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Thread: Hard drives + raid... performance boost?

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    Hard drives + raid... performance boost?

    Right basically my pc is going pretty damn slow, I suspect it is the hard drive letting me down ( 640gb AAKS) although i could probably format it and that would solve 50% of the speed decrease( i did it before but its still slower than it used to be). SSD's are generally an area where i wish to avoid until pricing changes simply because a budget drive isnt big enough for a select few games and windows (for my budget), reliability is also something im still curious about as with the constant read and writes.

    With that in mind i thought about the option of buying 2 hard drives and raiding them, i dont know what raid type to go for but i believe raid 0 or raid 1+0 would be the correct one?.

    The main question is, would it provide a sizeable difference in performance (as apposed to a non raid setup)? The drives i thought about using was the samsung F3 500GB ones at they are £37 at scan, i believe i could stretch to £80 for a new setup. Or would an alternative just be to buy a single F3 to be used as the main OS drive and storage on the older AAKS?
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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    Re: Hard drives + raid... performance boost?

    First of all what do you mean by slow?

    First sight I would say try reinstalling Windows. All the crap that get installed can slow down you system to the point it is unusable.

    If you don't want to reinstall, a deep defragment should help. Not with the windows built-in defragger but something 3rd party like O&O or Perfectdisk.

    RAID only boost sequential speed, and in some degree random access. Buy a bigger drive like 2TB and put all your music / video / games to the other drive may be a better idea. That keeps your OS drive to deal with loading Windows / Program files.
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    Senior Member Hicks12's Avatar
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    Re: Hard drives + raid... performance boost?

    So basically the performance increase from RAID isnt really useful for me?. I think i know the answer to this but would buying 2 F3 drives and using 1 for windows, 1 for games and my AAKS for storage improve performance than say having 1 F3 for windows+games and the rest for storage?.

    Also slow as in, windows takes few minutes to load as apposed to 15seconds. Opera is much slower to open and load websites, to the point where my HTC HD2 is faster loading pages (when using home wifi). I have 2 hours free tomorrow so will see about reformating.

    Last question, is the F3 still the best drive out or is there better?(bar SSD)
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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    Re: Hard drives + raid... performance boost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks12 View Post
    So basically the performance increase from RAID isnt really useful for me?. I think i know the answer to this but would buying 2 F3 drives and using 1 for windows, 1 for games and my AAKS for storage improve performance than say having 1 F3 for windows+games and the rest for storage?.

    Also slow as in, windows takes few minutes to load as apposed to 15seconds. Opera is much slower to open and load websites, to the point where my HTC HD2 is faster loading pages (when using home wifi). I have 2 hours free tomorrow so will see about reformating.

    Last question, is the F3 still the best drive out or is there better?(bar SSD)
    Samsung F3, WD Black and Seagate 7200.12 should all tie in terms of performance because the platter density is the same.

    For the same partition size, say 100GB, a larger drive, will be faster at seeking, because the area the drive need to seek within that 100GB is smaller.

    Run msconfig and see what is in the startup. A clean windows installation with bare essential software installed will have less than 5 items in there. There could be a lot of crapware running in the background, like fan speed control, hd temperature monitor, firewall, antivirus doing background scan, memory optimizer, overclocking program from motherboard manufacturer, etc.
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    Re: Hard drives + raid... performance boost?

    Do you know if the F3 500gb and 1TB both use 500GB platters? If so there wont be any noticeable difference between them? Would you say getting the 1TB F3 @£57 (at scan) or 2x 500gb F3's @ £77?

    Im gunna bet getting the 1TB is the best route, however I will have to wait till im paid before nabbing one .
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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    Re: Hard drives + raid... performance boost?

    I ran a RAID array when I first built my PC - a dual 5000AAKS RAID 0 array. As you can see, I'm not running one any more. Deeply unimpressed to be honest... it boosted disk transfer speeds, but I quickly realised that the only time I actually saw the benefit of that was when shifting 5GB+ files between partitions. Not exactly an every day occurrence.

    As for some of the things you mentioned:

    RAID 0+1/1+0 is for four drive systems. It splits the drives into pairs, and then RAID 1s each of the two pair, then RAID 0s the two pairs together. Or the other way round. So you get RAID 1 benefits (redundancy and improved read speedss) and RAID 0 benefits (improved read and write speeds). You need 4 disks or more though.

    The F3 drives are all based on 500GB platters, and are definitely the ones to for at the moment. In your position I would get the 1TB version if that's how much space you need. Easier to expand in the future, less heat, less hassle. Don't forget as well that if you have a problem with your single disk PC, you can just pop your drive into a new computer and get going. With RAID arrays, you've either got a lot of hassle or you just format it and accept the loss (hardly ideal).

    So ultimately I doubt it'll bring the speed benefit you want. Your current 6400AAKS drive is based on 320GB platters IIRC so not much will change with a 1TB disk based on 500GB platters. Okay, there will be an improvement, but I doubt you'll notice it. I would recommend holding onto your money (unless you need the extra storage space), reinstalling Windows and cleaning everything up (to speed things up), and sitting it out until SSDs are a bit more reasonable. That is a difference you will notice!

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    Re: Hard drives + raid... performance boost?

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    RAID 0+1/1+0 is for four drive systems. It splits the drives into pairs, and then RAID 1s each of the two pair, then RAID 0s the two pairs together. Or the other way round. So you get RAID 1 benefits (redundancy and improved read speedss) and RAID 0 benefits (improved read and write speeds). You need 4 disks or more though.
    If we're talking about Intel's Matrix Raid 1+0 you only need two drives.

    http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets...storage_sb.htm

    I would recommend holding onto your money (unless you need the extra storage space), reinstalling Windows and cleaning everything up (to speed things up), and sitting it out until SSDs are a bit more reasonable. That is a difference you will notice!
    Agreed.

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    Re: Hard drives + raid... performance boost?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    If we're talking about Intel's Matrix Raid 1+0 you only need two drives.

    http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets...storage_sb.htm
    I was speaking from experience of HP's server offerings, which uses RAID 1+0 on two drives but actually only provides RAID 1.

    How does the Intel system work on two drives? Splitting each drive into two?

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    Re: Hard drives + raid... performance boost?

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    I was speaking from experience of HP's server offerings, which uses RAID 1+0 on two drives but actually only provides RAID 1.

    How does the Intel system work on two drives? Splitting each drive into two?
    I've not tried it, I think you basically combine the two drives into a single volume then split that as you like between a striped area and mirrored area. Very neat when you can basically do the work on the RAID 0 portion for speed then copy it to the RAID 1 for safer storage. Loss of a drive kills the RAID 0 area but you can fully rebuild data in the RAID 1.

    Edit: from wiki
    Last edited by kalniel; 12-05-2010 at 10:26 AM.

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    Re: Hard drives + raid... performance boost?

    Oh I see... I had assumed it was some sort of on-the-fly RAID 10 systems across 4 "partitions", but it didn't make much sense in my head! I've read about this function before, just didn't know what it was called so it didn't occur to me when you mentioned it.

    I've ever used it myself, because I've never needed redundancy, although I can see the attraction. Certainly if you use scratch disks a lot you might want insurance on the system itself (if downtime is expensive), but are happy to lose the high-speed section of the drive if you get a failure.

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    Re: Hard drives + raid... performance boost?

    I run 3 x 500gb drives in raid 0 and do see a benefit from it - Copying 700mb files takes about 5-7 seconds. However, as others have said, once you bootup becomes loaded up with programs etc, it really slows down. I spent 30 mins the other night and got my boot up down from 4-5 mins to 2 mins just by clearing out unwanted programs.

    I have plenty of other drives to hold my data which is the other important consideration - Raid ) really does increase the changes of drive failure.

    Cheers
    Ryan

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