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Got 2 Ultra 160s, need RAID/SCSI controller... noob at this

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February 6, 2007 11:03:56 PM

Yes i did do a search and did various forms of research. I feel that i am somewhat informed now, but am not sure what else I will need in addition to the two SCSI Ultra 160 drives. I am very good at shopping around, but I simply don't know what to look for yet.

My PC:
KN1 SLI Lite (V1.0A) Newegg
x2 3800+
ONE PCIXpress gfx card
250GB SATA2 WD HDD

The two hdds i just bought are Fujitsu 36GB 15K RPM, 8MB cache, Ultra 160 eBay link

I want to put these in Raid 0 or Raid 1... im not sure yet because this will be a multiboot system (the 250GB HDD booting the other OS, the 2 SCSIs booting the other) but it WILL be used for primarily gaming. So my question is: do i need a RAID controller (i.e. takes input from 2 SCSIs to RAID) or just a dual input SCSI controller? Im looking for the cheapest solution truthfully(as you can see from my SCSI purchases) <$50.

Another little question is, can i add a partition (with software) to my 250GB hdd to have another drive to store files from between the two different OSes? The OSes would likely be XP Pro and XP Pro... but possibly XP Pro and Vista.
February 6, 2007 11:42:58 PM

You only need one controller to connect the two SCSI drives. SCSI drives can be daisy chained, just like IDE, except they use SCSI IDs. Just make sure each drive has a unique ID, and the last drive is terminated.

The controller you need for those drives must support LVD/SE (low voltage differential/single ended). One example of this is the Adaptec 19160. If you want hardware RAID, then you'll need to purchase the same type of controller (LVD/SE and at least U160), but one that supports hardware RAID, such as the Adaptec 29320A-R.

If I am gathering correctly, in your second question, you would like to have a partition to share files between operating systems. Sure, that is entirely possible.
February 6, 2007 11:43:48 PM

Thanks for your help... i wasnt even thinking about daisy chaining like IDEs... ive been using SATA too long... Can i get a regular controller and RAID in with software?

Ive already figured out that the interface for the drives I bought are 80pin SCA-2, for servers i guess, so I am buying 2 adapters....

Anyone have any answers to my previous questions?
February 6, 2007 11:46:31 PM

Quote:
Thanks for your help... i wasnt even thinking about daisy chaining like IDEs... ive been using SATA too long... How bout the RAID issue? Does the controller have to have RAID on it or can i do that in the OS or something?

Ive already figured out that the interface for the drives I bought are 80pin SCA-2, for servers i guess, so I am buying 2 adapters....

Anyone have any answers to my previous questions?


Those connectors are for hot swap operations in workstations or servers. See my previous post for other answers.

EDIT: Sorry, long night here. I'm believe XP Pro can do RAID 1. If it doesn't, then you're going to need a hardware array controller.
February 6, 2007 11:48:57 PM

Thanks again... i posted too fast and have since edited my post.

Would hardware RAID in the case of SCSIs be recommended or required or is software RAID okay? What are some software solutions for SCSI RAIDS inside XP Pro or possibly Vista? When installing a new OS how do I have them RAIDed together?
February 6, 2007 11:54:56 PM

Quote:
Thanks again... i posted too fast and have since edited my post.

Would hardware RAID in the case of SCSIs be recommended or required or is software RAID okay? What are some software solutions for SCSI RAIDS inside XP Pro or possibly Vista? When installing a new OS how do I have them RAIDed together?


Ok, the installation should be on one drive, then you can mirror to the second drive at any time. As for Vista, I have no clue. I haven't even looked at the OS.

Software or hardware RAID doesn't matter. SCSI is just a storage protocol, like SATA or IE. You can do either one on SCSI as well. The same rules apply that software RAID is going to be slower than hardware. Of course, with SCSI and RAID on one card, you'll pay through the nose.
February 6, 2007 11:58:42 PM

Quote:
Yes i did do a search and did various forms of research. I feel that i am somewhat informed now, but am not sure what else I will need in addition to the two SCSI Ultra 160 drives. I am very good at shopping around, but I simply don't know what to look for yet.

My PC:
KN1 SLI Lite (V1.0A) Newegg
x2 3800+
ONE PCIXpress gfx card
250GB SATA2 WD HDD

The two hdds i just bought are Fujitsu 36GB 15K RPM, 8MB cache, Ultra 160 eBay link

I want to put these in Raid 0 or Raid 1... im not sure yet because this will be a multiboot system (the 250GB HDD booting the other OS, the 2 SCSIs booting the other) but it WILL be used for primarily gaming. So my question is: do i need a RAID controller (i.e. takes input from 2 SCSIs to RAID) or just a dual input SCSI controller? Im looking for the cheapest solution truthfully(as you can see from my SCSI purchases) <$50.

Another little question is, can i add a partition (with software) to my 250GB hdd to have another drive to store files from between the two different OSes? The OSes would likely be XP Pro and XP Pro... but possibly XP Pro and Vista.


One note: PCIXpress is not a formfactor, PICx and PICe. When you ment is you have a PICe video card.

Only reason I make the correction is becuase most 160 SCSI cards are PCIx interface (66, 100, 133mhz). Your mobo can will allow a PCIx card becuase most all controllers are PCI 2.0 compliant (which your mobo supports). If you looking to get a cheap card then get any two channel 160 or 320 raid card with a large cache (64mb or larger). You can get a single chanel Adaptec card 29320lpr for under 120 bucks. U160 and U320 drives and controllers are compatible with eachother. So getting back you not haveing a PICx slot, your bandwidth limite will hardly allow a single 160 drive run at full speed, let alone a mirror or Raid 0, but will still blow ATA 133 and some first gen low end SATA configs away.

One option is get a cheap Perc 4e/DC card and edit the oemsetup files to work with XP. This would give you full access to the bandwith on an 8x PCIe bus.(32 Gbps (4 GB/sec)). This will also allow for upgrades to U320 (which are getting dirt cheap)drives in the future, while at the same time maxamizing your drives potentails. The OEM version of the Perc 4e is the LSI 320-2e, which can get up to 800 big ones, ebay might do better but not by a lot.

As for software, yes you can use partition magic.
February 7, 2007 12:00:41 AM

hardware raid is better, its a lot easier to rebuild failed drives.
February 7, 2007 12:41:10 AM

Thanks for all your help so far...

So if i understand you, most cards are PCIx, but i dont have that, but they will work anyway in my PCI2.0?

Also, when you say to get a dual input one, is it okay if i get a single input one and daisy chain the drives like IDE drives?
February 7, 2007 12:48:42 AM

Quote:
Thanks for all your help so far...

So if i understand you, most cards are PCIx, but i dont have that, but they will work anyway in my PCI2.0?

Also, when you say to get a dual input one, is it okay if i get a single input one and daisy chain the drives like IDE drives?


Just make sure the model you select is supported in standard PCI 33Mhz slots.

Yes, for your setup, it's not going to matter if you use two SCSI ports or daisy chain them.
February 7, 2007 1:25:32 AM

Is there much of a difference in 32-bit and 64-bit controllers?
February 7, 2007 12:23:12 PM

Quote:
Is there much of a difference in 32-bit and 64-bit controllers?


There is, however, you need to consider your use. You're not going to have several people accessing the disk at the same time. To use a 64-bit controller, you'll need a board with PCI-X (don't be confused with PCIExpress) slots.

For your use, you can use a 32-bit controller.
February 7, 2007 3:21:55 PM

Okay, gotcha. I ended up getting a Adaptec 29160 LP. If I had known about the 32-bit 64-bit thing i might have bought a lower profile Adaptec 19160. But that doesnt much matter.

I ended up spending more than i thought I would... ~$100... for the two HDDs, controller, cable, and adapter.... but I guess thats still a pretty good deal if everything works correctly.

One more question, what kind of performance will I be seeing with these HDDs not in RAID, in a RAID 0 or RAID 1, against my single sata2 250GB WD 16MB cache i have now?
February 8, 2007 3:18:04 PM

Thats really system dependant. Your going to saturate the bus fater with those SCSI on a PCI 2.0 interface. So dont be surprised its less or equal. If they were 320 drives, you might see better, but again the drives have to wait becuase the pipes are only so big for SCSI burst.
February 8, 2007 8:03:29 PM

Alright... il do some benches for each situation to see.
!