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SCSI Drives, question.

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October 19, 2008 5:03:38 AM

Hello, I just have a configuration question about SCSI, I know a fair amount about computer building and what have you, but I don't have any experience with SCSI. all I know is its fast, and fast, is good. I am able to get my hands on 2 "Maxtor Atlas 18GB 68 pin U320 15K RPM SCSI Hard Drive" for $40 and I'd LOVE to raid 0 them for just my XP OS install. Now the question is, What am I going to need? my Motherboards has Pci-e 1x and normal PCI. Thanks a lot.

Rob

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October 19, 2008 6:39:49 AM

You'll have to shell out some money for an Ultra320 SCSI controller card (probably PCIexpress x1) and *good-quality* cables, but setup issues may be tricky.
It's been a long time since I used SCSI drives, but I'm pretty sure you'll still have to make sure the end of the drive string is "terminated" with a special connector. From a quick skim of the web, it looks like one of the connectors (SCA-2) on your drives is designed for directly plugging into a server chassis; one article said this would cause more problems than it was worth if you're using traditional cables (as in your case). I'd start by reading the info here: http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/if/scsi/index.htm, especially the SCSI Cables and Connectors section. Good luck!
October 19, 2008 8:39:44 AM

To use U320 you'll probably need a PCI-X card (basically designed for server boards), "but" you can use them in a regular PCI slot too. The extra connectors will hang off the slot. It will be difficult to find a 1x PCI-E card, I've only seen them for x4. Plus they can get really expensive.

I don't know what your goals are, but you can find some U320, PCI-X, raid cards on Ebay for less than a $100. If you're just tinkering around I wouldn't spend too much. Then you will need a 68 pin SCSI cable (they usually come with termination). SCA-2 is 80 pin that is used to connect to a back-plane, for example in a hot swap enclosure.

You'll also want a card that will have some drivers for XP (for the initial install--when you press F6). If it doesn't, then you may have to install on a regular drive and then image to the SCSI drive/raid drive. Then again, some SCSI cards will have "hardware" raid. Meaning it can be configured in the BIOS to look like one drive. This way there's not drivers for the install and Windows will see it as one drive.

Hope this helps. Anyone chime in, if you want.
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October 19, 2008 3:37:33 PM

could anyone possible show a link to what im looking for?. Ive found some cards that are u320, and 68pin, but they come with like tons of raid options and even RAM on the board, they are all $300+. Anything basic? just for 2 drives, raid 0. Also one other question, I remember hear about SCSI drives not being very friendly with being turns off and on a lot, because in a server situation you wouldnt really turn it off often. Having my computer turned off and on at night and morning a lot, will that really take a tole on my drives especially in a raid 0?
October 19, 2008 3:43:08 PM

ApoX97 said:
could anyone possible show a link to what im looking for?. Ive found some cards that are u320, and 68pin, but they come with like tons of raid options and even RAM on the board, they are all $300+. Anything basic? just for 2 drives, raid 0. Also one other question, I remember hear about SCSI drives not being very friendly with being turns off and on a lot, because in a server situation you wouldnt really turn it off often. Having my computer turned off and on at night and morning a lot, will that really take a tole on my drives especially in a raid 0?



What ever you do go for an adaptec card ( still the best ) and get one with a bios chip on it.
October 19, 2008 5:15:41 PM

Most people RAID for 2x transfer rates. Are you sure the $20 18 GB drives offer at least half the transfer rates as a modern Raptor/Velociraptor?

If not, all you'd be getting is the access times of 15k rpm, which may not be enough to compensate for a drop in sustained transfers. And you'd be paying a lot more for a SCSI card compared to built-in or adapter-based SATA.

EDIT: Found more relevant info on the drives you're talking about. Their max transfer speed is ~74 MB/s each (together they'll beat a Raptor), but if you fit a PCI-X adapter into a PCI slot, you'll be limited by the PCI interface bandwidth of 133 MB/s and whatever overhead there is.

This thread may be informative:

http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/t228533.html
October 19, 2008 7:16:23 PM

considering what im paying for the 2 drives, $40. I'm going from 1 36g WD 10k rpm. to these 2 18g, Raid 0, 15k. Will it be a fairly significant increase in speed spending no more then $60 for a SCSI card?. so for about $100 will the speed be worth it.
March 20, 2009 6:48:40 PM

Why do you think SCSI is so expensive? Just go for a LSI21320-R. These sell for around $30 on ebay. I also use this card with XP. It took some time to get it working, but eventually worked. I also have 2 * 18GB U320 15k drives in RAID 0. My SCSI card is LSI-21320-IS from Dell, but I flashed it with 21320-R.
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