To Raid or not to Raid 2

Still haven't got it. So do you guys think a 16MB buffer HD would be better then a Raid0 of 2 7200RPM Sata 8mb Buffer HDs? Im talking about gaming of course. All i am looking for is firepower, storage aint needed since i have 1 PC and a laptop each with almost 100GB free space, and those will be my storage drives. This PC is to max out speed, get high frame rates at games and run some really heavy engineering programs (like CATIA V5R15)
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  1. Here we go ... :P

    The HD buffer makes a HUGE difference. If you can, do a raid0 with two 16MB HDs.

    Most new mobo's have atleast 4 sata ports so you can create a raid0 setup with two three or four drives. Striping data across two will generally be faster than one drive, as three will run faster than two, and four will be faster than three.

    For best performance the drives should be of the same manufacturer and the same model and size. If you are on a tight budget start with two 80gb 7200 RPM 8Mb drives. When you budget allows you can add an addtional drive or two of the same kind.

    You will of course have to reinstall your os with each new addtional drive, but us overclockers are used to that :)

    A friend of mine has three computers at home running raid0 One has 4 74 gb Raptors, one has 4 80gb maxtors and another has 2 74 gb Raptors. The 4 Raptor Raid0 is the fastest, and the 4 80gb Maxtors beat out the two 74 gb Raptors. although I haven't tried I think even three of the maxtors would edge out two of the 74 gb Raptors in speed.
  2. I have 3 x 80 Hitachi SATA in RAID 0. Per HDTach, the read speed is about 130 and that tops the 2 x 74 raptors. However, seek time is a little slower but minimal. For gaming purpose, RAID 0 is definitely a go. I personally have tried a raid setup with 2, 3 and 4 drives. Surpisingly, the fastest read/write time if with 3 drives. With 4 drives, the score was lower, not by much, but the average is lower. I don't know why, I've ran several HDtach tests and used differen stripe sizes - all the same results. It's amazing that 3 x 80 sata hitachi costs less than half the 2 x 74gb and get about the same results yet people still buy the raptors....don't get me wrong, raptors are fast, but not worth the price/performance ratio.

    There is also a noiticable performance difference between integrated (Southbridge) sata controller and the add-on controller. I've tried both using the same drives/setup, and the integrated controller beats the add-on by quite a bit. My SB only had 2 sata ports, newer nforce4 chipsets should have 4 or more.

    Hope this helps. My two cents, take it or leave it.
  3. Yes dude i do know what Raid0 is and the wonders it can do. The problem is that i am short on budget since im on college. So the options would be:

    1 Raid0 on 2 sata2 7200RPM 150Gb Maxtors HDs with 8mb buffer each

    2 One single 250Gb sata2 7200RPM with 16mb buffer

    One guy told me that the diference isnt that big between the two of them, and of course this makes the number 2 the winner cause it would save me some cash. I am only using this for gaming, since storage would go on another PC in my house and the engineering programs i must run will surelly run nicely on that PC

    Athlon X24200
    1gigabyte ddr400 ocz
    Video card to be picked yet but probably a 7800GTX
    DFI lan party mb

    Just wanna make sure hd wont be much of my bottleneck
    And thank you all for the tips
  4. Wow, for a college student you've sure got a nice system. Your budget doesn't seem too limiting if you are going to get a 7800GTX and have a dual core AMD and all the other stuff. A single 250 sata2 is around 95 w/ shipping. dual 80 sata 2 will cost about 10 dollars more. I think you can afford that, IMO. If you truly want performance, you can squeeze in 10 dollars and get a little better performance. I don't have a 16mb buffer HD so I can't compare nor will I attempt to make an attempt. Each system is different and though majority of bottlenecks these days is the HD, there COULD be other factors that is bottlenecking as well. You just have to piece together the information and decide. HDs will always be the bottleneck, no matter how many or how fast - simply because it has mechanical parts versus all electronic parts.

    If you truly only use this for gaming, then get every little bit of performance from going RAID. Since you already know what RAID is and what wonders it can do, then you know that performacen, although can be minute, can be a place where you can decrease your bottlenecking and gain that little bit of performance in HDD seek/load times.

    Again, my two cents, take it or leave it.

    TTFN
  5. Well im still thinking about that video card... And about my budget yes i am spending a lot of money and i am currently thinking of gettimg me a sigle core upgrade on my PC and let that cash for a PS3 by the end of the year. I still think that im too old for video games... THe main problem about that HD issue is that i live in Brazil, so "that difference is different". In here that raid system would be something like U$300,00 and the solo HD would cost me U$200,00. And americans still complain about THEIR taxes... The video card i will pick just after seeing some of my import dudes. Do you believe a 7900Gt is faster then a 7800GTX? Tom`s hardware VGA charts os way too outdated for that comparson

    An ty for the tips once more.
  6. Well, if you think you're too old for video games, then a high end video card won't do you any good. Save some money and go w/ a lower end video card. Depending on what your final goal is.....that's where I would start. My philosophy is that I start with the end in mind and work backwards so I don't have any surprise buys along the way. Do you do editing of some kind? Do you run databases and compile codes? Think of what you do 90% of the time on that PC and then tell us what our opinion is....otherwise, all this talk is just waste of time...... :)

    TTFN
  7. Im currently using CATIA, an engineering design software. Is pretty heavy but i wont do anyhing too big since its just tutorials and stuff like that. Wanna have a nice goal? I wanna max out NFS Most Wanted with some AA. Is a X1800XL or even a X1600 enought? Man i really dont wanna go single core, i know games will be the same in a regular Athlon 64 but what about when games get optimized for multi cores? I dont believe its too far.
  8. Hi Aerobernardo,

    Reading at your list of wishes, I think it may be better ROI (and better peace of mind) if you saved some more $ and invested in a 16MB buffer HD. That way, you KNOW you have the best Raid0 setup.
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