IDE cables - How long is too long?

Hey, my new computer parts are sitting in my room as I write this. I plan on putting my new computer together on Sunday.
My motherboard (Epox 8KHA+) came with two cables - one ATA 100, one ATA 33. Both are 18 inch cables. My case is an Antec SX830. The ATA 100 cable will easily reach my HD, but the ATA 33 cable looks too short to reach my CDRW and DVD-ROM drives. But I've read in several places that ATA cables (even ATA 33 cables) can lose data once they are longer than 18 inches. This obviously will not do for my CDRW.

So what do I do? Anyone else with an Antec SX 830 and a couple of CD-ROM drives, out there? Will a 24-inch cable reach my top drive? Will a 36-inch cable lose too much data, even if it is ATA 33? Help!
4 answers Last reply
More about cables long long
  1. A rule of thumb that I follow is to keep it at 18" or less. However, seeing that it isn't possible in your case... there are people who use the longer cables with no problems.

    Please visit <b><A HREF="" target="_new"></A></b>
  2. Cable length is not as crucial with lower throughput devices such as CD-ROM drives. It becomes more critical the faster you pump data through a channel. I believe ATA-66 was the first to specify the 18-inch cable length limit, with a minimum length of 10-inches. The exact specs are metric and the max is actually just a bit shorter than 18-inches.

    So keep the HD cables as close to 18-inches as possible. You can be more liberal with CD and DVD ROMS. Just don't go crazy.

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by XProc on 02/10/02 10:46 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  3. I actually have two full tower cases that use standard 18" cables to run three hard drives and two CDRom drives. I haven't had a problem.

    <A HREF="" target="_new"><font color=green>My case(s)</font color=green></A>

    <font color=red>People and hard drives are like bandwagon fans and sports!</font color=red>
  4. I don't think there is any problem with a 24 or 36" IDE cable. Some people say you can't have printer cable that's over 6', but I am using a 50' cable on my laser printer, no problem.
    You need a 24" IDE cable to do the job, even it decrease the performance, what could you do?
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