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6. Disk Drive Performance Hacks > 59. Use an 80-Wire Cable

Use an 80-Wire Cable

It’s not free, but upgrading your hard drive cable could be a very economical boost to your disk drive’s performance.

It’s all about the data, and in this case how reliably the data makes it between your disk drive and the interface on your system board—and that depends on the quality of the short ribbon cable interconnecting the two. The original IDE drive and 40-pin cable specifications were not too picky about the length and type of cable used, did not require nor provide shielding from other signals nearby, and could not deliver higher data transfer rates.

Almost every PC built in the last 3-4 years comes with a newer style 80-wire cable attached to 40-pin connectors at each end. In an 80-wire cable, 40 of the wires do the same things they always did: handle data and control signals and provide common ground for the signals. The additional 40 wires provide extra protection for the very fast, sensitive data signals traveling through the other 40 wires. The result is the ability to have and fully take advantage of the performance benefits of the fastest UDMA-/ATA-100 and UDMA-/ATA-133 disk drives and interfaces that would otherwise be impaired by noisy signals on 40-wire cables.


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