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WD Raptor / RAID Opinion Needed

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May 2, 2006 6:27:57 PM

I currently have a 74 GB WD Raptor. It runs fine, but I'm feeling a little squeezed by its capacity. Because I'm a gamer, understanding my need for speed is paramount when considering a response...

Should I...

Purchase another 74 GB Raptor and do a RAID 0 Array ($157)
Purchase a 150 GB Raptor ($264)
May 2, 2006 7:09:43 PM

raid 0 is fast i use it on my comp i have done several upgrades lookin for some speed increase didnt really get the speed increase i was looking for until i did my first raid setup but do keep in mind to do backup's because if one drive goes you loose all data but i think you would like a raid array
i sure do
May 2, 2006 8:52:50 PM

There is a web site floating around that spec's out the raptors; using single drives up to 4 in an array 0 format.

They did it using both the 75G and the 150G drives.

The 150G drive is just about equal (in all things) as two 75G's in raid 0. Do a google, you can find it (i've also posted the link several times, so you can search for it that way).

Since they are about equal, adding a 75G drive would be cheaper for you. Course, you do then have to worry about failure.
Related resources
May 2, 2006 9:18:03 PM

Smedlin is correct. The WD 150 GB Raptor is a true powerhouse that delivers virtually all of the performance of RAID arrays that are built using the smaller previous WD Raptors.

I know, I've had both now.

Consider using the new 150 GB Raptor for your primary HD and then using your existing HDs to back up important data or partitions.
May 3, 2006 12:40:52 AM

2 x 74gig Raptors will outperform a single 150gig Raptor in just about every benchmark, and by a good margin.
The single 150gig Raptor is at best only 20% faster than the 74gig model.
May 3, 2006 12:41:20 AM

BTW, I have 2x74gig Raptors in RAID0
May 3, 2006 1:10:00 AM

question to nagging thing everyone is saying, "be careful, make sure you backup your system cause if you lose one HD you lose both in RAID 0"

Why does everyone say becareful, is it because RAID 0 is more prone to have a HD fail or what, i dont get it, i mean to me this seems just as likely my 250 GB HD which is pretty slim and i would also lose all info here too...

it just seems rediculous to think that the HD might fail, unless there is something concerning RAID 0 or RAID in general that i dont know, since i always see people say be careful but they never say "because RAID 0 are more prone to failing.."

please explain! thx
May 3, 2006 1:31:48 AM

Quote:
2 x 74gig Raptors will outperform a single 150gig Raptor in just about every benchmark, and by a good margin.
The single 150gig Raptor is at best only 20% faster than the 74gig model.


Raptor Benchmarking
May 3, 2006 1:42:36 AM

Without RAID if one drive fails you will permanently lose only that drives conents.

Using two drives in RAID 0 doubles the chance of failure and double the amount of data lost.

The real danger is that one day durring startup your system hangs and you see an error message from your RAID controller. Usually the controller is fine, your hard drives are fine, but there is a change that you won't be able to get the array working again withoug permanently losing the contents of both drives. There is also a chance that you can rebuild the array without reinitializing and thereby keep your data.

RAID controllers screw up arrays far more often than hard drive's fail.

Even worse many backup products have trouble restoring to RAID arrays, so you may have to reinstall everthing from scratch upon failure.

So when using RAID 0 its important to stick to a good backup strategy, but that is true for everyone is general.

BTW when picking a storage solution for gaming look at level loading time benchmarks, not the theoretical tests.
May 3, 2006 1:43:46 AM

get the other 74gb and do the raid 0 and pick up a 300 gb for around 100-110 bucks or cheaper with rebates for storage and then as people say back it up to the larger drive.as far as the why to back up stuff i Think (not sure) the reason is that in raid half the data is on each and when one fails all is lost due to being separate drives and stripe/strip is lost.like i said not 100% sure but i think if all data is on 1 drive it is poss to recover data. maybe some of the more knowledgeable posters can elaborate on this. hope this helps a little
May 3, 2006 1:54:59 AM

Excatly!
May 3, 2006 2:35:51 AM

Interesting... the people who have the 150 say it's faster... those with 2 X 74 drives say that's faster.

Sure someone isn't letting personal bias cloud this post?
May 3, 2006 3:02:06 AM

I see someone else has noticed that, too. I was wondering the same thing, but it looks like there isn't an answer.
May 3, 2006 3:03:35 AM

Quote:
I see someone else has noticed that, too. I was wondering the same thing, but it looks like there isn't an answer.


Actually, even though I have the 150G raptor, I told him to get the 75g raptor since he already had one...
May 3, 2006 4:49:29 AM

For me, it's building an entirely new system. Starting from scratch, is it better to have 2 x 74 GB or 1 x 150 GB?

A correct answer is preferred.
May 3, 2006 1:31:45 PM

Quote:
For me, it's building an entirely new system. Starting from scratch, is it better to have 2 x 74 GB or 1 x 150 GB?

A correct answer is preferred.



Raptor Benchmarking

Check out that link, then you can make an educated choice. Do be advised though, that they did not use an onboard controller. They used a top of the line add on card that gets much better performance than most motherboard controllers.
May 3, 2006 6:18:29 PM

From Storagereview.com article about RAID performance for 'Single-User',
While considerable argument may be made for the redundancy provided by RAID1, the increase in transfer rates and high-I/O random access performance delivered by RAID0 simply do not benefit most non-server uses.
...
...
The enthusiasm of the power user community combined with the marketing apparatus of firms catering to such crowds has led to an extraordinarily erroneous belief that striping data across two or more drives yields significant performance benefits for the majority of non-server uses. This could not be farther from the truth! Non-server use, even in heavy multitasking situations, generates lower-depth, highly-localized access patterns where read-ahead and write-back strategies dominate. Theory has told those willing to listen that striping does not yield significant performance benefits. Some time ago, a controlled, empirical test backed what theory suggested. Doubts still lingered- irrationally, many believed that results would somehow be different if the array was based off of an SATA or SCSI interface. As shown above, the results are the same. Save your time, money and data- leave RAID for the servers!


Article from Poweroid.co.uk about why bad idea for your home PC to setup RAID 0.

From our experience - and the stats we’ve collected from our customers - those with RAID 1 are marginally more likely to lose data than those without any RAID at all. The even more startling fact to emerge from our stats was that those with RAID 0 are six times more likely to suffer data loss than customers with no RAID array in their PCs. We examine these curious findings here.
...
RAID 0 does not always make for more speed. In fact striping may not make the blindest bit of difference to the speed of the average home PC!
...
If the claim that RAID 0 is not all it's cracked up to be sounds illogical then it's worth taking the time to read the reviews. A search in Google should lead you to them. Except for a few limited high I/O activities like video editing - and the typical application benchmark - the speed gains are almost non-existent. For the average PC user RAID 0 is as useful as a rear spoiler on an 800cc car. It looks good, it sounds impressive but it don't do nuffin'.
....
RAID 0 has been striped (pun apologies) of it's only virtue, speed. If striping increases risk of data loss but provides no speed gains worth writing home about - why is it still so popular? Well, myths are not easily dispelled. Marketing gumph designed to sell mobos with RAID still boast about massive speed gains to be achieved. Hard disk retailers would rather sell two disks than one.
...
May 3, 2006 10:15:24 PM

RAID 0 indeed is not for everyone. I have used a RAID 0 for more than several years now, and not once have I had a broken RAID or problem during operation due to Raiding my drives.
And indeed it does help performance, especially in the feel of windows and transfers of large files... and also in loading of games.

It is and should be considered as one of the tools that is available to enthusiast users that enables you to squeeze just a bit more performance out of your PC. It has its place, it's users know the benefits, and RAID0 is not going away for now.
May 4, 2006 5:23:49 AM

I will resist the urge to call out the logical fallacy you just made.

Oh, to hell with it. You made a faulty analogy. Yeah, I said it. I take logic in school, so it's how I think, so sue me.

Mass storage and video processing are two completely different things (two different genuses). Especially since it depends on the benchmarks.

Two striped WD Caviar SE16 drives will beat a single WD Raptor in I/O speeds and transfer rate performance, since it writes parts of the data to the fastest areas on both drives and then reads it. But there's no comparison in access time. The Raptor will kick the crap out of the array in access time due to its rotational speed.

Just like how 2 x 6600 GT in SLI will do better in Ultra Quality mode in Doom III or Quake 4 (since there is a 512 MB video memory requirement), but a single 7900 GT will beat them in almost everything else.

I'm pretty sure the 2 6600 GTs can take a single 6800 Ultra, as long as the 6600's are of the 256 MB variety.

You'd be surprised how much thinking logically helps when dealing with computers, even if they seem to be illogical sometimes.
May 4, 2006 6:50:54 AM

Quote:
Interesting... the people who have the 150 say it's faster... those with 2 X 74 drives say that's faster.

Sure someone isn't letting personal bias cloud this post?


Cognitive dissonance is a thing of beauty, my friend. Social Psychology 101. Ah, I love reading forums.
May 4, 2006 7:41:15 AM

I'm coming across the decision whether to get a 2x74GB Raptor (110 pounds each, its the UK here *damn jacked up prices*) for RAID0 or 1x150GB (200 pounds).

By the benchmark links post here, it looks like the 2x74GB Raptors in RAID 0 are the way to go, as long as you've got a storage drive (2x300GB + 1x200GB here already =D)
May 9, 2006 8:26:10 AM

Well if noise is a consideration the 150gb raptors are rated quite a bit louder (like 10db) than the 74's meaning two 74's would be louder than one 150 but a good amount quieter than 2 150's
May 9, 2006 10:04:32 AM

You want speed? Get a good SCSI card and do a raid 5 +1 array of 15k drives.... That'll get you speed!

Personally, for the small performance boost involved vs.the huge heat (and noise) hit involved, I don't like the raptors. Raided or otherwise. Not to mention the fact that you are doubling the chances that your primary drive will fail, and then add to that Win XP drivers tend to do lazy writes, and keep caches in a dirty state for far too long. Yank your pwr plug at your own risk.
May 9, 2006 11:47:51 AM

Quote:
Why does everyone say becareful, is it because RAID 0 is more prone to have a HD fail or what, i dont get it, i mean to me this seems just as likely my 250 GB HD which is pretty slim and i would also lose all info here too...

it just seems rediculous to think that the HD might fail, unless there is something concerning RAID 0 or RAID in general that i dont know, since i always see people say be careful but they never say "because RAID 0 are more prone to failing.."


If you compare apples to apples, then a RAID0 array of two 74GB Raptors (for example) is twice as likely to fail than a single 150GB Raptor - assuming the failure rate of the 74s is identical to the 150. Simple statistics - the RAID0 array has two HDs, the 150 has one.
May 9, 2006 12:00:20 PM

I had 2xUW160 SCSI Seagate Cheetah (15k rpm) in my machine but they were replaced by raptors because the raptors are quicker (according to PETST anyway), raptors also benefit from being approx 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 quieter and cooler than the SCSI drives.

However the Seagates are still running flawlessly (touch wood) after nearly 4 years, I have a nagging doubt that my Raptors will be running in 4 years.

I have recently changed from 2x70 gig raptors in JBOD to Raid 0 and it does seem quicker (I previously had the swap file on the second drive) but seeing as I had to re-install my OS (Ghost 9.0, what a product that is...) I suppose it could just be co-incidental.
May 9, 2006 1:34:20 PM

Quote:
(Ghost 9.0, what a product that is...)


Ah, Norton Ghost...the only Symmantec program I would actually buy...
!