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Matrix Raid Basics

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June 30, 2006 12:53:30 AM

I am thinking of building a new system using 2 WD5000ks 500 gb SATA drives.
150 mb Raid 1 system and data
700 mb Raid 0 Video/ Audio

No Games - Adobe premiere / AfterEffects / 3D stuff.

Probably ASUS P5WDG2-WS MB

Are all Intel ICH7R chips capable of this array?
Can you do this with 3 drives? I might be able to spring for another 500gb - I need alot of fast video storage.

Alternatives?

JP

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June 30, 2006 1:39:17 AM

You can't build RAID arrays across partitions. You set up the Array on a set of discs, then partition the entire array into a set of partitions. Thus with 2 discs, you can either have a RAID 1, OR a RAID 0 array.
June 30, 2006 2:06:20 AM

I have an article in maximum PC november 2004 that claims that matrix RAID makes this possible on just 2 drives - 4 partitions - using Intels ICH6R 915/925 clip sets. Was this capability dropped?
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June 30, 2006 2:14:13 AM

Or with 4 you can go with a 0+1 array, with essentially two raid0 arrays in a raid1 array.

Like he said, you can't do different raid with different partitions. When a raid array is setup, it is shown to the OS as one disk that can then be partitioned in whatever way you choose. The "disk" will always be raid1 or raid0, depending on what you chose when you set it up.

My advice? go with a raid0 and backup your data completely and regularly. Maybe use two different partitions for a mental separation of the data (small part for the system, large for the storage, thats what I would do).

In any case 1TB of drive space is quite sizable. You won't be dissapointed. Just don't screw it up and break something.

Maybe you should use a raid0 with two 500s for storage and a 500 for your system? Maybe you could go with a Raptor or something, and forget one of the 500s and use that for your system drive. Anyone with a better idea?

Good luck with that system. I hope it works as well as you need it to, and then some.
June 30, 2006 2:18:25 AM

Quote:
I have an article in maximum PC november 2004 that claims that matrix RAID makes this possible on just 2 drives - 4 partitions - using Intels ICH6R 915/925 clip sets. Was this capability dropped?


It seems to me like a setup like this would serve to confuse both the controller and the disk, causing a significant bandwidth decrease between the two, not to mention higher processor overhead for the necessary calculations.

But if there was actually a hardware implementation that was able to overcome this, I would be interested to read about it. Is there a link or anything besides a magazine reference? I'm sure that most people here are unable to actually find what you are talking about due to accessiblity reasons.
June 30, 2006 1:06:28 PM

I scanned the article - it is only 2 pages. If I had the hardware, I would just try it - but I don't.

http://www.cinedv.com/poser/matrix.html


Although I could see a downside to this (mabe there is more chance of drive failure), the idea of having just 2 drives instead of 4 is attractive in terms of space, simplicity, and mabe even heat.

I have used Raid 0 on IDE drives for a long time - since it was almost necessary to edit DV video with. My guess is that with sata and new drives this really is not needed. I do still wonder if there is a performance increase with Raid when dealing with very large files - say an hour of video captured in one shot. I also like to work with 1 large volume rather than multiple ones for project management reasons. If I don't do Raid, mabe I will just spring for one of those 750mb beasts.

JP
June 30, 2006 1:29:45 PM

Quote:
Or with 4 you can go with a 0+1 array, with essentially two raid0 arrays in a raid1 array.

Like he said, you can't do different raid with different partitions. When a raid array is setup, it is shown to the OS as one disk that can then be partitioned in whatever way you choose. The "disk" will always be raid1 or raid0, depending on what you chose when you set it up.

My advice? go with a raid0 and backup your data completely and regularly. Maybe use two different partitions for a mental separation of the data (small part for the system, large for the storage, thats what I would do).

In any case 1TB of drive space is quite sizable. You won't be dissapointed. Just don't screw it up and break something.

Maybe you should use a raid0 with two 500s for storage and a 500 for your system? Maybe you could go with a Raptor or something, and forget one of the 500s and use that for your system drive. Anyone with a better idea?

Good luck with that system. I hope it works as well as you need it to, and then some.

or even better, if the controller can do raid 1+0 i'd recommend this setup over 0+1. On a 0+1 setup, if a drive dies the system will fall back to a raid0 array, which is theoretically risky. On a a raid1+0, if on of the disks dies the system will go down to a raid 1 setup, which is safer.

The raid0 and other disk for backup is also a good idea. I'd recommend you do the raid0 with the smaller disks, as on a raid0 the size will double.
June 30, 2006 2:41:08 PM

The conventional way to set up a NLE is to place the OS, it's swap file and NLE software on 1 drive and then use the others for the data.

My system (I use Liquid Edition but I'm sure that the Adobe products would be similar) has a Raptor 36GB for the OS and LE software, another 2x160GB in RAID 0 for the video storage/capture, and another 160GB drive as the render target/spare storage.

I think that the Intel Matrix RAID is a clever idea, but not required (or desired) for an NLE. The intensive streaming will come from the RAID 0 pair where the additional bandwidth is beneficial. The OS and NLE software tend to access data in smaller fragments, not really streaming.

Rather separate out the data streams than try force them all down the same pipe albeit a wide one.

If you also use Adobe Photoshop, then never use the same drive for it's swap file and Window's. premiere may also have some similar setup.
June 30, 2006 4:15:33 PM

thanks rsmart,

Yup, that is almost exactly how I am set-up now. Including the render / spare drive.

The only change really was to create a redundant array (1) for my OS and Project Files - as it is that Data I am always most concerned with. Outside of imported assets (which usually exist elsewhere anyway) I don't worry to much about my captured AV files on my video drive ( I always create batch lists and store a back-up of them on another drive).

JP
July 1, 2006 12:30:06 AM

OK here is what I went with. I cringe as I post - I bet there will be horror stories.

Brief:

Pentium D 950
ABIT AW8D MB
4 GB CORSAIR XMS2
2 Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000KS 500GB RAID 0 VIDEO
2 HITACHI Deskstar T7K250 HDT722525DLA380 (0A31636) 250GB RAID 1 - SYSTEM/ DATA
1 XFX PVT42EUDE3 Geforce 6800 XTreme 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card
1 Thermaltake Big Typhoon CL-P0114 to OC the 950 to 4ghz


JP
July 1, 2006 3:55:31 AM

Thats an interesting article...

I have heard of the Deskstar drives referred to as DeathStar drives. Could just be due to their abnormally high failure rate, so make sure you keep your recipts around and register for the warranty ASAP. With 'em in a raid1 together, it shouldn't pose too serious a problem if one does fail, just remember that it has a higher possibility of happening with these drives.

Hope you have fun with this system. I hope it is money well spent.
!