Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Upgrading my Home PC to incorporate SSD + RAID or JBOD

Tags:
  • NAS / RAID
  • GPUs
  • Components
  • SSD
Last response: in Systems
Share
June 19, 2014 6:37:51 AM

I am looking for all manner of advice in upgrading a home PC, maximizing cost effectiveness by maintaining as many existing components possible.

(I am quite inexperienced with computers, especially custom ones).

I am looking to upgrade some of my home PC's components to fit a more demanding gaming profile while simultaneously acting as a safe storage for family business (financials, taxes, photos, docs, etc.) and would like to get feedback on what to get, how to build it, etc...

My current set-up:

MOBO: Asus m5A78L-M LX

CPU: AMD Phenom(tm) II x4 960T (3.00Ghz)

GPU: ATI Radeon HD 4600 (512Mb)

RAM: 8GB

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (prefer to keep)

Storage: a random, old disk of 300 GB and a SSD @ 120GB (Currently has the OS on SSD, preferred)

I figure that with a new Video Card of at least 2GB video memory and some additional storage it will do me quite well. I am considering doing an SSD + RAID array (of 2-4TB?) OR JBOD... like I said, I am pretty inexperienced, and don't fully appreciate the nuances of either the RAID or JBOD.

Any help will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

More about : upgrading home incorporate ssd raid jbod

June 19, 2014 6:48:26 AM

I have this inkling that you may be a bit off on what RAID is or can do for you.

If you're just looking to maintain duplicate copies of your important docs (and you should), RAID is probably not it. There are several, much easier and safer ways to do that.

If you're looking for a performance boost (RAID 0), your existing SSD is faster than 2 HDD's in RAID 0.
m
0
l
June 19, 2014 7:21:49 AM

USAFRet said:
I have this inkling that you may be a bit off on what RAID is or can do for you.

If you're just looking to maintain duplicate copies of your important docs (and you should), RAID is probably not it. There are several, much easier and safer ways to do that.

If you're looking for a performance boost (RAID 0), your existing SSD is faster than 2 HDD's in RAID 0.


So what about the RAID 5 (striped and Mirrored, I think) option? Can I not get some of the benefits from both worlds and get a lot more storage than I could afford on a straight SSD?
m
0
l
Related resources
June 19, 2014 7:36:54 AM

There are 3 levels of 'stuff' you need to keep safe, and all 3 need different levels of protection.

1. The OS. Assuming you have the install disk and license key somewhere safe, no problem.

2. Applications. Almost the same as #1.

3. Your personal data (including game saves). This can be done quite easily with a number of free applications that simply copy your financials, photos, etc) off to another drive.

Any disaster scenario that kills your PC, other than a simple hard drive fail, will also kill the RAID. No matter what level.
Theft, fire, flood, lightning....if those RAID disks are in the same box...poof, they are gone as well. Any business that employs a RAID also has a good actual backup plan, with critical data stored offsite.

Currently, I use Syncback Free. Point it at source and target folders, and it copies over any new or changed files to the target.
I don't care about the OS or applications. If this PC melts into a pile of goo, I can reinstall all that very easily. I can't reinstall a 3 year old pic of my grandson. Hence why those live in multiple disks/locations, one of which is offsite.
m
0
l
June 19, 2014 9:15:57 AM

USAFRet said:
There are 3 levels of 'stuff' you need to keep safe, and all 3 need different levels of protection.

1. The OS. Assuming you have the install disk and license key somewhere safe, no problem.

2. Applications. Almost the same as #1.

3. Your personal data (including game saves). This can be done quite easily with a number of free applications that simply copy your financials, photos, etc) off to another drive.

Any disaster scenario that kills your PC, other than a simple hard drive fail, will also kill the RAID. No matter what level.
Theft, fire, flood, lightning....if those RAID disks are in the same box...poof, they are gone as well. Any business that employs a RAID also has a good actual backup plan, with critical data stored offsite.

Currently, I use Syncback Free. Point it at source and target folders, and it copies over any new or changed files to the target.
I don't care about the OS or applications. If this PC melts into a pile of goo, I can reinstall all that very easily. I can't reinstall a 3 year old pic of my grandson. Hence why those live in multiple disks/locations, one of which is offsite.


I think I understand more about what you are talking about. I actually hadn't thought of that level of data protection, (I suppose that I assumed my data would be just fine sitting there on the disk, as it has been to date... whoops) but it is definitely on my mind now. Thank you for the Syncback note.

Knowing now that there is a simpler way to "backup" my files, I could focus on using a RAID 0 configuration to get the most performance out of cheaper storage, correct? And do you have any thoughts on upgrading of any of the other components?
m
0
l

Best solution

June 19, 2014 9:21:44 AM

pbvS86 said:
USAFRet said:
There are 3 levels of 'stuff' you need to keep safe, and all 3 need different levels of protection.

1. The OS. Assuming you have the install disk and license key somewhere safe, no problem.

2. Applications. Almost the same as #1.

3. Your personal data (including game saves). This can be done quite easily with a number of free applications that simply copy your financials, photos, etc) off to another drive.

Any disaster scenario that kills your PC, other than a simple hard drive fail, will also kill the RAID. No matter what level.
Theft, fire, flood, lightning....if those RAID disks are in the same box...poof, they are gone as well. Any business that employs a RAID also has a good actual backup plan, with critical data stored offsite.

Currently, I use Syncback Free. Point it at source and target folders, and it copies over any new or changed files to the target.
I don't care about the OS or applications. If this PC melts into a pile of goo, I can reinstall all that very easily. I can't reinstall a 3 year old pic of my grandson. Hence why those live in multiple disks/locations, one of which is offsite.


I think I understand more about what you are talking about. I actually hadn't thought of that level of data protection, (I suppose that I assumed my data would be just fine sitting there on the disk, as it has been to date... whoops) but it is definitely on my mind now. Thank you for the Syncback note.

Knowing now that there is a simpler way to "backup" my files, I could focus on using a RAID 0 configuration to get the most performance out of cheaper storage, correct? And do you have any thoughts on upgrading of any of the other components?


Since you already have an SSD, a RAID 0 (striping) is mostly not needed. The SSD is faster than 2 x HDD in RAID 0, and SSD + RAID 0 brings no real benefit.

So:
Have your OS and applications on the SSD for speed, and things where that doesn't really matter can live on the HDD(s).
Share
June 19, 2014 10:32:11 AM

USAFRet said:
pbvS86 said:
USAFRet said:
There are 3 levels of 'stuff' you need to keep safe, and all 3 need different levels of protection.

1. The OS. Assuming you have the install disk and license key somewhere safe, no problem.

2. Applications. Almost the same as #1.

3. Your personal data (including game saves). This can be done quite easily with a number of free applications that simply copy your financials, photos, etc) off to another drive.

Any disaster scenario that kills your PC, other than a simple hard drive fail, will also kill the RAID. No matter what level.
Theft, fire, flood, lightning....if those RAID disks are in the same box...poof, they are gone as well. Any business that employs a RAID also has a good actual backup plan, with critical data stored offsite.

Currently, I use Syncback Free. Point it at source and target folders, and it copies over any new or changed files to the target.
I don't care about the OS or applications. If this PC melts into a pile of goo, I can reinstall all that very easily. I can't reinstall a 3 year old pic of my grandson. Hence why those live in multiple disks/locations, one of which is offsite.


I think I understand more about what you are talking about. I actually hadn't thought of that level of data protection, (I suppose that I assumed my data would be just fine sitting there on the disk, as it has been to date... whoops) but it is definitely on my mind now. Thank you for the Syncback note.

Knowing now that there is a simpler way to "backup" my files, I could focus on using a RAID 0 configuration to get the most performance out of cheaper storage, correct? And do you have any thoughts on upgrading of any of the other components?


Since you already have an SSD, a RAID 0 (striping) is mostly not needed. The SSD is faster than 2 x HDD in RAID 0, and SSD + RAID 0 brings no real benefit.

So:
Have your OS and applications on the SSD for speed, and things where that doesn't really matter can live on the HDD(s).


I am looking at it like this:

option A: one SSD 120GB and one 2TB HDD (no RAID) vs option B: one SSD and RAID 0 with 2x 1TB

From what I am understanding, you believe that option B is not worth the effort for the potential performance boost?

Thanks for your quick and numerous responses, by the way!
m
0
l
June 19, 2014 10:40:48 AM

pbvS86 said:

I am looking at it like this:

option A: one SSD 120GB and one 2TB HDD (no RAID) vs option B: one SSD and RAID 0 with 2x 1TB

From what I am understanding, you believe that option B is not worth the effort for the potential performance boost?

Thanks for your quick and numerous responses, by the way!


Exactly.
My current main system:
128GB SSD. Holds the OS and all applications.
Secondary 128GB SSD (only because it was on sale when I bought it). Holds working docs
2TB HDD. Games, music, video, etc.
3TB HDD, random other stuff and backups.

No RAID involved. The stuff that lives on the spinning drives would gain zero benefit from being in a RAID 0 array.
For instance, if I am playing a playlist of music that lives on the 2TB, the music player that lives on the SSD sees no slowdown for the individual music files living on the HDD.
In fact, most of my music/video lives on a whole other PC that I access through the LAN. I'd see zero difference if that were in a RAID 0 situation.

And the scheduled backups to the 3TB happen at 2 or 3AM, when I do not care if it takes 15 seconds or 30 seconds.
m
0
l
June 19, 2014 10:46:42 AM

And what really matters for backup purposes, is stuff that you create.
The OS and applications can all be reinstalled easily.

Or, once the PC is built and stable, create an image of that install (C drive). Save that elsewhere. Many free applications can do this.
Save that image elsewhere and offline. Update it once a month or so.
In case of disaster, port that image to a new drive.
m
0
l
June 19, 2014 12:15:40 PM

USAFRet said:
pbvS86 said:

I am looking at it like this:

option A: one SSD 120GB and one 2TB HDD (no RAID) vs option B: one SSD and RAID 0 with 2x 1TB

From what I am understanding, you believe that option B is not worth the effort for the potential performance boost?

Thanks for your quick and numerous responses, by the way!


Exactly.
My current main system:
128GB SSD. Holds the OS and all applications.
Secondary 128GB SSD (only because it was on sale when I bought it). Holds working docs
2TB HDD. Games, music, video, etc.
3TB HDD, random other stuff and backups.

No RAID involved. The stuff that lives on the spinning drives would gain zero benefit from being in a RAID 0 array.
For instance, if I am playing a playlist of music that lives on the 2TB, the music player that lives on the SSD sees no slowdown for the individual music files living on the HDD.
In fact, most of my music/video lives on a whole other PC that I access through the LAN. I'd see zero difference if that were in a RAID 0 situation.

And the scheduled backups to the 3TB happen at 2 or 3AM, when I do not care if it takes 15 seconds or 30 seconds.


What do you do about the plethora of drives? I have a hard enough time coordinating between TWO...
m
0
l
June 19, 2014 12:21:47 PM

pbvS86 said:


What do you do about the plethora of drives? I have a hard enough time coordinating between TWO...


Most of it is automatic.
Game installs go to the 2TB HDD by default in the Steam client
Docs/Music/etc automatically go to the secondary SSD. Default location set in the Libraries properties.
Downloads through the browser also go to the SSD. Settings in the browser.
Downloads (jpg and RAW) from my cameras automatically go, via wifi, to designated locations on the 2TB HDD. Video from the camera goes to the other LAN PC.

Backups are on automatic. Every 12 or 24 hours, to their designated locations.

Not really much to 'coordinate'.
m
0
l
June 19, 2014 12:24:29 PM

If, for whatever reason, the OS or applications need to be reinstalled.....no other data is affected.
Reinstall, and redo all the settings.

If it was in a RAID 0....far more likely for everything to just be 'gone'.
m
0
l
June 19, 2014 1:40:14 PM

USAFRet said:
If, for whatever reason, the OS or applications need to be reinstalled.....no other data is affected.
Reinstall, and redo all the settings.

If it was in a RAID 0....far more likely for everything to just be 'gone'.


You have thoroughly convinced me to scrap the RAID situation for my system. It sounds a lot simpler to just get some beefy HDD and replace my existing 300 GB. I might even look into an additional SSD, depending on the prices when I decide to buy.

Do you have any suggestions for a higher performance, good priced vid card (2GB or more...under $300)?
m
0
l
!