To SCSI or not to SCSI?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ken Woodrow, Dec 12, 2001.

  1. Ken Woodrow

    Ken Woodrow Stunt Coordinator

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    My current HTPC configuration uses an Ultra160 Wide SCSI-3 setup with a Seagate Cheetah drive as the boot drive holding my OS and apps. Details of my configuration are here.
    I'm about to make some hardware and software changes this weekend to streamline and stabilize the machine. It had become cluttered and unweildy after using it as my primary personal machine. Now that I've built a new machine for personal use, the HTPC can be dedicated to the theater.
    So, my question is: should I remove the SCSI controller and drive and put it in my principal personal machine (an AMD Athlon 1 ghz) and establish a new boot partition on the IBM 60 gig drive? The computers are networked, so the loss of space on the IBM drive will not be missed, b/c I can access the drives on the office PC from the network.
    One problem I've been having is heat -- both with respect to the CPU and the SCSI drive, which is sandwiched next to the floppy and the IDE drive. My goal is to be able to leave the machine on 24/7. It gets real hot when I run dScaler, which is CPU-intensive.
    Will removing the SCSI drive help with the heat problem? Will I notice any loss in performance on home theater tasks, like DVD playback, dScaler, and music file playback?
    Any input would be appreciated.
    - Ken
     
  2. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    None of the things you mention are very hard drive intensive. The SCSI drive probably has a higher RPM than the IDE drive, but even so that is quite a speedy IDE drive too.

    I would reserve the SCSI subsystem for your working PC instead, you'll appreciate the speed more there. Removing the drive from the HTPC will also as you say cut both noise and heat.
     
  3. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I think your particular SCSI is WAY overkill for HTPC. All the apps you speak of require decent 2D performance from the video card (like a Radeon, even the lowest model), a bit of memory (256MB more than adequate, and cheap), and a fair processor (733 PIII more than enough for high res dScaler apps). Beyond that, there is no real value added for an HTPC, at least not for one that does not record HDTV.
    In fact, for the above HTPC, slower is better, simply because slower is quieter. I have a WD 5400RPM hard drive, and the only time I can hear it spin is when it spins up. A 667 or 733 processor produces about 10W less of waste heat than a 1Ghz. In cases, like mine, where the power supply fan pulls air across the CPU, you can get a big heat sink, and eliminate the CPU fan altogether. One fan, in the power supply, for the whole setup. You can go with a lower wattage power supply as well, which will usually have a quieter fan... and so on.
    Think of it this way- you don't need 400HP in your car to get to work. You just have to get there every day on time.
    That was probably way more than you were looking for.[​IMG]
    Todd
     
  4. Ken Woodrow

    Ken Woodrow Stunt Coordinator

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    Immediate and thorough replies -- you guys rock. This weekend ought to be fun -- throwing computer gear all over the place. I'll take your advice and install the SCSI subsystem in the working PC and streamline the HTPC. Hopefully, I'll be able to eliminate one of the case fans in the HTPC in order to make it more quiet. Eliminating the CPU fan is tempting, but the machine will be in my equipment rack behind a closed door, so I'm not that concerned with noise.

    BTW -- Have you noticed increased traffic here now that AVS Forum has gotten so crowded? I posted a similar question there and never got an answer, becuase my post moved off the page so quickly. I think the HTPC community is large enough to support both forums, so I'm happy to move over here for awhile.

    - Ken
     
  5. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    If you're running an Athlon processor, I would definitely leave the CPU fan on. They tend to dissipate a LOT of heat.

    Todd
     

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