Re: Please Advise: SCSI vs. IDE

Steven N. Hirsch (
Fri, 27 Sep 1996 19:04:40 -0400

Christoph Lameter wrote:
> Stay away from SCSI at all. Its complicated, slow and fails often. IDE drives
> are easier to troubleshoot and the usually work. IDE drives are faster.
> wrote:
> : 486 SX 33 Mhz
> : 16 Meg RAM
> : SVGA Trident video card and Samsung Monitor
> : 170 Meg HD primary
> : 250 Meg HD secondary
> : soundcard
> : Adaptec 1542CP (PNP disabled with switches on card)
> : Toshiba 3401 2X CD Drive external
> :
> : I want to add a 2 Gig HD to this config. Should I put it on the SCSI card or
> : should I replace one of the IDE HD's??? What would be faster??? I want to
> : put usenet newsgroups on it and allow user's to read/search...

I'm not sure if we are living on the same planet here.. I have had
nothing but grief with IDE devices. Problems include (but are not
limited to) two Maxtor branded drives that would not coexist as master
and slave on the same interface, buggy Intel PCI controller
implementations that throw all sorts of errors at will and basically
sluggish performance under multiple-process concurrent I/O.

SCSI, on the other hand, has been absolutely and utterly reliable. My
486/100 EISA box with Adaptec 2742 SCSI bussmaster adapter just blows
the doors off a Pentium 90 box when subjected to my standard I/O test
suite. It's quite subjective, but you attempt to simultaneously:

- ftp in/out a 16-meg file over a 115.2k serial link (IRQ load)

- run Bonnie (or iozone) on an NFS-mounted partition (more IRQ load)

- start a kernel compilation (disk subsystem load)


- Trying to get useful work done on the X display

I guarantee you that the difference will not be subtle. IDE is great
for casual use and the Dos/Win crowd, but there is a good reason why
most (all?) serious server boxes use SCSI.

- Steve