opinion or fact?
Fact
loren_brothers wrote:Where's the technical data links?
Here. This is the ATA-5 standard and one of the few I could find online. Start at page 311 for the physical requirements for an 80-connector ATA cable. Start at page 337 for a fascinating read of the "Signal Integrity and UDMA Implementation Guide".
loren_brothers wrote:Why then does MSI include them as a standard accesssory with the K8T Motherboard?
Because they value market share over data integrity.

loren_brothers wrote:3. My rounded 18" cables cost me $11 and the 24" flats on the peg next to them were $13. (of course that is retail price in a retail store in Friday Harbor :wink: )
My ATA-100 flat ribbon cable vary from a low of "free" (included with every motherboard) to $2.49 for an 18" ATA-100 cable, along with a floppy cable and a bag of spare screws and mobo standoffs (I order them 10 at a time so I have plenty of spare ATA cables fro my builds).


EDIT - Here's a little "Dan's Data" ditty about rounded vs. flat IDE cables.
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Post by Rusty075 » Sat May 08, 2004 7:33 am

Loren, the spec for IDE cables requires a ground wire to alternate between every data wire, to prevent crosstalk between the wires.

In an 80 pin IDE cable, either ribbon or round, 40 of them are just grounds.

When you separate all those wires to make the cable round, you end up with data wires running next to each other, increasing crosstalk and thus data errors. There's been plenty of round vs. ribbon tests online, shouldn't be hard to google for one.

But with no matter what cable you choose one rule always applies: Use the shortest cable possible Don't use a 24" where and 18" will work. 12" ribbons (if you can find them) work great for small cases. Better transfer, plus there's less cable to have to hide.
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Post by dago » Sat May 08, 2004 8:10 am

I've really got too much time on my hand and I will now fiercully flame back toward the above answers from SCPR's master reviewers ('cause of bluefront's thread, it's his fault) :twisted: :wink:

:arrow: there's a big difference between theory and practice ...
In theory, it's easy to have better airflow with rounded cables.
Normally, just putting a rounded cable will have a better result that the flat cable which always fit naturally against your fan.
But ... you may have mastering skills in cablegami, see the gallery for that, and achieve a better result with folded flat cables
In theory, rounded cables will give errors because they are out of specs
Well, in fact, this is not exactly correct [sic], being out of spec there's more _probability_ that you will have errors. Just like it is more probable to have car accident on a friday night doesn't mean you shouldn't drive on friday nights, right ?

To illustrate the difference between this theory and practice, I was the admin of a network, covering a 40x40m building, having hundred of meters of aerial low-quality self-made cables (making a nice spiderweb), about 15-20 cheap hubs and 150 users ... and it was perfectly working but out of all specs (even the operating temperature of the hubs).

I know this is a personnal anecdote and you probably have in both direction ... which means that there are some chances that it will work and some that it won't. Up to you to try in your contiions ...

Moreover, concerning round cables and crosstalk, if the cable is correctly made, crosstalk can be reduced to acceptable values, just by pairing a signal with its ground and "coupling" them together, I don't think all round" cables are like that. BTW, the standard cabling is round and goes to gigabit speeds (good Cat5 cables are spec'ed with a bandwith of 155 MHz, IIRC).

Anyway, my definitive answer is :
- round cables will most probably work
- learning cablegami is more efficient, for cost and for the result.

But, be carefull, first time I (tried to) cablegami, I manage to cut myself and spill blood all over the (poor quality/cheap) case ;)

EDIT: I just read (part of) the ATA spec and ...
Although the ground-signal-ground configuration of the 80-conductor cable assembly greatly reduces coupling between wires on the cable, the host and device connectors generate a large amount of crosstalk because they still use the original ground configuration with no ground lines separating the 16 signals of the data bus. In addition, crosstalk between traces on the PCB may reach high levels in systems with long traces or with tight spacing between traces. Cumulative crosstalk plus ground bounce measured at the connector of the recipient in typical systems using the 80-conductor cable ranges from 400 mV to 1 V peak, in short pulses with a frequency content equivalent to the frequency content of the edge rates of the drivers being used.
And, sorry, but they consider normal having a 1V peak with the same frequency content ... I don't see the difference between round and flat cable being that high.

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Post by dan » Sat May 08, 2004 10:18 am

well i guess there's no argument, round ATA cables aren't the way to go.

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Post by loren_brothers » Sat May 08, 2004 11:03 am

lol....

Well, I will still "agree to disagree" on several points made. But since I'm not in "debating mode" today I will skip it.

In the end it is all a moot point for me though. As you all know I am starting to build a new Athlon64 system using 4 SATA HDDs. I have decided to not use a P160 case for the project, instead I am going to try out one of those Noiseblocker G2 cases. (with a few fan mods, of course :wink: ) As you know it is all clear plexiglass, so there will be no place to hide wiring OR cables.

The SATA drives will of course use SATA cables which are nice and compact. The optical drives and floppy will all use rounded cables since they are not "data critical" transfer sources like hard drives. The only 'fly in the ointment' will be the ribbon cable from the sound card to the front I/O panel.

I also plan to 'custom length' the PSU output wires to exact lengths by cutting them off about 2" from the PSU and attaching female plug-in type 'bullet connectors' link at that point. The cut off portions will then be trimmed to the exact lengths needed and male connectors added to those ends. This will result in the use of 'needed' wiring only being used, no excess wire length to hide, and the ability to add more wiring if needed. Of course all wire bundles will be sheathed.

The above will allow me to have nice, tidy, unrestrictive case wiring/cabling in a totally transparent case. Not to forget to mention that everything will be nicely color co-ordinated! (red! :wink: )

(PS: how on earth did this thread wind up in "silent storage" anyways??)
Last edited by loren_brothers on Sat May 08, 2004 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Jan Kivar » Sat May 08, 2004 11:06 am

I'd say rounded cables are safe to use. Why else would the motherboard manufacturers include them with the motherboards? Selling something that don't work isn't very wise in USA. You'll have few dozen lawyers on your ass in notime.

There are, of course, some cheaply made cables (they don't have to be cheap!) that can/do/will cause loss of data integrity. Plus, the controller/drive/OS will drop the transfer rate down automatically in some cases.

Cheers,

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Post by Sizzle » Sat May 08, 2004 12:09 pm

Been using round cables for a while. Never any problems. I think the occurance of any errors is really slim at best.

Consdering that they've been sold and used for a few years now, I'd say it is not a "can you use them" issues anymore. Rounded cables certainly look much, much nicer and prettier.
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Post by Ralf Hutter » Sat May 08, 2004 2:05 pm

Jan Kivar wrote:
There are, of course, some cheaply made cables (they don't have to be cheap!) that can/do/will cause loss of data integrity.
I've had this happen with expensive Coolermaster cables.
Jan Kivar wrote:Plus, the controller/drive/OS will drop the transfer rate down automatically in some cases.
Yes, this is a "feature" that's present in Win2000/XP. Basicaly what happens is when the errors exceed what the normal CRC can handle, the OS (permanently, until you delete the IDE channel in Device Manager and reboot/redetect the channel) cuts back the speed of that IDE channel one level (ATA-100 down to ATA-66 for example), and if the errors still continue it will keep knocking the speed down until it gets to PIO, or stops giving errors, whicherver comes first. All this will be done behind the users back and they will notice nothing except slowness (or they can see the OS warning them about this in Event Viewer). I have personally had this happen to me and just recently repaired a customer's computer with a funky rounded cable in it so I have first-hand experience with this. Data integrity is too important to me to sacrifice it for looks or mythical performance. Is it worth slowing your IDE transfer speeds down or corrupting your data just for the sake of using out of spec cables?
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Post by al bundy » Sun May 09, 2004 2:29 am

This is snipped from another thread. I thought it might be useful advice to the cable-folders around here:

CallMeJoe wrote:
al bundy wrote:What about all the intricate folding of flat 80-wire IDE cables that some members around here do, in order to clean up the interior of their cases?
Does folding 80-wire IDE cables also perhaps allow data corruption?
Crosstalk is from inductive coupling between parallel conductors. Ground wire between signal wires is to reduce coupling. When wires cross at a high angle (i.e. 90 degrees) there is little or no inductive coupling. So keep your bends sharp, avoid doubling your cables, and you should have no problem.

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Post by Jan Kivar » Sun May 09, 2004 12:11 pm

Ralf Hutter wrote:
Jan Kivar wrote:There are, of course, some cheaply made cables (they don't have to be cheap!) that can/do/will cause loss of data integrity.
I've had this happen with expensive Coolermaster cables.
Thus my remark about the cheapness of the cable... :D

I must confess; I'm currently using round cables (made by Akasa). Bought in the hype of better airflow... :oops: My drives (WD...) run happily at ATA100, regardless of the cables.

Mark my words: Round cables suck, airflow-wise. Cablegami would achieve much better results with my RAID setup. The lower part of my case (Antec 1030B) is full with round cable, as the RAID ports are on the bottom-right corner of my motherboard (MSI KT333 Ultra-ARU).

Well, You live, You learn... 8)

Cheers,

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Post by sthayashi » Sun May 09, 2004 12:51 pm

Ralf Hutter wrote:
Jan Kivar wrote:There are, of course, some cheaply made cables (they don't have to be cheap!) that can/do/will cause loss of data integrity.
I've had this happen with expensive Coolermaster cables.
F***!!!

Why is it that I hear all this useful information AFTER I've gone and spent crap loads of money. Time for me to get some new UDMA100 cables. Can anyone recommend a good quality 18" (or shorter) single connector 80-wire UDMA100 cable?

Thanks.
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Post by Ralf Hutter » Sun May 09, 2004 2:23 pm

sthayashi wrote:
Ralf Hutter wrote:
Jan Kivar wrote:There are, of course, some cheaply made cables (they don't have to be cheap!) that can/do/will cause loss of data integrity.
I've had this happen with expensive Coolermaster cables.
F***!!!

Why is it that I hear all this useful information AFTER I've gone and spent crap loads of money. Time for me to get some new UDMA100 cables. Can anyone recommend a good quality 18" (or shorter) single connector 80-wire UDMA100 cable?

Thanks.
Easy there cowboy!

I've only personally seen three bad rounded cables and I've seen hundreds that work fine. You'll probably be just fine. (Of course I've never seen a bad flat ribbon cable, but hey, this isn't about flat cables, right :) )

For me personally, I just don't like those odds so I ditched my rounded cables and learned to work with flat cables. It's cheaper anyway.
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Post by Bluefront » Mon May 10, 2004 3:55 am

Well I have seen a bad flat cable. Pulled it brand new out of it's plastic bag and hooked up an expensive laptop drive which immediately fried. Seems the ide connector was reversed on one end and I just didn't notice it till too late. :cry:

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