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Davin

Seagate Cheetah 15K.3

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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.

A modern IDE burner will take less than 5% cpu, not to mention they are available at upto 48x burn speeds. There are reasons for SCSI opticals, such as long cable lengths, but for burn speed and multitasking IDE have been doing fine ever since DMA.

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I want to buy a really good 15K SCSI drive and this seems to be the right one.

I wonder what the Maxtor Atlas 15K is worth compared to the Seagate but I haven't found any reviews about it. How about the other brands ?

I want to buy the BEST 15K drive out there so should I go for the Seagate or another one ?

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I guess you'll just have to wait like the rest of us until Storagereview gets test units from both Fuji and Maxtor for their new upcoming 15K drives :) Most of us want the best, and I personally don't mind paying a little more for it ;)

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I have a question concerning the Seagate 15K.3 U320 hard drives:

the Seagate site has these hard drives (the 15K.3s) listed as "Mainstream Servers and Workstations" where the Ultra320 versions of the X15 36LP are listed as "High Performance Servers and Workstations".

My question is whether the ultra320 versions of the X15 36LPs are supposed to perform better than the new 15K.3s?

I've got a Tyan Thunder K7 with onboard ultra160 controllers. i'm looking for a new 18 gig hard drive, and the new seagates seem very nice (i especially like the low noise and heat). I guess, in my case with the u160 scsi, it's not that big of a deal as to which drive performs better, but if i'm going to spend the money, i might as well get the most for it.

in any case, does anyone know much about the ultra320 X15 36LP? with my applications (photo/video editing...) a quick drive will help - but i don't want anything too loud or hot.

thanks a ton... and by the way, the review was excellent.

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I've been wondering the same since it was released on the Seagate website. They seem to be advertising this drive as being "Economical" and "Cost Effective", effectively down playing its huge speed increase from other 15K drives. This leads me to believe they might have some even higher end drives coming out in the very near future that replaces the X15 LP's. This is just what I gather from there attitude towards the drive.

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In the leaderboard, sometimes the drive's name has a link to the review, sometimes it doesn't. I suggest it always does. Right now, for example, when you say that "The Cheetah 15K.3 builds on the X15-36LP's prowess" X15-36LP shows in bold blue and is clickable, while 15K.3 does not. At the first glance, it appears that it is X15-36LP on the leaderboard, instead of 15K.3.

Leo

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Guest Eugene
In the leaderboard, sometimes the drive's name has a link to the review, sometimes it doesn't. I suggest it always does. Right now, for example, when you say that "The Cheetah 15K.3 builds on the X15-36LP's prowess" X15-36LP shows in bold blue and is clickable, while 15K.3 does not. At the first glance, it appears that it is X15-36LP on the leaderboard, instead of 15K.3.

Interesting... the reason why the 36LP is a link is because the 15K.3 has already been linked in the header. It never actually occurred to us that this would be interpreted as such, but your point is well taken :)

Regards,

Eugene

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Interesting... the reason why the 36LP is a link is because the 15K.3 has already been linked in the header. It never actually occurred to us that this would be interpreted as such, but your point is well taken :)

Well, it's just that the other drive was more visible.

Leo

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Interesting... the reason why the 36LP is a link is because the 15K.3 has already been linked in the header. It never actually occurred to us that this would be interpreted as such, but your point is well taken :)

Oh, I see now! You mean the dark blue header? I didn't even notice that at first! :) Anyway, it doesn't hurt to have all instances of the word equipped with liks.

Leo

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Guest Eugene
Well, it's just that the other drive was more visible.

Made the change, thanks for the suggestion!

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this may be a little off topic, but does anyone know anything about Seagate's X15 36LP Ultra320 drive? it seems to be ranked higher than the 15K.3 on Seagate's site.

thanks.

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this may be a little off topic, but does anyone know anything about Seagate's X15 36LP Ultra320 drive?  it seems to be ranked higher than the 15K.3 on Seagate's site.

Probably, they didn't update X15-36LP's rankings since 15K.3 was introduced.

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.

Alright, here's a breakdown of IDE:

IDE: Integrated Drive Electronics. A very misleading name, because almost all drives nowadays have 'integrated electronics' (the Iomega 'Peerless' series being the only exception that comes to mind.) It defines a standard for transferring data from the drive controller to the system bus. In most computers nowadays, it means from the IDE controller on the 'Southbridge' or add-in controller to the PCI bus. The whole point of this standard was that drives were dumb, and required a seperate controller to run them (MFM, etc.) IDE were the first drives to include onboard controllers, so the computers main BIOS or OS didn't have to deal with moving the drive heads around by itself, it just had to ask for the data at a certain location, and the drive would take care of finding it. (This prevented the evil trick of telling the HD to park the heads beyond the end of the disk, killing it.) Technically, all current hard drives (again, except for the Iomega Peerless) are IDE, because they include circuitry onboard to handle that data flow.

ATA: AT Attachment. Named becuase it came about with the IBM PC/AT. This specifies a specific method of talking to the drive. It is the 'language' the drive speaks. This is what is meant when people refer to 'IDE' drives. They mean drives that use the ATA language. This is different from the SCSI language. The ATA command set includes commands to issue to the drive, replies from the drive, and the actual data transfer scheme. But, for early ATA chipsets, the main processor still was needed to dictate those commands. And the data had to flow through the processor to get anywhere.

DMA: Direct Memory Access. DMA, and it's related cousin, UltraDMA, basically is just a new scheme where the host processor doesn't need to do anything anymore. The so-called IDE controller handles all of the data traffic to and from hard drives. Obviously, if a program needs to work with this data, it ends up in the processor. But, if you are, for example, copying a huge file from one DMA hard drive to another, the processor doesn't really need to get involved. Your 5GB of data won't pass through the processor, it will pass from one hard drive, to the ATA controller, (through the PCI bus to another ATA controller, if needed) to the destination drive. This includes CD-R drives.

In reality, all current drives use some revision of the 'Ultra DMA' protocol of the ATA spec of the IDE interface. Any Ultra DMA protocol supports bypassing the processor, and transferring data directly from one source to another. The drives are classed by the mode of UDMA they support. They are technically labeled UDMA mode 2, mode 3, mode 4, etc; but are more commonly called by their speed: UDMA/33, UDMA/66, UDMA/100...

It's very simple, any drive that supports UDMA/?? will use next to no processor time to run the drive; the same as SCSI. In fact, I did a test, burning a CD with my Yamaha 8/4/24 SCSI drive, and my Yamaha 16/10/40 IDE drive, and the results were: 5% CPU time on SCSI, 7% CPU time on IDE. And that was using the onboard IDE, which, by defenition, does use more processor time than an add-in card would. My IDE RAID-0 (2*WD800JB on my motherboard's onboard Highpoint RAID controller) uses a whopping 7% CPU time when running the benchmarking tool CLIbench. My server, with it's Adaptec U160 controller and IBM 10,000RPM hard drive, uses 10%.

Also, so you understand better, Serial ATA is a signalling protocol meant to replace the UDMA line of protocols. It still uses the ATA command set, and still uses the IDE data transfer scheme. It just does it faster, and with less wires. That is why parallel to serial adapters are easy to implement, you only need to translate the high-level signalling protocol, not the whole data transfer scheme. That is also why SCSI to IDE adapters are near-impossible, because they would require an adapter that changes every bit of the communication. (Although I still would like to see Seagate make a Serial ATA 15k.3. with an 8 or 16MB buffer...)

Wow... Didn't mean to be that long-winded, sorry...

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:( I own a seagate Cheetah st318432lw the 320 with the Adaptec 39320d controller card and it has massive problems with Windows Xp Pro. It turns out that the conflict is in the registry as the FILE_FLAG_WRITE_THROUGH. Well i kind of had an idea that something was wrong at first so I got pcmark2002 to get some hard evidence with bench marks and I scored A low 506 (most of the other results posted on the web where around 2000) So I deleted the registry value and it jumped the bench mark to 808. But that doesn't fix it any means. So i called microsoft and after about an hour all i got was a good luck and maybe you can find somthing out and report back. Well i came to find out he maximum pc just wrote an artical about it and microsoft isn't going to get a fix out for it for 3 months at least

A lot of the logged errors i get in windows are driver based and disk drive errors whatever that means. I have the ONLY driver the adaptec has for the adapter installed correctly so no answers maybe some here can help!!

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Hi all,

I'm new to this board and I'd like some expert opinions. I'm currently having a system build for my work. I'm a structural Engineer and I will be using my computer for Hardcore FEA/ CFD computations. Think of CAD/CAM on Steriods. When a problem is solving, it is constantly writing and reading from the disk. A typical problem needs 8 to 10G of scratch space. I think a good solution would be 4 x 18.4 Gig Seagates.

My questions are:

1.) Raid 0 vs. Raid 10? Optimal Speed is what I'm looking for.

2.) Is it worth putting the U320's in vs. 160's 15,000RPM drives

3.) Where can I buy the Cheetah U320? I can't seem to find one online

4.) What controller?

5.) Suggestions?

THanks for the help in advance

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Hello,

I'm thinking of purchasing either the 15k.2 or 15k.3 drive. Not sure what size yet.

Basically I want a super-fast HDD for writing my PhD thesis, which runs out to well over a hundred pages with all these embedded pictures, etc. It just seems very slow in accessing all the figures, which, of course, I need to see while I'm writing. I'm constantly scrolling back and forward, and it just seems to take forever. As the document keeps getting bigger, it seems my computer keeps getting slower!! I also use excel quite a bit and there are some very large files that have to be accessed. I noticed when I went from a 5400 to a 7200rpm HDD my computer speeded up quite substantially. Anyway I don't need to justify this purchase to you guys, right? :D

I'd like to pose a question about the various sizes: 18, 36 or 73 GB. Say you have 9 GB occupied on your HDD (which is roughly what I have). That is half of the 18GB model, a quarter of the 36GB and an eighth of the 73 GB. I know these drives all operate at roughly 15,000rpm, but are the bigger ones faster, because there is less of a fraction occupied; or are the smaller drives faster, because they spin up quicker; or are they all identical????? :?

Cost is a bit of an issue, so I'm not going to pay heaps extra for a 36GB if I don't need it.

:) Also if anyone knows or can reccomend a SCSI card, because I don't really know what one/ how many pins (68/80)/ fiber channel/ I have no idea. From what I've read so far, it looks like I need an Ultra160, but beyond that, I'm lost. Can I easily transfer my old data to this drive with "ghost" (will it work with SCSI?). Can windows boot up from a SCSI?

Just so you know, my system is a PIII 450MHz, 640MB RAM, 40GB 7200rpm ATA HDD, 8GB 5400rpm ATA HDD, 16x DVD, 48x burner and a lovely NEC 22" FP1355 monitor. And I'm (still) running Windows 98. I'm thinking about upgrading the processor/motherboard to an Athlon XP system in a few months time or just waiting for the clawhammer. 8)

You might say why not update the CPU before the HDD, but IMO the price of the CPU will come down faster than these HDDs, and they come out with a faster CPU every month - so waiting for that pays off.

HELP ME PLEASE!!!!!

Thanks in advance...

Great review. :D

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Hello, 

I'd like to pose a question about the various sizes: 18, 36 or 73 GB. Say you have 9 GB occupied on your HDD (which is roughly what I have). That is half of the 18GB model, a quarter of the 36GB and an eighth of the 73 GB. I know these drives all operate at roughly 15,000rpm, but are the bigger ones faster, because there is less of a fraction occupied; or are the smaller drives faster, because they spin up quicker; or are they all identical????? :?

Cost is a bit of an issue, so I'm not going to pay heaps extra for a 36GB if I don't need it.

Just so you know, my system is a PIII 450MHz, 640MB RAM, 40GB 7200rpm ATA HDD, 8GB 5400rpm ATA HDD, 16x DVD, 48x burner and a lovely NEC 22" FP1355 monitor. And I'm (still) running Windows 98. I'm thinking about upgrading the processor/motherboard to an Athlon XP system in a few months time or just waiting for the clawhammer. 8)

Okay... First, get more memory. Second, turn off Virtual memory. If your document will load with virtual memory turned off, then you won't have to worry about hard drive speed.

But, if you insist on getting a new, faster hard drive, here are suggestions:

For hard drives with the same 'data density' (GB per platter), the smaller one will be faster, because it has fewer platters, and with fewer platters, there is less to move, so it accesses slightly faster. For example, an X15.3 at 18GB has one platter, and will be slightly faster than one with 36GB, which has two platters.

Among drives with different data density, but same capacity, the one with higher density will be faster. Same reason, the higher density one will have fewer platters to achieve the same amount of data. Example: An X15.2 at 18GB has two platters, an X15.3 at 18GB has one platter. The one with only one platter will be faster. This is because the data is going by faster for the same RPMs. This is why a really old 5400RPM drive will be significantly slower than a new one. The new one has data packed in tighter, so it goes by the read head faster.

NOTE: I have no idea how many platters each of the above mentioned drives really has, I'm just using them as examples.

But... From a cost perspective, you'd be better off getting 2 or 4 WD1200JB drives (120GB, 7200RPM 'Special Edition' drives with an 8MB cache) and putting them in a RAID-0 configuration. Yeah, they spin half as fast, but you can get four of them plus an ATA-133 RAID controller for much less than the cost of a single X15.3 plus SCSI card. With a transfer rate averaging about 40MB/s, four of them will come to about 120MB/s (gotta round down for RAID overhead), which is much faster than even the X15.3's 76MB/s maximum. X15.3+SCSI card: Over $1000, Four 1200JBs+RAID card: less than $800, and you'll get 480GB versus 73GB. (Or, you can crank down the X15 to the older generation 36LP, at 18GB, for about $300, and you can still get two 1200JB's for the same price, at 240GB vs. 18GB. Gotta store your mp3/video/pr0n collection somewhere. ;-)

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Hey thanks!

I had a hunch that there was a slight difference in size. Actually I thought it was the other way 'round. ie a bigger drive has more free space, so you can use that for virtual memory. I know virtual memory sucks, but scumsoft gives you all these warnings about turning it off. But virtual memory is slower than physical memory. My computer seemed to work OK without it, but I didn't want to take any chances. The only trouble is that I've already filled all three RAM slots, with 2 256 MB chips and one 128, for a grand total of 640. I know its not heaps. But the most it will register is 256 in each slot. I'm not swapping the 128 over for a 256, because its pretty wasteful, and I'd only get a total of 768MB.

What you said about the Number of platters makes sense. I dig it. I'll get the small one now that I know that. Faster and Cheaper - wow!.

But does anyone know how many platters the 15k.2 and 15k.3 18.4GB drives actually have? Are they the same?

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There's no such thing as a 15k.2 The 15k.3 18.4gb drives have one platter with 9.2gb's of space on each side. I think all of the 18.4gb 15,000 rpm drives from Seagate have 1 platter. The 36gb drives have 2 platters, and the 73gb drives have 4 platters.

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Hey thanks!

I had a hunch that there was a slight difference in size. Actually I thought it was the other way 'round. ie a bigger drive has more free space, so you can use that for virtual memory. I know virtual memory sucks, but scumsoft gives you all these warnings about turning it off. But virtual memory is slower than physical memory. My computer seemed to work OK without it, but I didn't want to take any chances. The only trouble is that I've already filled all three RAM slots, with 2 256 MB chips and one 128, for a grand total of 640. I know its not heaps. But the most it will register is 256 in each slot. I'm not swapping the 128 over for a 256, because its pretty wasteful, and I'd only get a total of 768MB.

What you said about the Number of platters makes sense. I dig it. I'll get the small one now that I know that. Faster and Cheaper - wow!.

But does anyone know how many platters the 15k.2 and 15k.3 18.4GB drives actually have? Are they the same?

Paraphrased from the StorageReview.com reviews:

The original X15 had 3.7GB per platter, as compared to 9.2GB per platter on the X15-36LP (which is what I call the 15K.2, yes, Jhaislet, I know there is no such thing, it's just what I call the second generation Seagate X15.) And, we know that the new X15.3 has 18GB per platter. So, even though they spin at the same speed, the newer one is faster, because more data goes by the read head each revolution.

So, the X15.1 (just plain X15 officially) had a 3.7GB/platter, and was available in 18GB only (5 platters), WB read transfer of 41.0MB/s

The X15.2 (X15-36LP officially) has 9.2GB/platter, and is available in 18 and 36GB varieties (2 or 4 platters), WB transfer 60.5MB/s

The new X15.3 (for this one, they officially dropped the X to just plain 15.3!) uses an 18GB platter, and is available in 18, 36, and 72GB (1, 2, or 4 platters), WB transfer 76.4MB/s

So, for 18GB, you went from 5 platters, to 2, now to one.

Visit http://www.storagereview.com/welcome.pl/ht...i/areal_density for more information on Areal Density, including the circumstances on when increasing GB per platter may *NOT* increase transfer speed. :)

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BTW, thanks for suggesting the 4 HDDs in a RAID-0 configuration or whatever, as a cheaper alternative. I had no idea you could do things like that.

8O But I simply don't have room for 4 hard drives in my computer -it is only a minitower! Basically, 2 slots for CD's, 2 smaller ones for 3.25 inch disks, and 2 or 3 spaces for HDDs. But the bottom one has a Fan in the way so that spot can't be used. So there's only really room for two HDDs.

Also, multiple HDDs would increase the tranfer rate, yes, but what about the seek time? Wouldn't that still be the same? 8)

Thanks,

Les.

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BTW, thanks for suggesting the 4 HDDs in a RAID-0 configuration or whatever, as a cheaper alternative. I had no idea you could do things like that.

8O But I simply don't have room for 4 hard drives in my computer -it is only a minitower! Basically, 2 slots for CD's, 2 smaller ones for 3.25 inch disks, and 2 or 3 spaces for HDDs. But the bottom one has a Fan in the way so that spot can't be used. So there's only really room for two HDDs.

Also, multiple HDDs would increase the tranfer rate, yes, but what about the seek time? Wouldn't that still be the same? 8)  

Thanks,

Les.

Well, if you only have one CD drive, and one floppy-type drive, then you have space. (2-3HD slots, we'll say you only have 2. So that's 2 there, one in a 'floppy' slot, and one CD slot.) But, yeah, I see your predicament.

As for seek time? That would decrease with a RAID-0 as well, but not a whole lot, you're right.

And, even if you max the memory in your system, and make a 4-drive RAID-0 out of X15.3's, your Pentium III/450 will by far be the limiting factor.

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RAID 0 only improves performance in high load situations like database/web/file servers or in STR limited applications like A/V capture/editing. In typical workstation usage with limited queue depths, it has much less impact than you would think. This is especially true of cheap IDE RAID controllers like most of the stuff made by Promise, etc. The only IDE RAID controller that gives a significant performance gain is the more expensive and hard to find 3Ware Escalade series.

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Oh, not to mention that you can't just hook up any IDE drives to your RAID controller and expect them to perform. For some reason, HD to controller compatibility is fairly low when it comes to IDE RAID, and there is a 50-50 chance that you won't get nearly the performance boost you were looking for.

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