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IDE vs SCSI vs ...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by SonOfSmawg, Sep 15, 2002.

  1. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    This is a topic that's long-overdue...
    There's a lot of new technology that's out, or just about to be out, and it needs to be clarified.
    UATA 133, serial ATA, USB 2, Firewire, Ultra320 SCSI ... stop the madness! How do you decide which is best for your situation? Which is the best bang for the buck? Which is the best if money is no object? Which ones will be the standards of the future and which ones will fade into computing oblivion?
    My postings are basically half and half ... half the time I'm helping, half the time I'm looking for help or seeking knowledge. The latter is the case here. I could spend days of surfing to learn about this subject, but in the end I think I'd still end up with my own formulated opinions, and nobody else would benefit, so I think open discussion here would be a fantastic idea.
    My idea to start this thread culminated from the recent introduction of Ultra360 SCSI. My current thinking is ...
    Adaptec 320 card, Maxtor Atlas 15K(rpm) 18Gb and 73Gb drives. In reading-up on this combination, my thinking is that the ~$1000 invested would be well worth it when you consider the benefits that it would provide to a $10,000+ DAW. However, with the emerging technologies, will something else be able to match this sort of performance in the near future for less money? Will a good RAID system give you similar performance for less cost, AND give you the additional benefits of a RAID configuration?
    To me, and I'm sure many others, this is a very confusing subject. The constantly-emerging new technology is hard to keep-up with. I hope this turns out to be a very informative and enlightening thread.
     
  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    A good discussion indeed but one that has been hashed over and over again indeed...
    SCSI is a great server based and video based solution...for DAW's they're not important as they used to be. Typically you will find more problems with SCSI based systems than you will with IDE based systems.
    SCSI 320 sounds good on paper and in theory. Remember this...you will have to lower the data throughput on the SCSI controller BIOS to a maximum of 20MB/S...this is the norm...even on Pro Tools systems. Yes, the drives have a fast RPM which means the drives get extremely hot and will fail more often. Plus there are issues where the SCSI drive may not show up and you have to remount them or replace them.
    As you know the 8MB cache wars are on between WD and Maxtor. With that technology out there why even bother with SCSI. 120GB drives are about 150 bucks...tops! You can't get anything that large in SCSI. Platter sizes are limited due to the RPM speeds. I've troubleshooted several systems in which SCSI was the problematic cause and switching to IDE solved it.
    People are doing 24/96 sessions off of an IDE on the Secondary controller with no problems running on low buffer settings.
    IDE is nice but again, you lose performance when you do a 0+1 config...
    Opus
     
  3. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Okay, so what about USB 2 and Firewire drives? IDE still better? Please enlighten us as to the usefulness and possibilities of USB 2 and Firewire drives. What about serial ATA ... will 10,000 rpm drives be running on that? Will serial ATA be a major step forward, and would it be worth the wait for it at this point? Will any HDD work on a serial ATA system, or will you have to use HDDs specially made for serial ATA? And what about CDROMs, CDRWs, et cetera ... will you need drives which are designed to be used on serial ATA? And how much better will their performance be? I'm guessing that "how well serial ATA will work with Nuendo" will be an issue to be dealt-with at that time ... or should it not be an issue?
    Gary, your expertise here could definately help a lot of us make important decisions for the future...
     
  4. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Well, to be honest I haven't researched Serial ATA as of yet since I'm truly waiting on the new 3GIO spec for PCI Express...PCI Express is the Third Generation I/O spec(thus the name 3GIO) that will have a serious bandwidth of 533 and up...imagine that coupled with a 1MB level 2 cache and a Controller throughput of 1GB.... :D
     
  5. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Kewl! Learning a lot here! I didn't know that USB is a resource hog. So, if you buy a keyboard and/or mouse that is USB/PS2, you should use them through PS2?
    Okay ... now I'm in new territory ... PCI Express/3GIO. Never heard of it. Forgive my ignorance. Is that similar or different than serial ATA? You have me thoroughly confused. Could you please explain this 3GIO stuff in English, or perhaps in more detail? Is this right around the corner, or pretty far in the future? Will it walk your dog or wipe your ass? LOL
    Even though it's just you and I so far, I think this thread will be very useful to a lot of people. I didn't mean to ask an over-asked newb question, I was hoping to get a deeper discussion going, as it is...
     
  6. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    ...and as far as WWOD ... I'm not sure that's clear. Let me guess ... screw USB and Firewire, use current IDE technology for now, and get into that 3GIO stuff big time once it hits the streets? And then you'll also go with Ultra320 SCSI???
     
  7. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    No, a USB keyboard and mouse won't hog bandwidth as those type of devices barely touch any type of CPU usage in any way..they don't require heavy CPU attacks...devices such as USB audio, external drives or external burners are most applicable to heavy CPU usage. In general any optical drive whether it's IDE, SCSI or external uses a lot of CPU power.
    Now as far as 3GIO goes it's something that Compaq(the original developers of the PCI Protocol) in conjunction with Intel are developing this new PCI Express which is slated to be released by late 2004 early 2005...so it's far from around the corner so to speak.
    Depending on who develops cards for it and how they are developed will determine what type of data storage solutions will be used. It's hard to say at this point. I did put a post on it a few ago and will provide a link to it...
    And here it is...
    (Dead Link Removed)

    There's a link within this post that explains what's going on. As far as it wiping your ass...well, you won't have time to think about it with the speed it will bring! In other words you won't be able to blink before the task you've asked the system to do is done!!!!
    This is not really a newbie question but one that everyone debates a lot!
    I myself believe that using internal IDE for now is totally acceptable and worth it in two aspects...
    One: you save money
    Two: You save PCI bandwidth.
    Now realize this..server based systems need SCSI and or RAID..they can allow that since they are multiple processor host based systems...servers have serious architectures to them that allow this but since they are multiple processors they require different chipsets that are very very very expensive and they do not work with audio cards due to their complex natures...there are low end server chipsets such as the Intel 860 but even then they require a lot more tweaking and not gauranteed to give you any low latency operation.
    I know that technology can be confusing and with the new U320 SCSI it's great but not for DAW's as it truly has no advantage to us other than a higher RPM count and more SCSI drives needing replacing due to overheating.
    Opus
     

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