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November 1996 Reviews TOC

11/96 Reviews HW: Buslogic FlashPoint DL

Two SCSI Channels, No Waiting

By Serdar Yegulalp

BusLogic's new FlashPoint DL, a dual-channel controller, proves once again that you can't have too much of a good thing. The original FlashPoint SCSI controllers were easy to install and configure, and always provided professional-level performance. The latest BusLogic offering is no exception.

With two Ultra SCSI channels on one controller, the FlashPoint DL lets you connect up to 12 other devices to a single card, while requiring only one PCI slot. You can devote one channel to hard disks and boot devices, and the other to peripherals like CD-ROM drives, scanners and DAT drives.

There is one major drawback to the FlashPoint DL's two-channel scheme. You'll find only one 50-pin external connector on the card and two internal connectors. That means only one channel is available for connecting seven external devices.

Installing the card is as easy as plugging it into an empty PCI slot and hooking up your SCSI devices. Thanks to the FlashPoint's jumperless design, you don't have to remove the card every time you need to change a setting. Press Ctrl+B at boot time to view an easy-to-use, menu-based configuration screen. Each of the adapter's channels shows up separately, and each can be configured independently of the other.

BusLogic has successfully managed to include the latest SCSI innovations on this card. You get support for SCAM-compliant devices, which can configure themselves automatically, right down to ID number and termination. In addition, CD-ROMs can be configured as boot devices. Power-conservation mode is also supported on the card itself, as well as for attached devices that support it. BIOS drive support encompasses removable drives, more than two fixed disks, and optical drives. The DL exhibited speedy, glitch-free performance with a variety of media and devices.

Drivers for Windows 95, 3.x, and NT 3.51 and 4.0 were provided on a single diskette, and I had no trouble getting the card up and running in the different operating systems. Drivers for DOS, NetWare and OS/2 are also included. The unit has a five-year warranty.

The kit version of the product includes the FlashPoint Bonus Pac. This contains Willow Pond's Media Rack application, a talking clock program, and BusView, an applet that lets you examine devices on the SCSI bus. Unfortunately, BusView didn't work under Windows NT.

Despite its limitations, the FlashPoint DL is a fine example of good hardware made better.

--Info File--
BusLogic FlashPoint DL
$269; kit, $339
Pros: Easy to configure; broad support; powerful and fast
Cons: Only one external connector
Platforms: 3x, 95, NT
408-492-9090, fax 408-492-1542
WinMag Box Score 4.5

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