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Davin

Seagate Cheetah 15K.3

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Ok, I'll conceed... 

From here on out, we're going to use the JPEG image format. We've done some testing and using very light JPEG compression, there is almost no noticable difference in image quality and the file sizes are much smaller so I see no reason why we shouldn't switch formats.

Thanks Davin, I'm sure dial up users everywhere are quite relieved :)

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It's great to finally SR reviewing drives once again

I'd like to point out that we shouldn't confuse issues here... its nice to see manufacturers releasing drives that we can review ;).

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Well the performance is definitely state of the art. The numbers are simply awesome. If I have one criticism of an otherwise excellent review is that there is no mention of the former generation's irritating clicking noise (a.k.a. - "Martians") from the heads moving to prevent heat damage. Is it present in this generation?

One reason I sold my first generation X15 was that I just could not tolerate that mind numbing noise. I'd hate to buy a third generation X15 just to find out it was still there.

While still faintly present, the clicking noise on the 15K.3 is much quieter. I have a 15K.3 73GB on my desk and I can hear the seeks it if I put my ear up to the drive, but I can't hear them a few inches away. I suspect the seek profile was changed on these seeks because of previous complaints from these bulletin boards on X36 :wink:. I hope you will agree the 15K.3 is much better if you have the opportunity to try it.

JT

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There are two noises that I have noticed with previous Seagate SCSI drives. One is when the drive is idle--it will click audibly every 10 seconds or so--this is normal. The other when it is seeking there are more continuos clicks.

Does the new 15k.3 drive make a clicking sound at idle every 5 or 10 seconds like the older drives did?

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There are two noises that I have noticed with previous Seagate SCSI drives.  One is when the drive is idle--it will click audibly every 10 seconds or so--this is normal.  The other when it is seeking there are more continuos clicks.  

Does the new 15k.3 drive make a clicking sound at idle every 5 or 10 seconds like the older drives did?

No. Both the crunch-like sound the previous drive made when going from active to idle, and the clicking sound it made every 10 seconds or so are much quieter on the 15K.3. I can hear the drive when I really hit it with commands, but it is much better all-around than both the 15K.2 and the 10K.5.

I hope they don't make drives too much quieter, because sometimes the seeking noise is useful feedback to tell what the OS is (or isn't) doing.

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Has anyone heard an ETA on these drives yet? (15K.3) I really would like to pick up a couple.

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Excellent review. I am interested in buying one of these, but what I would like to know is it mentions something about fibre channel, does that mean you can't run it as a SCSI drive with something like the adaptec SCSI Card 39320D?

Would I require some sort of fibre channel setup to run this this drive?

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From what I've gathered, they will release 3 different versions: 1) 80pin SCA, 2) 68ping LVD U320/U160, 3) FiberChannel. All different versions are the same hard drive, except they each have a different board which supports the various interfaces.

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After talking to a Seagate Tech, the ETA on a production run (Individual sales) are about 4-6 weeks away to open public vendors. The 76 gig HD has been leaking out, but only to vendors that install them with a computer purchase and not the HD alone.

I currently have a Seagate 15,000 rpm Seagate SCSI Ultra160 Cheetah 18 Gig HD. I explained to the tech that I use my computer for gaming only. And asked him if the new 15.3K harddrive will be a better performer for my application (gaming) then my current one. His reply shocked me after reading the awesome review here.

Lucky121 : Will this new 15K.3 be better than my current 15,000 rpm Ultra160 HD?

Seagate Tech: "How many drives will you be using?"

Lucky121: One, unless I use both new 15k.3 (when released) and current one.

Seagate Tech: "No, the whole idea with the Ultra320 is for bandwith reasons, you must have at least 4 of these Harddrives to see a difference, using anything less than 4 Drives... you will not see any improvment."

Lucky121: Huh, so your saying this new 15k.3 HD will not do me any good for my application (gaming), and to save my money?

Seagate Tech: "Correct, unless your using more than 4 drives."

So there you have the converstaion in text, but now I am a little confused after seeing the test resaults here. I was going to buy the HD and called Seagate to get an ETA on releasement, and then after hanging up the phone... I came to the conclusion (from the text above) I should save my $400.00 for the new 15K.3 36 gig HD.

I am not a spec computer wisard, I've been building computer since 486's were released and maybe I am missing something here, if so someone please help me out. Just thought I'd share with you all on what Seagate told me.

Also, I just got the new Adaptec SCSI Card 39320D (Ultra320 SCSI, dual-channel 64-bit, 133 MHz PCI-X SCSI card). Card cost me $300.00 and to my surprsie this card Supports protocols Ultra160 SCSI, Ultra2 SCSI, Ultra SCSI, Ultra320 SCSI. Its Internal Connector has One 68-pin Ultra320 High-density, and Two 68-pin VHDCI External Connectors. Unlike past Adaptec SCSI cards, this one does not support Wide Ultra SCSI data transfer (my Plextor CD Rom amd Plextor CD Burner). So Now I have to buy another SCSI Card to support those :roll: .

Im building another computer and to my to my surprise there isnt a single motherboard with an onboard SCSI. So for now, unless your in the same boat as me and want the latest and greatest SCSI options, you have to buy 2 SCSI Cards to suppot new and old SCSI protocols. Im sure in the near future Cards will come availiable with all the options, but I dont have time to wait 2-3 months.

Its been great chatting with you all, just thought Id share some information about the New 15k.3 and Ultra320, and the uncompadiable Adaptec New Card.

Please if anyone knows of any thing I can do for my application (gaming) please feel free to tell me :lol: .

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Lucky121 : Will this new 15K.3 be better than my current 15,000 rpm Ultra160 HD?

Seagate Tech: "How many drives will you be using?"

Lucky121:  One, unless I use both new 15k.3 (when released) and current one.

Seagate Tech: "No, the whole idea with the Ultra320 is for bandwith reasons, you must have at least 4 of these Harddrives to see a difference, using anything less than 4 Drives... you will not see any improvment."

Lucky121:  Huh, so your saying this new 15k.3 HD will not do me any good for my application (gaming), and to save my money?

Seagate Tech:  "Correct, unless your using more than 4 drives."

Sounds like he thought you were asking of whether you'd see a difference between an Ultra320 drive as compared to an Ultra160 drive. Obviously, you won't. But there still remains the fact that the drive is different and performs better even when run in the Ultra160 mode than the older model.

Leo

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Storage Review tested the 15k.3 73gb drive, you were asking the tech about the 15k.3 18gb drive. Maybe for some weird reason they perform differently than the larger ones, this is hard to beleive though. If thats not the case, I also think the tech was telling you or Meant to say that you won't notice a difference with U320 vs. U160 unless you have 3-4 drives, which would then be able to start using more than what the U160 interface has to offer.

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I agree. The 320 vs 160 MB/s question is probably the thing the tech was assuming...

If I could add something (i.e., what I think the tech should have said): for your purposes (i.e., light duty stuff like gaming), upgrading an already fast 15k drive for a newer one is overkill. Although, storage freaks like us have been known to throw rationality to the wind to feed our addiction for maximum performance, value be damned. Of course, lower noise and operating temperatures are a nice benefit as well.

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I was about to purchase a 15k 18gb seagate X15-36, but after reading the review, I am going to hold out for the new 15k.3's. The X15-36's are about $210 right now, what do you anticipate the 15K.3 18gb's being when they are release? I was thinking maybe around $250-$260? Does that sound about right? Has Seagate released official pricing for these drives yet?

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Im building another computer and to my to my surprise there isnt a single motherboard with an onboard SCSI.  So for now, unless your in the same boat as me and want the latest and greatest SCSI options, you have to buy 2 SCSI Cards to suppot new and old SCSI protocols.  Im sure in the near future Cards will come availiable with all the options, but I dont have time to wait 2-3 months.

You need to move up the mobo chain to get one with onboard SCSI. Abit, Asus etc don't provide it. Tyan and Supermicro do.

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Thanks for all the feedback, it is much appericated.

As far as what i did tell the tech, I did not menetion the size of the HD I have nor one I was seeking, just simply said I wouldnt notice a differnece between the 160 vs 320. I still dont understand why after seeing the testing graphs and the 15K.3 out performed the old 15K. I mean it was a single drive test right and not a multiple one? I need a bigger HD and was looking to get the 15K.3 36 gig. I probably will get the 15K.3 anyway but came here in seach for some answers. Thanks for the feedback again :lol: .

As far as finding a motherboard with SCSI onboard.... Tyan and Supermicro and anyother makers dont make them for an ATX form factor/Intel 850E Chipset. I only see them on Server Boards, but you had me looking and was excited for that split second. I dont hold server for others to play games, I just play them and I should have mentioned that in the first place, so that was my mistake.

for your purposes (i.e., light duty stuff like gaming)

e_dawg, you had me laughing when i saw that, we gamers would beg different on the "light duty" phrase. As we think nothing pushs a compter to the max as a Game would. We gamers are always forced to spend thousands on new parts yearly for that split seconded faster responce to avoid being FRAGGED (gamer slang for being beaten in a death match... Quake 3 i.e.).

Jhaislet... All drives will be in you local stores in 4-6 weeks for induvidual sales, says Seagate Sales.

I am still confused, many say "Of course you wont see a difference", but seeing the charts... I dont see why. I have a SCSI 320 Card to give it what it needs.. so why cant it outperform an old 160?? If someone will explain that to me like Im a 3 Year old, i'd really appericate it.

Or should I look into the newest thing on computers.. SCSI Raid.. would that help me in a gaming invoriment?

Theres never a stupid question, only the ones never asked are the stupid ones. Again, sorry for being a burden.. but thanks so much for the help.

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e_dawg, you had me laughing when i saw that, we gamers would beg different on the "light duty" phrase.  As we think nothing pushs a compter to the max as a Game would.  We gamers are always forced to spend thousands on new parts yearly for that split seconded faster responce to avoid being FRAGGED (gamer slang for being beaten in a death match... Quake 3 i.e.).

:) Well, I am of the opinion that once you surpass 45 fps or so, that's all you need to be competitive as a gamer. The rest is up to the individual. An average video card and CPU should usually take care of that. What more do you need? Heck, I'm getting 45 fps in UT with my nForce 220D onboard video (you know, the one with half the memory bandwidth of the GF2MX!).

IMO, the HD only plays a minor role in gaming, and that is only during the loading of a level. With differences of around 20% or less in real world HD performance, that equates to at most 1 second of time saved if it takes 5 sec to load a level. Will 1 second make all the difference in the world? Over the course of a 6-8 minute level? I guess if you're in a situation where you and your competitor are an equal distance away from a certain weapon, for example, but otherwise... Spending $400-500 more for the best video cards and HD's for usually a split-second? I don't know... I guess that's why I am not a gamer.

While we're on the subject, though, why not try using a RAM disk to store the levels you're playing on for the match? With 512 MB of RAM, you can devote 256 MB to the RAM disk, which should be able to store, what, 4-5 levels? For the price of a stick of RAM, you should be able to load levels faster than any hard drive on the planet, and spend much less in the process.

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Lucky121:

To put it plainly, a lot of the recent 2nd generation 15k rpm Seagates DO have the U320 interface, but they still were out-benchmarked by the new 3rd generation 15K.3's. Why you ask? Simple, these are 3rd generation drives. They have better quality, and faster components. Also, I believe the areal density of the platters has increased. The 3rd gen. drives also have faster seek times, which makes them feel even more responsive when searching/opening smaller files, ie game levels/maps, word doc, e-mail, photo images, etc. In addition to all I listed above, these drives also run extreamly quiet and a lot cooler than previous 2nd generation drives. If you ever were around/used any of the 1st or 2nd gen drives, they were extreamly loud, and very hot! From what I've seen, these 3rd generation drives correct all the previous problems that have plagued hard drives in general since the spindle speeds broke the 10k mark. Another tid-bit about the interface: Think of it this way: Have you seen those huge drainage pipes that go under hwy's? The ones that are like 4-5 feet in diameter? Think of a 3 foot diameter drainage pipe as the U160 interface. Think of a 6 foot diameter driainage pipe as the U320 interface. The problem is though, that your hard drive can only shoot so much water. Your hard drive is physically limited as to how much data (water) it can physically read off the disk. For all practical purpose's, think of your hard drive only being able to stream water like a garden hose. Both the 3 foot and 6 foot drains will easily handle 1 garden hose of water. Now, think about building an array (multiple garden hose's, all shooting water through the pipes) If you get enough water hose's, the 3 foot pipe will be filled to capacity. This is the point where the U320 interface starts to shine. It allows a massive amount of hard drives, all on one channel. For most practical purpose's, 3-4 2nd or 3rd gen 15k harddrives, on the same channel, will fill up the U160 interface IF they are all accessed at the SAME TIME. The U320 interface can easily support 8-9 15k hard drives on 1 channel without becoming saturated if the hard drives are all ACCESSED at the SAME TIME. The only way the interface is going to limit you is if you have a Striped Raid, or Raid 5 setup where the computer is requesting or writing information to all of your hard drives at the same time. If the hard drives are not being used at the same time, by SCSI specs, you can put 15 drives per channel on U160 & U320, and both interfaces would have plenty of bandwidth because no one drive is able to saturate either by itself.

Hope this makes things a little clearer.

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As far as finding a motherboard with SCSI onboard.... Tyan and Supermicro and anyother makers dont make them for an ATX form factor/Intel 850E Chipset.  I only see them on Server Boards, but you had me looking and was excited for that split second.  I dont hold server for others to play games, I just play them and I should have mentioned that in the first place, so that was my mistake.

snip

I am still confused, many say "Of course you wont see a difference", but seeing the charts... I dont see why.  I have a SCSI 320 Card to give it what it needs.. so why cant it outperform an old 160??  If someone will explain that to me like Im a 3 Year old, i'd really appericate it.

Or should I look into the newest thing on computers.. SCSI Raid.. would that help me in a gaming invoriment?

So you are going to be running a PCI-X U320 controller on a 32bit, 33MHz PCI bus that cannot exceed 133MB/sec best case? IIRC there are no single CPU mobos with 64bit PCI. If this is the case, U320 is completely wasted, as your PCI bus will be the limiting factor (well actually your drives will be).

For your gaming pleasure I would recommend an ATI 9700, a P4 clocked at close to 3GHz or beyond, and a nice 21" monitor. All these will do far more than spending money on SCSI RAID. Of course if you already have all this, then go right ahead. IMO a single 18GB X15-36LP which can be had for $207 from Hypermicro is more than sufficient for gaming.

Given the question you asked of the guy from Seagate, he provided the correct answer, because anyone would think you were asking about interface only.

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Now if you move to a Dual AMD MPX system like Im running :) , the 32bit/33mhz 133mb/s wall goes out the door. My board has 2 64bit/66mhz slots on the Tyan S2466N-4M which gives you a max bandwidth of 528mb/s which is definately able to USE the bandwidth a U320 controller can generate (given enough drives). I am currently looking at the LSI 21320 dual channel U320 card, which is a 64bit, 66mhz compatable card. This would fill up my 2nd 64bit slot. BTW, from what I have seen and experienced with 64bit cards, all the new ones are PCI-X compatable, which is really good! My Intel Pro1000 MT dual port gigabit card (currently running at 64bit/66mhz) is also PCI-X compatable if you have the slot, which runs at 64bit/133mhz, giving you 1024mb/s of useable bandwidth, which makes it very future proof, since more and more boards down the road will start replacing 32bit/33mhz slots with 64bit/66mhz, and then adding PCI-X slots as well. I can't wait!

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for your purposes (i.e., light duty stuff like gaming)

e_dawg, you had me laughing when i saw that, we gamers would beg different on the "light duty" phrase. As we think nothing pushs a compter to the max as a Game would. We gamers are always forced to spend thousands on new parts yearly for that split seconded faster responce to avoid being FRAGGED (gamer slang for being beaten in a death match... Quake 3 i.e.).

I'm afraid I stand on e_dawg's side on this one. Games are pushing the envelope in many ways, in graphics especially. But NOT as far as storage is concerned. Usually, the only difference is in how fast a level is loaded, and after that the hard drive goes idle. And loading the level usually consists in reading a few files located next to each other.

Compare that with database servers that are hit with heavy load, with concurrent read/write requests to different parts on the physical disk, so the heads go flying like crazy all over the drive.

Leo

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Jhaislet..... Thanks so much for puting that in full details for me about the difference between U320 vs. U160, I totaly undstand that now :D . Now for the part of Older generation 15,000 rpm HD's... yes the one I am using now is Load (that dont bother me, makes me feel good spending all that money hearing the thing rip is kinda cool in a way :lol: ), and is RED Hot and that bothers me a lot. I actually have to take my side cover off to let it breathe, and that with a Cooler Bay on it. I always fear the fans will go out on it and it will just cook. Thanks again for all the help :).

P.S. You said the word AMD, oh man buddy lets not go there, the best thing AMD was give competive prices to Intel (and that I am greatful), but lets stop there with that issue :wink: .

Pradeep... Yes you are correct, I will be using a PCI-X on a 33MHz PCI.. Thats all I can do for now, In near future they will come out standard w/PCI-X. I know I will be limiting it, but being a Gamer means always buying new stuff, and when they do come out as a standard for an ATX Form Factor... I will be that step ahead with that SCSI Card and the Seagate 15K.3 HD. Motherboards come cheap now, but thanks for pointing that out to me, as did the sales guy did when I bought the Adaptec SCSI Card. That information is greatly appericated.

As far as my Computer Spec are (gamers system)

Pentium 4 2.8 (533MHz Front Side Bus)

Asus P4T533 - Mother Board

2 Gig Memory (New Rambus RIMM 4200 32-bit RDRAM Non-ECC)

ATI 9700 Pro 128meg

1st Gen 15K Seagate Cheetah U160 18gig

Plextor Wide SCSI Burner *This product is discontinued

Plextor Wide SCSI Cd-Rom *This product is discontinued

Still Searching for that SCSI Floppy Drive But nobody has them in stock :wink: .

Viewsonic 22" G220fb ViewSonic’s PerfectFlat technology

e_dawg.... 45 fps is enough to play games for the time being,unless your playing at a competative level. I travel around many states in tourments and try to remain on the top 10 Leader Board *knocks on wood*, I wish everyone was playing at 45 fps, I'd be #1 :lol: .

You did bring up a excellent point on RAM disk, though I dont know much about it, do you have a link about this? Lord knows I got enough memory.

Again Thanks for the kindness and time you ALL put into helping me out, its very much appericated. Afterall I am going to Buy the 36 gig 15K.3 (I need a bigger HD anyway), but its nice knowing the technical asspects behind it, but then Ill have to buy a frying pan, cause before I just used the top of my 1st Gen 15K HD.

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Games are pushing the envelope in many ways, in graphics especially. But NOT as far as storage is concerned. Usually, the only difference is in how fast a level is loaded, and after that the hard drive goes idle.

In defence, I never said Games are scaled in performance from storage. I simply want whats the fastest and best to Aid my system. If my levels load a tenth of a second faster cause Im using a SCSI Interface instead of IDE (which we all knows it does), then that gives me that tenth of a second advantage :). Tis why I was looking for a newer and faster seeking HD (plus bigger capasity, cause Im running outta room). Gaming Systems heavily rely on CPU,Graphics card (and a monitor that refreshes along with viedo card... other wise a bottleneck happens), and System Memory. Storage is to a small extent... but why stop there :).

Im no expert on Storage, is why I seek help here. But Gaming systems I know very well, and I just though Id sharpen my knowledge up and see whats the best i can do for a gaming system.

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Plextor Wide SCSI Burner *This product is discontinued

Plextor Wide SCSI Cd-Rom *This product is discontinued

Still Searching for that SCSI Floppy Drive But nobody has them in stock  :wink: .

You don't need any of that. The SCSI optical drives, and especially (God save!) a SCSI floppy, are SE devices, while SCSI hard drives are LVD devices. If you have SE and LVD devices on the same channel, the channel reverts to the lowly SE mode, and your high-performance drives come to a screeching, grinding halt.

The best way, IMHO, is to go with SCSI hard drives, IDE optical drives (one per channel), and the normal floppy on its own channel by itself.

Leo

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Leo, the SCSI floppy drive was intended as a joke :lol:. And Yes all SCSI devices are on a seperate Channel, but thanks for the advice. Nothing beats Burning a CD and being able to do other things while that process is happening, SCSI has its advantages.

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