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Guest JonP01

We may get a true test of Cheetah X15/SCSI160 vs ATA--r

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Here's a paste of my communique to Master Bubba himself. Enjoy!-----------------Original Message-----From: Bubba Wolford [mailto:bubba@simhq.com]Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2002 7:31 PMTo: 'Noel Phares'Subject: RE: Bubba--boy do I have a good test to runThis is good data and I appreciate the suggestion. Let me see if I can set this up... Thank you. Bubba-----Original Message-----From: Noel Phares [mailto:ncp10@pacbell.net]Sent: Friday, June 07, 2002 4:06 PMTo: bubba@simhq.comSubject: Bubba--boy do I have a good test to runA debate is raging on (ok smoldering on) at avsim MSFS forum on the effect of a good fast SCSI160 with Cheetah X15 on FS2002's micro-stutter issues. I ran old system monitor during flight the other day, and noticed virtually continuous HDD activity, albeit low level. From here I began querying folks to see if they had had luck using Cheetah X15 drives insofar as sim smoothness was concerned. I think I got only two responses, and both were very very positive that the smoothness boost was "huge" since changing to the Cheetah X15 drives. From here there has been discussion regarding the relative impact of fast ATA systems, like the WD120gb 8mb caches ATA100 drives, and that there really is no reason to spend all that $$ on a Cheetah file system. You know where I'm going with this?! Any chance you could arrange for a comparison of SCSI160 system using a Cheetah X15, or the Fujitsu equivalent, vs a fast IDE system, on the same testbed, with FS2002? I know we all shell out plenty of $$ for video cards and new cpu's, and more ram, but very few folks cough up the $$ for a first class file system. The ultimate comparison might include ATA RAID too--I hear the controllers used for ATA RAID mean less CPU impact vs standard IDE controllers, but I don't know. I do know on my 1120MHz P3 system, 512mb PC112 ram, Radeon64 machine, if I start an aircraft rolling, THEN load FSFlightMax and turn it on, FS2002 becomes a bad slide show during the long world database file load up that occurs as FSFlightMax is loading. Attached is a screenshot of disk activity during straight and level flight in FS2002. The green and blue are read activity, which is almost constantly changing in amplitude. Looks alot like it would correlate with micro-stutters. The other conspicous fact is how even high end machine can have troubles with microstutters with Flight Simulator. Here's a quote from Gino, who upgraded to Cheetah X15, and was one of the people who responded to my question if anyone had used a Cheetah drive with FS2002: " I was in the same boat as you and made the same decision you're contemplating. Let me tell you...it makes a HUGE difference. No more pauses or stutters caused by HD access (ATC in FS2K was a problem before I did this). Programs load CRAZY fast too. I'll never look back. You can get great prices online at www.hypermicro.com - I got an Adaptec 19160 U160 controller (whitebox with cables at $185), a Cheetah X16 36LP (18G for $209), and a Plextor Ultramax40 CDROM ($80)for around $500 shipped!" GINO Let me know if you might consider doing the comparison Bubba. It could be an awesome revelation to those simmers seeking first rate performance! Noel KCIC

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I hope we can get definitive comparison. I don't know whether I hurt my current hard drive's feelings, but within 24 hours of me ringing my dealer getting prices on a Cheetah and Adaptec card, it started to show definite signs of bearing distress. I expect it doesn't have long to go now and it will be replaced within the next two weeks.I actually ended up getting cold feet and caved in with the idea of getting SCSI. After I priced everything up, I would have been looking at around $1800 Australian to do the conversion. Part of the reason for the high price is that I would have had to get another casing, as I wouldn't have been able to provide adequate SCSI hard drive cooling in my current case. I ended up just ordering a Maxtor D740X fluid bearing drive instead.I think (depending on the outcome of tests) that my next machine will almost definitely be SCSI, but I won't now be upgrading until bus speeds have reached 1Ghz or later, whenever that will be (hopefully within 2 years). I'd rather start a new PC project with the intention of it being SCSI driven right from the beginning, rather than a running change as would be the case now. In any case, my current PIII 933 puts me at the low end of serious flight simming hardware and there wouldn't be as much benefit as there would be for a 2Ghz+ machine.I actually believe that with the current way I have FS2002 setup, I can still get more performance by a further video card upgrade in about 8 to 12 months (I want to make the sim look better whilst not losing any performance. Speed wise, I am happy with it as it is).Anyway, glad you continue to keep us posted.

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