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ATA vs. SCSI

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Scott Cape
ATA vs. SCSI
on May 21, 2003 at 5:31:14 pm

I am about to purchase a new video editing storage solution. I have been using a IBM 30GB 7200RPM ATA100 drive. It has done OK. Drops frames on long captures. Stutters on playback sometimes. Overall though, for price vs. performance, who can complain. This drive is a dedicated drive on a dedicated IDE channel.

Now for just over 100 bucks I can get a new 120GB (whichever brand). However...

I was considering stepping it up a notch to a SCSI Ultra 160. What I have found is that the Ultra 160 controller cards are 64 bit PCI and my board only supports 32 bit PCI. The card that I am considering (the Adaptec 29160) is however backwards compatible with the 32 bit slot. My question however is this...because I do not have a 64 bit PCI slot, is it even worthwhile to go this route? Will a 2940 UW SCSI controller at 40MB per second give me equal performance on a standard 32 bit/33MHz bus?

The question then becomes, which is better UW SCSI or Ultra ATA?
Can someone with some real expertise guide me on this one.

Regards,
Scott Cape


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John Q
Re: ATA vs. SCSI
on May 22, 2003 at 4:44:43 am

Use a dedicated ATA 7200 rpm drive on IDE2. That way, your system can write to the video drive at the same time that Windows, which always has the highest priority, can read/write to the boot drive.

Make sure DMA is enabled for your ATA ports.

Upgrade to Windows XP Pro and NTFS formatting, if you haven't already done so. Your drive performance will be maximized on XP. My Pioneer A03 would only work in PIO mode on W2K. On XP, the same drive only works in DMA mode.

If you have a Matrox RT.X100, do not put your video drive on an extra PCI ATA controller, as it will compete for PCI bus bandwidth with the X100. Same thing for a SCSI controller. You need to use IDE2 on the motherboard for your video drive. Put your optical drives on a PCI ATA controller, if necessary.


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