I feel a need to upgrade my HDD from my 8GB (Generic drive) to something better. At Seagate's homepage I found Barracuda ATA III ST3140824A, seemed perfect at a respectable 40.8GB and 7200 rpm for modest $160. Only one problem.

It was SCSI. I've only ever owned IDE drives, so I have *no* knowledge whatsoever about SCSI, I mean I know what it is theoritically, but my questions are:

• What is a "SCSI Controller"?!

• Where do I buy a good SCSI controller and how do I install it?

• Do I need an SCSI controller at all? My mainboard is Asus P4T.

• How do I make the connections? Is it a diffrerent way of installation for SCSI drives then IDE drives?

• Is there anything else I should know about SCSI? Special cables, cooling etc.

/ Topaz
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  1. In answer to your questons.

    A scsi controller is a add on card (normaly PCI) that controls scsi disk it is somtimes found on board some of the highend pc system boards but not very often. these cards cost around $100+ and come in a mixture of types. they are 50 pin 68 pin (wide scsi) and all sorts of data rates (5/10/20/40/80/160 and a new 320Mb/s). The drives are all backward compatible and con control a large amount of drives (50 pin narrow scsi 7 devices, 68 pin wide 15 devices).

    My personal fav SCSI card is the Adaptec reange of cards e.g. 29160 (aprrox $200) and is avalible from most computer shops. and is installed into a standard PCI slot.

    I am guessing that your board does not have a onboard SCSI controller if it does you will see a collection on 50/68 pin conectors on you board.

    The drive is conected to the drives via ribbon cables as normal. But you will have 3 or 4 jumperas to select the drive ID. these work on a binary method of jumper 0=1 jumper 1=2 jumper 2=4 and (wide only) jumper 3=8. you select the address by adding the value of the jumpers together e.g. jumpers 1+3 on = 2+8 = ID 10.
    ID 7 (PIN 0+1+2) is reserved for the card and some systems like to use ID 0(no pins on) for the boot disk.You will olso need a terminator on the end of the cable but this is often supplied with good cables.

    Now thats the outline of scsi explaned one more point, the Barracuda ATA III ST3140824A is an IDE drive and will work of your standard IDE conector on your board. so good luck!

    Only the insane prosper.
    Only those who prosper can judge what is sane.
  2. hey hey
    SCSI!! I'm excited about the technology; I had never been aware of the shortcomings of IDE technology, just thought that my bus speed etc was the problem (IE getting buffer unrderuns all the time). One day I wlil burn a CD, watch a DVD and defrag my harddrive at once.

    What I'd like to know is what version of the SCSI controller is a practical buy, for say 120$ and under; are they all backwards comaptible (the number of pins etc)? I don't need the fastest technology, but I would like it to be scalable for future SCSI devices... like I would eventually like to make my way to "everything SCSI" without having to buy a new controller. Kind of like buying an ATA100 IDE controller in the IDe world, its a bit overkill as no HD transmits that fast (nor does a channel of bandwidth need 320MB transfer). I don't know who makes controllers, and I don't knwo what the "standard" speed is that they are bought at. I just don't want to be overkill is what I'm saying, and don't want to spend all this cash on just the controller instead of the devices.

    Also I find it a bit odd that the SCSI interfaces work off of the PCI bus, which is only running at 33mhz. Don't all those SCSI devices need more speed? Isn't that PCI bus a bottleneck? Will they ever change that in the near future (like graphics cards getting their own AGP slot)? I would think that would make the interface very slow, but apprarently not.

    ANyway, thanks in advance for anyone's help on this.

    -Phil Crosby
  3. The best bet for buyingat the moment is the ultra 160 scsi cards the normaly have both 50 and 68 pin connectors and are well fast. Your arer correct in saying thay work off the PCI bus (as does IDE) which in a PC is 33Mhz 32 Bit = 133MByte/Sec. However the server versions work off a 66Mhz 64Bit PCI bus giving a massive 533Mbyte/Sec but that means getting a big expensive server. However you will see 64Bit PCI bus start to filter down to PC's (I belive the intel 850 chipset has them) in the next Year or two.

    Only the insane prosper.
    Only those who prosper can judge what is sane.
  4. i suggest a 40gig 60gxp IDE.
    unless your a real performance person u dont really need scsi.
    and besides, the 60gxp is a good price and a slick drive. quiet tooo.

    My Hamster has 512MB of SDRAM @ 150Mhz CAS 2!
  5. This might help:

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