ISA SCSI vs. ATA/66 IDE.

Bad Dude

Diamond Member
Jan 25, 2000
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Hi,
Maybe you guys can help me decide:
I have a setup of Promise FT66 with 2 Maxtor 20GB 7200rpm and I want to compare it to an ISA SCSI card with the Adaptec AHA-1520
and the Seagate ST325550N
I am not familiar with SCSI-2. Perhaps some one can explain to me which setup is faster in term of gaming speed? Please do not look at the drives' sizes.
Would it be faster than the ATA/66 RAID setup if I use a PCI SCSI card?

Thanks.
 

BurnItDwn

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
26,072
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I personally think the ATA/66 Raid would be faster then that SCSI drive ... i have a few 5400 SCSI II drives .... and they are only 5400 RPM ... but they are slower then my 20.5GB Ibm 7200RPM deskstar drive alone ... and MUCH slower then my Raided 30GB Maxtors ...

the SCSI 2 interface is a rather old SCSI setup ... the SCSI Bus is capable of transferring a bit more data then an ATA33 setup is ... and SCSI can handle 256 operations at once ... while IDE can only do one ... so it has its advantages ....

But for gaming speed ... Framerates are hardly affected by Drive speed ... the only big difference between a drive setup that averages transfers of 45MB/S and 25MB/S is that ones going to spend less time at the load screen. Otherwise the drive is not the bottleneck since most of the game data gets loaded into memmory .. and what doesnt is buffered when its used by most games.

If you find like a u160 SCSI drive and card ... then it may be comparable to ide raid in terms of speed ... but an old ISA card and SCSI 2 lunker are not going to be the turbo boost you are looking for
 

Bad Dude

Diamond Member
Jan 25, 2000
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Thanks for the info. The SCSI drive is 7200rpm, would that matter? I want to use the SCSI-2 2.1GB for Windows 2000 and dual boot it with my RAID IDE Maxtors. Should I just leave the SCSI Drive out and save myself the trouble? I think I have too many cards already in my system. So I don't know if put an ISA card in is possible.
Thanks again.
 

Viperoni

Lifer
Jan 4, 2000
11,084
1
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Stick with the raid.
You'll need a really fast + expensive SCSI card to compete with that raid setup you got. But then again, SCSI rocks :)
The PCI/ISA SCSI card won't make much difference...but for HD's, defientely go with PCI :)
 

Radboy

Golden Member
Oct 11, 1999
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I heard ISA SCSI sux.

Here is an LVD card for $89 (free shipping). Comes with all the cabling & terminators you'll ever need. I have this card (but paid twice as much a couple years ago). I've used the card with the following OS'es:

W2K
WinME
W98
W98/SE
Whistler Pro beta1
Caldera 2.4 (Linux)
Mandrake 7 (Linux)
BeOS (FreeBe)

Easy to recommend.
 

Bad Dude

Diamond Member
Jan 25, 2000
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$89 is a bit too much for me. Do you have a terminator for the SCSI? All I got is an ISA controller, a 2.1Gb drive and a cable. What is a terminator do?
 

Topochicho

Senior member
Mar 31, 2000
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Terminators let the SCSI card know that there are no more devices above the one terminated. IDE only has to search for two devices, imagine the wait if you had to autodetect for 14 different devices.

Usually you set the terminator jumper on a device (like your cdrom), but there are terminators that plug into the line (my SCSI JAZZ came with one... waste of $$).
 

Bad Dude

Diamond Member
Jan 25, 2000
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Can I use the HD to terminate it or does it have to be a CDROM? I only got the 2.1Gb Seagate.
Thanks.
 

CQuinn

Golden Member
May 31, 2000
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What Hecky said, but more specifically the SCSI-2 standard maxes out at
20Mb/s for fast & wide - the AHA-1520 (from the link you gave) only goes up
to 10 Mb/s, as does the ST325550N, so that particular SCSI setup would
definitely fall short of the ATA/66 RAID setup you have.

SCSI in itself is not a magic solution, you still have to get the right type and
right equipment to make the setup really fly.
 

kombatmud

Senior member
Dec 3, 1999
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Bad_Dude, every non LVD scsi drive that I've ever seen has termination built in via a jumper. Look on seagate's web site for info on how to terminate it, but that drive definately supports it, since I used to use one in my old computer w/ termination enabled. The IDE RAID would definately be faster, because SCSI-2 maxes out at 20MB/sec, and the barracuda drive you have can't even handle that, plus ISA would limit the bandwidth there as well. In order for you to boot off that drive, you'd need to make sure there's a SCSI BIOS on your card, I don't remember if the 1520 had it or not. Another thing to keep in mind, is that since that's an old Barracuda drive, you may need to do something to counteract heat, those drives can get pretty hot.
In closing, what everyone else said was pretty much right, a good LVD card w/ an LVD drive would probably be comparable to your RAID setup, some U160 drives would be faster, and an LVD RAID setup would almost definately be significantly faster. However, those options all cost a lot more money. ( You don't want to know how much I sank into my SCSI U160 RAID setup )
Good luck with everything.
 

Viperoni

Lifer
Jan 4, 2000
11,084
1
71
Exactly what Kombatmud said.
Generaliztion: If you don't want to spend more than $400 for something SCSI that's faster than what you have, forget it :)
 

Bad Dude

Diamond Member
Jan 25, 2000
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Thanks guys. I just want to make use of the drive and the controller but since you all said that I kinda thought so too. I guess I should sell the setup. Anyone want it. Or maybe trade it for something else.
 

R0b0tN1k

Senior member
Jun 14, 2000
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There's no way you're going to fit Windows 2000 on a 2 gig HD...it's just not gonna happen.
 

JokerF15

Golden Member
Mar 6, 2000
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hey bad_dude, u can pick up an adaptec 2940UW scsi card and a 9.1 gb UW scsi drive for about 115-135 bux. ive seen them going many times for that price. than Egay your products, should make 60 bux at least. than use the scsi setup for win2k and the ide raided setup for whatever u want. This setup should be pretty fast, and great for multitasking!