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Old SCSI RAID drives VS new ATA-133 drive

Now that I understand what RAID does, I've been looking through my old discarded hardware in which I found a RAID SCSI controller.
I previously didn't understand it's functionallity, so I through it in my parts box.

The controller is a Adaptec AAA-132/133, and I have three SCSI drives (ST39173W 9.1Gbytes 7,200-RPM internal transfer rate of up to 22.5 Mbyte per second).

Would it be faster using these three old SCSI drives in RAID 0 than using a newer ATA-133 7,200-RPM drive?

I previously tried looking for a driver to get this working on windows XP or Windows 2003, but had no luck finding it.

Does anyone have a method or drivers to get this to work with XP or 2k3?
I'm also looking to see if I can get it to work with Linux (Fedora).
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Axter
Asked:
Axter
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2 Solutions
 
Duncan MeyersCommented:
>Would it be faster using these three old SCSI drives in RAID 0 than using a newer ATA-133 7,200-RPM drive?
Almost certainly, although I'd strongly, strongly, strongly recommend against using RAID 0. RAID 0 offers no redundancy, so if you lose one drive, you lose all your data. I'd suggest that you set up yuour array as RAID 5.

You may be out of luck for XP or 2K3, but the drivers may be supported natively by the OS. Or not. You'll just have to give it a try.
http://members.driverguide.com/driver/detail.php?driverid=483253
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
Aha!

Some usefull information:
http://zones.advisor.com/doc/05343
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
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scrathcyboyCommented:
I wouldnt hesitate to use a new ATA133 than the old SCSI drives.  A single good mirror would be more reliable on two ATA drives than older SCSI, plus you get 10-30X more disk space.  That is my bias, which comes from much hands on experience with SCSI raids, and their manifold problems, not from reading "specs" that hype things up, inflated performance that doesnt come out in the real world, i.e. experience.
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
I have to disagree with you - SCSI outperforms ATA. Period. And a SCSI RAID 0 set (although very dodgy as it has no redundancy) will massively outperform a single ATA disc. A RAID 5 set will outperform the ATA disc by a factor of between 2 and 3 times on reads, and will probably either be about the same perfromance as the single ATA disc or slightly slower.

Just a note on ATA133. The '133' denotes the bus speed. 133Mhz was a Maxtor thing, and not all IDE controllers support it. The '133' is also misleading - it is the speed that data is transferred to or from the controller on the disc. The data transfer rates on and off the disc are much, much slower and has more to do with rotational speed and the disc geometry than the external bus speed -which has nothing to do with the internal transfer rates. 10-20MB/sec would be typical depending on the age and model and of the drive

This link is the data sheet for an ATA133 drive: http://www.maxtor.com/portal/site/Maxtor/menuitem.ba88f6d7cf664718376049b291346068/?channelpath=/en_us/Products/Desktop%20Storage/DiamondMax%20Family/DiamondMax%20Plus%208
Note that they don't quote an internal data transfer rate - which is the one that matters...
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AxterAuthor Commented:
>> I wouldnt hesitate to use a new ATA133 than the old SCSI drives.  A single good mirror would be more reliable on two ATA drives than
>>older SCSI

For this paticular requirement, I'm looking more for speed than I am for reliability.

>>That is my bias, which comes from much hands on experience with SCSI raids, and their manifold problems, not from reading "specs" that
>>hype things up, inflated performance that doesnt come out in the real world, i.e. experience.

Are you saying from your experience, that you don't see the speed gain by using SCSI raids?
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AxterAuthor Commented:
>>I have to disagree with you - SCSI outperforms ATA. Period. And a SCSI RAID 0 set (although very dodgy as it has no redundancy) will
>>massively outperform a single ATA disc

Are there any good free programs to test HD performance?
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
>Are there any good free programs to test HD performance?
This is good: http://www.iometer.org/

>For this paticular requirement, I'm looking more for speed than I am for reliability.
If that's the case, then use RAID 0 - but beware! Your hardware is old, so you have a higher chance of losing a disc and therefore all your data...
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rindiCommented:
i'd just like to emphasize on meyersd point. These disks are old and probably were used in a server for some time. Now they've been sitting around doing nothinng also for some time. Server SCSI disks are meant to run continuously for long periods, and just sitting on the shelve also doesn't do them any good. having probably already been used for some time will also have reduced their time to live. It is very very likely that they will break down very soon, so building something with them is asking for trouble.
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AxterAuthor Commented:
rindi & meyersd,
Good points, however I just plan to use the drives to do builds and run Doxygen on a major projects.   They will not be holding important data, but I want something with really fast read and write access.

http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/raid/levels/singleLevel5-c.html
I notice the above link states the following:
****************************************************************************************************
Random Read Performance: Very good to excellent; generally better for larger stripe sizes. Can be better than RAID 0 since the data is distributed over one additional drive, and the parity information is not required during normal reads.
****************************************************************************************************

Doesn't this assume that RAID 0 is only using two drives?
Can't you use RAID 0 with three drives, and if so, wouldn't it be faster than RAID 5 for reading?
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
>however I just plan to use the drives to do builds
Go with RAID 0 if your main requirement is performance. Just make sure you have an image or good backups. :-)

With RAID 0, you stripe the data over the three drives. If you configure RAID 5, you stripe data plus parity over the three drives - so you end up with two drives used for data and one used for the parity information.

PC Guide has got that bit wrong. RAID 0 outperforms RAID 5 at the expense of data integrity. So, yes you can use three drives in your RAID 0 set.
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
Glad to be of assistance!
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AxterAuthor Commented:
Thanks
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rindiCommented:
your welcome
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