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UW SCSI Vs. UDMA100

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September 12, 2002 4:53:13 PM

Hello ppl. I need a suggestion.

My current system is P3/450 on 440BX, 256MB SDRAM.
4 HD drives:
-IDE QUANTUM FIREBALLP AS / 7200RPM, 60GB / UDMA100 (Media)
-IDE QUANTUM FIREBALL CX / 5400RPM, 10GB / UDMA66 (OS)
-IDE WDC AC28400R / 5400RPM, 8 GB / UDMA66 (Backup)
-SCSI IBM DNES-309170 / 7200, 9GB on AHA-2940UW (nothing).

OS-Win2k, on the 10GB HD.
The M.Board supports UDMA/33 only, so I don't benefit anything from the fast drives, (well atleast untill I get the new parts :)  and the data transfer rate is SLOOOOOOW...

I've just ordered a few new parts - P4/2.4, ASUS P4T533, and 256MB of PC4200 (1066 RDRAM), so I'll be reconfiguring the whole system, formatting the system HD, and installing win2k again, preferrably on a faster drive.

My question is: what's faster: UDMA100 or UW SCSI?
The problem is, that I don't want to install the OS on the 60GB, cos then if I unplug it, I won't have a working PC, even if I partion it... So this is not really an option.
The second IDE drive, 10GB, is really comfortable for the OS, but it's 5400RPM, and UDMA66, so I won't take full advantage of the M.board - Which has 2xUDMA133, 2xUDMA100, and RAID onboard.
About RAID - I never dealed with it before, so any usefull sugestions using my 3 IDE drives? :) 

BTW, I although have a YAMAHA SCSI burner, 16x10x40, so is there any benefit in burning CD's from the SCSI HD?

Please advise, I'm receiving the new parts soon, and I want the "new" system to be at it's best! :) 

More about : scsi udma100

September 12, 2002 8:32:02 PM

Uhuh, an interesting mix you've got there. Here's some relatively fast advice, not necessarily good advice since I don't have any hands-on experience on SCSI. Nor Win2k.

First off, if you already have had Win2k on a drive configuration that has worked fine for you so far, why worry? So you've got a new mobo, CPU and main memory. That's fine and all of them sound like good choices to me. Bound to make one humongous overall performance increase. But they won't magically mutate your HDs. They're still the same HDs, why change anything HD-related unless they've been giving you some grief so far? Well, here's my two cents in any case...

You stated you have four HD's. In your post, you only considered two of them worth mentioning:
IBM DNES-309170 SCSI (UW, 50PIN, 9GB, on AHA-2940)
QUANTUM FIREBALLP AS60.0 (UDMA/100)-best of the non-SCSI

I assume the remaining two drives are "data-only" drives: no games, no apps, just data. Or an alternative OS, I dunno. I dare guess "alternative OS" is not the case, though. If you had one, you wouldn't be asking for <i>any</i> advice...
(in my experience, some of those people just *do*, and grind their teeth if something doesn't go quite as planned). :wink:

Anyway, if I was in your shoes, I'd put Win2k on the 9GB SCSI drive and apps and games on the Quantum drive. I guess the Quantum drive is where you've already kept your apps and games; why else would you reformat it? But why on earth would you want to have multiple partitions on a 60GB drive, especially when you have four separate HDs already? Of course, you'd still have to "bulldoze" the Quantum drive and reinstall your apps and games on the Quantum drive if you reinstall the OS on the SCSI drive, but same goes if you'd keep (some of the) apps in the SCSI drive along with the OS.

As for the two "data" drives, I'd keep everything on the larger one and use the smaller one for swapfile and to back up crucial data.

As a final note, I'd get another 256MB of RDRAM just on general principles. Dunno what apps and filesystems you're using or planning to use, but in my proposed scenario at least 3 out of 4 of the harddisks might end up being used in parallel. With 512MB there'd be plenty of main memory around for caching all four HD's and running a handful of HD/memory intensive apps.


<font color=green>I doubt, therefore I may be.</font color=green>
September 12, 2002 9:40:24 PM

Thanx 4 the advise!
read the edited post, maybe u'll have something 2 add :) 
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September 13, 2002 12:25:52 AM

Not to mention. Mostly guesswork on my part thus far.

Anyway, I'll stick to my guns and recommend the the 9GB SCSI drive for system, swapfile and temporary files. Capacity shouldn't be a problem since you have used the 10GB IDE drive for system so far. The SCSI drive's sustained data transfer rate isn't too hot (12.7 - 20.8 MBps according to IBM spec), but the average seek time (7ms) beats just about anything <i>any</i> IDE drive has to offer. Perfect system+swap+temp material in my book.

When it comes to sustained transfer rate, the 60GB probably is the best of the lot now that you'll be getting UDMA/100 IDE on board. So if you mostly work with only a couple of apps at a time but with large media files - as your edited post suggests - the 60GB Quantum drive is your best bet for storing data.

If possible, try to squeeze your apps and games into the 10GB drive. The apps and games might start up a bit slowly, but IMO that's a small price to pay for the fact that you can dedicate the 60GB for any huge work files. At least the games won't need much of a HD performance. Load times between levels might be longer, but once the action starts, games don't usually use the HD at all. To a lesser degree, same goes for apps.

Use the slowest 8GB drive for backups. And do take backups. I speak from personal experience. It might only be one humble <600kB .doc, but when it moves on to bit heaven totally unexpectedly... <i>it hurts</i>.

Oh, and put the 8GB and 10GB UDMA/66 drives to the same IDE channel and leave a dedicated channel for the UDMA/100 60GB drive. And do use NTFS. You might eke out some 5% extra HD performance by using FAT32, but trust me: those few percents aren't worth the hassle when you've got a choice. M$ engineers didn't design and implement an entirely new filesystem just because they thought it would be so much fun to do something completely different for a change...

Since your total HD capacity is relatively small, your 256MB main memory most likely is up to the task, just use it and judge for yourself. However, I'd bet that eventually you will be upgrading some your HD's for something bigger and better. Feel free to put in another 256MB of main memory while you're at it. RAID is out, I'm afraid. You'd need a bunch of same/similar drives to do that. However, if you <i>do</i> RAID at some point, go for RAID1. It still gives you better read performance and the redundancy is just great.

On second thought, I guess you just might RAID1 or RAID0 the 8MB and 10MB IDE drives for apps and games but then you'd need something else for data backups. Well, if the burner does that for you, go ahead and experiment RAIDing with the small IDE drives... anyway, congrats on your new system & best of luck setting it up.


<font color=green>I doubt, therefore I may be.</font color=green>
September 13, 2002 12:41:12 AM

One little correction: since you have plenty of IDE channels, just put all the drives to their own channels. Or if you're planning to experiment with RAID, whatever the RAID requires, I don't have any hands-on experience with RAID.

Heh, some advisor I am. Don't know about this, don't know about that, but trust me: do that, do this, don't do that...


<font color=green>I doubt, therefore I may be.</font color=green>
September 13, 2002 1:24:26 AM

well, 12.7 - 20.8 MBps is kinda slow compared to UDMA100...
You think it'll be enough 4 the OS and all the aps/games?
September 13, 2002 2:08:55 AM

standard ata100 drives are good enough for me.

<b><font color=orange>My <font color=green>life <font color=red>has <font color=blue>been <font color=black>so <font color=purple>much <font color=yellow>more <font color=orange>colourful <font color=green>since <font color=blue>the <font color=red>advent <font color=black>of <font color=purple>Super <font color=red>VGA! :lol: 
September 13, 2002 2:15:04 AM

At least for the OS, yes. Games and apps too if they fit to the SCSI drive. IMO, (sustained) transfer rate (==sequential access speed) really isn't a "do all, be all" thing. Exaggerating wildly, what good would a 100MB/s transfer rate do if it took better part of the day to set up the transfer?

OS is the common denominator for all apps/games, but it's not like they need to read every last bit of the OS from the disk on a regular basis. More often, they simply need relatively small pieces of the OS every now and then; a bit of here, a bit of there. So the total amount of transferred data is relatively small, but when the apps/games request the small pieces they happen to need at the moment, the sooner they get them the better. That's where the seek time comes into play. IMO, the SCSI drive wouldn't be able to transfer stuff sequentially as fast as the UDMA/100 drive, but since it can start the transfer much quicker than the UDMA/100 drive, the SCSI drive is faster for short, "random" accesses.

Of course, there are apps which move big amounts of data in a single transaction and which thrive on a high transfer rate. That's why I recommended you use the 60GB UDMA/100 for your data files.
Therefore, I think that the SCSI is the right drive for your OS.

However, I just wanted to point out that the SCSI drive <i>might</i> make a surprisingly good system drive. Ultimately, the decision is yours since you have much better idea what you will be using your rig for. But unless the OS installation takes ages, you might want to try installing the OS to both the 60GB drive and the SCSI drive and see for yourself which of them boots faster. I'd be curious to know...


<font color=green>I doubt, therefore I may be.</font color=green>
September 13, 2002 2:30:35 AM

For me too. Or would be, but I still haven't gotten around to buying an IDE controller card for it. Got UDMA/33 still alive and limping...

Anyway, BoJl4apa has got an interesting dilemma: an 9GB SCSI drive with modest 12-20MB/s tran rate but with not-so-modest average seek (7ms). Pit it against his 60GB UDMA/100 drive (dunno the transfer rate or seek time details). Which drive would be <i>your</i> system drive?

I'd go for the SCSI drive myself, but then again when I was little my dad made me chant "SCSI is good, SCSI is great" for hours every day and used to slap my fingers with a ruler if I fell a sleep.


<font color=green>I doubt, therefore I may be.</font color=green>
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 13, 2002 2:46:13 AM

yeah because as everyone knows all udma-100 drives all do 100MB per second transfers. ppbbbppbbbbllllaaaahhhh. j/k
September 13, 2002 2:48:49 AM

Looks like your putting together a nice system. You sure you don't want to budget any money for faster storage? You live in the states? Of the drives listed the Quantum AS is by far the best. Your SCSI controller is starting to show its age as it is capped at 40 MB/s not too bad mind you but a AHA-2940U2W would give you 80 MB/s. I slightly disagree with the other poster recomendations as the AS drive is your fastest drive THIS is were you want your swap file. Create a partition at the begining of the drive in the 512K to 1.5 gig range and detecate it for swap. You have alot of hardware there, perhaps sell some of the older drives on ebay or such and use that money with some more to upgrade your I/O system, trust me you won't be disapointed.

It's not what they tell you, its what they don't tell you!
September 13, 2002 2:52:51 AM

That Scsi drive is a bit long in the tooth. The AS drive will outperform it in every aspect including seeks. Rotational latency is directly proportional to drive speed and in this case they are both 7200 rpm drives. The SCSI drive is a few generations older than the IDE drive in this case negating any advantages of SCSI.

It's not what they tell you, its what they don't tell you!
September 13, 2002 4:38:06 AM

well my dad never made me do the SCSI chant... so i would probably go with the IDE drive. greater sustained transfer rate (even on ata33) and far greater capacity (i like capacity).
slightly slower seeks i dont really notice, but sustained transfer rates are important to moi.
now if it were a modern U160/320 10k or 15k scsi drive then i would choose it in a flash :smile:


<b><font color=orange>My <font color=green>life <font color=red>has <font color=blue>been <font color=black>so <font color=purple>much <font color=yellow>more <font color=orange>colourful <font color=green>since <font color=blue>the <font color=red>advent <font color=black>of <font color=purple>Super <font color=red>VGA! :lol: 
September 13, 2002 4:53:23 AM

damn, I really don't know what to do.
I DO take the 60GB drive out from time to time, and I want my system to be able to boot without it...
Evenmore, I don't really want to partition it...
(BTW, a sepperate partition 4 the swap file is "healthy"? :) 

Army SUX... Feb/13/2003 - the best date EVER!
September 13, 2002 5:22:33 AM

And yet another issue.
One of the small HD makes a scary "klak-klak, klak-klak" noise that makes my heart miss a beat every time I hear it. Not very often, once a couple of month.
Is there a simple, fast way to determine which of the two is [-peep-] up?..
I read about the SMART technology, but I'm not even sure the drives support it.
Considering this, RAID 0 on these 2 is not an option :) 
Besides, I'm planning to build another PC using the "spare parts", and so 1 of the drives will have to go, therefore I REALLY need to know which one is the [-peep-] up.
(BTW, I'm repling too much to myself, thanx for reading all this stuff :) 

Army SUX... Feb/13/2003 - the best date EVER!
September 13, 2002 6:08:24 AM

dunno. thats ur decision :smile:

a seperate partition for the swapfile can be done easily enuf, but i see little advantage in doing so, especially nowerdays with ram so cheap and BIG.
i have a 5gb system partition and that includes the swapfile. with 512mb of ram my system rarely if ever dips into it.

<b><font color=orange>My <font color=green>life <font color=red>has <font color=blue>been <font color=black>so <font color=purple>much <font color=yellow>more <font color=orange>colourful <font color=green>since <font color=blue>the <font color=red>advent <font color=black>of <font color=purple>Super <font color=red>VGA! :lol: 
September 13, 2002 9:49:12 AM

If you priorities are the OS, you should use the 60gb for it, otherwise I would stick with the current one (10gb). I wouldn't use the SCSI for the OS thought, why? People will claim, that you can achive 40mb/s (or 80 with u2w) but this is only true, if you use either striping, or do a lot of multi-stream i/o on it (ftp/share etc).
September 13, 2002 10:02:50 AM

Just noticed the Fireball Plus AS 60 has been <A HREF="http://www6.tomshardware.com/storage/01q1/010312/cebit-..." target="_new">reviewed</A> here at THG already. Couldn't find its specs, though.

Anyway, I confused it with some other drive. I agree with ncogneto, your 60GB drive really is the fastest drive of the pack. It has an excellent average seek time for an IDE drive even if is not quite as good the SCSI drive's (8.5ms vs 7ms). Not that big an advantage for the SCSI drive, and the SCSI drive gets nowhere near the 60GB Quantum's transfer rate (18MBps-36Mbps vs 12MBps-20MBps).

I'd rate the the SCSI drive to be the second fastest in your system, so if you really do want/need to use the 60GB as a data-only drive that you even remove on occasion, the SCSI drive is your best bet for system. The size is right, and the speed isn't terribly bad. Don't worry about the swap/tempfile locations, you can easily adjust them to your liking later on.

The problem is that you basically have only the SCSI drive and the 60GB drive left for your new proposed system. If/when you remove the 60GB, everything has to be on the 9GB drive. If you really think that 9GB is going to cut it, fine. But I'm a tiny bit worried that you'll eventually want to try lots of new stuff with your new rig. Pisses you off to no end if you find out in a couple of months that the 9GB SCSI doesn't cut it after all...

If <i>still</i> in doubt, why not take ncogneto's good advice and simply splurge on HD's a bit? Get two 120GB IDE drives and RAID1 them, keep the 60GB Quantum as your "removable" drive and keep the SCSI burner. <i>Blazing</i> fast and carefree computing... and your reduced stress level will probably give you a couple of extra years to earn the money back :lol:  .
Trust me, ain't got no RAID1, backups are nearly a month old and my blood pressure is skyrocketing...

Put the rest the drives to your spare system. Better yet, sell at least some of them. There still are people out there who own legacy systems which don't support large drives. You wouldn't believe what kind of cash some of them are willing to shell out for a shabby 8GB replacement drive...

Also, you might consider FAT32 filesystem for the 60GB drive after all, in case you need to move it between computers. Single 60GB FAT32 partition should work fine in Win95OSR2, Win98's, ME, Win2k and XP. Win2k and XP might not let you create >32GB FAT32 partitions, but they can use existing ones just fine. Grab a Win98 boot floppy (check out www.bootdisk.com if you don't have one already) and use it to partition/format 60GB.


<font color=green>I doubt, therefore I may be.</font color=green>
September 13, 2002 12:04:03 PM

Well, I got along just fine till now with 10GB system disk - I almost don't play games, and hardly use big apps. Most of the progs r benchmarks, encoder-decoder tools, mp3 tools, and MSVS. So it should be enough in the future ether.
The 60GB is used for all the media - movies, mp3's and other stuff. I do want to keep it for data only, and on FAT32, first cos I want it 2be compatible, and second cos I won't be able to format it - too much data :)  (win2k lets me use the whole 60GB as a single partition with FAT32)
Why not just buy another 5 120GB drives, and go for RAID 5? :)  naaa. I already spent all my yearly resources on the sick parts I bought, PC4200 isn't cheap, and so is the board and the CPU :)  It's not that I'm gona use all this power to it's limits - I just LOVE new hardware. I *almost* get sexually erroused of it :) 
So I think I'll try the SCSI as my system disk,
(btw, there is a REAL problem to format the 60GB drive...)
And play a little bit with RAID on the 2 small drives, atleast untill the fu*ked up one won't die on me.
Thanx 4 all ur help, it's been really usefull!
(keep adding, I love reading this :) 

Army SUX... Feb/13/2003 - the best date EVER!
September 13, 2002 1:12:17 PM

Quote:
I just LOVE new hardware.


then selll some of the old hadware and buy some new stuff:) 

You would be amazed at what you can pick up for relatively little money.

For instance:<A HREF="http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2046..." target="_new">http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2046...;/A>

This would make a great OS disk. Coupled with this: <A HREF="http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2051..." target="_new">http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2051...;/A>


After selling some of your old hardware total out of pocket expenses should be as low as 50 bucks.

It's not what they tell you, its what they don't tell you!
September 13, 2002 2:42:12 PM

Would if I could, but I'm getting out of new ideas. Sounds to me like you're all set.

Anyhow, I think that I might for once follow my own advice and get active about the RAID1 thingy in some other thread. I'd be glad to hear how your RAID experiments turned out.


<font color=green>I haven't lost my mind. I know perfectly well where I left it.</font color=green>
September 13, 2002 3:54:31 PM

Well, I live in Israel, and here ppl dont really chase after old hardware. Besides, my next upgrade will be a new video card, something like Gforce 4 TI4200.
After a night of good sleep, I think I'll stick to my plan - SCSI for system, and a little bit RAIDing for the small drives.
Thanx :) 

Army SUX... Feb/13/2003 - the best date EVER!
!