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SCSI Drives and Controllers

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November 2, 2004 9:35:05 PM

I currently have an IDE 80GB WD 7200RPM HD. I have been looking into investing in some SCSI drives for the simple fact of speed for gaming and load times. I am looking at a Fujitsu 15,000RPM 36.7 SCSI drive. I need to know what to look for when shopping for a SCSI controller as well as the drives themselves.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
November 3, 2004 2:42:32 AM

Those drives should be good for around 100MB/s disk transfers. No need for a U320 controller, your PCI bus only support 133MB/s. If you're not doing RAID, a single channel U160 controller would be perfect.

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November 3, 2004 9:03:48 PM

The 100MB/s stat that you posted, would that be considered from/to media or from/to host? If I get more than one drive, the way I read you post, I would need to get the U320 controller, is this correct?
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November 4, 2004 1:07:29 AM

Media. To-from host is nearly irrelavent and is deceptive.

Drive performance doesn't double when you go to RAID0, it's more like a 50% increase in bandwidth, so U160 would be fine for 2 drives on 1 channel. More importantly, U160 exceeds the abilities of your PCI slot, so even a 16-drive array can't do any better on standard boards (32-bit 33MHz PCI).

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November 4, 2004 3:14:38 AM

Cool, thanks for the info. I've been searching around, now I'm looking at a pair of Seagate Cheetah 18gb 15000RPM, but what's the difference in 68 pin and 80 pin? Thoughts or opinions?
November 4, 2004 3:44:53 AM

80 pin doesn't have power inputs or configuration jumpers, 68-pin does. The extra pins are for configuration and power, and are normally broken out on a backplane.

You can buy an 80-pin to 68-pin adapter, which serves the same function (breaking out the extra pins to jumpers and a power header).

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November 4, 2004 1:14:20 PM

Thanks for all the info Crashman. I appreciate the time.
November 4, 2004 3:19:11 PM

I don't think SCSI would be worthwhile for your purposes.

I think that you would be better served just going with Western Digital SATA Raptor drives.

They won't be as fast as the SCSI drives, but they will be a little cheaper. The controller card, if it's not on your motherboard, will be a lot cheaper.

Then next year when faster versions of SATA drives come out, take the money saved and purchase those.

I used to be a huge fan of SCSI, but not so much anymore. I haven't found the benefit to be that great, unless you have a bunch of drives, a really good controller not something that one would find at home that often.

Whatever your ultimate choice, it would be interesting to know and to hear your opinion in the end.
November 4, 2004 3:53:51 PM

They will be nearly as fast as SCSI 10k drives.

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November 4, 2004 7:37:35 PM

Yes, they will be "nearly as fast as SCSI 10k drives", but "the SCSI drives" that were origionally mentioned in this post are the "Fujitsu 15,000RPM 36.7 SCSI ".

The SATA Raptors won't be as fast as "the SCSI" drives that are being discussed.

An additional point, and this may not even be a problem anymore, but I stopped purchasing Fujitsu drives because they often ran much warmer than other drives in a similar category.

It may be worth checking out.

Raptors do run warmer than most drives I've used, and I haven't looked at Fujitsu drives in a long time.
November 4, 2004 10:42:12 PM

If I remember right, the last I read about the temperature of the Fujitsu drives was that they were running at around 40 - 50 degrees, but that it's not bad as long as you have a fan running specifically for them.

As far as comparing SCSIs to Raptors, the seek times are much faster on SCSI drives and therefore load times would be greatly diminished. I'm looking for short down times between restarts, as well as fast read times for games. I figure why not get the fastest now and save my money every year rather than purchasing new equipment every year. Just my opinion. I probably won't be purchasing these items till after the beginning of the year, so this thread might be moot anyway.

Thanks for your thoughts.
November 5, 2004 7:31:56 PM

Hehe I was thinking about doing the same thing you were =) The thing that bothered me was that I'd have to get an expensive RAID card and it would only use a regular PCI slot. I'm not sure, but even if they made one for PCI-e I think a the x1 slot that current boards use wouldn't be much better (except for having a dedicated channel). Maybe if there was a x4 controller and slot =). If I could find a really good deal on the stuff I'd go for it anyway, since hard drives seem to be one of the few things that can last through a system upgrade. But then again, SATA 2 is coming out, and then there's that serial attached SCSI thing...
November 6, 2004 5:03:43 AM

Quote:
the seek times are much faster on SCSI drives and therefore load times would be greatly diminished

I'm impressed that you are able to notice a 2ms difference in seek time when starting up a game. They say time is money, but is 2ms of your life is worth an extra $300 then you must be raking it in dude, congratulations.

(In any event the WD740GD is better than either of the SCSI drives you mentioned in gaming or boot-up.)

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November 6, 2004 5:52:09 PM

When they say seek, is that only at the very start of doing something or does it mean each instance of switching from reading one thing to another?
November 7, 2004 12:04:10 AM

A seek is each instance where the head has to lift off from reading and writing and move to a different track on the drive. Full-stroke seek is the time to get from the start track to the end track. Average seek is, unsurprisingly, the average seek time between random tracks. Track-to-track seek is the time between adjacent tracks.

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November 7, 2004 6:33:21 AM

Thanks, that's the kind of information I was looking for: whether or not it was worth the expense compared to the SATA drives. When are the SATA 2 drives coming out? Would I have to update my mobo?

Any information would be appreciated.
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