On Wed, Jul 11, 2001 at 12:07:50PM +0100, Colm Buckley mentioned:
>> I've used IDE and SCSI systems extensively over the past few years,
> and they both have merits. Chief among IDE's merits is cost of
> purchase; the mass-market economics of the controllers and drives have
> really driven costs down.
>> However, cost of purchase isn't the only cost associated with a
> system - my experience of IDE is "it's only cheaper if your time is
> free". Modern SCSI systems "just work", and you don't have to waste
> time messing around and worrying about whether DMA is on, or which
> transfer mode your controller is in.
>> Also, you can have up to sixteen devices per SCSI bus, including the
> controller. Big win if you want to do RAID and whatnot.
Not as much as you'd think. 80MB/sec is the max for decent SCSI
(160MB/sec exists but it rare), and 80MB/sec can be saturated by a 3+1
RAID 5 array of anyway decent disks.
> Unlike IDE, the slowest device on the bus doesn't hamper the whole
Right and wrong. Connect a narrow/slow scsi device to a fast/wide bus
and it will kill performance. 3MB/sec off such a device will knock
50MB/sec off the overall bus throughput. What won't matter on SCSI is
access latency though, which is normally the more important. Though IDE
supports disconnects in the latest versions AFAIK.
> Unlike IDE, more than one device can be active at a time. Transfers
> between devices need not involve the controller at all.
In theory, but never used in practice.
> Unlike IDE, devices can be dynamically added and removed.
Some IDE controllers support this.
> Unlike IDE, commands can be queued up at the controller and the CPU
> need not become involved until they're all finished.
The benefit of this is fairly limited in practice, and its also now
available on IDE.
> In a situation where you have both a large data flow *and* intense CPU
> activity (eg : a big compile), SCSI really wins - the constant
> mode-switching which the CPU has to do to cope with IDE really hits
> performance. Example, my machine ogma (fairly modest PIII/500) takes
> about fifteen minutes to compile the kernel on its EIDE drive (ATA66,
> DMA enabled), but only eleven on its SCSI drive.
10K SCSI disk Vs less on IDE, most likely.
> Basically, people who go on and on about how SCSI is better are
> sometimes just snobs repeating what they've been told, but at other
> times (like this), they're speaking from real experience. I wouldn't
> use IDE on a machine where disk I/O or ongoing maintenance was going
> to be anything other than an trifle.
Using an identical spec on IDE, the difference between a single device
on IDE and SCSI is minimal. SCSI has its advantages on multiple devices,
but since 4 ide channels are common enough these days, SCSI is hard to
justify on a cost basis. And if i really need a pile of storage space, i
would still consider raidzone arrays, which are IDE based, albeit 16
Tony Bolger Tony.Bolger at palamon.ie
Palamon Technologies Ltd. +353 86 856 2525
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