This article is from the CD-Recordable FAQ, by Andy McFadden (firstname.lastname@example.org) with numerous contributions by others.
The Adaptec 2940 (PCI) is a popular choice -- if not *the* most popular
choice -- though some users have reported problems with the Adaptec 2840
(VLB). See the README that comes with Adaptec EZ-SCSI v4.0 and later for
some important performance tests you can do with SCSIBench. The 2930 is
also a good choice for CD recording.
If you're having trouble writing CD-Rs with the 2940UW, go into the
configuration menu (hit Ctrl-A while booting) and make sure the drive is
set for 10MB/sec with Wide Negotiation disabled.
A few notes on the 2910, 2920, 2930, and 2940 cards:
Bus-mastering, no BIOS, Fast SCSI-2.
Not bus-mastering, has BIOS, Fast SCSI-2.
Bus-mastering, has BIOS, Fast SCSI-2.
Less expensive than 2940, but similar features.
Bus-mastering, has BIOS, fast/ultra/wide/whatever depending on model.
Booting from a CD-ROM requires that the card have a BIOS that supports
booting from CD-ROM, and that the PC also supports booting from CD-ROM.
The 2940U2W has four connectors (internal 68pin Ultra2-LVD, internal 68pin
Ultra2, internal 50-pin, external 68-pin Ultra2) and comes with a special
50-pin cable that ends in a 50-pin (HD) external plate. So you can have
both 50-pin and 68-pin external connectors, as well as 50-pin and 68-pin
internal connectors. On previous cards, you could only use two connectors
at a time, but on this card you can use all five at once.