Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

3 SATAII HD's in RAID 5 or single WD 74GB Raptor

Last response: in Storage
Share
August 16, 2006 2:32:40 PM

I play a lot of games, rip movies, compress files... the usual stuff. Now I'm trying to get my HD speeds up and I'm trying to guess which setup will give me the best throughput. (mostly want the faster read, but write is important too of course) I already have a WD 74GB Raptor and a WD 250GB SATAII 16MB drive. I load all my games and such on the Raptor; and then loaded WinXP, my page file, and all my programs and backups on the 250GB drive. For my NEW setup, which do you all think will have better actual throughput and performance? I can buy 2 more WD 250GB SATAII 16MB drives and put them all on a RAID 5 array on a nForce 590 SLI mobo. This should give me good performance AND redundancy. Or do you guys think the single Raptor is faster for games and such... and that I should just get another 250GB drive for backups? Also, what problems might I run into with RAID 5? (such as will Ghost still work?)
August 16, 2006 3:56:00 PM

You probably want to check to see if the on-board RAID controller has hardware parity calculation capability for RAID 5. If not, it'll be dumping that load on your CPU which is not dual core.

I would recommend putting all of your installed items (OS, pagefile, games, apps) on the raptor for fast loads. Put all of your data (game saves, movies, pictures, etc) on the 250GBs in a JBOD configuration or get a 4th 250 and run 0+1.

Alternately, get a real RAID controller with hardware parity calc and then run RAID 5. Tom has reviews for cards in the $300 range.

I'd like to see a benchmark that compares RAID 5 with and without hardware parity on a single core system compressing a movie to show how much the parity calculation loads the CPU.
August 16, 2006 4:16:52 PM

Well I'm not sure how the NVidia RAID controllers are on performance but from what I've gathered they're software RAID controllers.

Here's a link on some benchmarks between dedicated cards and an onboard Adaptec chipest...

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1977005,00.a...

The adaptec is faster overall but with a much higher CPU utilization.

If I were you I'd get a dedicated controller and put all your important data on in a RAID 5 or RAID 10 Config.
Related resources
August 16, 2006 6:05:22 PM

Ok well here's the thing... I'm building a NEW system. When I get all the parts over the next week or two it will be a C2D X6800 OC'd on water cooling, a nForce 590 SLI based mobo, Thermaltake Armor case, PC P&C 610W PSU, Corsair 2GB DDR2 800, GF 7950GX2, Creative SB Audigy 4, and then of course whatever HDD configuaration you guys help me decide. If the RAID 5 is software then that's going to tax my system more? So it may not even be worth it huh? I've been using my Raptor for game b/c I like them to load quickly... maybe I should only buy one more 250GB SATAII drive and put them in RAID 1? idk ANY MORE SUGGESTIONS? :D 
August 16, 2006 6:11:12 PM

I just went and looked up some prices real quick... what about maybe just buying another 74GB Raptor and putting them in a RAID 1? I can buy the Raptor for the same price as the two 250GB SATAII's so it won't cost anymore.... hmmm... :twisted:
August 16, 2006 6:13:01 PM

hmm... RAID 1 is a good idea... but your performance maybe go down ever so slightly. Not very much if any but just to warn you. Still... if you need it then totally go for it.
August 16, 2006 6:37:35 PM

Really? Why would my performance go down? I thought RAID 1 was supposed to have better performance? Oh, and of course I don't NEED it, but I'm starting to think that the one bottleneck in my new build maybe my HDD setup. What do you guys think? If RAID isn't worth it then I'll drop the whole idea all together and just stick with what I have...
August 16, 2006 6:41:17 PM

Quote:
I just went and looked up some prices real quick... what about maybe just buying another 74GB Raptor and putting them in a RAID 1? I can buy the Raptor for the same price as the two 250GB SATAII's so it won't cost anymore.... hmmm... :twisted:


Well, if you want more performance you could try adding another Raptor and going raid 0 with the Raptors (all installs on them) and keep a backup on the 250GB.
August 16, 2006 6:43:35 PM

Hmm, the benchmarks were only showing 2.6% CPU usage with the software RAID 5. It looks like there is not enough cpu load to spend $200-300 for a dedicated RAID controller unless you want a 8 drive array. Your new system will handle it with ease.

A lot of reviews are showing one raptor is about the same as two 7200rpm drives in raid0. It will probably be the same for three drives in raid 5.

A fastest solution would be to get the second raptor and put it in raid 0 with the first raptor. Just be sure to run regular backups onto your 250GB drive or get another big, slow drive just to hold your backups and other seldom used data. You'll always be the first person to load onto a new map. Is this where I get my sniper rifle?
August 16, 2006 6:46:06 PM

The reason your throughput MIGHT go down is because RAID 1 writes just a tad bit slower than a single drive. On reads however you'll probably see a small increase. If you use a hardware controller you'll definitely see a difference since the I/O processor is offloading from the CPU.
August 16, 2006 9:31:05 PM

You know what? I think I made a mistake... lol It sounds like RAID 1 is the mirrored array and RAID 0 is the stripped array. OOPS. Ok, so now I see... I want to do a RAID 0 stripped. I had them mixed up. (hey, I've never done RAID so gimme a break! lol) So then I should get a second Raptor and setup a RAID 0 then instead of doing 3 of the 250GB SATAII drives on RAID 5?
August 16, 2006 10:14:21 PM

Raptor + RAID0 = Yummy.
Synergy6
August 17, 2006 3:10:06 AM

Ahh... I see... well that's cool. yeah, RAID 0 is pretty fast with raptors but make sure you have a backup. Even though the chance of a disk failing is insanely low a backup isn't a bad idea.
August 17, 2006 12:14:24 PM

Quote:
Ahh... I see... well that's cool. yeah, RAID 0 is pretty fast with raptors but make sure you have a backup. Even though the chance of a disk failing is insanely low a backup isn't a bad idea.


That's right...You should use your 250 Gb as the backup for your files. :) 
!