Unveiled publicly yesterday, two fresh Ultra 160 SCSI cards for PCI-enabled Macs. The new cards run twice as fast as previous Ultra2 SCSI cards at extremely high transfer rates. Power Domain 29160 and 39160 are ideal for Web and OPI server applications, claims Adaptec.

"The launch of our new products represents a great leap forward, taking I/O to the limit," said Jean-Eric Garnier, director of personal computing solutions for Adaptec when Macworld spoke with him yesterday: "The beauty of these cards is that they represent the fastest I/O cards available today for SCSI alternatives for the modern Macintosh range."

Migration to the cards is smooth, performance increase (over earlier versions) is extremely impressive. Compatible with older SCSI peripherals, legacy peripherals can be used with no breakdown in performance. Ultra 160 SCSI offers data transfer rates of 160MB/second against previous generations 80MB/sec.

The PowerDomain 29160N offers virtually unlimited support for desktop SCSI peripherals as well as connectivity to RAID arrays.

The PowerDomain 39160 is a dual-channel card, offering power users the opportunity to match internal SCSI options and RAID solutions to desktop-based SCSI devices. This feature means G3 and G4 users need use only a single PCI slot to enable both kinds of SCSI input with no loss in transfer rates, as the dual-channel card actively prevents such "bandwidth" problems. This card also offers Smart Connect, which detects improper termination and SpeedFlex, which enables faster Ultra160 peripherals to run concurrently with slower peripherals, each at maximum speed.

The 29160 should be shipping soon at a competitive price of around £220. Its bigger brother, the 39160, should retail at around the £300 mark and be available late October to November.