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===========================================================================
                      REVIEW: CYBERSTORM FAST-SCSI II
   Michael Wolf                           MikeWolf@bonebag.tynet.sub.org
===========================================================================

PRODUCT NAME

   Cyberstorm Fast-SCSI II host adapter

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

   A Fast-SCSI II host adapter for the Cyberstorm series of accelerators.

AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION

   phase 5 digital products (used to be AS&S)
   Homburger Landstrasse 412
   60433 Frankfurt am Main
   Fon: +49 (69) 5 48 81 30
   Fax: +49 (69) 5 48 18 45

LIST PRICE

   DM 398,- (= US $265.-)

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

   HARDWARE

   Obviously you need a Cyberstorm accelerator.

MACHINE USED FOR TESTING

   A4000/30 (used to be...), Cyberstorm40/40, 24MB, Quantum LPS 540,
   WangTek 250 MB Streamer, Toshiba SCSI-I CD-Rom.

INSTALLATION

   The installation is quite tricky.  It is not difficult to accomplish,
it's just a pain.  Since the Cyberstorm eats up most of the place between
the drive bays and the Zorro board, the SCSI-Board has to fit between the
PSU and the Zorro board.  First you set the jumpers on the board (which end
up facing down once you installed the board), connect the SCSI Cable, plug
the board into the Cyberstorm and install the external SCSI-II connector to
the expansion opening on the back of the A4000.

REVIEW

   At first I thought that I didn't install the hardware properly, but then
I found out that the board takes extremely long to scan the SCSI-Bus and
boot.  It had no problems wih my GVP formatted hard disk, nor with the
streamer and the CD-Rom.  dis-/reconnect works flawlessly.

Here are some benchmarks on the LPS 540:

   Reading from the cybscsi.device:
   --------------------------------
   CPU: 68040  AmigaOS Version: 39.106  Normal Video DMA
   Device: cybscsi.device:0
   Comments: ScsiSpeed 4.2

   Buffer size (FAST MEM/Long)   | bytes / sec | CPU Available
   -----------------------------------------------------------
   512 bytes                     |    379929   |    64%
   4096 bytes                    |   1707417   |    82%
   32768 bytes                   |   3607756   |    93%
   262144 bytes                  |   3617587   |    96%

   Average CPU Available: 84% 

   Reading/writing using the fastfilesystem:
   -----------------------------------------
   Device:  DH4:    Buffers: 32
   Comments: DiskSpeed 4.2

   CPU Speed Rating: 4980

   Testing directory manipulation speed.
   File Create:           51 files/sec  |  CPU Available: 83%
   File Open:            205 files/sec  |  CPU Available: 55%
   Directory Scan:       575 files/sec  |  CPU Available: 45%
   File Delete:          459 files/sec  |  CPU Available: 35%

   Seek/Read:             93 seeks/sec  |  CPU Available: 89%

   Testing with a 512 byte, MEMF_FAST, LONG-aligned buffer.
   Create file:       190440 bytes/sec  |  CPU Available: 60%
   Write to file:     238720 bytes/sec  |  CPU Available: 59%
   Read from file:    319768 bytes/sec  |  CPU Available: 52%

   Testing with a 4096 byte, MEMF_FAST, LONG-aligned buffer.
   Create file:       682155 bytes/sec  |  CPU Available: 78%
   Write to file:     819712 bytes/sec  |  CPU Available: 79%
   Read from file:   1525248 bytes/sec  |  CPU Available: 69%

   Testing with a 32768 byte, MEMF_FAST, LONG-aligned buffer.
   Create file:       690497 bytes/sec  |  CPU Available: 92%
   Write to file:     915215 bytes/sec  |  CPU Available: 93%
   Read from file:   1431810 bytes/sec  |  CPU Available: 88%

   Testing with a 262144 byte, MEMF_FAST, LONG-aligned buffer.
   Create file:      1318761 bytes/sec  |  CPU Available: 93%
   Write to file:    1436405 bytes/sec  |  CPU Available: 97%
   Read from file:   1429285 bytes/sec  |  CPU Available: 93%

   Average CPU Available: 69%  |  CPU Availability index: 3436

   The board comes with a lot of software, including a CD-Rom driver, a
MS-DOS drive-mounter, an excellent caching program (DynamiCache), a program
to control various SCSI-II parameters and SCSIConfig, phase 5's replacement
for HDToolbox.  Numerous cli-only SCSI tools are included as well.

DOCUMENTATION

   A small handbook is included, covering mainly the installation of the
board and giving hints on the most common problems that may occur.  The
software documentation is only available as a textfile, viewable with an
AmigaGuide like program called MaxonHotHelp.  As always, the documentation
could be more detailed, but is is sufficient for the casual user.

LIKES

   Fast, doesnt't hog the Zorro Bus. DynamiCache is included.

DISLIKES

   The installation is somewhat difficult, and those damn jumpers could
have been put on the other side of the board, so that you don't have to rip
it out every time you want to change something.

BUGS

   Takes to long to start up.  I called the hot-line and they said that the
next version of their driver (the current version is V1.9) will fix it.  It
should be available as a free update.

VENDOR SUPPORT

   They do have a hot-line here in Germany, and are very helpfull.  They
also offer a free rework for your CyberStorm if you have problems with you
memory board.

WARRANTY

   12 months.

CONCLUSIONS

   I'm quite happy with it.  It is a decent alternative to the only other
CPU/SCSI board out there, which has the disadvantage of needing more
expensive SIMM modules.