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RAID vs Raptor - New computer

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  • Hard Drives
  • NAS / RAID
  • Computer
  • Raptor
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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August 17, 2006 4:07:25 PM

I'm going to be building a new computer and could use some advice on my hard drive setup. I'm thinking of having a bigger hard drive for data storage, and either a raptor, or two smaller drives in raid 0. Two questions come to mind:

- Which is more efficient performance/money wise: the raptor or raid 0?
- Is it even possible to have three drives, only two in a raid?

Also could use some advice on specific drive models.


Pedro Marques

More about : raid raptor computer

August 17, 2006 4:27:05 PM

I'm more of a fan of Raid 0 then raptor. I know that if one drive dies, there goes your whole array, but I don't see what justification I have to pay for almost twice the price of a 320 gig drive for 1/4 the size. Not to mention performance benefits these days between Perpindicular recording vs. Raptor are marginal, not worth the price premium.

Just my 2 cents.
August 17, 2006 4:46:51 PM

Quote:
I'm going to be building a new computer and could use some advice on my hard drive setup. I'm thinking of having a bigger hard drive for data storage, and either a raptor, or two smaller drives in raid 0. Two questions come to mind:

- Which is more efficient performance/money wise: the raptor or raid 0?
- Is it even possible to have three drives, only two in a raid?

Also could use some advice on specific drive models.


Pedro Marques


I'm partial to the raid option, but a lot of people swear by the raptors' access times. My suggestion would be to get a raid-5 capable card and get 3 or more 320gb seagate 7200.10 drives from different etailers, but that might run you a slight bit over just a raptor and extra drives...not sure.
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August 17, 2006 5:00:38 PM

I personally use a raptor and have to say the random access time is good and its an all round good (but expensive) bit of kit.

I think your decision should come down to what your priorities are. Do you want just speed or data security as well??

If you want a good combo of the both go for the raptor. I think a lot off ppl forget that this drive was really designed for the enterprise market and kinda accidently became a favourite of enthusiasts. The enterprise background means it is that bit more reliable than an average "user" hard drive i.e. has a longer mean time before failure and is rated for more hours use. Add this to the fact that by using RAID 0 you will be increasing your chances or a disk failure, i personally see my Raptor as a good and less expensive alternative to RAID 5 as it offers performance and data security like RAID 5 does but without the hassle and expense of three drives.

If pure performance is your thing then by all means RAID 0 two perpendicular disks together, the chances of ever having a failure are small but like anything else it is a risk.
August 17, 2006 5:06:09 PM

RAID 0 is no more secure than one drive and the raptors have a great reputation. I just had the choice and went for a 74GB Raptor for boot and primary programs (run your BF2 or CSS games from the raptor) and a Baracuda 350GB for general file storage (Hey, a guy can collect a lot of porn these days can't he?). Best of both worlds and the price was right.
August 17, 2006 5:14:42 PM

I've got a Raptor for the OS disk and then 2 500GB Western Digital drives in RAID 1 (MIrror) to protect my data. I'd hate to lose 500GB of porn collected over the years...
August 17, 2006 5:23:08 PM

I have 6 Drives externally due to the fact I'm running a laptop (haha, yes I know).

But either way, does HDD space matter. Thats what a lot of this boils down too. Me, If I lose all my data, its basically a lot of unnecssary stuff. My gaming computer and my work computer are separate, and I treat them separate. I lose a HDD, well, looks like I reinstall Windows, reinstall my games, and re-dl my shiz. No real loss. So I'm not too worried... But... its your choice on this matter.
August 17, 2006 5:31:19 PM

Data security wouldn't be too big an issue since this is mostly for gaming, and any sensitive stuff I'd be backing up anyway, so drive failure isn't my first priority. If I did go with raid 0, which drives would you suggest? And also a storage drive, around 300GB+?
August 17, 2006 6:24:15 PM

RAID vs Raptor? Can't we all just get along? I'd do both.

I have two 36Gb Raptors configured in RAID 0. Super fast boot. Can't remember the exact boot time but I think it was less than 20 seconds from power to XP logon screen.

It might be a bit expensive, but I thought it was worth it.
August 17, 2006 6:58:35 PM

Quote:
RAID vs Raptor? Can't we all just get along? I'd do both.

I have two 36Gb Raptors configured in RAID 0. Super fast boot. Can't remember the exact boot time but I think it was less than 20 seconds from power to XP logon screen.

It might be a bit expensive, but I thought it was worth it.


I was just about to say go for a pair of 74GB raptors in RAID0.

Or do this- go find some real scsi hard drives- I see 15k rpm ones cheaper than raptors all the time, and a real U160 or U320 RAID controller (I just bought a brand new one from our favorite auction site for $25) and run RAID 0 on that. I'm fairly certain that will at the very least be competitive if not crush the competetion.

Bonus: since SCSI drives are generally made for business, they are heavier duty and carry longer warranties- Most of the drives I work with have 5 year warranties and never dropped to 3 or 1 year like consumer level drives.
August 17, 2006 8:24:06 PM

3 x 80GB Hitachi SATA in RAID0 = Damn fast performance

There is no way for me to "tell" you how fast my rig is....let's just put it this way....

3.7Ghz P4 Northwood, 2GB Corsair XMS PC3200, the RAID0 array I mentioned above, Abit IC7-MAX3 mobo....All my parts are at least 3-4 years old.....nothing compared to you people with money to spend on fancy systems.....BUT......boot time, from pwr button to desktop FULLY loaded = 18 seconds. Windows loading bar (the blue bar) does not even make it across it ONCE before desktop loads.

Game loading time is almost unreal. Most newer games, Titan Quest, Prey, etc (SP only, can't use MP because that's partially depending on network), load within 8-12 seconds. I don't use benchmarks, no good to me.

I didn't use a fourth drive for a specific reason. Three drives will not overflow the SATA150 bus but four drives will and I actually had 4 drives, but the performance was LOWER than three drives.

Make sure you tweak your BIOS, disable unused Windows services, defrag, and all the good stuff that you should be doing to make sure your rig is TOP of the line.

TTFN
August 17, 2006 8:57:04 PM

I would go for a raptor. a while back I did some research on this and even other drives that were in raid 0 did not peform as wel as a single raptor.

I,ll see if I can still find those benchmarks. :?
August 17, 2006 10:17:18 PM

Quote:
I didn't use a fourth drive for a specific reason. Three drives will not overflow the SATA150 bus but four drives will and I actually had 4 drives, but the performance was LOWER than three drives.
TTFN


hmm... arent sata channels seperate from each other? as in, having 10 7200rpm sata hdds in a single raid 0 array on a 10 channel sata I controller for example... shouldnt limit you to 150MB/s max combined throughput... ...each drive should be allowed up to 150MB/s throughput each, assuming a sata hdd could sustain that amount even... so if you have a 10 channel sata controller, you should be allowed up to 1500MB/s combined max throughput (just taking the sata 1 standard into considation, but not the interface, such as a 33MHz pci slot, which can only reach 127MB/s max shared throughput over the total pci bus anyhow)... ...as far as 4 drives being slower than 3, i would imagine there were other factors limiting the throughput performance, aside from the amount of hdds in the array... cuz 4 identical hdds in raid 0 should definetly be faster than 3 (acheiving an ideal 600MB/s for 4 hdds, over an ideal 450MB/s for 3 drives, with sata 1)... though the more hdds you have in an array = the slower your access times will be as a result, but yeah
August 17, 2006 10:26:07 PM

Yeah, you're right about the separate SATA channels. Throughput would definitely be higher but seek time would be a little slower. Honestly, seek times, IMO, would be more important than throughput if you want a high-performance PC.

But yes, you're right about the separate channel thing.

TTFN
August 20, 2006 12:41:40 AM

I have 2 74gb raptors in RAID0 off my nforce controller. If I'm really honest, I might not spend the money again. It has nice bandwidth and excellent access time. But was it really worth the money I spent? Hard to say. Boots only speed up about 6-7 seconds for me, compared to a single 7200rpm drive. but my average bandwidth doubled, which is nice to have. Also, my Raptor raid array consistently gets a 8.3ms random access time off HD tach. I dont know how the claim such lower numbers in the specs, (4.6ms???) when i dont even get close.

My cpu is only a single core XP 3200.. maybe thats something to do with my bad access times. but its clocked from 2.0ghz up to 2.2ghz..
August 20, 2006 1:04:01 AM

Quote:
I have 2 74gb raptors in RAID0 off my nforce controller. If I'm really honest, I might not spend the money again. It has nice bandwidth and excellent access time. But was it really worth the money I spent? Hard to say. Boots only speed up about 6-7 seconds for me, compared to a single 7200rpm drive. but my average bandwidth doubled, which is nice to have. Also, my Raptor raid array consistently gets a 8.3ms random access time off HD tach. I dont know how the claim such lower numbers in the specs, (4.6ms???) when i dont even get close.

My cpu is only a single core XP 3200.. maybe thats something to do with my bad access times. but its clocked from 2.0ghz up to 2.2ghz..


8.3 ms access time for a raptor is about right... most 7200rpm hdds get closer to 12-14 ms or so on average, even though most oems claim their 7200's have ~8.9ms... the higher rpms of a raptor certainly help there though

as far as access times also, when you put multiple hdds in a raid array, your access times will go up anyhow, because you have more hdds to search through when files are being located... the more hdds in an array = slower access times, with 1 hdd by itself having the fastest access times

also, with raid arrays, stripe size matters then too... ...if youre only accessing small files on the array, you would want to have a smaller stripe size... and the exact opposite holds true for large files... if you deal with lots of large files, you would want a larger stripe size for the array... ...stripe sizes can impact raid performance noticably
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