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Thread: ANOTHER drive configuration thread..

  1. #1
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    Question ANOTHER drive configuration thread..

    Okay, with mh HDD's being one of the last things to buy for my new baby, I find myself wondering what IS best?

    Supporting a network environment for 250 users by day, my immediate reaction would be: As many of the quickest, medium sized drives you can get, slapped together in a RAID5 array.


    However, I have other issues to consider:

    * I don't have a money printing machine.
    * RAID5 is actually slower than most solutions for WRITE activities.
    * The RAID5 soultion on my Asus AN8-SLI-Dlx is pap, and to make matters worse, with NV5 coolers on my 6800GT's, I wont have the PCI space for a decent controller card (like the Adaptec 2410/2810).


    So, I'm left with the following choices:

    1. Do a single 74GB Raptor for Windows and Program Files, then bung in a couple of DiamondMax Plus 10 NCQ 200GB's as needed for document storage and Pagefile. No RAID.

    2. Do 2 x 74GB Raptors. One for Windows and Program Files, and the other for docs and Pagefile. No RAID. Add whatever discs later for additional docs..

    3. Do as #2, but RAID0 the Raptors, and risk losing all if one goes belly up.

    4. Lose the NV5 coolers, gain a PCI slot, buy the RAID5 controller and go for three or four DiamondMax Plus 200GB's. Have a nice, fault-tolerant 4/600GB array.


    There are other options, but I'll not babble. Please help me decide on this one. My main decision to make is whether 10kRPM 74GB NCQ Raptors are worth the money, considering you can get 7.2kRPM 200GB Diamonds for just over half the price...


    This is called "indecisive"...
    S.
    Last edited by BlueMagician; 30-01-2005 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Brain lapse with drive spin speeds..

  2. #2
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    • aidanjt's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Strix Z370-G
      • CPU:
      • Intel i7-8700K
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsiar LPX 3000C15
      • Storage:
      • 500GB Samsung 960 EVO
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA GTX 970 SC ACX 2.0
      • PSU:
      • EVGA G3 750W
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Define C Mini
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Asus MG279Q
      • Internet:
      • 240mbps Virgin Cable
    the first question is.. is this a file server?
    or is it just a games rig?
    if its the latter, go for the two raptors (10k rpm btw, DiamondMax is 7.2k rpm) and stripe em, the likelyhood of a raptor failing on you is very low, the mechanical technology used is nearly exactly the same as SCSI disks, very mature and reliable.

    *edit* just looked at a pic of your board, surely you should be able to slip a card into that bottom slot?
    Last edited by aidanjt; 30-01-2005 at 02:10 PM.

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    This is primarily a gaming rig, but will be used as a workstation for Photographic & Audio work..

    Yeah, sorry, had a brain lapse on spin speeds - I was in SCSI mode!

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt
    ...*edit* just looked at a pic of your board, surely you should be able to slip a card into that bottom slot?...
    Yeah, PCI#1 is useable, but that'll have my sound card in it
    Both PCI's #2 & #3 (more so #3 than #2 but still) will be blocked by the NV5 cooler on the second 6800GT.

    So, you'd go for 2 Raptors in RAID0 - but what about when I need more storage? Another two Raptors in a separate RAID0 array (wonders if the onboard of the AN8 is capable of this), or move to something slightly slower and bigger for additional storage?

    My biggest fear is that 2 x 74GB isn't going to be big enough from the word go. I'll be running the likes of Doom3/HalfLife2/Sims2/Colin04, and I've gotta beleive that they have MONSTER install requirements.. Not to mention my Canon20D camera with it's 8MB RAW filesizes (and resultant 30MB+ per image 16Bit TIFFs ), so I'm gonna need all I can get...


    Advice much appreciated,
    S.

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    Senior Member Nemeliza's Avatar
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    Why not have 2 raptors in RAID0 for windows and system files/paging.....have a seperate Diamondmax or 2 for additional storage and backing up?

    Nemz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemeliza
    ...Why not have 2 raptors in RAID0 for windows and system files/paging.....have a seperate Diamondmax or 2 for additional storage and backing up?...
    Yup, that was option #3, and it's seeming quite sensible, but what's the point in having 10k drives for the OS and Apps, for it only to have to access a slower disc to access game files (for ex). Doesn't this defeat the object - weakest link, and all that?

    Also, are there any disadvantages to having the Windows pagefile as part of a striped array, as opposed to on a drive not RAID'ed - ie: separate from one that is being battered for other OS tasks?

    I'm thinking I might ditch the NV5 coolers anyway - I mean with 2 6800GT's, am I really gonna need to overclock them?! The only real reason I got the NV5's was because I liked the idea of the GPU heat being directed straight out of the case, plus I heard that the stock coolers on the XFX's were quite noisey...


    Keep 'em coming...
    S.

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    Senior Member Nemeliza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMagician
    Yup, that was option #3, and it's seeming quite sensible, but what's the point in having 10k drives for the OS and Apps, for it only to have to access a slower disc to access game files (for ex). Doesn't this defeat the object - weakest link, and all that?
    2 * 74GB Drives gives you ~148GB of space for your system and games. That is quite alot of games, i was thinking you could use the maxtor(s) for documents and backing up etc. If the RAID0 went tits up you could have regular backups on the same, if not another maxtor.
    Weekly images ? wont go here as ur an IT admin and so must alredy be well versed in backing up.
    Could also put pagefile(s) there here if you wanted to.

    Im not aware of any disadvantages of paging on RAID drives.

  7. #7
    Senior Member skuzgib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMagician

    So, you'd go for 2 Raptors in RAID0 - but what about when I need more storage? Another two Raptors in a separate RAID0 array (wonders if the onboard of the AN8 is capable of this), or move to something slightly slower and bigger for additional storage?
    I think it is capable of that coz you've got the Silicon Image chip on there as well as the nvidia thing.

    I would definately go for 2 raptors in raid0 and 1/2 200gb drives for storage.

    Gonna be a kick ass rig...

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    • aidanjt's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Strix Z370-G
      • CPU:
      • Intel i7-8700K
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsiar LPX 3000C15
      • Storage:
      • 500GB Samsung 960 EVO
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA GTX 970 SC ACX 2.0
      • PSU:
      • EVGA G3 750W
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Define C Mini
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Asus MG279Q
      • Internet:
      • 240mbps Virgin Cable
    the best thing you can do is leave all programs on the two raptors including the swapfile, just keep it at a static size to minimise fragmention, 140Gb is more than enough for games and programs, generially i never have more than 6-7 games installed on my system at the same time, but then i get 'in the mood' for certain types of games and only leave them on when i am. of course the two raptors wouldn't be enough for documents download etc, but you could just throw in a 250gb ide drive and it would be pretty sweet. as for raptor failure, again i stress its highly unlikely, the single ide drive has a higher probiblity of failure.

    *edit* also, make sure you disable the paging executive in windows, you have enough ram to keep all native code in memory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemeliza
    ...If the RAID0 went tits up you could have regular backups on the same, if not another maxtor...
    Quote Originally Posted by skuzgib
    ...I would definately go for 2 raptors in raid0 and 1/2 200gb drives for storage...
    This sounds like a plan! Hmmm... Just gotta find another £160 from somewhere for the unplanned Maxtor Twins...

    Quote Originally Posted by skuzgib
    ...Gonna be a kick ass rig...
    Thought I'd try and do it properly...


    Many thanks for your input - more suggestions welcome,
    S.

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    Would you say it was worth the extra cash and less capacity to go for the 300GB 16MB cache version(s) of the Maxtor? Having no experience with the Maxtor drives, I have no idea what kind of real world difference their cache makes..

    £130 for 1 x 300GB 16MB, or £140 for 2 x 200GB 8MB.... ?

    And, on a slightly different note, should I be worried about CPU usage of a RAID-0 solution? I've read some reviews that favour the NForce4 chipset over the SiliconImage for throughput, but at the expense of up to 5% CPU loading - 5% that is perhaps better put towards framerates and AI calculations in my gaming...?


    Opinions welcome,
    S.
    Last edited by BlueMagician; 30-01-2005 at 06:21 PM.

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    I'm wondering that myself, I was thinking about buying the 300GB 16mb cache drive, although I've more or less decided to just buy a Seagate 2700.8 300gb instead due to the 'reliability' of Maxtor drives I've had in the past.

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    • aidanjt's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Strix Z370-G
      • CPU:
      • Intel i7-8700K
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsiar LPX 3000C15
      • Storage:
      • 500GB Samsung 960 EVO
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA GTX 970 SC ACX 2.0
      • PSU:
      • EVGA G3 750W
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Define C Mini
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Asus MG279Q
      • Internet:
      • 240mbps Virgin Cable
    Its funny that, because I got two 120Gb Maxtor ATA133 drives in my old box, but I've heard a lot of Maxtor horror stories from various places lately, quite disturbing since I once trusted them for reliablity, seems Western Digital is my new buddy now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMagician
    Would you say it was worth the extra cash and less capacity to go for the 300GB 16MB cache version(s) of the Maxtor? Having no experience with the Maxtor drives, I have no idea what kind of real world difference their cache makes..

    £130 for 1 x 300GB 16MB, or £140 for 2 x 200GB 8MB.... ?

    And, on a slightly different note, should I be worried about CPU usage of a RAID-0 solution? I've read some reviews that favour the NForce4 chipset over the SiliconImage for throughput, but at the expense of up to 5% CPU loading - 5% that is perhaps better put towards framerates and AI calculations in my gaming...?
    Bump..

    S.

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    • aidanjt's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Strix Z370-G
      • CPU:
      • Intel i7-8700K
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsiar LPX 3000C15
      • Storage:
      • 500GB Samsung 960 EVO
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA GTX 970 SC ACX 2.0
      • PSU:
      • EVGA G3 750W
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Define C Mini
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Asus MG279Q
      • Internet:
      • 240mbps Virgin Cable
    If you have more money than sense you can get an Adaptec RAID controller and have the best of both worlds ~

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt
    If you have more money than sense you can get an Adaptec RAID controller and have the best of both worlds ~
    Already looked at the Adaptec 2410 and 3ware alternatives.. But at £230 for a 4 port controller, on reflection, it is a little silly...

    S.

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