Radified Guide to SCSI - Boot from a SCSI Hard Drive

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SCSI Configuration & Comparison with IDE

The two main things you need to know about getting your SCSI system up & running are:

  1. SCSI ID numbers - each SCSI device gets a unique SCSI ID, from 0 thru 15, with the card (typically) taking #7 for itself. Boot HDD should be set to SCSI ID 0, while CD burners and CDROMs typically get SCSI IDs #3 & 4. SCSI IDs are set with jumpers as per manufacturers specs. Most of the time the default SCSI ID will work fine, but you need to check first.

  2. Termination - the adapter card will scan for attached devices and self/auto-terminate (or unterminate) as needed. LVD drives do not come with (LVD) termination. The LVD terminator goes on the very last position/connector of the cable. For non-LVD devices, terminate the very last device on the chain, and no others (between the end and the card).

It can be helpful to draw a diagram of your SCSI system with lines for cables, and boxes for components. For the newbie, this can clarify exactly which devices need termination and which ones don't.

Type / Speed / Connector

See here if for more info about Type / Speed / Connector.

In closing, I'll put aside all the techno-babble & try to characterize the differences between running your operating system & apps from an ATA drive & an LVD SCSI beast. If you do similar things with your PC, compared to what I do with mine (especially audio & video editing), chances are you'll have a similar experience. 

Compared to running your system & programs with an LVD SCSI drive, the IDE/ATA interface/drive feels clunky. Please note, I'm not saying ATA is clunky. I'm saying it feels clunky compared to SCSI. Cuz, the thing is, you don't even notice it .. until that first SCSI boot. That known as the SCSI epiphany, and you'll say, "Ah, I see what Rad was saying now."  

When you minimize the delay between when you click the mouse, and when something (actually) happens (especially when shuttling small files), and more especially, when you're being creative with your PC, such as video/audio/gfx editing .. you tend to become one with the PC. 

I know that sounds corny and mystical, but it's the best way to describe it. So, naturally, you must be proficient with your programs before you can get to that mystical place. If the PC is waiting on you most of the time, cuz you're a rookie with the program, prolly oughta wait on the SCSI. 

But when you become proficient with your apps - especially when using many diff programs at the same time - that's when a SCSI drive will serve you good. If you know your apps well, and you work with many open at the same time, and your working on something creative, that's when a SCSI drive helps you get in the zone. It actually makes me feel more creative.

Current HD benchmarks are sequential .. which means that they don't take into account SCSI's multitasking capabilities, which make for a poor comparison based on numbers. Based purely on feel .. if I ran a bench of my IDE/ATA drive, and received a score of 1000 (purely arbitrary number), I would expect my SCSI drive to score somewhere around 2500 to 3000 .. cuz it feels about 2.5 to 3 times faster. Again, this is totally subjective.

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