Ultra2 SCSI Cheetah's outrun a single Ultra ATA/66
Updated 01/15/2000, Posted
© 2000 Rob Art Morgan, editor
of BARE FEATS
test revealed that a single
Ultra2 SCSI drive on an Ultra2 controller wasn't any faster than a
Ultra ATA/66 drive on an ATA/66 controller. I promised to follow
up with a test of two Ultra2 SCSI drives set up in a striped array
using SoftRAID. Here's the results:
LONGER BAR is
FASTER. RED BAR IS FASTEST.
Dual LVD "Ultra2" SCSI drives in
a striped array on an Ultra2 controller run significantly faster
than a single Ultra2 SCSI drive or an Ultra-ATA/66 drive.
This is no earthshaking discovery.
What is earthshaking is the fact that it costs over $1000 to
create such a SCSI array (2 drives, 1 controller, RAID software).
You have to ask yourself, "Is it worth spending 5 times as much to
go a maximum of 2 times faster?" And is the cost
In the days of digital video capture,
I would question whether disk speed is critical since you can
capture in time lapse mode. And with a G4 Sawtooth capable of 1
gigabyte (or more) of RAM, you would hardly need a Photoshop
Still some readers argue they
REALLLLLY need lotza drive speed. If that's true for you, then
SCSI is the way to go.
Big MAHALO to
MacGurus for the use of one
Cheetah and a Miles2 Ultra2 controller.
- All drives were tested on a G4/400
Sawtooth with 256MB of RAM running Mac OS 9. Disk cache was set to
512K to purposely nullify the effects of disk caching on
- Test drives included
Cheetah's 9 gig 10,000 RPM LVD
(ST39103LW) with Initio
Miles2 Ultra2 adapter (1.05
firmware) and SoftRAID
2.2.1 software to create a
striped disk array that lets you read/write to both drives
simultaneously, effectively doubling the possible throughput. You
need four drives to go 4 times faster. NOTE:
If you are using the Miles2 and SoftRAID on a Sawtooth with Mac OS
9 or a Yikes with Mac OS 9, you need the versions of the Miles2
firmware and SoftRAID mentioned above.
Cheetah 9 gig 10,000 RPM Ultra Wide
(ST39103LW) with Initio
Miles2 Ultra2 adapter.
Barracuda 20 gig 7200 RPM ATA/66
Digital Expert 20 gig 7200
RPM ATA/66 (installed on Sawtooth G4/400 at the
- For the DUPLICATE THREE PHOTOS test,
I copied a 27MB Adobe
Photoshop document onto each
drive and made two copies. Then I timed how long it took to
duplicate the three 27MB docs on the same drive. Finally I
calculated megabytes per second by with the formula: folder size *
2 / seconds.
- For the DUPLICATE 91MB FOLDER test,
I copied the Unreal Tournament Demo folder containing 202
documents onto each drive. Then I timed how long it took to
duplicate it on the same drive. Finally I calculated megabytes per
second by with the formula: folder size * 2 / seconds.
- The ATTO disk benchmark was run
Tools 2.2 benchmark test with
8MB maximum file size and system disk cache disabled. Sustained
Rate is displayed in the charts. Peak rates can be impressive but
do not reflect typical drive performance.
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© 2000 Rob Art Morgan, editor of
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