Over the years we have
tested nearly every size, shape and form of hard drive to hit the
market. Everything from IDE to Serial ATA, and yes, even SCSI. Today, we
begin writing a new chapter called Serial Attached SCSI or what is known
as "SAS" interface hard drives. To most people the "new thing" is
still SATA (Serial ATA) as it seems like it was just yesterday when
we were testing the very first SATA hard drives. SATA is fast and
we've proven that SATA can be just as fast or even faster than SCSI
in RAID configurations compared to single SCSI drives. But what's next? Is there anything out there
that promises the simplicity and economic advantages of SATA and at
the same time deliver the speed and ultra reliability of SCSI? How
about SAS (Serial Attached SCSI)? SAS technology has been around for
a couple years, but is just now starting to catch on. Although SAS
intended to be a replacement for SCSI, SAS Technology is not and will not be
limited to enterprise use only. Do I have your attention? Good, then
As SAS technology
promises to blow away both Serial ATA and SCSI performance, is it
time to look towards an SAS solution for our next data center,
workstation or even a ultra high end desktop upgrade? The answer is YES and this is
SAS has no termination issues like SCSI.
SAS eliminates clock skew.
SAS supports up to 16,384 devices through the
use of expanders while Parallel SCSI is limited to 8, 16, or 32
devices on a single channel. No, 16,384 is NOT a typo.
SAS supports a higher transfer speed than
Parallel SCSI and will double from 3.0 Gbit/s to 6.0 Gbit/s in
2009 and eventually hitting as high as 12 Gbit/s.
SAS speed is realized on each
initiator-target resulting in higher throughput compared to the
speed of SCSI which is shared across the entire multidrop bus.
SAS controllers are backwards compatible with
SATA devices. This means SATA will most likely become obsolete
and phased out over the next few years.
SATA follows the ATA command set and only
supports hard drives and CD/DVD drives. In theory, SAS will
supports numerous other devices including scanners and printers,
not just hard drives and optical drives.
With SAS promising to do
so much for the entire computer industry, all of us here at Club
Overclocker are very excited to see SAS performance first hand. Today is that
day... Today we get to find
out as we take a hands-on look at Seagate's new generation of
Cheetah hard drives. Yes, the same Cheetah drives that Seagate built
their reputation on. Only this time the geniuses over Seagate have
reworked the Cheetah and gave it an SAS interface. In the past if you
want the fastest performance possible and at the same time you had
rock solid reliability for mission critical data, the Cheetah was
the only way to go. Let's see if Seagate can carry on this tradition
with the all new Cheetah 15K.6 450GB SAS hard drive!