Author Topic: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD  (Read 1216 times)

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Offline newtekuserTopic starter

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Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« on: May 24, 2024, 01:27:01 am »
The Siglent is much newer, is 12bit but the waveform update rate is much slower and the sampling rate is half of the Agilent MSOX3024A which is fully loaded in terms of options (the one I'm looking at that is). From what I've seen the Agilent should have a much responsive UI?
Another plus for the Agilent is the support for active probes.

I'm currently driving a Tektronix TDS5054B 500MHz 5GSa scope which is showing its age. Its UI is slow and is very loud.

Which one would you chose if you were coming from an old scope like the one I have?
 

Offline KungFuJosh

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2024, 02:08:48 am »
What price is the Agilent? If it's high enough, you might want to consider the SDS3000XHD series that supports active probes.
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Offline tautech

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2024, 02:13:39 am »
The Siglent is much newer, is 12bit but the waveform update rate is much slower and the sampling rate is half of the Agilent MSOX3024A which is fully loaded in terms of options (the one I'm looking at that is). From what I've seen the Agilent should have a much responsive UI?
It's just not that simple.

SDS2000X HD uses two 2GSa/s ADC's.
Sure with just one active channel the HPAK has 2x the sampling rate but enage a 2nd then where are you ?
With 4 active channels I suspect sampling rates will equivalent, member @2N3055 that has both can confirm this.

Further, SDS2000X HD has 200 Mpts memory depth and for each ADC, how many does the HPAK have ?

Quote
Another plus for the Agilent is the support for active probes.
Apples vs oranges.
To properly compare DSO series that are both 1 GHz max rated you need look at other models that offer active probe support.
Eg SDS3000X HD or SDS5000X.

The comparison then becomes more balanced except the cost.
Yet, looking at our local costs a SDS6054A seems incredible value against MSOX3024A.
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Offline newtekuserTopic starter

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2024, 02:13:41 am »
I can get the Agilent for $2000 used while the SDS2204 is $2400 new.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2024, 02:19:53 am by newtekuser »
 

Offline KungFuJosh

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2024, 02:58:24 am »
If there's nothing wrong with it, that's a good deal. Personally, in a perfect world, I would buy it for $2K, sell it for $3500 and buy the SDS3000X HD. 😉 I don't know what the market really is for that scope, but the used 3024As I see online are at least $4k, but again, I don't know how realistic those asking prices are.
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Offline exmadscientist

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2024, 05:42:57 am »
Heck, if you don't want the MSO-X, let me know and I'd be interested at $2k!

I'm in a similar boat, looking for a new scope for professional use (we're one scope short around here, and as usual management doesn't think it's an issue, so I'm looking at buying something with my own money that no manager will be able to "reassign" away from me). The Siglents are really strong offerings so they're getting most of the looking. Right now I'm using the backup SDS1202X-E which is a fine little guy except for that little "2" at the end of the part number... "professional use" and "2-channel scope" aren't really all that compatible.

Is there much between the 2000X-HDs and the 3000X-HDs in daily use, apart from active probe support? (And being black. Being black is very important!) I know the specs are somewhat better, but specs don't really mean all that much for day-to-day use of a scope. I'd benefit from having a 1GHz scope for the next... week?... so I'm looking more at the 3000X-HDs than I probably should be. (Certainly, if the SDS3034X-HD was unlockable to 1GHz, that would probably seal the deal.) But I don't actually need that kind of bandwidth more often than every other year or so. Active probes are a big deal though, I have historically spent an awful lot of quality time with current probes and diff probes (especially the TDP0500/TDP1000).

As to the MSOX3024... I used to use a MSOX4054 a couple jobs back. It's a great scope, really nice to drive because of how responsive it is. It's difficult to communicate to someone who hasn't used one, but the thing just immediately does what you tell it do and that is great. Its memory depth is of course its Achilles heel, with a craptacular 1Mpts. Or less. This matters more to some engineers than to others. If they could get this architecture to 20Mpts or better, it would be a no-brainer choice for anyone who could afford it... but that's not the product they have on the market. It can do really well paired with something like a Saleae with long memories... but who wants to do that as a matter of course? Still... for $2k... very interesting.
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2024, 07:44:14 am »
The Siglent is much newer, is 12bit but the waveform update rate is much slower and the sampling rate is half of the Agilent MSOX3024A which is fully loaded in terms of options (the one I'm looking at that is). From what I've seen the Agilent should have a much responsive UI?
Another plus for the Agilent is the support for active probes.

I'm currently driving a Tektronix TDS5054B 500MHz 5GSa scope which is showing its age. Its UI is slow and is very loud.

Which one would you chose if you were coming from an old scope like the one I have?
If the feature set of the TDS5054B suits your needs, then both options would be a good choice. However, I think the Siglent has a lower noise floor and a bigger + higher resolution screen. The higher ADC resolution and lower noise the Siglent offers could be beneficial to look at small signal (or details which would otherwise be drowned due to noise and lack of vertical resolution).
« Last Edit: May 24, 2024, 07:54:35 am by nctnico »
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Offline 2N3055

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2024, 12:08:48 pm »
Heck, if you don't want the MSO-X, let me know and I'd be interested at $2k!

I'm in a similar boat, looking for a new scope for professional use (we're one scope short around here, and as usual management doesn't think it's an issue, so I'm looking at buying something with my own money that no manager will be able to "reassign" away from me). The Siglents are really strong offerings so they're getting most of the looking. Right now I'm using the backup SDS1202X-E which is a fine little guy except for that little "2" at the end of the part number... "professional use" and "2-channel scope" aren't really all that compatible.

Is there much between the 2000X-HDs and the 3000X-HDs in daily use, apart from active probe support? (And being black. Being black is very important!) I know the specs are somewhat better, but specs don't really mean all that much for day-to-day use of a scope. I'd benefit from having a 1GHz scope for the next... week?... so I'm looking more at the 3000X-HDs than I probably should be. (Certainly, if the SDS3034X-HD was unlockable to 1GHz, that would probably seal the deal.) But I don't actually need that kind of bandwidth more often than every other year or so. Active probes are a big deal though, I have historically spent an awful lot of quality time with current probes and diff probes (especially the TDP0500/TDP1000).

As to the MSOX3024... I used to use a MSOX4054 a couple jobs back. It's a great scope, really nice to drive because of how responsive it is. It's difficult to communicate to someone who hasn't used one, but the thing just immediately does what you tell it do and that is great. Its memory depth is of course its Achilles heel, with a craptacular 1Mpts. Or less. This matters more to some engineers than to others. If they could get this architecture to 20Mpts or better, it would be a no-brainer choice for anyone who could afford it... but that's not the product they have on the market. It can do really well paired with something like a Saleae with long memories... but who wants to do that as a matter of course? Still... for $2k... very interesting.

Where to start?

Firstly, MSOX3024A is 2x4GS/s ADC design so with all 4ch it drops to 2GS/s.
Buuuuuttt.....
It has 4MPts, that in Run is 2MPts (because of ping-pong memory) with 1 ch per ADC.
If you are using 4ch analog that is 1MPts. And only 512 kPts if you are using MSO+4Ch..

That means that as soon as you go to longer time bases, sampling frequency drops like a rock.
It is very responsive to knob twiddling.
Screen is small and there is a large static area, with just a part of screen for waveform. Screen gets busy quick.
MSOX3024A is a 100/200MHz hardware variant. Next one is 350/500MHz hardware variant.
1GHz version is very different mainboard revision.
So 200MHz is all you can get with it with software, unless you want to rework front end on mainboard.
It is stable and bug free by now.

What does that mean?
When compared to SDS2000xHD, while SDS2000xHD might have max 2GS/s sampling rate, and 1GS/s in 4ch mode, it will keep that sampling rate at literally 100 times longer time base.

If you are working with longer timed events SDS2000xHD will be considerably better. If you mostly work in timebases up to 100-200 µs/div Keysight will do just fine..

SDS2000xHD also has 10" screen. Huge difference, side by side..

SDS2000xHD vs SDS3000xHD?
Don't let visual similarity fool you. It is not only different frontend+ADC... It is seriously more powerful design in every way.

SDS2000xHD makes sense if you really need absolutely lowest noise and happy with max 500MHz. 3000xHD has slightly more noise because 1GHz...

Active probes? Heh, that is one of those when you have to you have to....

And also, MSOX3000A are slowly getting into long end of it's lifetime.  PSU problems and Flash rot are known problem.
Buying new buys you warranty.
 
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Offline AndyC_772

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2024, 01:29:41 pm »
The Siglent is much newer, is 12bit but the waveform update rate is much slower and the sampling rate is half of the Agilent MSOX3024A which is fully loaded in terms of options (the one I'm looking at that is). From what I've seen the Agilent should have a much responsive UI?
Another plus for the Agilent is the support for active probes.

I'm in a similar position, trying to decide whether a new Siglent scope is in fact now a better fit for my needs than the MSOX-3104A that's currently my everyday workhorse.

As you've discovered, it's a very touchy subject for some individuals; weirdly so. I already know that I'm probably going to attract disparaging ire from a couple of people I could name right now, just for joining in with my own observations and not fawning over the Siglent like, apparently, I'm supposed to.

Some comparisons are easy to dismiss. If the bandwidth of the instrument is 200 MHz then a sample rate of 1 Gsa/s or more is plenty, and either scope will do just fine. You probably also don't need active probes at that frequency.

Memory depth either is a big deal to you, or it isn't. I genuinely don't know - or care!! - how many samples my MSOX can store. I do know that it's had plenty of memory for every use I've made of it in about the last 10 years, and that a longer memory is a long way down my list of nice-to-have features.

The UI on the MSOX is wonderfully responsive and a pleasure to use. No excuses need to be made here.

The 12 bit front end on the Siglent is lovely, and clearly a significant technical benefit.

On the other hand, the MSOX can probably acquire a great many more waveforms/sec under most conditions, which narrows the gap considerably if you can turn averaging on. I discovered that, for a repetitive small signal, the image on the screen of my MSOX (with averaging) looks very much like the image on my little Siglent 804X HD - there's not really a lot of extra useful information to be had.

In terms of performance (waveforms/sec), I don't know how they compare. Siglent only quotes a useless "up to" figure in the manual, and I found the actual throughput to be orders of magnitude slower when I did some testing a few weeks ago. Given that all the models in the range are only given "up to" specifications, it's impossible to know how they actually compare, and asking about it seems taboo.

The Siglent would be new with warranty, and that's a major plus. The PSUs in the Agilents do fail; take one apart and you'll see it's all but inevitable eventually, they're not well designed IMHO. However, they are replaceable with off-the-shelf, functionally equivalent units. My MSO-X3054A has a substitute PSU and it works perfectly (just the front panel on/off button doesn't work because I bought the wrong version of said PSU... d'oh).

Bigger screen? Yes, please, my middle aged eyeballs could definitely benefit. The tiny screen on the 804X HD gets very cluttered very quickly, but the larger screens on the bigger models should be fine.

It may be the different operational quirks that sway it for you. I quite like the Siglent's use of spare memory to store previous triggers, it's a nice bonus feature that I might use one day. On the other hand, I like the fact that the MSOX has no control needed to set the memory depth - it's always automatic and makes the best use of the available space.

I also really like the fact that on the Siglent I can capture serial data, *then* set up serial decoding and fiddle with settings until the waveform I've already captured decodes correctly. The MSOX is much faster - the UI really has to be seen to be believed side by side with a more conventional scope - but the settings have to be right before the waveform is captured; if they're not right, you need to send the data again.

It's great to have a choice, and I think you need to try them both in person. It's a bit like comparing a 10 yr old sports car with a modern SUV... comfort and capacity vs speed and driving engagement. Your call, and don't let anyone tell you you're wrong either way.
 
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Offline tautech

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2024, 01:51:54 pm »
........
In terms of performance (waveforms/sec), I don't know how they compare. Siglent only quotes a useless "up to" figure in the manual, and I found the actual throughput to be orders of magnitude slower when I did some testing a few weeks ago. Given that all the models in the range are only given "up to" specifications, it's impossible to know how they actually compare, and asking about it seems taboo.
Fact check from the 3000A X-Series datasheet:
> 1,000,000 wfms/sec = Siglent just followed HPAK.

Quote
804X HD

Compares $440 DSO against something nearly 20x the cost.  :-X
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Offline newtekuserTopic starter

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2024, 05:18:42 pm »
Thanks all for the responses and for sharing your experiences!

Upon doing more research I've decided to pass on the Agilent. I'm now strongly considering the SDS3000X HD (350MHz version) and will pull the trigger on it when the time is right.


Heck, if you don't want the MSO-X, let me know and I'd be interested at $2k!

I'm in a similar boat, looking for a new scope for professional use (we're one scope short around here, and as usual management doesn't think it's an issue, so I'm looking at buying something with my own money that no manager will be able to "reassign" away from me). The Siglents are really strong offerings so they're getting most of the looking. Right now I'm using the backup SDS1202X-E which is a fine little guy except for that little "2" at the end of the part number... "professional use" and "2-channel scope" aren't really all that compatible.

Is there much between the 2000X-HDs and the 3000X-HDs in daily use, apart from active probe support? (And being black. Being black is very important!) I know the specs are somewhat better, but specs don't really mean all that much for day-to-day use of a scope. I'd benefit from having a 1GHz scope for the next... week?... so I'm looking more at the 3000X-HDs than I probably should be. (Certainly, if the SDS3034X-HD was unlockable to 1GHz, that would probably seal the deal.) But I don't actually need that kind of bandwidth more often than every other year or so. Active probes are a big deal though, I have historically spent an awful lot of quality time with current probes and diff probes (especially the TDP0500/TDP1000).

As to the MSOX3024... I used to use a MSOX4054 a couple jobs back. It's a great scope, really nice to drive because of how responsive it is. It's difficult to communicate to someone who hasn't used one, but the thing just immediately does what you tell it do and that is great. Its memory depth is of course its Achilles heel, with a craptacular 1Mpts. Or less. This matters more to some engineers than to others. If they could get this architecture to 20Mpts or better, it would be a no-brainer choice for anyone who could afford it... but that's not the product they have on the market. It can do really well paired with something like a Saleae with long memories... but who wants to do that as a matter of course? Still... for $2k... very interesting.

@exmadscientist, search for "MSOX3024A Oscilloscope 200 MHz 4 Analog 16 Digital Channels Wave Gen Agilent" on eBay - it is listed for $2,295.00 and sold by user eBay user tm4sale09. They sent me an offer for $2000 so I'm sure they'll take yours if you're interested.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2024, 05:25:47 pm »
BTW: At this budget it could be worthwhile to wait for the release & tests of Batronix' Magnova oscilloscope.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2024, 05:35:57 pm by nctnico »
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Offline newtekuserTopic starter

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2024, 08:06:19 pm »
........
In terms of performance (waveforms/sec), I don't know how they compare. Siglent only quotes a useless "up to" figure in the manual, and I found the actual throughput to be orders of magnitude slower when I did some testing a few weeks ago. Given that all the models in the range are only given "up to" specifications, it's impossible to know how they actually compare, and asking about it seems taboo.
Fact check from the 3000A X-Series datasheet:
> 1,000,000 wfms/sec = Siglent just followed HPAK.


Quote
804X HD

Compares $440 DSO against something nearly 20x the cost.  :-X

Intriguing... can you please point me to this document? The only Siglent scope I can see in their line-up that does 1.000.000 WFMS/s is the 7000 series which starts at $20K+

https://siglentna.com/digital-oscilloscopes/

Am I looking in the wrong place?
« Last Edit: May 24, 2024, 08:09:10 pm by newtekuser »
 

Offline skander36

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2024, 08:58:11 pm »
BTW: At this budget it could be worthwhile to wait for the release & tests of Batronix' Magnova oscilloscope.

I don't know ... 1.6 Gsa/s for at least 2800E?
And for the moment is not for sale to US ...
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2024, 09:05:52 pm »
BTW: At this budget it could be worthwhile to wait for the release & tests of Batronix' Magnova oscilloscope.

I don't know ... 1.6 Gsa/s for at least 2800E?
And for the moment is not for sale to US ...
I don't care about samplerate or waveforms/s. There is a chance though it works better compared to the choices the OP has listed. While everyone is obsessing over waveforms/s, bandwidth and samplerate, the most important thing is overlooked: how convenient is an oscilloscope to use? That makes all the difference in the world!

There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline KungFuJosh

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2024, 09:16:10 pm »
I don't care about samplerate or waveforms/s. There is a chance though it works better compared to the choices the OP has listed. While everyone is obsessing over waveforms/s, bandwidth and samplerate, the most important thing is overlooked: how convenient is an oscilloscope to use? That makes all the difference in the world!

I like Batronix, and I like the idea of the Magnova, but it's the first of its kind, and brand new. That's not going to translate to convenience unless they're the first (brand new) scope manufacturer to release a bug free scope from day 1.

It's certainly more attractive with the discounted prices though. However, the platform also maxes out at 350MHz, and even though OP only needs GHz once or twice a year, one of these scopes can offer that, but it's not the Magnova. Yet?
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Offline Martin72

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2024, 09:52:36 pm »
I think the Magnova will be good for several reasons.
But apart from the presentation of a prototype at a trade fair, nothing is known about it.
It doesn't even exist on the market yet, so I think it's pointless to bring it into play as a possible alternative.
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Offline tszaboo

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2024, 09:54:24 pm »
BTW: At this budget it could be worthwhile to wait for the release & tests of Batronix' Magnova oscilloscope.

I don't know ... 1.6 Gsa/s for at least 2800E?
And for the moment is not for sale to US ...
I don't care about samplerate or waveforms/s. There is a chance though it works better compared to the choices the OP has listed. While everyone is obsessing over waveforms/s, bandwidth and samplerate, the most important thing is overlooked: how convenient is an oscilloscope to use? That makes all the difference in the world!
How dare you. Everyone knows that a car with more HP is better, and a phone with more MHz CPU. And here you are bringing up stuff like usability.
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2024, 09:57:52 pm »
I think the Magnova will be good for several reasons.
But apart from the presentation of a prototype at a trade fair, nothing is known about it.
It doesn't even exist on the market yet, so I think it's pointless to bring it into play as a possible alternative.
Well, the OP didn't mention a timeline so if there is no immediate necessity to buy an oscilloscope, it is worth waiting to have another option. To me that seems a sensible approach for anyone looking to buy equipment. Batronix has provided a date at which their Magnova oscilloscope is going to be sold so it is not like you can't plan for it.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2024, 10:12:55 pm by nctnico »
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Offline newtekuserTopic starter

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2024, 10:33:00 pm »
I think the Magnova will be good for several reasons.
But apart from the presentation of a prototype at a trade fair, nothing is known about it.
It doesn't even exist on the market yet, so I think it's pointless to bring it into play as a possible alternative.
Well, the OP didn't mention a timeline so if there is no immediate necessity to buy an oscilloscope, it is worth waiting to have another option. To me that seems a sensible approach for anyone looking to buy equipment. Batronix has provided a date at which their Magnova oscilloscope is going to be sold so it is not like you can't plan for it.

I can wait for their release and reviews to come in, not in a hurry.
 
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Offline Martin72

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Re: Agilent MSOX3024A vs Siglent SDS2204X HD
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2024, 10:48:09 pm »
Batronix has provided a date at which their Magnova oscilloscope is going to be sold so it is not like you can't plan for it.

First of all, it must actually be available, then it would be smarter to wait and see whether it is any good and, above all, what it is good for.
Then you can plan with it.
I have not the slightest doubt that it will be a good scope.
If you want 7000€ (incl. taxes, regular price after the promo) for just 350Mhz, then the qualities have to be there, anything else would be economic suicide.
I therefore firmly assume that the Batronix Scope will be good, but we don't know that yet and at least I would definitely not plan with a pig in a poke for such a sum.

"Comparison is the end of happiness and the beginning of dissatisfaction."
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