IOSS RD3XP Gladiator Super Shielded ATA133 Cables Review

What would you say if I were to tell you of a set of rounded ATA cables that will reportedly give you faster data rates? Think I'm crazy? Come join Mike "Darthtanion" Wright as he takes a look at a set of IOSS RD3XP Rounded Cables. They claim to be able to do exactly this and it is time to find out if they can really live up to such a claim!
| Sep 10, 2002 at 11:00 pm CDT
Rating: 85%Manufacturer: IOSS

RD3XP Cables - Introduction

IntroductionWhat would you say if I were to tell you that there is a company out there selling a rounded ATA cable that reportedly allows for faster data transfers? Probably that I'm off in the head, but let me assure you that this is exactly what I'm talking about.The company in question is holoMaXx. Many of you may not have heard of them, but they are a community based open market based out of Philadelphia, PA. They have been around since 1994 and provide a place where potential customers can openly talk about the products to make sure that they get exactly what they need.The manufacturer of this wonder cable is IOSS, a joint venture company partnering up with Vertex Link of Japan. IOSS was established in 1996 and is a leading provider of unique PC equipment that targets the enthusiast.Pretty unique setup, but it is time to get back to the original topic; faster cables.

RD3XP Cables - The Goods

The Product
All right then. After making such a claim like that on the first page, we need to see just what we have here. From the looks of things, it seems very similar to just about any other rounded cable that is available in stores. But there are some differences that we should take a look at.
One of the first things of note is that all of the wiring is coated with an aluminum shielding. Not only does this help in reducing interference with the data signals, but it also makes the overall appearance look cleaner and more professional. I didn't cut into it to see how thick it was, but it seemed to be rather durable and shouldn't give any problems in the near future.
Pictured above is the center connector that would be hooked up to your slave drive. Notice that the wires and aluminum shielding have been covered with a fabric layer to give even more durability to the cabling. I have noticed in the past that this can be one of the weakest spots of the rounded cables, but this should help protect it very nicely. It also makes the appearance more appealing to the eye.
Next up is something that I haven't seen on ATA cables before, a grounding strap. We'll talk a little more in a bit about why this is important and how it works, but it was a little surprising to see this on the cable when I pulled it out of the box.
As you can see above, the grounding strap is small, thin and won't inhibit airflow. It also helps with this claim of faster data rates since it grounds out the entire conductive structure of the assembly. Of course, if you are the type who is always playing on the inside of the case, then it can be a bit troublesome to always have to remove the ground to remove the cabling.

RD3XP Cables - The Concept/Testing

Faster Data?So how in the world can anyone claim to help data flow at a faster rate than with normal cabling? To give you an idea, let me show you the internal workings of this special set of cables:
As you can see, the cable uses eight layers of ten wires to achieve the rounding. This allows each signal wire to be surrounded by ground wires to help keep the signal as free as possible from outside interference. But to make things even better, this cable also has an aluminum shielding between every single layer of wires. And even better still is that the entire setup is then wrapped with a metal mesh and then wrapped again with a resin mesh to give added durability.In theory, this should make it an even cleaner signal. But can this cause the data to travel faster than in a normal cable? To find out, I performed a couple of tests so that we could see the answer to the burning question of speed.TestingTo start off with, we should probably take a look at what we'll be testing these cables on. Nothing fancy or anything, but here are the base components:EPoX 8KHA+AMD Athlon XP 1800+512MB Crucial PC2100 DDRSeagate Barracuda IV 40GBWindows XP ProfessionalTesting will consist of running TCD Labs HD Tach and SiSoft Sandra. Both of these utilities were run while using a normal ATA133 rated ribbon cable and then with the RD3XP cable.HD Tach
The top result is for the standard ribbon cable and the bottom result is using the RD3XP.As we can see above, the results in data transfer speeds were a bit faster for the RD3XP cables, but the difference is negligible. This was just a bit surprising since HD Tach works in such a way that it ignores the partitions that have been set up on the drive. In testing in this manner, it also ignores any enhancements and tweaked settings that you may have used within Windows. Let's see if the cables can do any better from within a Windows environment.SiSoft Sandra 2002 SP1
Again, the ribbon cable is the top result and the RD3XP is the bottom.OK, now I'm seeing a bit better results with the RD3XP cabling. Buffered reads and writes are running nearly the same, but I am now getting an increase with sequential reads and writes and also a total scoring that is over 2,400 points superior to the ribbon cables. This works out to be just a shade over 10% gain in data transfer ratings. Seems that these little cables enjoy the settings that are available under Windows.

RD3XP Cables - Conclusion

ConclusionThe RD3XP cables look to be an interesting item. While I only gained beneficial results under Windows, it should be noted that I don't have much in the way of electrical interferences in the vicinity of my computer. I'm well away from any TV sets and microwave ovens, and there are no large satellite antennas anywhere near my home. But who can complain about a 10% gain under the leading Operating System currently in use today?Also of note is the appearance of these cables. There are no stray wires sticking out anywhere and the entire look is very polished and professional. With the huge emphasis on windows in today's power machines, this can only be a good thing. Also, you get the added benefit of better airflow with the rounded cable. When I initially switched to round ATA cables, my internal case temperatures dropped by 2C, so this also helps out when it comes time to get the most out of your system.On the downside is cost. Coming in at a price of US$19.95 for the 20" cables, they don't go cheap. But again, the quality that you receive is by far better than most other cables that I've seen on the market.Bottom line...If you happen to have a Windows based system like most of us and are in the market for a very good set of rounded cables, then take a good, hard look at the RD3XP model. If you can afford the higher than average entry fee, then you'll surely not be disappointed.- ProsBetter data flow under WindowsRounded design aids airflowAluminum shielding for cleaner signalsVery high quality- ConsHigh priceGround cable can be a hassle for tweakersRating - 8.5/10

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:25 pm CDT

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