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New ADMA ATA Storage Controller - Tom Do a review!

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June 27, 2002 2:43:23 AM

Pacific Digital (http://www.pacificdigital.com/) have relased a new ATA100 controller that is... well... outperforms other ATA controllers and put ATA drives on par with SCSI performance without the cost.

It's called DiscStacQ ADMA Storage controller DS4-100.
http://www.pacificdigital.com/discstaq/index.htm

I would like some feedback and to know why how and well What Tom's Hardware thinks of this card.

Here some stuff on the product.

--- Overview from their web site ---
The Pacific Digital DiscStaQ ADMA ATA disk controller is an innovation in disk storage technology that dramatically improves system performance using standard off-the-shelf ATA storage devices. This patent pending technology optimizes several areas of system operation including PCI bus utilization; CPU utilization, memory utilization; ATA command queuing and dual drive operation.

The ATA protocol requires many PCI bus activities – a minimum of 8 I/O requests and 1 interrupt per command. Interrupt latency to service these can range from many microseconds to many milliseconds. Because of these interrupts, even a drive with Command Queuing is very limited in making use of the proprietary algorithms embedded in each manufacturers drive. ADMA technology from Pacific Digital using a standard Command Queuing ATA100 drive can process the same number of I/O transactions as the equivalent Ultra 160 SCSI drive, but at the cost of ATA100. Even when non-Command Queuing drives are used, the Pacific Digital DiscStaQ ADMA ATA disk controller still outperforms other ATA controllers.

By fully implementing ADMA in accordance with the proposed ANSI standard, the throughput performance of current ATA100 drives is increased dramatically because:

1. The multiple requests and interrupts normally serviced by the PCI bus are instead serviced by the ADMA Host Bus Adapter (HBA), using the PCI bus only to transfer data in the PCI Bus Mastering burst mode. This significantly reduces PCI bus activity, causing the bus to service transfer of data, instead of commands.

2. Because ADMA is fully implemented in hardware, and ATA Command Queuing is fully supported, the full Command Queuing algorithms in the drive are utilized generating enormous “time-to-data” reductions.

3. Due to the advanced hardware implemented in the DiscStaQ ADMA controller, even if non-Command Queuing drives are used, performance still exceeds alternative ATA controllers due to the internal queuing capability of the ADMA controller.

4. Due to the slow nature of ATAPI devices, the ADMA controller implements only ATA command protocols.


1.1 Minimum System Requirements
- IBM compatible PC
- Pentium II 200MHz and higher with at least 64 MB of memory
- Microsoft Windows® XP/2000 or Windows® NT 4.0 SP4.0
- PCI slots are compliant to PCI 2.1 or above
June 27, 2002 4:27:33 PM

If their advertising is true, this could mean decreased CPU usage and less clog-ups in the PCI bus.

This little cathode light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!
June 27, 2002 4:42:37 PM

Feel free to email Tom with your ideas, he doesn't read the forums.

<font color=blue>Hi mom!</font color=blue>
!