[ILUG] Hardware queries
rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Jul 15 16:46:35 IST 2004
Quoting kevin (kevin at cybercolloids.net):
> Thanks for all the advice. As people guessed there isn't a clear
> answer coming out so on the completely unscientific basis that we have
> one dead Maxtor drive and several older, but still working Seagate
> drives it looks like another couple of sales for Seagate.
Hey, drives fail. You might want to decide based on warranty duration
(though quality of customer service under warranties differs wildly):
It at least roughly indicates how well the manufacturer is willing to
stand behind the drive.
> On a slightly different tack. After googling around it seems the
> Silicon Image 3112 SATA chip is supported under linux and the Dabs
> generic SATA controller is 3112 based so I might give a SATA drive a
> whirl. Anybody any major reasons not to switch to SATA?
Well, switch from what, and for what role? If you're looking for a
migration path from regular ATA (PATA), then SATA's not only terrific
but also inevitable over the long term: You get thin cables (without
violating spec), low voltage and thus power levels, quiet operation,
high capacity, and low cost. What's not to like?
For heavy-duty, high-reliability operation, they have drawbacks: Just
like the PATA design they are in the middle of replacing, they don't
have automatic mapping-out of bad sectors using spare tracks by the host
adaptor, they are built from assemblies with the QA pile of 5% rejection
rate parts instead of the 1% rejection rate pile, they have less robust
design against heat buildup and mechanical failure and thus aren't rated
for 24x7 operation, and they achieve acceptable performance only with
the assistance of large amounts of write-back cache RAM on the drive
chassis. All of this means there are places where SATA's use makes
sense, and others where it doesn't. More at:
So, use SATA where it makes sense. If you've been happy with PATA
drives, e.g., in your desktop box or laptop, you'll be ecstatic with
SATA, since it's better in every way. Even if you don't today, it's
what you'll be getting in such machines in the future, because PATA's
I have information about Linux support for SiI 3112, here:
"Serial ATA" on http://linuxmafia.com/kb/Hardware/
Essentially, you'll be fine if you have a recent kernel.
Cheers, Rehab is for quitters.
rick at linuxmafia.com
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