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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Hard Disk Drives | Hard Disk Interfaces and Configuration | Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI) | SCSI Configuration ]

Physical Installation Issues

SCSI hard disks are not inherently any different in terms of physical construction than their cousins that use other interfaces such as IDE/ATA. However, there are often more issues related to proper installation of SCSI drives, not due to the interface per se, but due to the fact that SCSI drives tend to be faster and run hotter than IDE/ATA drives do. The fastest SCSI devices may require active cooling; even if it isn't needed, attention must definitely be paid to where the drives are installed in the system case, and the cooling capacity of the case as a whole. See here for more on hard disk cooling and installation issues.

The issues with installing a SCSI system will vary from one system to another. Simple SCSI installs with only a few devices are actually fairly straight-forward, so don't let this page scare you off. :^) However, more involved configurations require more planning. For example, a special ("server") case will generally be needed for installations with many drives; special enclosures are often used for RAID arrays. Providing sufficient power to a number of SCSI drives means that the power supply of the system must often be "beefed up" as well.

Cabling concerns can also affect the physical installation of SCSI systems. Since it is best to use shorter cables if at all possible--both for improved signal quality and to reduce cost--it may be preferable to place SCSI drives relatively close together, as long as they are not so close to each other that cooling or ventilation suffers. This would also apply to external devices. Fortunately, it does not matter which devices are connected to which cable connectors.

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