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Sharky Extreme : January 6, 2009

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Ultra2Wide SCSI controller card


In the endless pursuit of the perfect PC, the hard drive and controller sub-systems become a clear spot where performance can be increased greatly.

In the past, it took a large amount of money to upgrade a normal system to the high speed world of Ultra-Wide SCSI. Sporting a peak theoretical transfer rate of up to 40/MBs per second, UW-SCSI quickly became the ultimate high-end option for users seeking the lowest possible CPU utilization rates and highest and data transfer levels in 1997, and 1998.

Unfortunately hard drives based on the then new format (late 1996) costed $600 or more, and when combined with the mandatory investment in an Ultra-Wide capable SCSI controller card, the investment shot all the way up to almost $1,000 after tax/shipping.

Luckily for mere mortals normal E-IDE based drives began to close the performance gap with the high-end SCSI options, especially after the introduction of the "UltraDMA/33" protocol which allowed for a large boost in hard drive data transfer rates for almost zero cost.

To combat the surging performance of UltraDMA/33, SCSI adapter manufacturers once again upped the ante by developing the highest bandwidth SCSI format ever introduced: Ultra2Wide SCSI. By boosting the overall throughput of UW-SCSI from 40 to 80MBs per second, U2W-SCSI positioned itself far beyond the reach of UltraDMA/33 drives and their supporters.

This brings us to the product we're evaluating today, the Tekram DC-390U2W SCSI Adapter.

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