80 conductor ide cable?



I feel like a newb with this so here I am. I’m looking to buy an 80 conductor ide cable but I don’t know what I’m looking at. I found some that say UV (ultraviolet) and some that say EL. Is that something superficial like the UV? The EL’s cost a little more. I assume an 80 conductor would have only one device attachment, or two connectors…no master&slave…is this true? Sorry for all the questions, someone just shine some light on this subject please. And hurry…I’ve got an itchy mouse finger on my shopping cart.


80 conductor is required for all speeds above ATA/33

They DO have Master/Slave, and are normally wired to support cable select - Master at end, Slave in the middle, and athe arrangement should be followed even when not using cable select.
All mine are flat ribbon, though I might change them to round for better case air circulation.

The other things you mention, I believe are extra features.

UV = Ultraviolet reactive, will glow under illumination from a UV “blacklight” - you can get a whole set of UV-reactive things, fans, even motherboards.

EL - Electroluminescent - these will be considerably more expensive, as they have an EL glowline running down the cable, and include an EL power module

Does the EL one you saw have that extra lump?

Personally, the only window in my case, is when I’ve left the side panel off - the only casemods I’ve done have been with hacksaw and tinsnips to relieve an internal metalwork obstruction - the intestines of my system aren’t pretty, and only get looked at when something needs fixing or adding.


I’m asking because everybody here says an 80-conductor is needed for 16x burning. I’m also ordering a promise ata133 card so I can get my dvd-rom and dvd-rw off the same cable. Are the plain grey ribbon cables that come with everything only 40-conductor? Thanks in advance.


You can get/read about them at:


there are plenty of people on cdfreaks who happerly burn at 16X with a 40 wire cable including me :iagree:


40/80. Shouldn’t affect the burn at 16X. But a bad cable can.


Ako, I can burn at 16x currently, but it won’t finish in 6 minutes. I should be able to beat that time since I’m running a striped raptor RAID!
The two drives being on one cable should only be an issue when I do a “copy-on-the-fly.” But for writing at 16x from an image, I’m averaging about 7-8 minutes.
I guess I just don’t understand the difference between 40/80. There’s still only 40 pins on each connector.


what burner are you using?
sounds to me like you mite have a pionner 108 as reported in the revuew on cdfreaks that they are slow at 16X with the 12X burn being faster.


40/80…40 pin or 80 pin IDE cable. 6 to 7 min is the nominal speed for 16X burns.


the newer lite on burners require a 80 wire cable because they run at uata 133 speeds, check you user manual for the required cable. some use the 40 wire type. if you want to use the 80 wire it will be ok also. if the drive runs uata 66-133 you will need the 80 wire cable. the 80 wire cable was developed to stop electronic inductance( and rear/write errors) between the wires at the higher transfer speeds.


I have my Benq 1620 set as Master in the middle, does it make a difference?

Or do you guys recommend for me to connecit it at the end of the 80pin IDE cable?


Set both to Cable Select, or Slave in the middle and Master at the end.


It doesn’t matter where you physically put the drives in your computer. It is my impression that the master has to be on the end, with slave in middle, according to protocol on the wire. It might be a good idea to put the master below the slave, if, say, you had a 24" cable and only needed 12 or 18. The wire would then make a zig zag pattern. Well I ordered some 80-cables since I do own a litey 1633. It just seems like a good idea, in theory, to keep each drive on its own cable, no master/slave at all. Anyone disagree?


ATA cables are unterminated (unlike SCSI, where the ends have a terminating load).

The standard for Ultra-ata (80 wire) cables, is that the Blue (Host end) MUST go to motherboard or controller (or the cable will not work as 80 wire at all).
Where there is only one drive, it should be Master (solo slave is an invalid configuration), and to minimise signal reflection, it should be at the end (black connector), even though it does not have a terminator as such.
The Slave than goes on the middle (brown) connector.

If you have Master/Slave rigged the opposite way, it’s probably ok, but it’s definitely nonstandard.

Using the end first, rather than using a shorter span, is correct for 40 wire cables, other than for 40 wire with cable select, which places the Master (or only) drive on the middle connector, leaving a tail.

It is also generally ok to use an 80 wire for non-Ultra drives (ATA/33 or less), but not to use an 80 wire cable on a non-ultra controller, since it may not ground the extra screening wires correctly.

The 80 wire cable does one thing only - supports transfer rates above 33Mb/s.
16x DVD peaks at 22Mb/s, so ATA/33 mode is not a problem if only one drive is active on the cable.

Several DVD-ROM drives support UDMA-3 (44Mb/s) on 80 wire cable, and a few DVD-RW drives support UDMA-4 (66Mb/s).
Current hard drives are normally ATA-66/100/133 - and the BIOS normally warns you at boot if you are losing potential throughput by not using an 80 wire cable where it’s needed for maximum performance.


Hi Matth
I wonder if you could help me here ? I have just installed a Plextor716A by itself as a master. Not knowing which part of the cable to use I guessed and used the middle. from what you say I should have the blue end attached to the motherboard and the end attached to the plextor. I will switch in the morning - although the 1st burn gave me a good scan ( still using BenQ to scan as I haven’t installed Plextools yet). The other point is that Windows shows UDMA4 but Plextor only supply a 40 wire cable. Any benefit in replacing with an 80 wire cable ?


thanks guys!!! for all the help!!!


It is true that the blue connector on an 80 conductor cable should be connected to the motherboard.
If you elect to use the Cable Select option on the drives’ jumper setting, then placement along the IDE cable determines the drives’ Master/Slave designation. The drive connected to the black connector on the end will automatically be designated as Master, while the drive connected to the grey connector in the middle will be Slave.

However, if you are manually designating the drives by selecting the appropriate Master/Slave setting on the jumper configuration, then placement of the drives along the IDE cable is irrelevant. It does not matter whether the drives are connected to the black or grey connector as their manual jumper assignments determine their Master/Slave designations.

If your drive is capable of faster transfer than UDMA Mode 2, then an 80 conductor cable should be used to ensure that your transfer rates are realized. The full potential of the drive for data transfer, in terms of reading speed and writing speed, can be exploited without limitations.



Sugest that you use an 80 conductor cable - if only for the shielding and redundant grounding - try and keep it at the recommended 18 inch overall length - round vs. flat - I personally prefer the round - just 'cause they look better and I don’t know what the folding does to the internal wires on the flat cables-

About the Promise card - what is that for?? Hopefully your hard drives and NOT your optical drives-

What is the problem with having both your drives on the same channel?? I have had my DVD-Rom set as “Master” and my burner set as “Slave” for years and have burned several 100’s of discs with NO problems whatsomever-




Except that he uses -R media.:stuck_out_tongue: