View Full Version : U160 RAID in a 9600?

02-23-2002, 02:08 PM
Someone wrote in to another board with a question about putting in U160 LVD 18GB Cheetahs in a 9600, and I suggested that he ask here for opinions and guidance. Thinking that it might be faster, I'm posting here for him instead.

So, would it be better to get another mobo that supports faster speeds (thinking B&W G3 at least), or is the situation salvageable with U160s, as opposed to something more U2W-ish?

Your thoughts?

02-23-2002, 03:48 PM
Here is his question, put to you:

Here is the orginal posting on another forum. Does anyone have answers for these questions:

I'm new to LVD SCSI, but bought three 10K 18Gig IBM 160 LVD drives cheap. Want to install in my PM9600 (upgraded to a G4). Here's what I think I need to do, but how to do it CHEAPLY?

1) I need a LVD terminator to put at the end of the ribbon. Right? Where to get one cheap? Granite seems so steep in price.

2) Need an LVD 160 acceleration card. Have simple UW ATTO and Adaptec cards already, but not 160LVD. Where to get cheap? (And does the card say LVD160 on it or something else like SCSI3 or what?)

3) Do I really need a new ribbon cable? I have very high quality ones from the UW setup. If so, where to get cheap?

4) Or should I just run these drives off my old UW cards due to performance bottlenecks? But I still need numbers 1 and 2 and 3? Or do I?

Thanks to anyone who is a LVD guru, since it's all a brave new world to me.

02-23-2002, 04:57 PM
The thing with Granite, its a time/data vs. price issue. If you spring for the Granite stuff, it works. If not, prepare to invest several hours debugging all the possible issues. Also, for important data, you're less likely to fubar a RAID set when your cabling is top notch. If you do fubar a RAID 0, its GONE.

Your three drives will exceed the maximum bandwidth of UW, so if speed is your concern, you do want a U160 card. I like ATTO much more than Adaptec.

If you wanna do things on the cheap, I would suggest getting a Granite LVD/SE terminator for now, and using the drives with your current setup until they feel too slow, then move your card and cable up to match the drives. The 9600 MoBo should be sufficient for awhile, but if you really want to harness the power of a U160 setup, you do need a 64 bit slot!

Don't nickel and dime youself into the poorhouse by buying cheap stuff three times to get it working, when the good stuff is only twice as expensive!

[This message has been edited by chrismenke (edited 28 February 2002).]

02-24-2002, 01:20 AM
I have got to agree with Chris,

Cheap and LVD do not go together. Big difference in the impedence of U160 vs UW cables (scsi2 and SE is 90ohms -- U160 and U320 is 132 ohms).

Manufacturing of U160 is expensive. Connectors can cause more problems really than cable and Granite connectors are all gold plated for best connectivity.

The difference in technology between LVD and SCSI2 UW is enormous. Low Voltage Differential operates on a very small change of voltage to differentiate between on/off. High Voltage Differential is slower because it takes longer to make a large change in a voltage.

Simply speaking, your friend is better off aiming for all UW if not willing to do LVD right. Speed costs, every fast model of anything costs more, whether it's a telephone, a radio, a CPU chip or a hard drive and its bus.

It is fun making the computer and its components rip. LVD definately performs in a 9600. I don't know how many times The Gurus have touted the performance of a Miles2 card and a couple of Cheetahs for a 9600.

Best part of the Miles2 package is you get the cables and terminator with it as well as Softraid which also kicks butt in a 9600.

Go for it, speed is kewl.


[This message has been edited by ricks (edited 24 February 2002).]

02-24-2002, 01:17 PM
ricks is right. The MilesU2W package RAWKS for vintage systems. He might want to consider a U160 LVD package IF
a) he is migrating to a newer 'modern' system in a few months
b) money is no object.

You can run the ATTO U160 (and faster) cards with stock ATTO cables & terminators. This might be a cost effective and robust solution or U160. I have no experience with ATTO cabling but I know that GRANITE is the best. Also the Miles cabling included with the Ultra2 card is very good in my experience.

Some other things to consider-
You can run the 9600 with TWO MilesU2Ws - essentially giving you Ultra160 bandwidth for $370 - with all the cables and terminators you will need for an internal setup. The cheapest Ultra3 (U160) card is $320 - but that does not include ANY cabling, terminaton or RAID software. It is sold this way in case you want to get GRANITE. The cheapest ATTO complete setup is $440. Ultra160 is a subset of the Ultra3 spec ... Ultra160 is more of a marketing initiative and it seems that the SCSI industry waffles between Ultra3, Ultra160 and what spec is Ultra320 based on?

You should also consider X. While the 9600 is not support, many people have been able to run X on this with various hacks from
OWC-OSX (http://eshop.macsales.com/OSXCenter/)
I think Miles has officially stated they do not support legacy machines in system X. That is if Apple does not support the system for X, neither does Miles. This may change or it could be a firmware limitation issue. An ATTO card may allow the user to run classic MacOS AND experiement with system X. I do not have any experience with system 10 on vintage Macs - so others will know more about this. I normally like to experiment only with secondary systems - so if this is going to be his main system - maybe he better get another one for X?

The main reason I mention X is because the I/O on the Mach/BSD kernal is designed for MAXX throughput. Video can be slow - esp if you have anything older than an ATI RAGE128PCI, but there are many aspects of X that are great.

He should really stop thinking UW. It is outdated. He can put the UW stuff in an old (older?) secondary system, but it sounds like it wants to make his 9600 ALL IT CAN BE. LVD/Utra2 or better is the only way to go. When you cut to many corners you are now PENNY wise and POUND foolish. http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

The Cost Of Freedom:
Every bit of energy.
Every ounce of courage.
Every drop of blood.

Sic Semper Tyranus!

02-28-2002, 01:12 AM
The MilesU2W will work great in an oldworld Mac running OS X (I'm currently running 10.1.2!). They need to be flashed with the proper version of firmware though. A new card would require two flashes; One down to version 1.0.4 and then back up to the last Oldworld compatible OS X driver. An older card can be flashed directly to the OS X driver.

Version 1.0.4 Flash Kit (ftp://ftp.macgurus.com/ftp/initio_stuff/Miles2_1.04%20wSim/)

Oldworld OS X Flash Kit (ftp://ftp.macgurus.com/ftp/initio_stuff/OSX_Firmware/A100_U2W/)

[This message has been edited by lasvegas (edited 28 February 2002).]