Look in any newsgroup devoted to DAW discussion and sooner or
later there will be some sort of mention regarding favorite hard disks
or preferred disk formatting techniques or optimum parameter settings
or SOMETHING about the impact of specific hard drives on the performance
of audio streaming. Often, the argument starts with the personal preference
between SCSI and IDE disk drives. Why "personal
preference"? We think that after going over the data in this article,
you will see that there's a lot of room for subjective opinion in this
discussion. Far from proving that there is one clear winner between the
two, research has proven just the opposite. There is a lot to be said
for SCSI. On the other hand, many readers are about to say "A-HA!
I knew SCSI was better!" and are about to be disappointed. This will
come as a shock to many hard core SCSI advocates - perhaps even an insult!
However, before proponents on either side start sending us an HTML flame-thrower,
look over the data here and keep an open mind. You, too, may discover
things about both formats you didn't know and even more chilling, things
about the whole argument that you never took into account before.
with this whole argument has been a blatant lack of fact and information
in the discussions seen in many news groups. This article is out to change
this by offering a full range of facts, specifications and information
from manufacturers, testers and hackers. The facts as we have found them
show that either format will work very well in any system, and that one
format can have a slight edge over the other if properly set up and under
some conditions. This may seem like overkill for a discussion that is
destined to be a washout (so to speak), so why bother? Well, even though
there may be little advantage to either EIDE or SCSI in most system configurations,
there are very important specifications to examine in terms of the drives
themselves, and in cases where the format DOES make a difference, it is
good to have those facts and a clear understanding of them. Besides, we
don't want to offer conclusions without backing them up or it would be
just more opinion and nothing else. No thanks. This may be about to rock
some people's boats and it should have something to stand on. In the following
pages we offer a fair sample of the information gleaned during the past
few weeks and over the past several years of looking at this issue. The
information is formatted in a way that, hopefully, will provide the reader
with a strong overview of all aspects of the issue and any conclusions.
Information is power. Have some juice!
of any successful DAW, be it a PC, Mac, Amiga
or whatever, is the storage media. In this case, the hard disk drive.
No matter how sophisticated the software or how clean the sound card,
it boils down to the data stored on the disk. If you can't get the data
off the drive in a timely manor, well then, what's the point.
are many who use the Mac for their DAW, and there is now a renewed interest
in the Amiga as well, we will limit this discussion to the PC, and further
more, to the 32 bit Windows based PC. This isn't to say that Windows is
a better platform than the BeOS, Linux or a number of other alternative
operating systems. In fact, it's probably the worst! However, it's just
a practical fact that it's the most popular and thus the most widely supported.
When we talk about Windows in this article, we will be referring to Windows
95B, Windows 98, and Windows NT4. Each version has some specific considerations
and when these become relevant, a clear distinction between them will
two major types of disk drive formats associated with personal computers
in general, IDE and
SCSI. The IDE system
is built into all modern mother boards and is the default choice for almost
all PC users. The SCSI system is supported directly on some newer mother
boards but by and large, requires a separate PCI controller card called a
"host adapter" to which all SCSI devices are connected.
to Page 2 (Part
2); Back to TOC