Storage

Talking Shop: Members debate EIDE vs. SCSI

Find out various member views of popular disk drive technology.

Point and Counterpoint presents a balanced discussion between our members regarding hardware, software, or other IT topics our members want to discuss. This week, TechRepublic members sound off about a past column debating the virtues of EIDE vs. SCSI hard drives.
Members sound off
In our first edition of Point and Counterpoint, we asked members to share opinions on an old debate: Which is better, EIDE or SCSI? To say that we received quite a few responses on this subject would be an understatement. Here’s a roundup of opinions from the pro-EIDE and pro-SCSI camps.

Pro EIDE

  • DJ C.
    ”EIDE will not replace the extreme multiuser capabilities of SCSI in the near term. But when someone takes IDE RAID serious and makes a cached EIDE RAID with its own onboard processor, then it will. For any other use in a system with plenty of CPU power, chunk the SCSI. The makers of SCSI host adapters are a greedy lot that don't support their RAID systems very long, usually two, maybe three OS iterations… I personally have had enough of that crap and am getting rid of my SCSI.”
  • Oddo
    ”With RAM prices as low as they are, more memory means less disk swapping means greater performance. So who needs an expensive SCSI drive? After all, the difference in seek time will only really matter when memory is swapped out to disk.”
  • Rgdcc
    ”Try the EIDE IBM 75 GB in an IDE FireWire box. Create a RAID 5 array with this configuration! The part number for the IBM HD is 07n3935 and runs around $550-$650. The FireWire kit is the Pyo 1394 Drive kit, made by ADS TECHNOLOGIES, and can be purchased for around $150. One can buy the kit with the FireWire card for around $250. You can have 63 devices online! It works just fine. Hey guys, this stuff is working!”
  • Computerpets
    ”I've worked in many large companies with hundreds of workstations. All workstations with EIDE/IDE hard drives show no noticeable decrease in speed compared to the computers using SCSI. I use two IDE hard drives on my main server. The second drive’s being used for Internet temporary files, the Windows swap file, and data storage. The swap file being on the second drive greatly improves performance. And the temporary Internet files on the second drive greatly reduces the number of times to defrag the primary drive. Yes, SCSI is faster, but if I have to fix a computer, it is a lot easier to find a motherboard that supports EIDE/IDE versus SCSI. Plus EIDE/IDE motherboards are a lot less expensive.”

Pro SCSI
  • Rob M.
    ”This is tooooo simple! It's just a matter of numbers. Even on a desktop PC, SCSI is better. The average, ordinary PC can have at most four EIDE drives. Whereas, the average PC has at least four PCI slots available; that's four SCSI controllers with seven drives each or 28 or more drives! So which is better? Isn't it obvious? Four 40 GB EIDE hard drives or twenty-eight 40 GB SCSI hard drives? DUH!”
  • Panks
    ”SCSI is still better because:
    1) You can connect up to seven devices on one channel, which is not possible in EIDE.
    2) Although speed of EIDE hard drives has been enhanced, they still lag behind SCSI.”
  • Satchin
    ”When all the serious server manufacturers begin to use EIDE drives in their servers, only then will I think that they are clearly better. SCSI is superior for most server tasks and for heavy-loaded workstations. For home users, SCSI would be like driving a BMW on a road limited to 10 MPH speed limit, so it's a waste of money. Also EIDE disks are reported to be affected by electromagnetic emissions more than their SCSI counterparts.”
  • Tom N.
  1. ”SCSI is scalable up to 15 devices whereas EIDE only supports four."
  2. "SCSI devices can let go of the bus to process a command, letting another SCSI device use the bus. EIDE devices hold on to the bus until the command is complete."
  3. "If a SCSI device receives multiple commands in rapid succession, it can prioritize those commands and execute them in the most efficient manner. EIDE devices execute a command upon receipt, period."
  4. "The more devices you put on a SCSI bus, the more efficient it gets. Even with DMA, EIDE devices can't reach the same level of efficiency."
  5. "SCSI supports internal and external devices. EIDE supports internal only.”
So what do you think of the member opinions? Feel free to post your thoughts below or send us a note. Thanks to everyone who submitted an opinion on this topic! Point and Counterpoint presents a balanced discussion between our members regarding hardware, software, or other IT topics our members want to discuss. This week, TechRepublic members sound off about a past column debating the virtues of EIDE vs. SCSI hard drives.
Members sound off
In our first edition of Point and Counterpoint, we asked members to share opinions on an old debate: Which is better, EIDE or SCSI? To say that we received quite a few responses on this subject would be an understatement. Here’s a roundup of opinions from the pro-EIDE and pro-SCSI camps.

Pro EIDE
  • DJ C.
    ”EIDE will not replace the extreme multiuser capabilities of SCSI in the near term. But when someone takes IDE RAID serious and makes a cached EIDE RAID with its own onboard processor, then it will. For any other use in a system with plenty of CPU power, chunk the SCSI. The makers of SCSI host adapters are a greedy lot that don't support their RAID systems very long, usually two, maybe three OS iterations… I personally have had enough of that crap and am getting rid of my SCSI.”
  • Oddo
    ”With RAM prices as low as they are, more memory means less disk swapping means greater performance. So who needs an expensive SCSI drive? After all, the difference in seek time will only really matter when memory is swapped out to disk.”
  • Rgdcc
    ”Try the EIDE IBM 75 GB in an IDE FireWire box. Create a RAID 5 array with this configuration! The part number for the IBM HD is 07n3935 and runs around $550-$650. The FireWire kit is the Pyo 1394 Drive kit, made by ADS TECHNOLOGIES, and can be purchased for around $150. One can buy the kit with the FireWire card for around $250. You can have 63 devices online! It works just fine. Hey guys, this stuff is working!”
  • Computerpets
    ”I've worked in many large companies with hundreds of workstations. All workstations with EIDE/IDE hard drives show no noticeable decrease in speed compared to the computers using SCSI. I use two IDE hard drives on my main server. The second drive’s being used for Internet temporary files, the Windows swap file, and data storage. The swap file being on the second drive greatly improves performance. And the temporary Internet files on the second drive greatly reduces the number of times to defrag the primary drive. Yes, SCSI is faster, but if I have to fix a computer, it is a lot easier to find a motherboard that supports EIDE/IDE versus SCSI. Plus EIDE/IDE motherboards are a lot less expensive.”

Pro SCSI
  • Rob M.
    ”This is tooooo simple! It's just a matter of numbers. Even on a desktop PC, SCSI is better. The average, ordinary PC can have at most four EIDE drives. Whereas, the average PC has at least four PCI slots available; that's four SCSI controllers with seven drives each or 28 or more drives! So which is better? Isn't it obvious? Four 40 GB EIDE hard drives or twenty-eight 40 GB SCSI hard drives? DUH!”
  • Panks
    ”SCSI is still better because:
    1) You can connect up to seven devices on one channel, which is not possible in EIDE.
    2) Although speed of EIDE hard drives has been enhanced, they still lag behind SCSI.”
  • Satchin
    ”When all the serious server manufacturers begin to use EIDE drives in their servers, only then will I think that they are clearly better. SCSI is superior for most server tasks and for heavy-loaded workstations. For home users, SCSI would be like driving a BMW on a road limited to 10 MPH speed limit, so it's a waste of money. Also EIDE disks are reported to be affected by electromagnetic emissions more than their SCSI counterparts.”
  • Tom N.
  1. ”SCSI is scalable up to 15 devices whereas EIDE only supports four."
  2. "SCSI devices can let go of the bus to process a command, letting another SCSI device use the bus. EIDE devices hold on to the bus until the command is complete."
  3. "If a SCSI device receives multiple commands in rapid succession, it can prioritize those commands and execute them in the most efficient manner. EIDE devices execute a command upon receipt, period."
  4. "The more devices you put on a SCSI bus, the more efficient it gets. Even with DMA, EIDE devices can't reach the same level of efficiency."
  5. "SCSI supports internal and external devices. EIDE supports internal only.”
So what do you think of the member opinions? Feel free to post your thoughts below or send us a note. Thanks to everyone who submitted an opinion on this topic!

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox