Adaptec AHA-2940
Ultra Wide SCSI Card

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Type of Product

The Adaptec 2940 UW (Ultra Wide) SCSI card is the newest addition to the industry-leading products produced by Adaptec. This SCSI card is ideal for connecting SCSI hard disk or removable drives, and can be used to connect Fast, Ultra, and Ultra Wide SCSI peripherals like scanners, tape, MO, CD-ROM, CD-R, and DVD drives. SCSI stands for "Small Computer System Interface" and is pronounced scuzzy. SCSI is just a term for a simple concept for a connection from your PC to your hard drive and your other peripherals. SCSI moves information between your computer and peripheral much faster than with standard interfaces. With this SCSI card, your computer can talk to several peripherals at once, performing multiple tasks simultaneously. All of Adaptec products are tested with hundreds of computer systems and peripherals to ensure the widest possible support. And peripheral manufacturers design to Adaptec products which assures that they have broad compatibility. A SCSI card makes it easy to add a peripheral to your system. You can daisy-chain up to 15 internal or external peripherals to the 2940UW. The product comes with a five year warranty and full technical support for two years. See the Adaptec Web site for more information on this product or for information on their whole line of software and hardware:

User Level

Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced hardware installers. This product would be perfect for someone new to installing hardware. Adaptec products have an excellent reputation for their hardware and compatibility so you should not have problems you would with a less well known brand. Also they have excellent software and technical support which is important for beginners. Intermediate and Advanced users will appreciate the increase in system performance they will get from the SCSI card.


  • 133 Mbytes/sec burst data rate on the PCI Local Bus
  • 40 Mbytes/sec synchronous burst rate on the SCSI bus.
  • Bus mastering data transfer protocol
  • Plug-and-Play installation
  • Built in SCSISelect optimization utility
  • Adaptec EZ-SCSI software that automatically installs drivers and configures peripherals, plus a suite of 32-bit peripheral management applications, including Adaptec Backup, Photo CD Viewer, Audio CD Player, and CD Copier.
  • Operating system support: Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows 3.11, MS-DOS, Novell NetWare, OS/2Warp, UnixWare, and SCO UNIX.

Kit Contents

  • Adaptec AHA-2940UW PCI-to-Ultra Wide SCSI host adapter.
  • Adaptec EZ-SCSI software CD-ROM
  • Adaptec 7800 Family Manager Set software.
  • One three-position, 68-pin UltraSCSI internal ribbon cable.
  • One three-position, 50-pin UltraSCSI internal ribbon cable.
  • Complete user documentation
  • Five-year warranty card.


Installation: The process is easy. You just remove your computer's case, slide the card into a PCI expansion slot, and connect the SCSI peripherals. Then you use the included EZ-SCSI software to maximize your peripherals.

I used the SCSI card to connect two external devices to my computer: a CD-recorder and a color scanner. I daisy-chained the two devices. The Plextor CD-R was first in line, followed by a Hewlett Packard Color Scanner. The only procedure that needed to be done was resetting the DIP switches for termination to the right position on each device. This information was supplied with the documentation that came with each peripheral. The CD recorder and the scanner have been functioning happily together ever since.

Manuals and Software: There is an Installation Guide for the SCSI Card, a more thorough User's Guide for the card, and a User's Guide for Adaptec 7800 Family Manager Set Lite. The EZ-SCSI software takes you step-by-step through the installation process, and provides a full suite of applications for maximizing your SCSI peripherals, playing CDs, backing up with tape, and scanning documents.

SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) vs. IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics: The two technologies are very different in both scope and implementation, but they've followed similar paths through the years. Both have advanced in features and performance to keep pace with the growing demands of PC hardware and applications, and both have provided the flexibility to serve as much more than just a connection for hard disks. IDE was created as a disk drive interface to replace the unreliable and slow drives based on ESDI, MFM, and RLL drive technologies. There are now a variety of enhanced IDE versions on the market, delivering variances in performance and device support. IDE has its limitations. External operation is simply not an option--you need to consider alternatives such as SCSI, USB, parallel/serial, or even FireWire if you want to run devices out of the box. Also, IDE still lacks the robustness of a true bus, which means multiple devices will behave more efficiently on a good SCSI controller than they will on an IDE controller.

Since its beginnings in the graphics workstation market, the SCSI has proven itself a versatile, performance-minded technology able to fulfill a variety of missions. Unlike IDE, which started as a hard disk interface and grew modestly from there, SCSI is a feature-rich data bus designed for a variety of uses. Scanners, recordable optical drives, video capture modules, and networking devices frequently use SCSI because of its excellent throughput, flexible layouts, and strong multitasking. Also unlike IDE, which only services internal devices, SCSI lets you run both external and internal peripherals. SCSI devices can be set up in a daisy chain--one device hooked to the next--with a variety of devices running off a single adapter. Therefore, a single SCSI host adapter can support multiple hard disks, for example, as well as a mix of other devices. Multiple SCSI controllers can be set up in a system, extending system expansion even further. Also, unlike IDE, SCSI doesn't require a separate interrupt request (IRQ) line for each device. A single IRQ services the entire SCSI chain, making SCSI an efficient solution for the resource crunch in many PCs. Advancements have yielded big gains in performance as well as welcome improvements in features of SCSI cards. The devices are usually referred to by the width and type of SCSI connection employed. Therefore, a fast hard disk would use the Ultra Wide SCSI connection, and cards are called Fast SCSI, FastWide SCSI, UltraWide SCSI, and the like.

If you demand top performance, you can't do better than SCSI. With the latest controllers supporting higher and higher data rates, there's plenty of headroom for demanding applications such as video capture and high-speed transfers. More important, SCSI's bus-specific talents enable effective multitasking over the bus. Of course, if you need an external device, IDE is no option at all. The ability to daisy chain devices means that you can conveniently array your SCSI peripherals along the desktop. This kind of convenience and performance makes SCSI attractive to performance-minded buyers.


Personal Comments

PC Cafe could not function without SCSI cards because of all the peripherals we have on our computers. We needed a card that gave us high performance, was easy to install, and would be reliable. The Adaptec 2940UW SCSI card has been excellent. Adaptec products might cost a little more than some other brands but they are worth it. The quality of the product, compatibility, and technical support are worth what extra you pay. And any operating system will recognize Adaptec. It is the leading SCSI maker. Go with the best. Your computer is worth it!

System Requirements

IBM-compatible PC-486, Pentium or above.
Windows NT, Windows 95, Windows 3.1, DOS 6.0, OS/2, UNIX or NetWare operating system.
PCI Expansion slot.
SCSI Peripheral

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