For over a decade, USB has been the most common standard on computers for connecting peripherals. It has grown from a port found in small numbers on brand-new systems in the late 1990s to the near-universal standard for everything from input devices to data storage, and is even in widespread use for charging mobile phones. Our modern desktops feature between six and twelve USB ports, a testament to their widespread usage. This article is an introduction to the latest version of USB, with information on performance, availability and backward-compatibility.
As president of Puget Custom Computers, I get a unique perspective on computer products and technology. Our company specializes in selling high performance custom computers, and that naturally brings up the question of RAID often. There is an overwhelming opinion out there that if you have the money and want a blazing fast and stable computer, that you should put your hard drives in RAID. We have known for years that this perception is just flat out wrong, but the problem is that the idea is so widely accepted that it is nearly impossible to convince our customers otherwise. In fact, if we try too hard to talk them out of it, we end up losing the sale! Should we be selling configurations that we know are flawed, for the sake of making the sale? We think the answer comes in the form of transparency and education! This article is just the latest effort in educating the public about RAID.
The acronym ‘RAID’ stands for Redundant Array of Independent (or Inexpensive) Disks. There are several variations designed to meet different needs. Some are for making larger, faster storage solutions. Others trade off size for increased reliability. Yet others try and accomplish both. This article gives a rundown of the basic types of RAID available today.
When configuring a server or high end custom computer, we are often asked about the performance benefits of SCSI over ATA. Since SCSI is much more expensive, the common perception is that it must be significantly faster. The short answer we give to that issue is that with the release of 10,000 RPM SATA drives, SCSI simply does not hold the edge it used to, and we do not feel it is worth the sizable increase in cost. Of course, that statement is very general. Surely there are still applications that greatly benefit from SCSI, and it is the goal of this article to take a deeper look at the performance differences in SCSI vs SATA, and to tell you how those differences translate to performance in real world applications.