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Building a new gaming rig, hard drive raid question..

Last response: in Storage
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March 2, 2006 3:57:36 AM

Here's what I have down on paper.

2 - Serial 2 7200 80GB drives for OS and apps (Word, Excel, Antivirus, Etc.) Raid 0. 8O
2 - Serial 1 (do they offer serial 2?) 10,000 74GB WD Raptor drives for games Raid 0. 8O
2 - IDE 7200 320GB or 400GB drives for Data (Mp3, Jpg, Etc.) and Backup on Raid 1 (on PCI IDE Raid Controller) :D 

Does having the OS and Games installed on separate HW Raid 0 partitians offer the fastest possible combination?

In fact, I will probably have all 3 raid partitions on separate controllers.

All feedback welcome!

PS. I've been running a 4 - 80GB IDE Raid 0 setup for over 2 years without data loss. All Maxtor drives.
March 2, 2006 4:38:34 AM

Quote:
Here's what I have down on paper.

2 - Serial 2 7200 80GB drives for OS and apps (Word, Excel, Antivirus, Etc.) Raid 0. 8O
2 - Serial 1 (do they offer serial 2?) 10,000 74GB WD Raptor drives for games Raid 0. 8O
2 - IDE 7200 320GB or 400GB drives for Data (Mp3, Jpg, Etc.) and Backup on Raid 1 (on PCI IDE Raid Controller) :D 

Does having the OS and Games installed on separate HW Raid 0 partitians offer the fastest possible combination?

In fact, I will probably have all 3 raid partitions on separate controllers.

All feedback welcome!

PS. I've been running a 4 - 80GB IDE Raid 0 setup for over 2 years without data loss. All Maxtor drives.



160 GB just for OS + apps? You must have a ton of apps... I'm running the OS + apps + games on a RAID 0 of two 74GB Raptors. It sure seems fast to me, even compared to SCSI RAID 0 I've run in the recent past. I set up 3 partitions on the 2x74GB RAID 0: 50GB for OS + apps, 5GB for page file and the rest for games. I don't expect to come close to maxing out the OS + apps partition anytime soon. I almost went with a 2x37GB Raptor RAID0 for the OS + apps with a second partiton for the page file. I've seen that setup and it seemed to be as fast or faster than the 2X74 RAID0.

I have data on a 2X400GB RAID1 and have thus far not taken my IT manager friend's advice to add another drive and run a RAID5 or something more exotic. I guess I've read too many horror stories.
March 3, 2006 1:32:32 AM

It does seem like overkill, but I want the fastest possible gaming machine.

I also run vmware and have 3-4 windows virtual servers running at any given time. I normally shut down the vm's when I play a game. I mostly use the servers for studying and troubleshooting problems at work.

Thanks for the feedback, :) 

Kelly
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March 3, 2006 1:54:16 AM

Quote:
It does seem like overkill, but I want the fastest possible gaming machine.

I also run vmware and have 3-4 windows virtual servers running at any given time. I normally shut down the vm's when I play a game. I mostly use the servers for studying and troubleshooting problems at work.


To make it as fast as possible, you might consider stripping it down. Just put on enough hard drive space for gaming, no apps that aren't required, etc. It can be tough to commit a whole box just for gaming when you're used to having a flexible home network, but any baggage that you eliminate can help to improve speed. and if you end up with a pared-down box, the money you save by not buying other HDs, etc., can go into other components that yield speed. Cooling for example.
March 3, 2006 9:26:57 AM

Personally I would avoid a RAID0 setup as it has limited use in gaming.
You may notice a 10-15% speed increase but for that you have a higher failure risk. If one of your RAID0 drives goes then all data on that raid array is lost. RAID0 really only comes into it's own when shifting very large files (>1Gb).

I personally would be a really fast raptor drive, use that for o/s and games and then use a RAID1 for data. Just my personal choice.
March 3, 2006 11:53:39 AM

Quote:
Personally I would avoid a RAID0 setup as it has limited use in gaming.
You may notice a 10-15% speed increase but for that you have a higher failure risk. If one of your RAID0 drives goes then all data on that raid array is lost. RAID0 really only comes into it's own when shifting very large files (>1Gb).

I personally would be a really fast raptor drive, use that for o/s and games and then use a RAID1 for data. Just my personal choice.


If you needed to have data and didn't want to back it up elsewhere, RAID1 is great. In fact, that's exaclty what I do. But the OP said he wants this to be a super-fast rig dedicated to gaming. Game-specific rigs don't need to have data storage. If the focus is on speed, for sure get something like Raptors. Again, that's exactly what I did on my gaming rig. And I ran two in RAID0 for the OS and games. Agreed, there is more risk but consider these to perspectives: First, (again remembering the OP specified the need for the fastst possible game box) a gaming box needs only an OS and the game software aboard. In that case, there's not much risk when all you lose are programs you've got on CD. Sure, it is a pain in the butt to reload, but no real risk. Secondly, if your are doing a RAID0 on a couple of Raptors, you know you have good quality hard drives with a reputation for long life and dependability. Maybe you only pick up 10-15% as you quoted (I've seen tests on two 74BG Raptors in RAID0 that showed the increase to range from 20 to 40%) but again, I was just answering to the specific needs defined by the OP, that being ultimate speed for gaming.
March 20, 2006 2:23:43 PM

I've decided to build a pure gaming rig now. I still want to keep the OS and the Games on different physical disks.

single drive for OS and 2 or 3 Raptors in a Raid 0 config for the Gaming partician.

Again, I don't care if I loss my data. I will replace and rebuild, its only game data anyway. i just want the fasted possible gaming rig.

Thanks
!