upgrade advice: keep U2W SCSI or mix with ATA100?

Hi, I need advice on upgrading my system. I have an aging, PIII 500MHz, ABIT board with 256MB RAM. I am looking to get a new mobo and CPU. My dilemma is that my current system is SCSI'd out: adaptec2940? U2W adapter with 18GB IBM 10000rpm drive (used to be my pride and joy), SCSI floppy, ZIP, Pioneer DVD-Rom, Yamaha 4x burner (again, used to be my ...), and a Diamond 770 TNT2 video card. I read that the current ATA-1000, 7200 rpm drive can match or even exceed the performance of the current SCSI drives. So I am wondering whether it's worth my time and money to invest in a new SCSI adpater and a new hard drive to keep my upgraded system all SCSI. I heard that it's okay to mix SCSI and IDE, but I am not too sure about that.

Also, any advices on what mobo+cpu+memory combinations to get? P4 with Rambus? or Athlon XP (or MP? what's the difference? sorry it's hard to keep up) + DDR266? Help!

I would appreciate any advices. Thanks.
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  1. WbaeDude

    I too have an all SCSI system. SCSI IBM 10,000rpm 9G, SCSI 4x burner, ...etc. SCSI still rules but is not worth the extra bucks unless someone else is payin (as in used for business or serving). SCSI allows longer cables so external drives are a lot better off using SCSI. SCSI is faster, allows more devices and uses less CPU power.

    IDE has come a long way and is the best for DVD because SCSI DVD drives are slow coming out and are a generation behind. IDE is cheaper and in DMA/ata modes uses a lot less CPU then it did before. An IDE raid would be faster then a single SCSI.

    On mixing drives: It can be done and it works but it is slower then either one seperate. I added an IDE DVD to my all SCSI system and it slows it down a bunch. I took it back out today just to see and sure enough my old system is speedy again. My systems are back to being all SCSI or all IDE.

    My new system is all IDE. It has 2 7200rpm IDE drives, a 16x DVD, and a 8x burner. It is so much faster then the old SCSI system that the slower IDE HDs don't make any difference.

    Any way if cost is no object go SCSI or raid or both. If cost enters in IDE is fine. I wouldn't mix unless it is temporary.


    A ATA100 drive isn't going to work at 100. It is gonna run more like 30. Same goes for SCSI. Just because the interface runs a 160 that does not mean that the drive can go that fast. In a server what a SCSI 160 does is allow you to access 160 / 30 or about 5 drives before the interface becomes the bottle neck. On a single drive system there is almost no difference between SCSI and IDE.

    Remember if you ain't Muslim you ain't Shiite.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by lakedude on 10/25/01 04:24 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
  2. For storage...

    IDE is fast enough for a lot of stuff, but the ultimate in hard drive speed always goes to SCSI--mainly because 10K-15KRPM SCSI drives exist, and 10K-15KRPM IDE drives don't. :wink: SCSI also does better in large RAID arrays, simply because you can sync spindle speed in SCSI arrays, SCSI supports more devices per channel, and a SCSI bus is better designed to do multithreaded device handling. The extra peak bandwidth of Ultra160 is nice too.

    For absolute ultimate speed for very large RAID arrays, fiber channel (HVD) is the way to go, but it's way, waaaay out of even a mid-sized company's budget.

    For CD-RW/DVD...IDE is better for DVD, simply because SCSI DVD drives are, as LakeDude says, a generation or two behind IDE DVD drives. :mad:

    As for mixing the two...I actually mixed them for years before I got my system to the point of being all-SCSI. Oddly, I never had the mixing problem that LakeDude had...SCSI was always speedy whether mixed with IDE or not. Mixing IDE/SCSI drives can be a hassle, though, when you want to decide which drive to boot from =/

    As for CPUs, I'd generally recommend an AthlonXP, as it tends to be all-around faster than a P4, as well as less power-hungry and slightly cooler running (surprise!). The P4 has better thermal protection, but that's not much use if you know how to properly install a heatsink. :tongue:

    The difference between the AthlonMP and the AthlonXP is that the MP is certified for SMP systems. AthlonXP currently should work in SMP mode, but if it doesn't, good luck getting a replacement! Plus, the rumble in the jungle is that AthlonXP's will soon be SMP-locked, so you'll <i>have</i> to use AthlonMP's to get SMP functionality.


    "/join #hackerz. See the Web. DoS interesting people."
  3. Good post K-dude.

    I agree with most everything K says. Including that the XP is the way to go right now. The SIS with 333DDR might make the p4 a better deal but right now the XP is the way to go. If you mail order any system double check you HS to make sure it did not come off in shipping.

    Increased data density has made slower drives faster per rpm and slower drives last longer. A super fast 15krpm is cool but I wouldn't want one for anything critical unless your data was backed up.

    Remember if you ain't Muslim you ain't Shiite.
  4. Would the ATA-100 drive be slower than my current U2W drive? In other words, should I keep my SCSI drive, replace the SCSI drive with IDE, or mix the two drives?
  5. If we are talking about a single (non raid) internal drive SCSI looses much of its apeal. The interface in both cases is far faster then the drive itself. The last batch of IDE drives Tom tested had read speeds between 22MB/s and 35 MB/s at 7200 rpm. IBM makes an IDE that goes up to 37.

    At the same time the latest SCSI drive Tom tested was going between 23 and 43 MB/s at 10,000 rpm.

    IBM claims a speed of up to 52.8 MB/s for their 15,000rpm SCSI drive. This is one of the fastest I've seen but notice that it is NOT running 160MB/s or 320MB/s as the SCSI interface suggests.

    Using the software RAID built into win2000 and only 2 plain old IDE drives at 7200rpm Tom was able to get between 40 and 70MB/s. This is faster and cheaper then any single SCSI drive. If you are not running 2000 you can buy a hardware RAID controller for about $150.

    It really boils down to money and risk. Both the superfast 15,000 rpm SCSI and the 2 drive IDE RAID zero options carry more risk to your data then slower setups. The 15,000 is risky because of the sheer speed and mechanical stress of the rotational speed. The 2 drive raid is twice as likely to fail as a single drive system because in RAID 0 if either drive fails you data is toast.

    Your SCSI interface does not matter near as much as the drive. You have not mentioned exactly which IBM drive you are running but it very likely is not faster then about 30MB/s. Current IDE drives would be faster even in a 7200rpm single drive system.

    Remember if you ain't Muslim you ain't Shiite.
  6. K dude

    I got to thinking about the speed reduction and it may not be the mixing causing the problem. It may be that there are twice as many drives to look at when they are mixed so of course that would take more time. When the system is pure SCSI it has one HD and 2 cd/dvd/cdr type devices. When mixed it had 2 HDS and 3 cd/dvd/cdr type devices.

    Remember if you ain't Muslim you ain't Shiite.
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