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Help with choosing SATA Vs SATA II & Raid 0?

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January 4, 2006 7:14:42 PM

I have been looking through the web and havent got any definitive answers, just thought i would ask u guys...

here's the jist, am getting a new pc, pretty expensive with n.force 4 deluxe motherboard, athlon 64 4400, 2gb ram, 7800gtx grpahics...here is the problem i am wondering whether to get 2 SATA 300GB hard drives or 2 SATA II 250GB hard drives linked up maybe via RAID 0...

both are same price but by having the two 250gb SATA II drives i would have 100gb less space than the two SATA 300gb drives...is there much difference between the 2 types or would having 100gb more with 2 SATA drives be better than having the 2 SATA II drives...another thing is that the two 300gb SATA drives are 16mb cache and not 8mb cache, make any difference?...what would u choose?

Also is RAID 0 worth having, i back up my data via an external hard drive so the possible loss of data disadvantage for the drive via RAID 0 isnt much of a problem...

thanx for any help offered :D 
January 4, 2006 8:03:38 PM

Hey, thought I would do my best to answer your question seeing as how no one else has yet... Well first let me say I may not be totally correct and would love to see input from other people. That said, I think you would be better off skipping the RAID array. I've read several things that suggest that the real world difference in using such an array isn't really that big, and I would bet that even at its best the speed increase wouldn't be as good as getting SATA II as opposed to SATA I. To answer your second question I'm sure that 16mb cache is much better and a noticeable difference. But lets not limit your options here. It doen't sound like money is exactly an obstical, but thats a ton of HD space. I might get hate for saying this but consider getting a smaller (say even an 80GB) HD thats just as fast and then get a slower hard drive that huge for archival purposes, storing media and the such. Then you can take the money saved and pump more ram or just keep. If you really are bent on the idea of getting RAID I would even more strongly suggest getting 2 drives of less space but good speed and then another for stored media. Also its worth mentioning I'm pretty sure that once you get into SATA II you can get E SATA, which is I think the best option for external storage at the moment. Let me know what you decide, and hope I was of any help,
Andrew
January 4, 2006 8:31:40 PM

There are several other threads on these issues:

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...
This will deal w/ RAID 0 questions you have.
In short, for your 2 SATA drives, RAID 0 will be better. Since you're aiming for a ton of HDD, I'm guessing you're probably doing some video stuff, so RAID 0 will help there.

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...
This will deal w/ SATA I vs SATA II.
In short, no difference in your situation. If you want to do RAID 0 w/ 4+ HDDs, then yes, big difference.

As for your space dilemma, its really up to you. Price vs storage capacity, the SATA 300's look the best since you will probably not see any difference with SATA II. But you should compare the other features of the HDD's like access times and other features like NCQ, etc.

eSATA is really nice..
http://www.sata-io.org/esata.asp
Related resources
January 4, 2006 9:16:53 PM

thanx for your replies. i have been looking around the forum picking up opinions but couldnt find any definitive answers...

phoenix27, thanx u have kind of helped...i dont really want a smaller, faster hard drive like a raptor 10,000 rpm HD. not heard of E SATA but isnt really an option for me

nobly, if the difference between SATA & SATA II isnt noticable then the two 300gb SATA 16mb cache drives may be better since i would have an extra 100gb over the 2 250gb SATA II's...if having RAID O would help then i would pay the extra 5pounds to have it...
January 4, 2006 9:43:31 PM

RAID 0 will help you if you pick the 2x300GB or the 2x250GB. But remember the caveat on RAID 0 - if one drive fails, you lose all your data. All I'm saying is that if you all of a sudden decide that you want 4 HDD's in a RAID 0, then you should get SATA II.

If you don't want RAID, it doesn't matter which HDD - the SATA II spec will not help you gain performance.

Make sure your motherboard has a RAID controller or you have a standalone one.

What are you going to do with 500-600GB??? (just curious) :) 
January 4, 2006 10:55:47 PM

Quote:
RAID 0 will help you if you pick the 2x300GB or the 2x250GB. But remember the caveat on RAID 0 - if one drive fails, you lose all your data. All I'm saying is that if you all of a sudden decide that you want 4 HDD's in a RAID 0, then you should get SATA II.

If you don't want RAID, it doesn't matter which HDD - the SATA II spec will not help you gain performance.

Make sure your motherboard has a RAID controller or you have a standalone one.

What are you going to do with 500-600GB??? (just curious) :) 


motherboard will be the ASUS® A8N-SLI DELUXE: DUAL DDR, S-ATA, 2 x x16 VGA, 3 PCI

i have a external hard drive which i use to back up files in case i have a failure so if i used RAID 0 and lost data it would be backed up anyway

the massive amounts of space would be used to store recorded tv and other activities that are best not mentioned :lol: 

i may decide 1 300gb hard drive would be enough...
January 4, 2006 10:59:45 PM

Is raid still slower at writing than a normal lone hdd? And how much of a perfomance boost do you get from it anyway?
January 4, 2006 11:16:11 PM

Quote:
Is raid still slower at writing than a normal lone hdd? And how much of a perfomance boost do you get from it anyway?


WTF from the know all done all??? :lol: 
The 74gig Raptors go from 60+ MB single to 110+ MB per second mean average transfers...
I have not known RAID0 produced slower writes ever than single drive....
January 4, 2006 11:23:55 PM

It's just that i from my RAID experiance (which was very long ago) you got quite a significant drop in write speed, so i have never considered using raid. My computer got beaten by an old 2.4 at installing a game so i am still quite tetchy about slowing down my install times, not that they really matter but my ego took a nice beting that day, and it was to a frech person too, and they all think they are superior already so that nearly made me kill him.
January 4, 2006 11:42:18 PM

That's a nice board!

If you are going to be doing alot of video editing or alot of intensive I/O w/ the HDDs, I'd encourage you to go RAID. It will help.

The board supports SATA II, so that makes life easier.

eSATA will be worth looking at for you, if you're planning on backing up 500GBs worth of stuff! Its faster than firewire and usb 2.0. Haven't used one myself, so I can't say for sure, but theoretically its just as fast as a SATA II drive.

A drop in write speed? That's pretty weird. In the worst case scenario, it would be just a little bit slower from RAID overhead. But overall it should be faster! Shrug, mebbe the other guy had a faster CPU or something.
January 4, 2006 11:48:11 PM

I'm talking pentium 2 servers long ago raid. I knew there would be some improvements but if the speed has gone up then i mihgt consider getting it.

And what pray tell is Jbod?
January 4, 2006 11:57:29 PM

I used RAIDO first several years ago, and it was kick ass then and this is from a french-american! :twisted:
January 4, 2006 11:58:57 PM

Quote:
I'm talking pentium 2 servers long ago raid. I knew there would be some improvements but if the speed has gone up then i mihgt consider getting it.

And what pray tell is Jbod?


Yeah, I dunno about the P2 era. I haven't been really following RAID for that long. :) 

I'm not that familiar w/ jbod myself, but here's a link
http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/raid/levels/jbod-c....
To me it just seems a way to combine your physical HDD's into a single virtual HDD.
January 5, 2006 12:33:11 AM

thanx for the help, since they were both the same price i was mainly wondering whether the 2 SATA II drives would give me better perfomance that the 2 SATA drives and whether RAID makes a difference...since little difference the extra 100gb space by using 2 SATA drives would be more useful than having 2 250gb SATA II drives...
January 5, 2006 9:05:52 PM

Here's the deal:

SATA II ain't gonna do crap for you. You'd be wasting ur money.

Currently only 15,000RPM drives approach or surpass the theoretical bandwidth limits of SATA150. But since 15,000rpm drives are limited to only SCSI 320, it's not an issue with anyone. 7200rpm drives drives do not surpass the bandwidth limits SATA150. Even 10,000 rpm drives don't typically have a throughput of 150MB/s (they come VERY close though).

Benchmarks have shown that SATA II makes no difference in performance with 7200RPM drives. The problem is the drives just do not spin fast enough to push (or even come close to) the bandwidth limits of 150MB/s that SATA has.

That being said, your BEST option is to buy 2x 300GB SATA150 drives and use them in RAID 0. And ignore anyone who says RAID 0 isn't faster. They've never properly used it.

-mpjesse
January 5, 2006 9:43:09 PM

:wink: FYI

I have a SATA2 board and SATA1 and SATA2 drives, the SATA2 drives benchmark patterns are much much tighter highs to lows than the SATA1 drives...
Suspect it has to do with SATA2 features eliminating lag times finding data, either way, I notice a difference when benchmarking.

If your board supports SATA2, I suggest buying SATA2 drives for maximum potential. Makes sense...and your benchies will be tighter!
January 6, 2006 5:00:46 AM

Quote:
Quote:
and other activities that are best not mentioned :lol: 


How did I know it? :p 
January 6, 2006 4:06:51 PM

Quote:
:wink: FYI

I have a SATA2 board and SATA1 and SATA2 drives, the SATA2 drives benchmark patterns are much much tighter highs to lows than the SATA1 drives...
Suspect it has to do with SATA2 features eliminating lag times finding data, either way, I notice a difference when benchmarking.

If your board supports SATA2, I suggest buying SATA2 drives for maximum potential. Makes sense...and your benchies will be tighter!


looks like maybe SATA II would have been better or SATA 150 with RAID 0, bit late now as i have ordered the 2 300GB SATA 150 Drives without RAID..looks like i am stuck with my decision , maybe there would not be a difference since i will be on athlon 64 4400, asus nforce4, 7800gt sli, 2gb ram :D 
January 6, 2006 4:55:32 PM

You can always try RAID out on your motherboard's onboard controller. Two fast 7200rpm drives are fine.
January 7, 2006 12:04:48 AM

The 3 second of hdd time theorically saved after the day if you had get SATA2 drive simply don't make up for the +/- 100 gigs of storage gain with the 300 gb..
January 7, 2006 3:25:09 AM

types the poster on a 4500rpm IBM drive :lol:  :wink:
!