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Q: To scsi raid or not to? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: To scsi raid or not to?
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: david_801644-ga
List Price: $80.00
Posted: 11 Sep 2006 13:07 PDT
Expires: 11 Oct 2006 13:07 PDT
Question ID: 764232

I use my computer mostly for playing games, think Oblivian. I am not
concerned about data loss, only very high performance, at a
reasionable price.

My current setup:
2 gig of kingston, duel channel at 800 mhz (stock)
7900 GTX (Stock core & ram setings)
Mother board: Gigabyte 965P-DQ6
Enermax galaxy 1000w psu
Koolance water cooling to the cpu.
Creative X-Fi sound card
E6600 Core 2 Duo (2.4 gig) at 2.996 gig  (stock voltage, upped the fsb
and prime95 tested stable for over 8 hours, two instances of prime95)

I had a Scsi raid controler card, it died and so my three 15K 36 gig
68 pin scsi hard drives havent a way of talking to my system.

To replace the hard drive setup, should I

1) Buy a Scsi card with a Pci-express interface, raid 0 them and
install XP Pro with games on the scsi raid?

2) Buy a Scsi card with a pci (The old slow pci slot) interface, raid
0 them and install XP Pro with games on the scsi raid?

3) Cut my losses, buy 2 74 gig Western Digital raptors, raid 0 them
and ... (or four 74 gig's?) (Selling my Scsi disks)

4) One 150 gig raptor?  (selling my Scsi disks)

5) Another suggestion?

Option 1 is a bit expencive for me, option 2, I am unsure about the
pci interface while the others might be better?

My old card was running off the old pci interface. I use Acronis
backup software to save my important files on other drives, both in
this system and in other systems. So I am not that worried about the
infomation, rather performance.  I have a contact who is interested in
buying the scsi disks for a reasonable price.

Which is the best way for me to go? A good answer would be one showing
me through benchmarks and links which would be better for my setup.
Subject: Re: To scsi raid or not to?
Answered By: keystroke-ga on 11 Sep 2006 18:12 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello david_801644,

After viewing your question and thinking about the past experiences I
have had with hardware RAID and stripping, I would suggest that it
would be wise to opt for a RAID 0 setup consisting of 2 Raptor 150 GIG
SATA Drives Model WD1500AHFD. I feel this because as your motherboard
supports SATA 2 (3G P/S) as standard it would be wise to use this
rather than buy an expensive SCSI card.

Here is a quick rundown of what two users of the hardware are saying
about the drives:

"I'd like to point out that I now own 150gig raptors in a dual raid
setup, and it is improved performance. FYI I can barely see the tiny
needle move in normal light without my blacklights on. However my
other new system is running dual 7200rpm 8mb WD caviars, and Oblivion
games load in about 6 seconds. :-)"

When you consider the raptor is a 10000 RPM disk oblivion and will
load in about 4 seconds, as a user with an old IDE drive I can assure
you that is about 1 minute faster than my drive loads.

If you check out the website

you can see that the 15000 RPM raptor drives are the second-best in
that performance chart with an average 74.7MB per second read speed
for a single drive.

The Seagate NL35 (now obsolete and replaced by the Barracuda ES)
viewable here:
outperforms the Raptor drives by 34MB per second when placed in a RAID
0 array using two drives.

You mention that you are looking for speed over price and data backup
is not an issue. This thread sums up everything.

"A small next-to-current generation 10,000 SCSI drives is run over by
a 150 GB Raptor." I feel that from your explanation of your hardware
you possess this type of disk.


"A minor note - if you check StorageReview's DB you'll notice Raptors
rape SCSI by a very large margin in DriveMark benches."

Just from what the users of the hardware are saying, unless you are to
use the machine as a server with many files being accessed
simultaneously then it is not worth your time getting the SCSI drives.
You will need a greater outlay for the new SCSI card and still have to
buy the disks (unless you really wanted to use your existing ones).

For example, the Adaptec Ultra320 PCI-X SCSI card is 435 dollars.

This is the cost of a drive and then some. I would advise you to buy
two Raptor drives and put them both into a RAID0 SATA2 array on your
machine and save your money. When playing games you are not accessing
the drive at all times (Oblivion is a hard drive hungry game but you
should not notice much in the way of performance difference if you
were to use a single Raptor or many Raptor drives in a RAID array).

The LSI Logic SAS3442X PCI-X SCSI controller is ranged between 259 and 329 dollars.

I personally would not advise you to use a PCI-based SCSI interface,
if you have the option of using one of the PCI-X slots use that as it
is faster (you have a dual PCI-X motherboard there!).

I think that buying a SCSI PCI-X card would be expensive and one of
your desires was "at a reasonable price". If money was no object I'd
advise the PCI-X SCSI controller and 4 SCSI drives but as you need a
price reasonable solution I think you are best off with a RAID0 set up
consisting of 2 Western Digital Raptor 150GIG drives.

This will give you a starting point for price.

Search terms:
150 gig raptor
scsi card

If this is enough for you I will post the benchmarks for SCSI Vs SATA2
drives tomorrow. If you have any questions or clarifications please do
not hesitate to leave me a message.

david_801644-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for your time, the infomation has saved me over 900$, on a
pci-x scsi card for my older drives. I will be buying two Raptor 150
gig drives to setup in a raid 0 later this week. :)

Subject: Re: To scsi raid or not to?
From: keystroke-ga on 12 Sep 2006 19:22 PDT
Thank you very much for the five stars and the kind words! I'm glad I
could help you out.

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