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Hard Drive Buying Guide

Types
Connection Types
IDE
SCSI
Other Connections
Features
Glossary


SCSI (Small Computer System Interface)
SCSI is the hard drive interface standard used by many high-end PCs and servers. It is also used by most Apple Macintosh computers, except for the earliest Macs and the newer iMacs. While some systems support SCSI controllers on their motherboards, most feature a SCSI controller add-in card.

While not as easy to setup as IDE drives, SCSI drives are usually much faster and more reliable. Also, SCSI interfaces support the connection of many more drives than IDE, making it perfect for people who see dramatic system expansion in their future.

Like IDE, SCSI drives come in many different flavors. Unlike IDE, though, many of them are not compatible with one another so be sure that your computer supports the drive you plan on purchasing.

The different types of SCSI connections are:

SCSI-1
This basic connection uses an 8-bit bus, a 25-pin connector, and supports transfer rates up to 4 MB per second.

SCSI-2
These drives use a 50-pin connector and supports multiple devices. The transfer rate is the same as SCSI-1

Wide SCSI
As the name indicates, these drives feature a wider cable and a 68-pin connection that supports 16-bit data transfers.

Fast SCSI
While only using 8-bit bus, the Fast SCSI is able to transfer data at 10 MB Per second.

Fast Wide SCSI
This type of drive doubles both the bus (16-bit) and the data transfer rate (20 MB per second).

Ultra SCSI
Also known as Ultra Wide SCSI, it uses an 8-bit bus while transferring data at 20 MB per second.

SCSI-3
These drives feature a 16-bit bus and transfer data at 40 MB per second.

Ultra2 SCSI
These models have a8-bit bus and transfer data at a rate of 40 MB per second.

Wide Ultra2 SCSI
The latest standard, it uses a 16-bit bus and supports data transfer rates of 80 MB per second.
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