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Using enterprise hard drive(s) in a desktop environment?

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April 15, 2007 4:02:52 AM

Hi,

I read some articles/forums that some people use SCSI/SAS/Fibre Channel setup, enterprise hard drives on their desktops for home/personal use, to make boot-up times faster and play games faster, among other things...
I am not really familiar about installing hard drives other than the usual IDE/SATA hard drives, but the fact that enterprise hard drives have less seek times and boot up faster, it intrigues me.
Practically, how can this be done? And is there a not-too-expensive way to do this? The first thing that comes into mind is compatibility--don't only server motherboards have SCSI ports?

Thanks!
April 16, 2007 2:46:02 AM

Then, I'm wondering what are some good, cheap SCSI controllers?
For 1 or 2 hard drives, would a LSI Logic's model: LSIU320 HBA be feasible?
With this, I was looking at a Seagate model: Cheetah 15K.4, 73.4GB Ultra SCSI 320...

Any hard drive/scsi controller suggestions are welcome!

Thanks.
April 16, 2007 2:58:46 AM

Are you planning on doing RAID? If they won't be raided then any cheap Adaptec card will do fine
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April 16, 2007 3:21:55 AM

Repeat after me: System Boot Time is CPU bound - NOT bound by HDD speed.

Honestly, if I had a dollar everytime some moron says his RAID array makes his PC boot in X seconds (insert impossible number for X) then I'd have - well, enough money to buy a RAID array. :p 

Installing faster drives may drop your boot time by 10 seconds or so, but that is all it can do. Spending half that money on a faster CPU will drop your boot times much more.
April 16, 2007 3:41:35 AM

SCSI drives are expensive and loud. Not recommended for desktops unless you need super fast HDD access, which you probably don't.
April 16, 2007 4:07:36 AM

Quote:
Repeat after me: System Boot Time is CPU bound - NOT bound by HDD speed.
There are those who would disagree with you. Check out the I-Ram article. I-RAM, a device that lets you use memory sticks as hard drive, will boot windows faster than a regular hard drive. Also check out SSD (Solid State Disk) and HHD (Hybrid Hard Drive) reviews. Both of these will boot windows faster also.

Also, to the OP: HD performance is usually not a limiting factor in game performance. It tends to be more important for database applications.
a b G Storage
April 16, 2007 5:20:55 AM

Quote:
you can buy a scsi controller for your PCI slot


yeah and cap performance to a mere 266mbs tops?
April 16, 2007 6:30:01 AM

I used to run commercial drives in my machine, until desktop drives starting catching up and I modded my first Promise ATA66 into a Fasttrack RAID controller. Been using stripes ever since.

Commercial drives are optimized for IO performance, and have great seek times due to the spindle speeds of the 15K units.

This can be benefitial in some games. WoW shows better performance with high IO drives for example. Other games would benefit better from pure transfer rate performance.

Of course this is only for loading levels and caching. My buddy has a pair of striped raptors and his machine loads games, quicksaves and quickloads faster than my striped 7200.10 seagates - impressive considering my X2 is clocked 300MHz faster than his...

Its only a matter of seconds in the end. But hey, some people will spend big bucks for a few seconds or a few frames per second. SCSI/SAS/FC cards are expensive and so are the drives but its your dough. You decide how to spend it.

My personal mantra has always been hard drive performance is just as important as CPU. I've been told a thousand times it doesn't make much of a difference, but naysayers can kiss my butt.

Stripe together 2 7200rpm drives and slap them in an old P3 800, and you'd be amazed at how quick it boots, surfs the web, loads apps and shuts down.

Or switch out a newer 7200rpm drive for a just a single raptor in a newer machine and you'll see what I mean.

There is no arguing faster drives equal faster performance, but you have to decide if its worth it at all or if your money is best spent elsewhere. Personally, I'm drooling over the thought of 2 of those new 1TB SATA drives striped. Supposed to be the fastest 7200rpm drives to date.
!