Add-on RAID

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

I have an Asus P4PE mother board - the version without Raid. I have
decided to increase my storage capacity and add Raid 1. I was thinking
of retaining my existing ATA disk with winXP and applications on with
its current primary IDE connection, and adding a SATA Raid card with a
pair of Seagate/Samsung SATA 160Mb disks to handle the data storage.
The only reason for starting to go over to SATA now for the new HDDs is
that it may help further down the line when I do a motherboard upgrade.
Grateful for any thoughts or comments.
--
Robert
4 answers Last reply
More about raid
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    >I have an Asus P4PE mother board - the version without Raid. I have
    >decided to increase my storage capacity and add Raid 1. I was thinking of
    >retaining my existing ATA disk with winXP and applications on with its
    >current primary IDE connection, and adding a SATA Raid card with a pair of
    >Seagate/Samsung SATA 160Mb disks to handle the data storage. The only
    >reason for starting to go over to SATA now for the new HDDs is that it may
    >help further down the line when I do a motherboard upgrade.
    > Grateful for any thoughts or comments.

    RAID 1, while working well for backup, will significantly slow your disk
    access, and therefore your system, down. Also, Depending on how soon you're
    planning on upgrading, your 160GB disks may seem puny by the time you
    upgrade.
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Ruel Smith" <NoWay@NoWhere.com> wrote...
    >
    > RAID 1, while working well for backup, will significantly slow your disk
    > access, and therefore your system, down.

    Not necessarily true...

    While software RAID solutions will slow down a system, hardware RAID
    controllers do not have that problem in general. My SATA RAID 1 system is
    slower than RAID 0, but no slower than baseline (no RAID).

    Just remember that any PCI-based RAID solution will be limited by the PCI
    bus speed. A normal 32-bit PCI bus maxes out at 133 MBps, but that is not a
    problem with a single pair of HDs in RAID 0 or RAID 1. Even the fastest
    RAID HDs max out around 70 MBps, and sustained throughput in RAID 0 is more
    like 50-60.
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    >> RAID 1, while working well for backup, will significantly slow your disk
    >> access, and therefore your system, down.
    >
    > Not necessarily true...
    >
    > While software RAID solutions will slow down a system, hardware RAID
    > controllers do not have that problem in general. My SATA RAID 1 system is
    > slower than RAID 0, but no slower than baseline (no RAID).

    If you're going to invest in a high-end add-on card, maybe, since they have
    dedicated processors of their own. However, there is still some overhead in
    writing the same info to two disks at the same time and I have a hard time
    believing that it won't slow it down at all. The problem with all of this is
    that there lacks a true accurate way of comparing disk performance. I
    remember just a couple of years ago where people raved about a certain hard
    drive benchmark software and MaximumPC ran a test using it and discovered
    that a single disk was faster than RAID 0 for short file access. Well, a
    bunch of readers wrote in and informed them of the shortcomings of the
    benchmark software and they had to retest using some kind of RAM disk setup
    to eliminate the bottleneck causing the skewed results. When those results
    came in, RAID 0 kicked the living daylights out of a single drive in every
    catagory. Still, many believe it's not that much faster than a single drive,
    and certainly not enough to justify the added risk of losing data or the
    complexity of it. The jury is still out. I, however, swear by it.

    > Just remember that any PCI-based RAID solution will be limited by the PCI
    > bus speed. A normal 32-bit PCI bus maxes out at 133 MBps, but that is not
    > a problem with a single pair of HDs in RAID 0 or RAID 1. Even the fastest
    > RAID HDs max out around 70 MBps, and sustained throughput in RAID 0 is
    > more like 50-60.

    I can't remember if it was Tom's Hardware or another site that put together
    an ATA133 RAID 0 setup a few years back, when it was all the rave, using
    onboard Promise and Highpoint controllers, and add-in cards from both. They
    attained a sustained 119 MB/s using 4 hard drives with the add-in Promise
    card and nearly the same with both the add-in and onboard Highpoint. The
    onboard Promise was limited to 2 drives.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Ruel Smith" <NoWay@NoWhere.com> wrote...
    >>
    >> While software RAID solutions will slow down a system, hardware RAID
    >> controllers do not have that problem in general. My SATA RAID 1 system
    >> is slower than RAID 0, but no slower than baseline (no RAID).
    >
    > If you're going to invest in a high-end add-on card, maybe, since they
    > have dedicated processors of their own. However, there is still some
    > overhead in writing the same info to two disks at the same time and I have
    > a hard time believing that it won't slow it down at all. The problem with
    > all of this is that there lacks a true accurate way of comparing disk
    > performance.

    ....and also that most people seeking advice on this forum will not be able
    to measure any performance differences subjectively, lacking the benchmark
    software.


    >> Just remember that any PCI-based RAID solution will be limited by the PCI
    >> bus speed. A normal 32-bit PCI bus maxes out at 133 MBps, but that is
    >> not a problem with a single pair of HDs in RAID 0 or RAID 1. Even the
    >> fastest RAID HDs max out around 70 MBps, and sustained throughput in RAID
    >> 0 is more like 50-60.
    >
    > I can't remember if it was Tom's Hardware or another site that put
    > together an ATA133 RAID 0 setup a few years back, when it was all the
    > rave, using onboard Promise and Highpoint controllers, and add-in cards
    > from both. They attained a sustained 119 MB/s using 4 hard drives with the
    > add-in Promise card and nearly the same with both the add-in and onboard
    > Highpoint.

    That's about right, averaging 30 MBps per HD in RAID 0. I suspect that was
    also with no other traffic (Ethernet, modem, sound, USB, etc) on the PCI
    bus, though...
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