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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2003 1:18 pm 
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All SCSIs are NOT Created Equal.

-- Even from the same manufacturer. Here's an example, with two URL links. One link to Staples, and one link to Upgrade Source. Both SCSI drives are made by Maxtor, so we're comparing apples to [similar] apples and NOT comparing apples to Buicks.

I stumbled onto the Staples SCSI while looking to replace the ink for my color printer. It seemed a reasonable price [and it is] for a SCSI, and that's what attracted my attention.

So I compared it against an old industry standby seller of pc components, Upgrade source, whose price for their Maxtor of the same size was much, much more.

The Links:
http://staples.com/Catalog/Browse/SKU.a ... SKU=493916 and http://store.yahoo.com/upsource/731862.html

You get what you pay for. One of the reasons to go SCSI is to go super fast and the other is to make your PC scream. The Staples' drive will accomplish the first while the Upgrade's will do the same for the latter, and here's why: The Average seek time, primarily driven by the rotational speed of the platters.

Staples' Seek time is 4.4 ms while Upgrade’s is 3.2 ms. This is a big difference as a quick check on the slide-rule [yes, I still use one] reveals. The difference is so large that it is humanly obvious.

Just for SCSI vs. IDE Reference:

The fastest IDE drive’s seek time is 8.9 ms. Now we have an access time of about 3:1 between the fastest IDE and the fastest SCSI. That’s not where it ends, because SCSI does simultaneous reads and writes while IDE doesn’t plus IDE’s speed is limited by the slowest drive on the chain while SCSI claims independence from this lackluster attribute. Other factors enter in, but ...

To Get Back On Track.

A SCSI drive may seem like a lot of money for a small drive, but it really isn’t for a number of reasons. Most people don’t realize that all that is required is the smallest SCSI to hold the operating system and programs, and then get your jumbo IDE drive and hang it on a Firewire (best) or USB (very good) buss to make that drive’s bus speed become incredible as well. With that strategy one can move the big drive around from machine to machine at will.

Another reason why SCSIs are cheaper is that they last forever. For one thing they don’t break because they’re built to withstand more G-force, plus by the time a SCSI drive is 5 or 6 years old, it will still outperform anything IDE can throw at it if the past histories sets accurate examples for the future. That means the premium money up front pays dividends in the future.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 12:10 am 
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Allen,

I'm curious why SCSI hasn't made it 'mainstream", i.e. made it's why to be integrated onto m-boards, like the ATA interface, EThernet, sound and sometimes integrated video?

It appears to have advantages over the adopted interfaces.

Gene


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 3:08 am 
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There have been ASUS motherboards in the past with Adaptec SCSI ports on them as well as there are some SCSI motherboards out there now. They are much more expensive because of te licensing of the technology. SCSI never made it mainstream, just midstream:

  1. Just too good for the average home user, they have always been the cream of the crop of hard drives.
  2. Higher in price per megabyte
  3. Takes savvy and a little wand waving sometimes when things don’t go quite as expected.
  4. Requires a special plug-in card.
  5. One has to be knowledgeable of the confusing array of different SCSI specs, there are some drives which are connected optically and are faster still.
  6. When I go to Micro Center and look at all the SCSI stuff they have on the shelves and NONE of it for U160 LVD drives tells me that either the store is not knowledgeable or there is not enough demand for the good stuff, but most likely some formula which contains both. Staples is now carrying U160s at 10k rpm, but I wonder if THEY know what to do with them. Do they have all the accessory equipment, but more importantly do they have knowledgeable salesmen?
  7. When one reads a sale in the Sunday paper for Maxtor or WD IDE drives, he only needs to be aware of a few simpleton things 1) How much 2) How much rebate, 3) Big advertised rebate [I wrote this twice, didn’t I?], 2) all that needs to be done is remove the old drive and plug the new drive in at the end of the wire hanging off the edge of the motherboard (a relatively new phenomenon) – no muss, no fuss.
  8. If I were a computer manufacturer and could by 50,000 hard drives of one type at half the cost of the better ones to cheapen the price as much as possible, would it make sense to go with the more expensive drives with the competition doing whatever they can to make their computers sell for less money than mine?
  9. Market driven price must certainly be the bottom line.
  10. SCSI drives are real cookers. I can’t buy what I need to insure mine won’t prematurely die of heat failure. For every case I’ve had to design some sort of doo-hickey to insure proper cooling. I even had a meat thermometer sticking out of one PC for a while, and in another one I cut up manila folders to provide ductwork. Ten yars ago I was going to devise some water or oil cooling method, but now, with the hot gaming pcs that costs up to $3,000 and more with HOT AMD overclocked chips, a market was created for water coolers. And they are beautiful, by the way. On Wednesday and Thurday I practiced my plumbing skills and put in my second water-cooled unit – the first one went into my son’s machine, and far different from the first one. I disome serious mechanical modification on the motherboard to get things to fit and work in harmony together.
  11. Most people only want to do email, surf the web, and maybe even a little spread sheeting. What do thy care about SCSI or even want to know anything about it. And they don’t need anything fast either.
  12. It’s all in the marketing.


What’s best often never makes it to market. IBM lead the way on that when they introduced the Intel chips of the 8080 series. They were crippled chips and the [PC] CPUs of today are as well. Look at Apple. They used the right chips for the job but the average person doesn’t know anything about that.


Anyway, without research in the matter, this is my take on why SCSI is not more popular.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 5:22 am 
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I was really, really really hoping the DEC Alpha would make it to market. Or maybe even the NextGEN processor. The Alpha got gobbled up by Compaq, and went nowhere. The NextGEN was folded into the AMD line. Which is why AMD holds an architecture advanage over Intel.

As for your speculationn regarding price, it's good to remind oursleves that up until recently, price was a major consideration in choosing PC parts, both for manufacturers and consumers.

I tried to learn myself the SCSI system. ANd I was lost after the third paragraph. WHich is just as well, 'casue at this stage of the game, one can add a FireWire or USB drive quite easily, as you mentioned.

Gene


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 9:11 am 
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Hungry cats.

Quote:
As for your speculation regarding price, it's good to remind ourselves that up until recently, price was a major consideration in choosing PC parts, both for manufacturers and consumers.
Think about it for a moment and you may realize yours is not a sweeping statement of truth, and here’s a few reasons why:

Read the ads and the fliers in the Sunday papers. These major companies are fighting for your dollar, and are doing so by specials and rebates. The results are like holding a can of cat food over a large group of hungry cats, where the cat food is the fliers and the cats are the consumers. Move that bowl of cat food to a different room and you will get followed. Lower it near the floor and they converge on you wedging each other out of the way to get there first. Have someone else hold another can of cat food nearby but not too close and some of the cats will leave and others will vacillate. Those are MOST of the computer consumers.

Look at you, Gene. Comp USA has a sale on two jumbo drives that ends today, and you are going after one of them just like a cool cat.

Another, smaller but growing, group is the builders and upgraders group. By the time those who have savvy shell out a thousand or so, they have the equivalent of a pc costing often more than twice as much. Still chasing the almighty dollar.

The smallest of the major purchasing groups are those I call the gamers. THEY will buy for looks and performance, often neglecting wallet impact. This must be those whom you are referring.


Quote:
I tried to learn myself the SCSI system. And I was lost after the third paragraph. Which is just as well, 'cause at this stage of the game,


I can help you there. There are a few simple rules to follow and everything else lines up properly.

Quote:
one can add a Firewire or USB drive quite easily, as you mentioned.


Careful because this path can leave you still wanting. The caveat here is that one cannot boot off USB or Firewire because 99,99% of the BIOSes aren’t equipped with that provisioning. And the equipment needs be external. The external case costs another c-note to add to the cost of your drive. That’s why I suggested the ultimate was to get a small hyper-speed SCSI for boot and programs, and hang the larger ide stuff off Firewire. Really, USB is not even close to Firewire, I don’t care what you read because much of it is sales hype. And then you are still dealing with the slow IDE access times, etc. Firewire only speeds data transfer across the bus. Spindle speeds and access times remain the same.

As an aside, 200 and 250 giggers are not too popular yet because most BIOSes don't support hard drives over about 157 or so gigs. Firewire doesn't care how big they are and opens the pipeline to the whole drive -- Woo Hoo!!! Remember, drivers are required for USB [going through BIOS] while there are no drivers for firewire, something to really consider.

People are still not knowledgeable because Comp USA and other similars still sell quite a few 5400 RPM drives. I can’t figure this one out except for blind budgetary blundering considerations.

Serial ATA competes with 10,000 RPM SCSI of the same rotation al speed in terms of both speed and price -- not the fastest and SCSI is getting even faster. However, they (fast serial ATA) have either just made it to market or are not here yet. But SCSI is still light years ahead. The slower serial ATAs just can’t cut it.

Even FASTER, which I have not mentioned, is SCSI RAID.

I’d like to see large solid-state disks because that’s where it’s at!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 10:23 pm 
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What I meant about the PC parts was referring to 10 or 20 years ago. As you mentioned, IBM used a stripped down processor for the IBM PC, as the price disparity between the 8088 and the 8086 was huge at the time. Even adding such amenities as a hard disk drive took LOTs of money at the time. Now, the price differential has decreased immensely, but we (i.e the marketplace, not knowledgable consumers) still operate with that old mentality.

Quote:
Look at you, Gene. Comp USA has a sale on two jumbo drives that ends today, and you are going after one of them just like a cool cat.


Not any more! Best Buy has Maxtor 80Gb and 160Gb drives on sale, beginning tomorrow! The 160Gb drive is a better value ($99.99 after rebates) than the COmp USA offerings. And, as you mentioned, I'm mindful of the 137Gb BIOS restriction of most drives. The P4PE m-board doesn't have that, nor does my ECS based system (both with ATA-133), but my old Micron as well as Mom's newer computer both do. So if I wanted to upgrade those, I would need to keep the size about 120Gb.

My point being is that as the price point continues to come down for "mainstream" components, like hard drives, memory, processors and m-boards, then that's what the hungry cats will go for, especially if they are savvy and look for good VALUE in components. And then there are users, like some businesses, that dont see the value, for example, of CD burners. Hell, many companies early on didn't see the value of color monitors!

Gene


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 Post subject: Painful memories
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 5:35 am 
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Quote:
What I meant about the PC parts was referring to 10 or 20 years ago.
You had to remind me about the Superbrain CP/M computer I purchased about 20+ years ago before the days of the IBM PC.

It was a one-piece sexy-looking thing with a built-in amber monitor and keyboard. I purchased the hard-drive model, a HUGE 5-meg hard drive with the DR OS. In those days there were no directories, only user areas. It also came with a graphics board installed, purchased seperately.

Don't ask for how much, Gene, but yes you are right when you stated prices have fallen if you take a focus on a 20-year time-frame.

And yes companies don't care. They spend oodles on new junk PCs. One manufacturer in particular comes to mind. These companies are warned by their own internal IT departments that they are worthless pieces of rubble and to get another brand instead, but they still buy. Go figure.

Quote:
8088 and the 8086 was huge at the time
It wasn't such a big differential, Gene, rather the 16-bit chip wasn't quite ready, and IBM was impatient to get to market first. This was at the time hard drives were still unavailable for PCs, pre-XT days.

Gene, I saw the ad in today's Sunday paper. Goper it.

BTW, I have a Maxtor 133 card if you are interested in upgrading one of your older system busses.

Did I let go of a Firewire card? Just curious because I was looking around the house for it last week and couldn't find it.

BTW, I wrote some asembly code for the 4004, the precursor of the 8080, and we were all taken aback with awe when we found out what it could do and how it could do it -- thought it was the greatest thing since Swiss Cheese -- in about the 1974 time-frame.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 7:17 pm 
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Hi Allen,

You let go of a Firewire-type thingie. It has a Firewire port, but it isn't a card, per se. It has a short, 40 pin IDA cable attached to it. It look s like a proprietary thing. I'll mail it to you, as I have no clue what it's used for, or even what to do with it. PM me your address.

I'll keep you 133 card under advisement, but I don't think I need it. Tanx anyhow.

Gene


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 8:07 pm 
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Ok, you can mail it if you'd like, but I strongly suggest you keep it if you're ever going to get into Firewire because it'll save you 40 bux or more when the time comes. One end of that little "Thingie" should have a home on the P4PE unless I pulled it out of the spare parts box. Check your manual.

I am, er was, looking for a coveted Adaptec Firewire card. That's what I'm trying to find! I'm 100% sure I would not let it go -- It needs the software driversa I have for it, it's been in and out of several PCs, and wants to go into one more. However, I've been looking for it and have been unable to find it. It's bound to turn up when I'm not looking for it so I quit looking for it.

You asked me what was going on the chopping block. The two big items are my spare Shuttle and the HP laserjet.

Pretty soon I'm going to let go of my remaining office furniture at yard sale prices. Two nice long lateral file cabinets come to mind.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 8:52 pm 
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No. This thing doesn't go to the m-board, that's already been put together. But it isn't an adapter card, either. Sorry.

Back to the thread at hand, what equipment do you recommedn to put SCSI in a system?

Gene


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 12:32 am 
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Go for a Seagate Cheetah 15K.3 18GB U320 68-Pin LVD drive, $219.00 at UpgradeSource. You don't need anything larger, believe me. If you've got the bux and are compiling videos from your camcorder you may consider getting one a little larger. I favor the 40 giggers, myself. Put your os and all your programs on it. If your data is small, run your data on that drive as well otherwise a fast IDE is a good compliment for your data and pagefile. You don't need to partition the drive and they defragment with lightning speed.

Data moves fast when going across different busses [simultaneoulsy across SCSI and ATA-133]. The DLLs that are constantly loading in and out of memory from the hard drive should all be on the SCSI. You'll notice much faster bootup times as well to give you an indication to what's in store for you.

Seagate has a 3-year warrantee on their new drives. Recently down from a 5-year warrantee. NO matter where you bought it, if the drive fails call Seagate and they'll have a replacement on your doorstep before you have a chance to UPS the bad one back to them. I think IDEs have a one-year warrantee unless you purchase an extended warrantee separately. Then, the SCSIs get a little cheaper in relation to...

Adaptec SCSI cards are simpply the best. Go for either the 29160, or, preferrably the 39160, whichever your pocketbook can withstand. These cards are an investment. You have to shop around for your best prices. I use C/Net for one. My 39160 has been in and out of at least a half dozen machines, and maybe more since I first purchased the U160 drive and card 5 or 6 years ago when U160s first came out. Machines and IDE drives come and go and are obsolete by the end of a year, but you will keep your SCSI equipment.

Get a short LVD 68 pin cable with a terminator at the far end. The shortest cable is about 48", often has many connectors on it, and is a very noisy cable to handle [krinkles a lot with even the lightest touch]. Make sure you get a U320 cable. They are downward compatible with U160s and U80s. The converse not always holds true.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 2:12 am 
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A different, but somewhat related ? is what's the best method of changing the primary drive on a system, like upgrading to a bigger drive or adding a SCSI drive as the startup drive?

Gene


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 8:11 am 
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IDEs and SCSIs are different. Both are simple to set up and require both a jumper change and a change in the bios.

If you are running all IDEs, for each chain set one drive to master and the ither to slave. CD And DVD drives should be set to slave unless you have two and they are both on the same chain. Then set your primary one to master and your secondary one to slave.

This is accomplished by jumper settings at the cable end of all drives: SCSI, IDE, CD, and DVD drives. Each manufacturer has his own [different jumper] scheme and you need to follow the instructions supplied with the drive to determine the exact jumper setting. Watch out because some manufacturers mount the settings upside down. Keep in mind to use the power connector as your key.

IDEs have two channels, Primary and Secondary. You want your boot drive connected to the primary channel. In these days, with the newer machines, this is more of a convention, but stick with the convention as an automatic sanity check when things go wrong as they sometimes do.

With RAID, Striping and SATA, there are additional sockets on [some of] the motherboard and you need to follow instructions that come with the book to load the drivers and use them. Otherwise they operate as another pair of primary/secondary hookups.

SCSI is simple. For each drive purchased, a wealth of jumpers is supplied. Most SCSI cards are dual-channel. Instead of being called primary and secondary, they are called "A" and "B". For each channel one can have up to eight devices, except when a dual-channel SCSI card is fully loaded there can be only 15 devices. The sixteenth is reserved for the card itself. Your boot drive is always drive 0 [Drive Zero] and has no jumpers. One can set jumpers on the other drives arbitrarily if he so wishes, as long as each has a unique setting. Normally channel "A" is the boot channel. One never needs to enter the SCSI BIOS as a rule, so I'll leave that part of the lesson for a rainy day when I can't go outside and play.

To establish any of the drives as the system drive, enter the computer's BIOS when it boots up. One of the main menus, usually the second one, will be the menu to select the proper boot order. Set one of the CD or DVD drives to be the first boot device [unless they are hooked on Firewire or USB]. Then select SCSI, primary IDE, or secondary IDE to be your next boot device.

Hit F10 and select yes [for all BIOSES], and you're off and running. Pretty simple, really.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 6:36 pm 
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That I got, thanx.

What about migrating the programs and the OS over to the new drive? Norton GHost? Drive Image?

Gene


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 8:00 pm 
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Once on line the os doesn't know any difference between osses. I haven't had a chance to use my Ghost yet, been so busy, but that one's a favoriite.

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