Serial ATA vs SCSI hardrives

By doogie ยท 10 replies
Jun 12, 2003
  1. I am looking to upgrade my 20gb ATA hardrive and was wondering what type of hard drive is better for access speed and compatibility on windows 2000. Ive notice that you can only get 36gb SCSI which is a disadvantage in my eyes. Any recommendations?
  2. Elcarion

    Elcarion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 169

    I think that SCSI is pretty much a waste of money for a desktop computer, with the advances of IDE and SATA. The area where SCSI still has a big advantage over IDE or SATA is in random reads such as database searches. For sequential access both IDE and SATA are the way to go especially if you go with one of the new 10,000RPM models. My personal choice would be two SATA 7200RPM drives in RAID 0 (Striping) mode. This is a good balance between performance, heat, and noise.
  3. doogie

    doogie TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanx mate that helps me out alot
  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    SCSI is an aging technology (Well Hell, mechanical drives PERIOD are an aging technology!).

    Don't get me wrong - SCSI is a better technology than ATA/133. SCSI really is faster and more reliable than anything out there right now - But it is also unreasonably expensive for home users and the size is limited. It is noisy, hot and trouble to setup sometimes because SCSI is not designed for the home user.

    SATA is probably the future standard, meaning it will replace PATA (IDE - What is in your system right now), but there really is no speed advantage to having SATA in your system right now. The drives used for SATA are basically the same as PATA with a SATA connection.. Kind of disappointing.

    The only reason I would get a SATA drive is satisfy my need to have the newest gadgets in my computer. But honestly, SATA still has some bugs that need to be ironed out before I will let it near my PC, as well as no real advantages except the cables are cool.

    Here are my picks...

    Compatibility: IDE
    SCSI is reliable, but requires a little more thought to setup sometimes. SATA has problems - But it is still in its infancy - Once it is around for a while longer, it should be worth looking at.

    Speed: SCSI
    Hands down, SCSI. PATA and SATA have gotten awfully fast, but SCSI drives still have better mechanics & electronics under the hood. This gives them MUCH better transfer rates and access times more than twice as fast. Although SATA allows for more speed to be POSSIBLE, PATA and SATA are the same speed for now.

    Reliability: SCSI
    SCSI drives die just like PATA and SATA drives.. Just not as often. ;)

    SCSI is the best (yet old) technology available for right now, but it just isnt' practical. You are better off getting a very fast and large PATA or SATA drive.
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    I have to disagree here. Even SATA 2 spec doesn't quite measure up to SCSI 320 and there is a thing called Serial Attached SCSI coming up that looks very impressive.

    Read about the "doomed" technology here:
  6. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    What about expandability? You can't add more than two drives to one parallel IDE channel, 15 to old SCSI, I'm not sure about wide channel SCSIs and Serial ATA, but I'd imagine that's probably the biggest reason why SCSI is used in servers - much easier to upgrade, even on the fly (hotswap).
  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Absolutely correct there Mic, I was only pointing out the advantages for a home user.
  8. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Yes, SCSI definitely has advantages in servers or workstations that require such features.

    Most of us do not need hot swappable drives or 12 drives working in tandem. :)

    Of course, I have very little respect for ANY mechanical disk... Be it SCSI or ATA. I guess this is what we have to work now - And it beats punch cards - But it is time for a new, more electronic storage.
  9. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Posts: 536

    in all the computer hardware fields it looks like we are reaching more and more closely the limit of the technologies we use to make processors, RAM, HDDs, etc

    we need some new technologies that would let us make a really big move, like when we moved from tubes to transistors for example...

    what do you think guys ?
  10. rshelby

    rshelby TS Rookie

    Take a look

    I think this is what you all might be looking for...

    SATA RAID, 3 drives... It's new and Tom's Hardware gave it a good review...

    The URL is direct to the online order page....
  11. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,957   +214

    I'll say use SCSI if you can afford it, go WD Raptor (10.000 RPM SATA disk aka SCSI disk ;-)

    Don't go RAID-0 on desktops, it does not benifit you much (if it all) unless you do some heavy DB work...

    It's allot less reliable also (one drive crashes all data on both gone) not to mention how difficult it would be for a professional to recover the data (i.e. more expensive for you...)


    If you are serious about performance go 15.000RPM SCSI (expensive)

    For good performance/price go WD Raptor 10.000RPM SATA

    For best value get any 7200RPM drive, SATA or PATA that fits your needs...

    For the most quiet drive get the 5400RPM Samsung Spinpoint V80

    For most reliable 7200rpm go Seagate/Samsung

    For best noise/performance ratio go Hitachi 7K250 (reliability yet to be determined but looks very good thus far)
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