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Thread: To RAID or not to RAID – That is the Question

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    To RAID or not to RAID – That is the Question

    I currently have two WD 3200KS 320Gb SATA II drives, one as the C: drive with Windows, all programs etc, and the second as the D; drive with the Windows Page file, music and photos, and backups.

    Although I want overall ‘sparkling’ performance generally, my main disk performance requirement is for running Flight Sims, which can involve loading lots of data from disk, and this can affect performance.

    I have on order a Samsung HD501LJ 500 Gb SATA II drive, as they are very fast and very quiet. I was planning on running that as the C; drive for Windows etc, and then using one WD 3200KS as a D: drive for the Flight Sim applications (or should they stay on the C; drive?) and scenery add-ons, and the other WD 3200KS for the Windows Page file, music and photos, and backups.

    However should I be instead thinking of having the C: drive as a RAID 0 pair? Is the performance improvement in real world terms worth it? Should I have a second RAID 0 pair for the Flight Sim programs and data? Is it beneficial to have the Windows Page file on a different physical drive?

    Disk drives are cheap….. I could in addition to the two RAID 0 pairs have a single drive for backups etc... what should I do for the best (worthwhile) performance?
    Try to make each and every day the best it can be.

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    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    Have a read of http://forums.hexus.net/showthread.php?t=110386
    This seems to come up every other week

    I don't know about flight sims, because I don't play them, but RAID0 in general doesn't make a huge difference for normal games.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    RAID0 for any partition that has data you don't want to lose = VERY BAD.

    Any one of the disks die and you lose everything on the array. RAID0 is great for scratch drives and is quite decent for game files, as long as your games can save to another location, do not need saving or you take regular save game backups.

    Personally, unless your flight sim is taking a LONG time to load, I would just keep windows on the disk its currently on, install the new drive along side it and install your FS on that. Keep the swap file on the old drive (along with Windows) and make sure you got enough RAM for the FS.
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    The LHC rulez! DataMatrix's Avatar
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    RAID 5

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    its all clear now
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    Raid Ftw!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DataMatrix View Post
    RAID 5
    RAID5 has poor write speeds. While its read speed is a bit below RAID0, I just don't think its geared towards desktop usage.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    I think
    dangel
    I've run RAID 0 for years without issue - and yes I do see tangible performance gains in daily use. The best thing to do is try it yourself and see if it works for you. Statistically it's more likely to die (2 drives = more probability of failure) but it doesn't worry me in the slightest: the gain is worth it.
    sums it up best for me From Raid - is it worth it? post#37 There seems to be a lot of posturing & emotion around raid, it's clearlly best to try it yourself & see,. The main danger is going into it without planning for data security.

    If you fancy trying it, I'd be inclined to use matrix raid
    The optimum use , which should be good for you is seen in the diagram
    [URL="http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=467848"][Enter The Matrix: Slice out and get the best part from your hard drives /URL] by sizing raid0 volume so that the HDtach profile looks like that in bing's 1st hdtach bench. In other words the average read speed is a horixzontal constanrt speed across the volume. If you see it fall away at the end then the size is a little too big.

    Installing xp on an optimum sized raid0 volume gives the fastest performance I do however rellocate my documents & settings folders to another hd, so that my main os raid 0 has no mission critical files on it. I then use Acroinis True Image to run a scheduled daily image backup. so if it fails all i lose is anything i installed that day.

    There's no inherent speed increase in this but the main benefit is being able to carve the raid up into slices that will let you configure as you want, as shown in bing's thread & Intel® Matrix Storage Technology

    the second volume can be configured as you want & is covered in the article & seen in the charts using different raid types, dependinhg on your needs.

    You don't configure the raid using the bios tool, you create it from xp using Intel Matrix Storage Manager.

    I have created a small 2nd xp insatllation on a data drive.
    this enables:-
    1) creation , deletion etc., of raid volumes.
    2) restoration of drive images from acronis or other such tools. This avoids the occasional glitch that can occur when that emergency boot cd suddenly decides to stop working.

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    The LHC rulez! DataMatrix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    RAID5 has poor write speeds. While its read speed is a bit below RAID0, I just don't think its geared towards desktop usage.
    Works good for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DataMatrix View Post
    Works good for me.
    Id be worried if it didn't - Its RAID5 after all
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Flat cap, Whippets, Cave. Clunk's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if these are ok for raid? I read that some models of WD drives dont play nice, so was wondering if anyone had used these, as they are pretty cheap.

    Western Digital Caviar SE WD1200JS 120gb Sata2 8mb 7200rpm.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen View Post
    stupid betond belief.
    You owe it to yourself to click here really.

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    The argument that RAID 0 is bad because if one drive goes bad you lose data is irrelevant, the same holds true for data held on a single volume, this is a backup issue, not a RAID 0 issue.

    Thanks Supershanks…. I like the idea of the Intel Matrix Storage Technology RAID options - I did not know you can do that!.

    I have ordered a second Samsung HD501LJ 500 Gb SATA II drive so I will have two identical pairs. Both pairs will be partitioned approx 1/3rd for RAID 0 and 2/3rd for RAID 1. One pair RAID 0 for C:Windows and core Applications, with the RAID 1 for D: being data (Music, photos) and the other pair RAID 0 for E: for Flight Sims and Scenery, and F: for Data (backups, images of C: and D:…..

    Is this a plan? Now how does this Intel Matrix Storage Technology work and how do I install/configure it – if not in the BIOS?
    Try to make each and every day the best it can be.

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    Have seen drives been specifically sold as raid ready:-Seagate ST3750640NS Barracuda ES 750GB 16MB SATA II/300 RAID-Ready Hard Drive Think it's more hype to charge a premium.
    Not heard that much of drives that aren't raid friendly, other than maxtor which just aren't friendly fullstop

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    Copied from Scan's website;

    Author: John Sheridan | Date: 02/02/2006 13:44
    Question / Problem
    Will Western Digital model JD drives operate correctly in a RAID array?




    Author: John Sheridan | Date: 02/02/2006 13:44
    Answer / Solution
    Adaptec RAID cards have been seen not to work with Western Digital's JD type drives. These are drive models that end in the letters JD. The JD model drives have an error recovery feature that retries a read or write operation if it initially fails. In a RAID array, this can cause the RAID controller to time-out while waiting for the drive to respond. At that time, the drive would drop out of the array, causing potential data loss. There are a few other models that are very "Raid friendly". The SD model drives, and most of the other "Enterprise" category drives have what is known as time-limited error recovery and it improves compatibility with RAID adapters prevents drive fallout caused by the extended hard drive error-recovery processes common to desktop hard drives.

    Wasnt sure if there were others, as it doesnt seem to be a fault, just an incompatibility.
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    Personnally I run as:-
    4x80gb Hitachi - Matrix raid 2 volumes
    1) Fast Raid0 67gb
    2) 2nd stripe (239.1GB) which is currently running with bta os:- XP64, Vista32rc2 , Vista64Rc2 & But will switch it eventually to raid5

    Data Drives:-
    1x500gb Seagate 3 partitions 1st = Emergency os XP Install 2nd = documents & settings (My Diocuments used as common to all os's) 3rd Downloads. 4th 1GB Fat drive for bios files & oc profiles.
    1x320Gb Seagate - Music & acronis images. (created by scheduled bups)

    Howto:-
    1) Ensure sata configuration is set to raid.
    If new install use floppy & [f6] to load relevent raid drivers for your os (not Jmicron) Intel ones. from
    Utilities, Tools and Examples - 32-bit Floppy Configuration Utility for Intel® Matrix Storage Manager (289KB)
    get the correct ones for your os, xp, vista32 etc.,
    2) Have windows installed on a non raid hd. (ie as Emergency XP see data drives above) , this might be your current insdtallation for example.
    3) download & install Intel® Matrix Storage Manager

    4) Connect drives you want to create raid on
    5) Run matrix storage manager:-

    You can perform the full process of adding drives & creating up to 2 raid volumes per Array.
    Enable Write back Cache by right clicking on the desired volume & selecting it in the menu.
    6) Switch to Windows Disk Management create your partitions & format.
    7) Either install xp onto your new raid0 volume or if you have drive imaging software, take an image of your os & then restore it to the new raid0 volume(much quicker)

    If you want to go yor route of doing same on your 2nd pair then play tunes on above order.

    hope that helps
    luck

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    Adaptec RAID cards
    : Lol: don't move in those exalted circles, so haven't read that, but doesn't look good.

    You got a raid card then??

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    Flat cap, Whippets, Cave. Clunk's Avatar
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    No, he is coming round tomorrow with it, just need to find some cheap and cheerful drives, or someone willing to sell me a raptor very cheap
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen View Post
    stupid betond belief.
    You owe it to yourself to click here really.

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