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rounded IDE cables

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rounded IDE cables

Postby dodecahedron on Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:17 am

i was thinking of getting some rounded IDE cables for my PC.

i wanted to know if there are any preferences? any "known" brands of rounded IDE cables? are some better than others?
or are they all the same, just go to newegg and select whatever they have?

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Postby TheWizard on Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:45 am

I believe the extra long cables are not the standard, and as a result they may be less quality? The official standard, IIRC, is 18" or 24".
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Nov 07, 2003 9:07 am

no, i wasn't thinking of extra-long ones, just standard 18".

what i wanted to know was:
are they all the same, or are there various known brands? and if so which are considered the better ones?
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Postby dmakogon on Fri Nov 07, 2003 10:38 am

I've ordered a few different types (from newegg, among others). They seem to be nothing more than a regular IDE cable wrapped in a tube. I don't see any differences between the brands except for the colors offered.

I've seen ATA133 cables as well as ATA 66/100, so just make sure you get the right type for your setup.

Not that you asked, but my opinion of round IDE cables is that they're not worth it. I find that regular ribbon cables are easier to work with in tight spots. If you have drives stacked in close proximity and want to use both master and slave connectors, the tube doesn't flex too easily, and when you finally do get it flexed, it sticks out several inches from the back of the drive.

You may want to consider going the SATA route, and buying adapters from HighPoint to go from SATA to PATA on the back of each drive. The SATA cables are very small and can be routed around the case much more easily. (of course, you'd need an SATA controller if your m/b doesn't have one, but you can now get 4-port cards for about $90 at newegg).
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Postby David on Fri Nov 07, 2003 12:59 pm

If you have extra ide cables around you could always make your own rounded cables.

Thats what I did they might not look nice but they work. :D
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Postby CowboySlim on Fri Nov 07, 2003 1:01 pm

no, i wasn't thinking of extra-long ones, just standard 18".


In the context of the written specifications (UATA) for data transfer, there are no round cables that are compliant. There are no cables longer than 18" that are compliant, the standard/specification makes no provisions for the compliance verification testing of lengths other than 18".

As far as round cables promoting cooling, that is 60% mythology, 25% vendor hype, 10% nonsense, and 5% possibly true.

Outside of that, round cables are a fine idea.

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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Nov 07, 2003 2:02 pm

thanks for the replies and info.
Slim when i said "just standard 18 inch" i should've said "standard length".

Slim wrote:As far as round cables promoting cooling, that is 60% mythology, 25% vendor hype, 10% nonsense, and 5% possibly true.

Wow! :o is that really so???
well, your replies Slim and dmakogon, have somewhat put me off the idea. i'll do some careful re-thinking.
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Postby TheWizard on Fri Nov 07, 2003 2:06 pm

My question to you, dodecahedron, if you already have ATA100 or ATA133 ribbon cables, why bother with rounded? I take it your puter is surviving just fine with ribbon cables now, otherwise you wouldn't be logging in to the CDRLabs forums everyday. :)
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Nov 07, 2003 2:24 pm

you're quite right, Wizard. the computer is running fine (mostly) for over 2 years. on an 80-wire cable for HDs, 40-wire cable for optical drives.
it's just that i'm going to purchase some hardware through a friend in the US and thought to myself 'why not throw a copule of rounded cables into the bag'.

my computer is indeed running OK for 2 years but it's running HOT! :o :x :evil:
it's an Athlon Thunderbird 1400MHz - the hottest Athlon chip AFAIK.
and the computer (built by a system integrator) came with a shi**y Spire heatsink, and a thermal pad! i think the morons didn't know anything about thermal grease...2.5 years ago AMD was very scarce here in Israel and not many companies worked with AMD products or knew how to do it right...
my normal operating temperatures are 65-75 degreec Celcius - very hot i'm sure you'll agree (too hot?)
so i thought i might buy some Arctic Silver Ceramique or the newer stuff that came out a short while ago, forgot its name, and maybe rounded cables, to help out with the cooling a bit.
small measures until i can do some more serious upgrades (which i'd really like to do but can't afford just yet): a new case; along with proper cooling measures - a few silent fans for inteake + exhaust; a new CPU + heatsink + fan etc.
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Postby Stoner on Mon Nov 10, 2003 4:22 am

Round cables don't promote cooling, low room temperature, good case ventilation, and good heatsink + fan combo do.

What case are you running with how many fans?

At 65 to 75C, I'm surprise you don't have constant system reboot or crash. I've never ran my AMD processors over 50C.

Save your money for a new case like the Antec/Chiftec series that come w/ 2 intake, 2 exhaust and 1 side (80mm fans). Suggest you get at least a thermalright AX-7 heatsink with 80mm fan that pushes 40+ CFM.

Mean while I suggest you cut 2 holes on the side of your case, right on top of the CPU socket and AGP/PCI sockets. 90mm or 120mm are adviced. You can use a CD as guide if you decide on 120mm, they have the same diameter.
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Postby integspec on Tue Nov 18, 2003 12:58 am

Strongly agree with Stoner. After the fan / heatsink duo, room temperature is the #1 cause of heat. During summer in Korea my P4 ran nearly to 45C and I desperately tried round cables, thermal grease, etc... In the end changed to a huge case to a 2 fan intake and 2 out. But still this brought down the temp only to around 40. Recently changed to a more spacious apartment (well, my new born daughter demanded one) and also starting autumn the temp has been falling steadily. It usually hovers around 30C now.

As stoner said, go for a better case which provides good airflow. If you have spare IDEcables, do a search as overclock in google and you will come across thousands of case modding sites where you can find how to guides on cable rounding.

Here you can find a extensive review on heatsinks and coolers:
http://www.dansdata.com

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Postby wicked1 on Tue Nov 18, 2003 1:59 am

I have a bunch of rounded cables here and what I think of them is they are only worth it if you have a clear window case and want them to glow under UV light.I have had a few that didnt work for shit.The ones I got from Xoxide.com seem to be the best quality ones that I have.I agree that they are harder to route than the ribbon cables in tight places but I have a clear case and I "Needed" them for it to look cool but I wouldnt reccomend you run out and buy them otherwise. I dont think they actually make a noticeable difference in temps like claimed.
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Postby dodecahedron on Tue Nov 18, 2003 2:29 am

i'm not interested in aesthetics. i don't have a window in my case.
i will bow to your wisdom and forget abour rounded IDE cables.

thanks for all the info and advice.
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Postby liteoncrasher on Thu Nov 27, 2003 6:35 pm

I know I'm late to the party but here's my experience:

I replaced my two flat IDE cables and my one flat floppy cable with round cables. Now my system temp is about 2C cooler than with flat cables. The cpu isn't cooler, but the rest of the system is a bit cooler. (temps from MSI PCAlert III)
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Postby CowboySlim on Fri Nov 28, 2003 1:44 am

about 2C cooler than with flat cables


Quite interesting. That's about the effect, or maybe a little more than I would have expected and why I said that it was 95% bunk.

I never explained why, but I've never seen it explained by anyone else either. So, if you are interested, read on.

Most of us have tower/ATX configurations with chassis fans in the back and maybe some in the front. As such, they establish a front to rear air flow. It is this air flow which is impeded more by flat IDE cables than the round ones. This is just an observable fact. However, the air flow impedance due to flat cables has only a minor effect on CPU temps (in the fact of the case above, there was no measureable effect). Now if you take the side door off, you will notice that the axis of the CPU fan is at right angles to the fore to aft flow through the chassis. In effect the fan not only substantially accelerates the air flow, it has to turn it through a 90° angle. As a result, any decrement if fore to aft velocity due to flat cable obstruction is inconsequential in comparison the the fan induced velocity increment and the 90° turn.

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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Nov 28, 2003 3:15 am

CowboySlim wrote:Slim
Who knows that the heat transfer phenomena in turkeys is much less predictable and therefore always uses a meat thermometer. :P

how apt! :D
bon-appetite! :P
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Postby ruderacer on Fri Nov 28, 2003 3:32 am

Dodecahedron, when I bought my system, I bought the round cables cause I was advised that they would run much cooler than the standard flat cables. The brand name is Cooler Master and they were not very expensive. I paid 9.50 for the 18 inch for the floppy and 11.00 each for the two 24 inch for the HD and CDR. The cables are well insulated (the wires are covered with a braided material and are also covered with a plastic coating. I hope this helps.
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Nov 28, 2003 3:41 am

thank you. :)
but i think i will forgo them (for now anyway).
for one, the comments in this topic.
also, $20 is not a little money to me, and i think my money will be better spent (and more effective for cooling my system) on a good case. i'm thinking about one of those Enermax or Antec cases. hope i can drum up the money for one.
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Postby ruderacer on Fri Nov 28, 2003 3:51 am

If you are looking for a case I bought the Thermaltake XaserIII case. It comes with seven fans and it is really really quiet. It runs cool. I bought it 7 months ago so I don't know what is going for now. Good Luck.
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Postby CDRecorder on Fri Nov 28, 2003 4:32 am

I have my two Athlon-based systems (including an Athlon Thunderbird 1200, runs about as hot as your Athlon Thunderbird 1400, Dodecahedron) in Antec cases, which are very nice. I also have a Spire FalconRockII heatsink in one computer and a Speeze FalconRock (same as the Spire) in the other, and they do a great job of keeping the processors cool. My Thunderbird is running a bit hot at the moment (about 52-53 deg. C under full load), but I'm going to try using some Arctic Silver Ceramique to bring that temp down a few degrees.
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Nov 28, 2003 4:44 am

no, it's not as hot as mine...in my previous post i wrote that my temps are 65-75C. right now 65C, it's morning and cool wheather (autumn). usually (in summertime at least) it's 72-75 even with AC on in the room.

i know my case is rather small and cramped, bad for cooling.
my heatsing is a sh!tty Spire model that came with the computer - lousy. i doubt i'd try their products...
i keep thinking i should get Arctic Silver and a decnet heatsink, but keep putting it off...also things are expensive here in Israel (compared to the US anyways). i guess i'll just keep going with things as they are untill i upgrade the computer (god know when that'll be)

thanks for the info though.


BTW hoxlund said there's now Arctic Silver 5 newer than Ceramique and supposedly better...maybe get that instead?
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Postby CDRecorder on Fri Nov 28, 2003 4:59 am

Yes, I realize that your comp is running hotter; however, I think that's probably mainly because your heatsink and/or case is not well suited to cooling such a hot processor.

I certainly don't think that it would be good to avoid all Spire products; the FalconRockII (also Speeze FalconRock) that I have is quite good! I bought it mainly in response to this review; and mine is performing very well as did the one in the review.

Yes, Hoxlund told me about the AS5; I probably would have bought it had I not already ordered the Ceramique. I guess I'll try the Ceramique (as it would cost me more to send it back than to keep it anyway) and see what happens.
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Postby ruderacer on Fri Nov 28, 2003 5:10 am

My system a 2.66 P4/1GB mem is running at 28C even when the room temp is about 28C. I not quite sure what cdrecorder means, "under full load", but when I burn CDs and use another program at the same time the temp remains within a couple of degrees form the 28C. I also have a Thermaltake P4 Spark 5 CPU fan and an Antec true480 power supply. Remember that I'm new at this, so I hope the info is helpful.
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Postby CDRecorder on Fri Nov 28, 2003 5:16 am

Full load means when every cycle of the processor is being used; that is, the processor is working as hard as it possibly can. This causes the processor to get hotter than the processor does when doing small tasks, like browsing the web, word processing, and burning CDs.
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Postby ruderacer on Fri Nov 28, 2003 5:24 am

Thanks. Can you give me an idea how to do this so I can check how hot mine gets.
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