Organize Raid 0 for max performance

Hi Guys

Ordered a new system will have including previous HDs 4 sata in total.

2x 250GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250620AS
1x 200 bit older sata Seagate
1x 160 bit older samsung

I want to setup the 2 seagate in raid 0 now my problem is how do i setup my system for max performance and speed.

Obviously I'm not going to save my important data the raid0 disk.

I want to install XP as main operating system, vista rc1 once it comes out for testing.

- How should i organize the storage for performance?
- if i put my OS on the raid0 should i put my games on the raid0 as well or rather on a different drive? whats faster?
- where should i put my page files? on the raid0 or different drive?

thanks in advance for replies
12 answers Last reply
More about organize raid performance
  1. well, in all honesty, the seperate single drives you can just use for storage of media files and such, and other files in general... for the raid 0 array however... i personally would actually repartition it into multiple drive letters... that way each partition would benefit from being in raid 0, and if you ever format a particular partition on it, for whatever reason, you wouldnt lose all 500GB of data then... so maybe a C:\ partition for windows on the raid 0 array, D:\ might be your cd drive, E:\ as a gaming partition on the raid 0 array, F:\ might be an optional secondary OS partition, like, for windows XP x64, or vista rc1 like you said, so you could dual boot then... and your other 2 single drives, could be G:\ and H:\ even... or maybe some variation of the above... ...but with 500GB, unless youve got massive amounts of movie files and such that would occupy who knows how much space, i would repartition it

    for the pagefile, you can even make a small partition on the raid 0 array dedicated to each individual OS pagefile... that way they can be loaded quicker, and wont get fragmented

    and, to a lesser benefit, you could even have the 2 single hdds in raid 1, so data can be backed up then... or, you can make them into a secondary (though slower) raid 0 array... i wouldnt put all of your 4 hdds in a single raid 0 array either way though
  2. thanks choirbass for your response!

    I can see how patitioning the 2xseagate in raid is gonna make it easier once I need to format but I'm not sure if I understand fully how partitioning the drives will improve speed as its still the same hard disk.
    Could you please explain this?

    Also based on the example you've given on which partition would I put my applications (i.e. encarta, firewall, antivirus, systemtools and other appz).

    You've mentioned that i shoul create a partition only for the page file. What size should I alocate for this patition and how large should the page file be? 3.5GB?

  3. Quote:
    thanks choirbass for your response!

    I can see how patitioning the 2xseagate in raid is gonna make it easier once I need to format but I'm not sure if I understand fully how partitioning the drives will improve speed as its still the same hard disk.
    Could you please explain this?

    Also based on the example you've given on which partition would I put my applications (i.e. encarta, firewall, antivirus, systemtools and other appz).

    You've mentioned that i shoul create a partition only for the page file. What size should I alocate for this patition and how large should the page file be? 3.5GB?


    The usual rule of thumb for a page file is twice the RAM on the system, but that can sometimes get too huge when you get up to having more than about 512MB of RAM, 1GB should easily be enough for most people
  4. as far as the files all being on the same physical hdd, the speed wont necessarily change so much... though the closer files are placed to the beginning of the hdd, the faster those particular files will load, though it would only be by a dozen or so MB/s at most (compared to being placed at the end of a hdd), so placement on the hdd wont matter so much for the sake of throughput performance, plus, having them all in raid 0, will allow everything to load quicker anyhow... but, it would mainly just be an issue regarding how you would want to partition the drive, plus multiple partitions would make it easier to defragment overall, take less time (by a large margin) speaking of which, diskeeper is a great disk defragmenting utility, much better than standard windows defrag...

    for applications... it would probably be best to place all your non gaming applications on your windows partition... primarily to avoid lettering complications, and to make sure the appropriate applications are associated with the correct windows version, ie, less complications and confusion overall, especially if you have more that one version of windows installed on your computer... so, same windows partition for all relevant production and work related applications

    gaming of coarse, is a seperate large partition altogether, depending on how many games you have and such

    for pagefile size, your pagefile should be about 1.5 times the size of your total system memory... so if you have 1024MB of system memory, your pagefile would then be 1536MB in size (both your minimum and maximum sizes should be set the same)... and system restore i believe needs 5% free space available on a partition in order for that partition to be able to be monitored by it... so i would say for a single 1.5GB pagefile, to maybe have its partition be 2GB in size, to allow some leway for formatting... you can go so far as to create a pagefile partition for each windows version, so, 2 partitions per windows installation basically, 1 for the OS, and 1 for the pagefile, if you wanted to

    edit: yeah, too large of a pagefile isnt good either... cuz when you have enough system memory, a pagefile wouldnt even be necessary for windows to run at all, plus, windows runs faster without a pagefile anyhow, lol... but, the pagefile just provides virtual memory for windows to use, if it runs out of system memory to use
  5. Again thanks for you replies choirbass. You've been very helpfull.

    I still have a couple of questions though :wink:

    - Will the performance for windows, application and games suffer after some time if those two HDs in raid0 have less space on them (even if I defrag regulary) or is the slow down going to be minor and I shouldn't worry about filling them up?

    - whats a good size of the C: partition for XP? Does a smaller partition = performance and speed? Or does it not matter how large a partition is (basicaly make it as large as you need it)?

    - is it a good idea to leave the space I won't need for a while unallocated so I can keep it for future use if I decide for example to add another OS or another partition? And will I be able to add unallocated space to an already existing partition?
  6. yeah, you wont need to worry about performance being impacted negatively, as long as you are able to keep the disk regularly defragged, that would be the same in any set up though (thats why i mentioned diskeeper too, it can keep your disk completely defragged on a daily basis, of even normally unmovable files, without you even having to run it manually, aside from setting it up in its preferences, it runs seemlessly in the background too, so you wont suffer a performance penalty, cuz it momentarily pauses if any extra disk activity occurs)

    yep, the size of the partition wont be a problem for the windows partition, in regards to throughput performance, just make it as large as you would need to make it (windows may complain about not having enough disk space available, when you get down to only a gigabyte or less, but as long as you maintain it, such as from virus and malware and all that, no problems then, especially since the pagefile wont be stored on it either)...

    and yep, leaving space unallocated for future use would be a good idea... ...its POSSIBLE to resize an existing partition, to merge unallocated space to it like you said, or other disk related changes as such... but it would involve a 3rd party application, partition magic comes to mind, it works pretty well
  7. Ok based on your information this what I'm going to do.

    2x 250GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250620AS in RAID0:

    C: for windows xp and appz (50GB)
    D: Games + will be targeting "My Documents" to d:\ (I have always done that it's easier for me to organize it, pls advised if it's a good idea) (100GB)
    E:\ will use older sata Seagate for storage (200GB)
    F:\ older samsung sata for storage (160GB)
    G:\ DVD burner
    H:\ Vista and Appz (50GB)
    I:\ Pagefile for XP (3.5GB = 1.5 * 2GB my total RAM)
    J:\ Pagefile for Vista (3.5GB = 1.5 * 2GB my total RAM)

    The rest will be unallocated for future use.
    Pls check and sign off :wink:

    Now is it better to have all those partitions as Dynamic Disks? where is the difference? can I have my windows partition as dynamic disk?
  8. hey, sorry for not posting sooner...

    yeah, those drive organizations seem okay, the biggest thing is to make things easier to locate and to manage, so things seem okay there

    im wondering about the pagefile size though... 3.5 GB may be a tad excessive, simply because most applications themselves dont even use the full 2 GB of system memory that you already have... so if you add 3.5 GB to that, youll have 5.5 GB of memory total, (if i read that correctly) that seems a tad overkill though IMO (in regards to win xp x86)... since you already have 2 GB of system memory, maybe a 1 GB pagefile would suffice, for win xp x86 anyhow (windows xp x86 only requires 64 MB system memory to actually run, and most applications still run okay on only 1 GB of system memory, let alone 2 GB)

    for vista however (x64 in particular), i can imagine the memory requirements being quite abit more steep, so 5.5 GB total may not be all that overkill... additional system memory might be ideal though in that case, instead of a oversized pagefile, for performance reasons anyhow

    but, aside from a slight concern over the pagefile size, which really wont matter too much either way if you decide to go over by alot, it seems to be set up okay :)

    as for dynamic disks, its really unnecessary to do, its primary benefit would be so you could merge physical hdds and such via software inside of windows, operating them in software based raid arrays basically, or as spanned capacities and such between physical hdds... so you would get the additional benefit of having more speed and space if you wanted to, but absolutely no data redundancy with it (even though it offers raid 1), its more of just kindof a thing for fun the way i see it... fun as in, benchmarking to see how fast you can make an array, or as just a very temporary raid solution anyhow... ...several downsides to it, are that those particular drives can no longer have any other OS installed on them when theyre formatted as such, if your OS fails, so do the raid arrays made by it (as far as i know, that part about failure im unsure about, so you might want to look into that)... and, i dont believe you can change your primary drive from basic to dynamic, at least a fixed drive anyhow... removable external OS drives may be a different story however...

    so... having dynamic drives wont offer you practical longterm benefits... especially for data protection... i would go without it.
  9. Hi, I live in australia and I assume you live in the US so there is a big time difference :wink:

    I will follow your advise and stay away from dynamic disk as I really don't need it and will lower the size of the page files.

    I think I'm nearly out of questions when it comes to organizing partition and disks. (might have some questions relating setting up raid0 though :wink: )

    My last partition related question will be: If I have vista on one partition and xp on the otherone is there a way that they access the same applications (ie. encarta, firewall, antivirus.......) or do I have to install every application twice (as they need registry entries...)?


    Now some questions regarding setting up raid0.

    I will be owner of a Asus P5W DH Deluxe which supports "plug and play raid0" here is the description:
    "No driver, no configuration, just plug and play RAID to backup your data instantaneously. Exclusive to ASUS EZ-Backup™, users can utilize SATA2 technology to arrange RAID1 (default) or RAID0 system without BIOS or any other setup. EZ-Backup™ is ideal for anyone who wishes to secure the data on the hard-drive but doesn't want the hassle of complicated software configuration. EZ-Backup™ looks after your data for you. "

    and this is the link to the board

    I can't remember where but I read in some forum that this plug and play raid0 is slower than if you setup up hardware raid0 yourself. Not sure why but I can remember something with using same port/controler or bridge something like that.
    I heard it's quicker to connect the raid0 to the 4723 controller (whatever that means).

    Also I found this post if it helps:
    "Download and install HD Tach. Test the burst speed of your HDDs while on EZ
    Backup Raid controller. It sux! You get about half the bandwidth of the
    Jmicron mounted disks. I had a RAID-1 setup on the Silicon Image controller
    and my SATA-II Seagate drives were showing a burst of 120MB. I moved them
    to the Jmicron controller (not in RAID but booting to the first "boot"
    socket) and the burst speed then measured at 245MB I then used a floppy to
    setup the OS in a true RAID-1 on the Jmicron and remeasured using HD TACH to
    rule out any raid vs non-raid measurement issues and it is indead twice as
    fast on the Jmicron controller. Posts concerning this in the ASUS forum got
    a reply that stated the Silicon Image system uses a single chip solution
    which splits the bandwidth between the two drives. I don't know if this is
    true or not but I have measured the speed on both controllers and I am very
    dissapointed that half my drive capability is kneecapped, by design

    Any idea why it's suppose to be slower? is it really slower? what is the best way to setup hardware raid0 on this motherboard?

    Thanks for past and future replies :)
  10. Mmmm no reply yet?
    Never had to wait that long before 8O

    if someone can maybe through in some ideas or just part of an answer.
  11. i apologize for not responding or being able to help more... had/have personal concerns interfering... ...though im sure someone would be able to help more :)
  12. Raid will slow down access times, but will speed up file transfer for large files.

    So if you're accessing a lot of small files, raid-0 may not be as helpful, depending on where the files are located on the disk.
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