View Full Version : Enclosure vs. Internal?

02-19-2001, 07:01 PM
I'm learning about SCSI via your most excellent pages, and as I was admiring bambam, I began to wonder if any of the MacGurus swap enclosures, either peripherals or raid, from machine to machine, and if you do, how big a deal that is. Even if you had the bays, would you go enclosure? If not, why not?

02-19-2001, 07:29 PM

An excellent question that I keep asking myself, every time I purchase another Gurus X15 in particular. In the last year I have built up two vintage Macs, an S900 with two X15s and a 10k U160 Cheetah, and a PTP with four X15s, a 10k U160 Cheetah, the original IBM drive. Both boxes also have floppy drive, CD drive, and Zip drive. It is an enjoyable tech challenge to stuff so much into the box as well as cooling devices and all of the Granite cable and terminators.

On the other hand, and I have been thinking about this too, at some point it would be interesting and challenging to stuff at least the X15s into a Gurus RAID box. In my case there would be some technical difficulties. The S900 striped RAID is off of one Miles2, so single bus. The PTP is a dual bus setup, two Miles2, each controlling two X15s, all four X15s striped together. I have yet to figure out how I could get an external box to work with that. So far the only way I have come up with is to put an ATTO UL3D dual-channel card in the S900. Then the RAID box would work with either the S900 or PTP.

I know that there are some here who use a Gurus RAID box and I may make the leap myself. k

02-20-2001, 11:03 PM
k, you could simply run a shorty 68-pin LVD cable from one connector on the rear of the enclosure to another. That would convert a dual-channel enclosure to a single-channel. The other two connectors would be populated with a terminator, and the cable to your host card.

remember that those ATTO boards have .8mm Champ connectors!


here's a picture.


[===] cable from host
[===] shorty

[===] shorty
[===] terminator


[===] cable from host
[===] terminator

[===] cable from host
[===] terminator


[This message has been edited by magician (edited 20 February 2001).]

02-20-2001, 11:12 PM
sorry, forgot to answer the original question.

I personally prefer to install internally when feasible, as it is more affordable, and better from the standpoint of noise on the bus.

When you have a power supply that can't handle enough drives, or you need so many drives that they can't all fit internally, or you need to move an array around, then I build an external array.

we rarely move arrays around. If we need something off one elsewhere in the building, we just fileshare it, or grab it off the backups on the server. We use our network for everything.

hope that helps.


02-21-2001, 10:27 AM
Damn, magician, perfect. And, unless I missed something, I don't need the ATTO UL3D in the S900. Just use the Miles2 already in it, two Miles2 in the PTP, and just change the setup on the back of the Gurus RAID box when moving from the S900 to the PTP and vice versa. I also didn't know about the external noise issue you mention, but with Granite stuff I'm guessing you would say that becomes a non-issue even with both the RAID box and computer standing side by side. I'm off to Roll Your Own RAID. k

02-21-2001, 01:43 PM
k, exactly right. You just change the config on the back when you switch the array from dual-channel to single-channel, and you leave your Miles2 as they are, where they are. No need to move them around or anything.

rather than external noise, I meant bus noise, signaling noise. Since you have fewer connectors on an internal bus, signal-to-noise ratio is superior. On an external bus, you have a lot more connectors. Even though we're using heavy metal Granite connectors and huge ferrite beads, an internal subsystem will always be better, and cheaper.

from the standpoint of external noise, as long as you get the Ult HD Coolers or Triple Fan Kits, you'll be fine. You know how quiet they are. We need to phase out the MAPHT2 fan kits from our site. Sigh. Some day.

make sure you run this order past me, just put a comment in the comments field, that way I can hook you up.


02-21-2001, 02:43 PM
New answers inspire new questions. So currently I'm asking these questions with my rev.2 Yosemite in mind. I've been looking at 9600s (only finding 200 and 233s), but I'm concerned about OSX compatibility.

Anyway, with the Yosemite, I'm thinking I want to go Miles and drive/s internally, but I'm thinking of an enclosure for backup/archive devices - Ecrix, CDRW, maybe a 40x CD. Or maybe I just ditch the stock CD, and put Ecrix and CDRW internally as well. Either internal or external, I'd run those off a Bluenote, right?

02-21-2001, 03:03 PM
there is not enough room in the Yose enclosure for two 5.25-inch devices like an Ecrix and a CDRW. You'll want to put stuff like that in an external enclosure. I would run them all off a Bluenote, using a Granite 50-pin MIcroD to 50-pin Centronics cable and Granite internal Teflon inside the enclosure.

02-21-2001, 05:17 PM
Thanks, I'm starting to see where to go with this. While I'm imagining this "total peripherals enclosure," I'm wondering about the Plextor 40X drive. The Yosemite CD drive is 24X and not too impressive (reminiscent of a smoothie blender when in full cry). So that seems like a good thing to add. If I did that, I'd want a 4 bay enclosure, and just save the fourth. Does that sound like a good idea?

02-22-2001, 02:38 AM
Actually, we used to have a Total Media Enclosure (http://www.macgurus.com/graphics/14onebadmediatower.gif) with a Jaz, a CDR, a Zip, and a drive (pictured has a CD-ROM). I even created a tutorial for it. mag just never chose to post it. Anyway...

This little box cold rocked the party. Imagine what you could do with it if you had a powerbook, or needed to change machines often, or wanted to burn CDs off any type of media, or wanted a backup station that also handled graphics media with aplomb! I highly recommend it.

02-22-2001, 02:02 PM
Funny you should mention Powerbooks, As I'm wondering how my Pismo would fit into all this. Would I be better off using the enclosure via Ethernet or a SCSI/PCMIA card?

Big Al
02-22-2001, 02:51 PM
That media enclosure is pretty cool. With SCSI drives it would be real nice for those mixed families (Mac and PC) to avoid buying the same peripherals twice.

02-22-2001, 05:51 PM
it's a SCSI enclosure, so you need to use a SCSI PC Card with a PowerBook to interface with it.

SCSI is SCSI...so you're right--it doesn't care whether you are using a PC or a Mac.

I still have the rough tutorial here...still in my Things to Do directory.....just haven't found time to overhaul it from top to bottom and edit it. It's a huge series....comparable to the Roll Your Own RAID series.

but, it is nicely done....and we should post it, if only because dookie already did the hard part.

[This message has been edited by magician (edited 23 February 2001).]

02-26-2001, 08:07 PM
Regarding SCSI cards for my Pismo - do you have a card you recommend?

02-26-2001, 08:50 PM
I think the only option is the Adaptec 1480 SCSI PowerDomain card for your Pismo...


02-27-2001, 01:16 AM
I think Chris may be right.

I don't recall any others...unless RATOC makes one.