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Projects -> Argus Array -> 1 Hardware -> 4 Drive Interface

Started as Paralell IDE on linux, currently mostly SATA on FreeBSD.
Paralell ATA Era
Originally the array was mostly paralell IDE, since that is what most of the drives I had were. I decided that to maximize the drive density, I would use a master/slave setup (two drives on a single cable) to get the highest drive density per motherboard. I hadn't done IDE master/slave stuff in years. It fell out of vogue because of the performance hit when accessing two devices on a single IDE cable. But for this purpose, density was much more important. So I dug up some IDE controllers (mostly Promise controllers of various speeds) and some long IDE cables. I had pretty much constant problems with this as drives would get odd errors and then be fine when I tested them individually. My final conclusion is that many drives/controllers had issues with the long cables I was using.
Serial ATA Era
Anyways, as time went on and I added new drives to the array, I've added almost exclusively serial ATA (SATA) drives. They allow a cable length of up to 1 meter, thinner cables, higher transfer rates. Those 1meter cables were key. They allow me to connect pretty much any drive to any motherboard without trouble. The locking SATA cables are also neat, since they latch on to the drive and can't be easily knocked lose.


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