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A good hardware raid controller?


Fight Game
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I'm thinking about 2 of the smallest, fastest (15000rpm and as much cache as possible) scsi drives.

1. Can anyone advise a good hardware raid (pci or pci x or whatever) card that would work well with these scsi drives?

2. Is there any real difference in performance between u160 and u320 drives? Assuming everything else the same, like rpm's.

3. If I get a card with 32mb (or more) cache, then is there any advantage to getting a drive with extra cache? Not sure if the total drive cache is just whats on the card or if it's the card's plus the drives.

 

Thanks for the responses! You don't have to respond with answers. If you have any comments on any of this, please post those too!

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The fist question I would ask is do you really need or can benifit from a SCSI drive- if you are not going to be using it for a sever or similar apps you can actualy loose performance from a well set up ATA drive in normal windows apps.

 

 

 

 

Here is a good site on HDs. http://www.storagereview.com/

 

 

If for normal windows programs ie games workstation I would strongly recomend looking into the hitachi drives and raid 0 and the benchmark and compair thread. 4 in raid 0 are insanely fast.

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SCSI drives on an external controller are an expensive proposition.

 

If you really need the heat, noise and expense while using your nF4 board...

 

 

LSI has a great product line with several PCI slot solutions. Adaptec is very good but very expensive.

 

u320 is almost twice as fast as u160 in real world performance but only if you use 15,000RPM drives.

 

But I gotta ask! Why would you need that much hardware for a desktop rig.

 

I don't put that kind of hardware in a server unless they have over 30 workstations and even that won't saturate the drive controller.

 

Unless you're running a huge database with SQL server you're talking about massive overkill!

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I know it's a little expensive, and possibly overkill, but I was looking around on ebay, and see (used) controllers going for about 100 bucks. I also see (used) 9 or 18 gig scsi drives going for 20 to about 100 bucks depending on 10000 or 15000rpm's and u160/u320.

If I can get a much faster OS load time and load times on large files for a couple hundred bucks, then it would be worth it to me. Going with a card, rather than mobo raid, you get the advantage of no processor usage and the option of very much more cache. I looked at one card today with 32mb cache, 1mb L2 cache, and an "add-on" card attached to this with an additional 128mb. This is 161mb total cache, as compared to the dual 8 I have now.

I could add 2 more ata133 drives to my array, but I really don't need all that space, there would be more cpu usage, a much better chance of one drive failing, and still probably wouldn't reach what 2 scsi drives could do as far as performance. I'll never get the seek times scsi has to offer regardless of how many ata drives I have in raid.

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hitachi drives. 4 in raid 0 are insanely fast.

 

I understand that, but why buy 4 sata drives when you can buy 2 scsi drives with a card and be faster? I would never use all that space, chances are greater for a failure, and cpu usage.

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I understand that, but why buy 4 sata drives when you can buy 2 scsi drives with a card and be faster? I would never use all that space, chances are greater for a failure, and cpu usage.

You did not look at that link did you.

 

 

OK I will repeat my self the hitachi is as fast or cloce to as fast at the 15000 320 scsi in many day to day usage. It betters many top dollar drives. Look at the link and the reviews there.

 

I have my data backed up I can have the 4 times raid and a back up for less than even used SCSI. I am in no way claiming that ATAII equals the SCSI in server apps but that is not what we are talking about.

 

If you simply want bragging rights go for it just dont try to justify it without the facts behind you.

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I am not looking for bragging rights. I am gathering facts now. The facts point towards scsi and true hardware raid. I am looking for the very fastest option for $200-300. I don't care how much space, since I have plenty already, and I don't care if it's slightly used.

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ok, I've read some of the link. I clicked on performance database, then sorted by the gaming catagory. 11 of top 12 are scsi drives. Then I sorted by read times, and top 25 are scsi. Then sorted by cpu utilization, top 34 out of 35 are scsi. Sorted using other catagories too and always several more scsi's on top. These are just single drives, so I think in raid there would be even more difference. Which part of store review.com are you talking about?

Just fyi, I'm not trying to argue about this...I know your 4 drives are fast. If I already had 2 sata2 drives, then I might be happy with it, or I might consider 2 more. But I have ata133, and I'm lucky to hit 91mb/s. Again, for the price of 4 sata2 drives, I could buy 2 scsi drives and a true hardware raid controller, and be better off. Space is not an issue.

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As long as you read and no I am not sarcastic. Look at some of the real use parameters the thing is that the ones in the top are not always the same drives. The hitachi ends up high in almost all so it has well rounded performance the test results might be a little squed with the underwelming performance of the test rig that and the fact that they are using the intel chipset rater than a card that is one reason why the two are tested speratly. The performance on the NF4 should be higher for multaple reasons.

 

If you can find the two copys of the top performer at that price and a controller more power to you. The thing is 4 of the hitachi drives are only going to be around 200 and it is going to have some killer read times evan compaied to tow of the SCSI. The medium drives are not going to beat the ATAII in a desktop enviroment. I guess I should have spelled that all out. You can easaly back up your data on a third drive for the rest of the cash.

 

 

PS I looked into the same thing even without the cost SCSI is not an automatic winner you will get that same responce quite often on that forum of HD geeks.

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@Fight Game

 

Just remember that benchmark performance has very little to do with application performance.

 

That said...

 

If you can pick up the pieces from ebay you can build a nice little array. Be aware that some of these controller cards are not supported on XP. Most are used on servers which means 2000 or 2003 server OS.

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