Promise FastTrak 66


I recently installed a Promise FastTrak 66 IDE RAID card into my system. At the same time I installed two IBM 13.1gb, 7200rpm, ULTRA66 hard drives.

Installation was the same as any PCI card and went smoothly. The hard drives were installed in the normal manner with the exception of the cables. Each hard drive was attached to the FastTrak 66 card using it own Ultra66 cable. (supplied with the FastTrak 66 card).

After starting the PC, the normal BIOS screen came up and then the FastTrak 66 BIOS. Your are prompted to enter the FastTrak 66 BIOS and set up the card. Selecting the Auto Setup screen and then I selected the Performance setting (striping). Exiting the FastTrak 66 setup routine reboots the PC. The setup is easy to understand and easy to use. The users manual is also easy to use.

Then I installed Win98SE in the usual manner. After the final boot to the Windows GUI, Windows found the FastTrak 66 and ask for drivers. The supplied drivers were installed.

After a reboot, I ran HDTach to check the performance. Burst Reads were at 61m/sec. Average reads were 23m/sec. CPU usage was 7.9%. This compares to my old hard drive (Maxtor 8.4gb 5400 rpm, ULTRA33) at Burst Reads of 24m/sec. Average Reads of 9m/sec and CPU usage of 9%. There is a huge increase in performance on my PC.

Is it worth it? Yes, as the FastTrak approaches SCSI performance at one third the cost.

Any drawbacks? Yes. Right now Win2000 is not supported and NT4 must have the drivers loaded during the DOS Setup portion of its install. But these drawbacks are not over whelming.

Overall, a product worth having.

Submitted by: Dean

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