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Ultra 160 vs Ultra 320 SCSI Hard Disk

I have an old server, an IBM xSeries 360, which according to the documentation, can only support up to Ultra160 disks.
I'm having a hard time finding Ultra160 disk, while there are a lot of Ultra320 on the market.
I wonder if an Ultra320 disk will still work in this server.

I was thinking if getting a few of these: http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?locale=en-US&name=st3146707lc_cheetah_10k7_ultra320_scsi_146_gb_hard_drive&vgnextoid=cd0d99f4fa74c010VgnVCM100000dd04090aRCRD&vgnextchannel=4161d21c2f32b010VgnVCM100000dd04090aRCRD&reqPage=Model

For my experience in IDE and SATA disks, when you get a disk with newer and faster technology in an old equipment, the only problem is that the full speed/transfer is not achieved, however, they still work. But in SCSI disks I have no idea.

I'm attaching the IBM xSeries 360 Specs Sheet.


X360.pdf
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fischermx
Asked:
fischermx
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2 Solutions
 
0xSaPx0Commented:
It would work. Performance would be terrible and the drives would fail much sooner.

I would not recommend doing this.
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fischermxAuthor Commented:
Really????? :(
Why?
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0xSaPx0Commented:
The drives would have to "step down" in order to run at the slower speed, they are not designed to do this and would not do it well. In addition the SCSI controller may not even recognize the drives properly.

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albuitraCommented:
ypu have to get the apropiate cables to connect the 320 to 160
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fischermxAuthor Commented:
But they are all 80pins connectors... why different cables?

Actually, they don't even need cables, they are hot pluggable!


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0xSaPx0Commented:
Let me be clear, this will end badly for you and I don't recommend pursuing this route.

I also believe that your SCSI controller in this system may not detect the drives or be able to communicate with them.
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jamietonerCommented:
They will work fine. These statements "they are not designed to do this and would not do it well" WRONG and "Performance would be terrible and the drives would fail much sooner" also WRONG. U320 drives are backwards compatible and should work without issue on a U160 controller, the performance will be the same as a U160 drive and will not affect the drive's MTBF.
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fischermxAuthor Commented:
jamietoner:

Actually, I've just found another reference right here in EE, that agrees with you:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Misc/Q_23173408.html

Also, in this website:
http://www.scsita.org/aboutscsi/ultra320/faq.html

Someone here, made the same question:
http://www.motherboardpoint.com/t146869-ultra160-vs-ultra320.html

And here:
http://hardware.mcse.ms/archive48-2005-7-209882.html

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garycaseCommented:
The drives will work fine !!   The performance of the drives is NOT impacted at all --> they still rotate at the same speed; the seek times aren't any different; etc.   The ONLY difference is that the interface speed is different (Ultra 160 vs Ultra 320).   ... and it certainly has NO impact on the reliability of the drives !! [r.e. "... the drives would fail much sooner ..."].

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garycaseCommented:
... in fact, unless you're using an array which could support a sustained transfer rate higher than Ultra 160 speeds, the ONLY time there would be any difference in performance (compared to an Ultra 320 controller) will be in transfers to/from the drive's buffers => a very low % of disk operations.

Bottom line:  Buy the disks you listed.  They'll work just fine :-)

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I complete agree - these drives should be just fine.... I have no idea what 0xSaPx0 is talking about who where he's getting his information.
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