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Advansys IEEE1394 Adapter Review

Advansys IEEE1394 Adapter Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: This Single chipset IEEE1394 adapter card perfroms very well in data transfers, while supporting three FireWire ports.
Filed under: Peripherals Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Advansys Jul 25 2000   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Peripherals > Advansys IEEE1394

Installation and Benchmarks

Installation
 
Installation of the Advansys IEEE1394 card was simple with the necessary drivers for the adapter card being pulled from Windows 98SE, no additional drivers were required. Thus installation was a simple matter of disassembling the case, and installing the card in an open PCI slot, putting things back together and booting up.
 
Just to re-iterate IEEE1394 devices will only work with Windows 98 Second Edition operating system or later. Apparently Microsoft did not incorporate the appropriate FireWire support in its earlier OS's, including plain old Windows 98.
 
Benchmarks
Since we tested this IEEE1394 card by way of a data transfer test, a combination of Sandra benchmarks and timed data transfers to an external harddrive were used. In previous tests, discrepancies with the values Sandra reported were noted, so the timed tests add a useful perspective. The test consisted of moving 1.9Gb files via the IEEE1394 card to the FireWire based HotDrive. For comparison, we performed the same tests with the Evergreen IEEE1394 adapter card.
 
Advansys Evergreen
Test Slot 2 Slot 1 Slot 1 Slot 3 Slot 2
Drive Index 5721 5420 2764 2678 2729
Min Disk Cache 8MB 8MB 8Mb 8Mb 8MB
Buffered Read 221Mb/s 357Mb/s 160Mb/s 160Mb/s 463MB/s
Sequential Read 6Mb/s 6Mb/s 2764Kb/s 2700Kb/s 2736Kb/s
Random Read 4Mb/s 4Mb/s 2347Kb/s 2176Kb/s 2308KB/s
Buffered Write 12Mb/s 13Mb/s 31Mb/s 152MB/s 32Mb/s
Sequential Write 5Mb/s 6Mb/s 3000Kb/s 2949Kb/s 2934Kb/s
Random Write 9Mb/s 7Mb/s 4Mb/s 4Mb/s 4066Kb/s
Avg. Access Time 4ms 4ms 4ms 6ms 4ms

Sandra reported a Drive Index rating of 5700 for the HotDrive while it was connected through the Advansys IEEE1394 card. This result was about twice as high as with the drive connected via the adapter card Evergreen ships.

Sandra benchmarks with the reference Evergreen IEEE1394 card show lower values then previously shown with the Advansys IEEE1394 adapter Card.

The timed trials tend to illustrate the how the data transfers are actually taking place, and give a more palatable Mb/s rating. A 1.9Gb file was transferred to the external FireWire drive, from two different internal hard drives, and then between the drives themselves. The duration of the transfer was then used to find the resulting Mb/s. As the only variable in each of the tests was the alternating IEEE1394 card, this should serve to illustrate how the data flows through the individual cards. The data transfer between the two internal hard drives serves as a reference to illustrate overall all system transfer speeds.

IEEE1394 card Evergreen Advansys Internal
Test Fujitsu-HotDrive Maxtor-HotDrive Maxtor-HotDrive Fuji-HotDrive Maxtor-Fujitsu
time 10min 11min 6min 9.5min 12min
Size 1.9Gb 1.9GB 1.9Gb 1.9GB 1.9GB
Rate 3.2Mb/s ~3Mb/s 5.2Mb/s 3.3Mb/s 2.6Mb/s

As you can see by the trials, the Advansys IEEE1394 PCI adapter card faired a bit better in the timed tests than the reference Evergreen IEEE1394 PCI adapter card did. The benchmarking results from Sandra of data flow through each of the two IEEE1394 cards show a 2:1 difference in the performance of the HotDrive when connected to the Advansys IEEE1394 card further emphasizing the point.

As the Advansys IEEE1394 PCI adapter card is based on a single chip design, procedures appear to be carried out more efficiently then with the reference Evergreen dual chip design. The IEEE1394 chipset on the Advansys card is manufactured by Fujitsu and capable of 100Mbit/s, 200Mbit/s or 400Mbit/s data transfers at a 133Mb/s Host Bus Data Rate while supporting three IEEE1394 ports.

With out going into too much detail the chipset combines PHY and OHCI functions into a single device, and supports some nifty features such as 'look ahead context processing'.

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Contents of Article: Advansys IEEE1394
 Pg 1.  Advansys IEEE1394 Adapter Review
 Pg 2.  Looking Closer at the Components
 Pg 3.  — Installation and Benchmarks
 Pg 4.  Chipset and Conclusion

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