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Spare SCSI card, question about compatability

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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
October 28, 2004 3:18:43 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

A friend of mine gave me a SCSI controller card a while ago, and I'm
finally starting to think about buying a really fast SCSI HDD so I can
boot up, and load stuff as quickly as possible without RAID. I was
thinking about buying a SCSI hardware RAID card, but it seems like PCI
(32bit) would be a somewhat limiting factor. And I just bought a $400
nVidia 6800GT AGP video card, and I don't want to toss it, and I have
yet to see a motherboard with both AGP and PCI-X :(  That, and I am
looking at buying an AMD64 motherboard and CPU eventually, so if any
Intel motherboard have both AGP and PCI-X, that won't help me.

OK, so back on topic. The card I have lying around is an Adaptec
AHA-2940U2W. The specifications for it are here:

http://www.adaptec.com/worldwide/support/techspecs.jsp?...

I am thinking about buying this nice 15,000RPM "SCSI Ultra 320 68 Pin"
drive:

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti...

I don't know a whole lot about SCSI levels, as I have never used SCSI
before. I do know the basics like IDs and terminators, but I don't the
levels of compatability. So according to the spec's of my card, it
supports SCSI 1, 2, 3, and UltraSCSI. Can anyone enlighten me as to
weather UltraSCSI is equal to, or backwards compatable with "Ultra
320"? Will I see any performance hits...the spec's for my card also
say that the maximum data transfer rate is 80MBps. Are the newer 15k
RPM drives anywhere close to 80MBps??

I see on the specification page for my card that "Extended translation
scheme supports up to eight (8) Gbytes per disk" ... hum that does not
sound good. Does that mean the card cannot support bigger HDDs, like
the 36.7GB one I linked to easlier? The latest BIOS update for my card
is from June 8th 2000 :(  ... doesn't sound very encouraging.

If I need a new SCSI controller card, or if you reccomend that I
should get a new one, can you give some tips on a good, fairly cheap
PCI (32bit) SCSI card. Linux compatability is a must, but if you don't
about its Linux compatability, thats OK, I can do the research :) 

Thanks,
--Farrell F.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
October 28, 2004 3:55:21 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"upgrdman" <upgrdman@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:bf4a6c76.0410272218.6f459156@posting.google.com...

> A friend of mine gave me a SCSI controller card a while ago, and I'm
> finally starting to think about buying a really fast SCSI HDD so I can
> boot up, and load stuff as quickly as possible without RAID

> OK, so back on topic. The card I have lying around is an Adaptec
> AHA-2940U2W.

Small problem here if you want short boot time with the 2940 . I'm not
familiar with newer SCSI controllers; but the 2940 I know well. The "boot
overhead" time needed by the 2940 (and all SCSI cards of that design era
AFAIK) adds 10-30 seconds before the OS begins loading from the HD.

(Inviting someone familar with newer SCSI smarts to add comments )
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
October 28, 2004 11:09:40 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

upgrdman wrote:

> A friend of mine gave me a SCSI controller card a while ago, and I'm
> finally starting to think about buying a really fast SCSI HDD so I can
> boot up, and load stuff as quickly as possible without RAID. I was
> thinking about buying a SCSI hardware RAID card, but it seems like PCI
> (32bit) would be a somewhat limiting factor. And I just bought a $400
> nVidia 6800GT AGP video card, and I don't want to toss it, and I have
> yet to see a motherboard with both AGP and PCI-X :(  That, and I am
> looking at buying an AMD64 motherboard and CPU eventually, so if any
> Intel motherboard have both AGP and PCI-X, that won't help me.
>
> OK, so back on topic. The card I have lying around is an Adaptec
> AHA-2940U2W. The specifications for it are here:
>
> http://www.adaptec.com/worldwide/support/techspecs.jsp?...
>
> I am thinking about buying this nice 15,000RPM "SCSI Ultra 320 68 Pin"
> drive:
>
> http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti...
>
> I don't know a whole lot about SCSI levels, as I have never used SCSI
> before. I do know the basics like IDs and terminators, but I don't the
> levels of compatability. So according to the spec's of my card, it
> supports SCSI 1, 2, 3, and UltraSCSI. Can anyone enlighten me as to
> weather UltraSCSI is equal to, or backwards compatable with "Ultra
> 320"?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCSI

> Will I see any performance hits...the spec's for my card also
> say that the maximum data transfer rate is 80MBps. Are the newer 15k
> RPM drives anywhere close to 80MBps??

http://store.marinatechnology.com/fumaulsc6836.html

Data Transfer Rate

To / from media 93.1 to 118.2 MB/s
To / from host 62.5 to 79.2 MB/s sustained,
Ultra320, 320 MB/s (max.)


> I see on the specification page for my card that "Extended translation
> scheme supports up to eight (8) Gbytes per disk" ... hum that does not
> sound good. Does that mean the card cannot support bigger HDDs, like
> the 36.7GB one I linked to easlier? The latest BIOS update for my card
> is from June 8th 2000 :(  ... doesn't sound very encouraging.

The last Windows driver update is for Win2K Pro, only. Don't know if that
driver would work on XP (often Win2K drivers do).

As for the hard drive size, here is an interesting Linux RAID link

http://www.nobell.org/~gjm/linux/ide-raid/scsi-s18raid....

The RAID configuration uses an 18GB SCSI ST118273W/LW 7200RPM 7.9ms
(16MB/s) and a 10.2GB EIDE Ultra-ATA/66 5400RPM 9.5ms (29MB/s) [boot drive].

Those are, obviously, larger than 8 GB.

Dell page on a machine they make using that controller.

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/storage/U2W/setup...

Advanced Configuration Options

Extended BIOS Translation for DOS Drives > 1 GByte-When set to Enable,
provides an extended translation scheme for SCSI hard disks with capacities
greater than 1 GByte. This setting is necessary only for MS-DOS 5.0 or
above; it is not required for other operating systems, such as NetWare or
UNIX.The extended translation scheme supports disk drives as large as 8
GBytes.

And here's a storage review article where they compare SCSI drives up to
36.7 Gig using a 2940U2W in their test bed.

http://www.storagereview.com/articles/9905/990505ibmDNE...


> If I need a new SCSI controller card, or if you reccomend that I
> should get a new one, can you give some tips on a good, fairly cheap
> PCI (32bit) SCSI card. Linux compatability is a must, but if you don't
> about its Linux compatability, thats OK, I can do the research :) 
>
> Thanks,
> --Farrell F.
Related resources
October 28, 2004 4:06:41 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Haven't looked at your drive but I run 15k's. They're really nice, really
fast,.... and really hot. They're quieter than the older 10k scsi drives tho.
Basically, unless you get an HVD SCSI drive, any scsi drive will run on
any SCSI controller. Some are 50 pin, some 68pin, some 80pin so you
may need a cheap adapter if they're not the right connector but they're
all compatible. On some setups, with some cards/conditions, the SCSI
bus will be dragged down to the speed of the slowest drive.
If you only have the one ultra160 or ultra320 drive then the limiting factor
will be the drive interface speed or your controller speed, in this case
Ultra2scsi or 80meg/sec. I don't believe at this time there are any
80meg/sec drives anywhere. Your 15k will give marvelous access times tho.
It will also run 16 drives from a single cable.

On 27 Oct 2004 23:18:43 -0700, upgrdman@mindspring.com (upgrdman) wrote:

>A friend of mine gave me a SCSI controller card a while ago, and I'm
>finally starting to think about buying a really fast SCSI HDD so I can
>boot up, and load stuff as quickly as possible without RAID. I was
>thinking about buying a SCSI hardware RAID card, but it seems like PCI
>(32bit) would be a somewhat limiting factor. And I just bought a $400
>nVidia 6800GT AGP video card, and I don't want to toss it, and I have
>yet to see a motherboard with both AGP and PCI-X :(  That, and I am
>looking at buying an AMD64 motherboard and CPU eventually, so if any
>Intel motherboard have both AGP and PCI-X, that won't help me.
>
>OK, so back on topic. The card I have lying around is an Adaptec
>AHA-2940U2W. The specifications for it are here:
>
>http://www.adaptec.com/worldwide/support/techspecs.jsp?...
>
>I am thinking about buying this nice 15,000RPM "SCSI Ultra 320 68 Pin"
>drive:
>
>http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti...
>
>I don't know a whole lot about SCSI levels, as I have never used SCSI
>before. I do know the basics like IDs and terminators, but I don't the
>levels of compatability. So according to the spec's of my card, it
>supports SCSI 1, 2, 3, and UltraSCSI. Can anyone enlighten me as to
>weather UltraSCSI is equal to, or backwards compatable with "Ultra
>320"? Will I see any performance hits...the spec's for my card also
>say that the maximum data transfer rate is 80MBps. Are the newer 15k
>RPM drives anywhere close to 80MBps??
>
>I see on the specification page for my card that "Extended translation
>scheme supports up to eight (8) Gbytes per disk" ... hum that does not
>sound good. Does that mean the card cannot support bigger HDDs, like
>the 36.7GB one I linked to easlier? The latest BIOS update for my card
>is from June 8th 2000 :(  ... doesn't sound very encouraging.
>
>If I need a new SCSI controller card, or if you reccomend that I
>should get a new one, can you give some tips on a good, fairly cheap
>PCI (32bit) SCSI card. Linux compatability is a must, but if you don't
>about its Linux compatability, thats OK, I can do the research :) 
>
>Thanks,
>--Farrell F.

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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
October 28, 2004 11:47:52 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"upgrdman" <upgrdman@mindspring.com> wrote...
> I have
> yet to see a motherboard with both AGP and PCI-X

Since PCI-X is supposed to replace AGP, I don't know how they will
intermingle...


> OK, so back on topic. The card I have lying around is an Adaptec
> AHA-2940U2W. The specifications for it are here:
>
> I am thinking about buying this nice 15,000RPM "SCSI Ultra 320 68 Pin"
> drive:

> Can anyone enlighten me as to
> weather UltraSCSI is equal to, or backwards compatable with "Ultra
> 320"? Will I see any performance hits...the spec's for my card also
> say that the maximum data transfer rate is 80MBps. Are the newer 15k
> RPM drives anywhere close to 80MBps??

The U2 (Ultra 2) SCSI standard was the first of the "LVD" (low voltage
differential) standards. U160 and U320 are supersets of U2, and the drives and
cards are compatible. I have a U160 10K Cheetah that I just took off my 2940U2
on an old machine and put on a 29160.

The catch is whether you have 68- or 80-pin connectors on your card and HD.
Since many U160 and U320 HDs come in either version, just make sure you match
the HD to the card. The trailing "W" these days usually stands for "Wide" and
often (but not always, especially early on) implies an 80-pin connector is used.
For example, the 2940U2W has 2 68-pin internal connectors: one U2 LVD, and one
"legacy" Wide SCSI; back then, "Wide" was 16 bits -- "Wide", but no 80-pin
connector. Also note that OEM versions of the 2940U2 were NOT the same as the
Adapted boxed retail version.


> I see on the specification page for my card that "Extended translation
> scheme supports up to eight (8) Gbytes per disk" ... hum that does not
> sound good. Does that mean the card cannot support bigger HDDs, like
> the 36.7GB one I linked to easlier? The latest BIOS update for my card
> is from June 8th 2000 :(  ... doesn't sound very encouraging.

The 2940U2 works fine with the 36 GB Cheetah. The BIOS is old because U160 and
U320 followed shortly, and the 2940 was not updated any more.


> If I need a new SCSI controller card, or if you reccomend that I
> should get a new one, can you give some tips on a good, fairly cheap
> PCI (32bit) SCSI card. Linux compatability is a must, but if you don't
> about its Linux compatability, thats OK, I can do the research :) 

If you're using a single HD on a 32-bit PCI bus, the 2940 will work fine. A
single 15K Cheetah has a theoretical sustained rate of 80 MBps only on a 64-bit
bus. You will probably get in the 40-50 range sustained on the 32-bit
controller; that's what I get with my 10K Cheetah on a 29160 and a 32-bit bus.
!