eBay Purchase Price: $25 AUD
Country of Origin: Australia
Condition: New Old Stock
In the way Creative Labs were a major player with sound cards, Adaptec were the equivalent in regards to SCSI cards. Here I picked up Adaptec’s 2906 still in shrink wrap.
SCSI (pronounced “scuzzy”, and meaning Small Computer System Interface) was the interface of choice for devices where faster data transfer speeds were of benefit. This typically meant hard disks, CD-ROM drives, scanners, and Zip drives, as an alternative to the slower IDE and parallel cable options available.
Due to the extra cost involved, SCSI was moderately successful. Apple was one computer manufacturer who took advantage of it more than most. 68k Macintoshes such as the LC 475 and Performas utilised SCSI on the motherboard for snappier hard disk performance, and for use with external CD-ROM drives and scanners. Owners of IBM compatible PCs a lot of the time just stayed with IDE drives, unless they were to purchase a CD-R drive for creating CDs. It appeared more frequently in server environments.
When SCSI began to fade away for consumers, there wasn’t a single direct replacement as such. From the late 1990s the introduction of USB, FireWire, improved IDE speeds (e.g. ATA 100/133) and SATA took away the advantages that SCSI offered, and at reduced cost.
The Adaptec 2906 looks to be the model up from the 2904 after seeing one on eBay. The main advantage it seems is added support for the Macintosh. The card will work happily with just about anything with a PCI slot. Minimum system requirements were a 486, with at least MS-DOS 6.0 installed. Drivers also included were for Windows 3.1, 9x, and NT. For the Macintosh, it required a PowerPC running at least MacOS 8.5. Either way, it doesn’t appear to support booting your PC from a SCSI drive attached to it.
Really, there’s only so much one can type up about SCSI cards. For the time being at least, I won’t be able to test it out until grabbing a compatible device for it.