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Raid Dilema Need someone to help make a decision.

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October 7, 2006 8:53:50 PM

Ok so this is the hardware raid controller I am going to get: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

I decided to go with this one because it has a small micro-processor on it and has some cache ram and the reviews are good? Any ideas about this one?

Ok so my plan is to have 1 HD to load OS which will be a 74 gb Raptor. Now comes my problem. I want to know what 4 drives I should use in my controller. Are 4x drives w/ 16mb cache gonna smoke a Raptor X and have non existent load times w/ maps etc? Should I go w/ western d or Seagate. Both seem good companies to me. So what four drives should I get (w/ 16mb cache) and dont say 4x raptors. Im not that rich :) 
October 7, 2006 11:44:26 PM

Do you have a mobo with a 64-bit PCI-X slot? Just be sure you do, and don't mix it up with a PCIe slot. Usually only workstatiotion class mobo's have a PCI-X slot. If you have PCIe use this card instead.
Edit: If you have only one PCIe slot which can hold a PCIe 8x card, and have your GPU there, you'll have to find a more basic PCI controller.

When using a controller like this, hybrid disks (flash+magnetic) won't be as much use, as the controller will cache information for you. You should also be aware that you run a greater risk of data loss if you have to power down the "hard way".

Other than that, with a controller like this, Raptor's won't show as much of a difference compared to others like the Seagate 7200.10 disks. Which doesn't mean get the cheapest 5400rpm drives you can find :wink:


What I mean is that any decent disk will do fine.
October 7, 2006 11:52:14 PM

Quote:
Do you have a mobo with a 64-bit PCI-X slot? Just be sure you do, and don't mix it up with a PCIe slot. Usually only workstatiotion class mobo's have a PCI-X slot. If you have PCIe use this card instead.
Edit: If you have only one PCIe slot which can hold a PCIe 8x card, and have your GPU there, you'll have to find a more basic PCI controller.

When using a controller like this, hybrid disks (flash+magnetic) won't be as much use, as the controller will cache information for you. You should also be aware that you run a greater risk of data loss if you have to power down the "hard way".

Other than that, with a controller like this, Raptor's won't show as much of a difference compared to others like the Seagate 7200.10 disks. Which doesn't mean get the cheapest 5400rpm drives you can find :wink:


What I mean is that any decent disk will do fine.


Ok, here is the mobo i was gonna get:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

However is this mobo good for extreme gaming? Can I enable crossfire too?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...


And I will get 4x of this!:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

What do you think, and what is the #1 uber pwnage Controller I can get w/ 4 internal slots? Is Areca the best??
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October 8, 2006 12:24:02 AM

The mobo has no PCI-X slots but does have 3 PCIe x16 slots. One is full x16 speed, one is x8 and one x4. So it won't work with the PCI-X card, but the PCIe x8 controller will work fine. It still has room for a video card in the x16 slot, the controller in the x8 slot leaving the x4 slot empty.

Considering the choice of board, I'm assuming you're going the Core 2 route CPU wise. If you prefer the PCI-X card, then the ASUS P5WDG2 WS Professional has two full x16 slots, one PCI-X and 2 PCI slots.

The harddisks are a very good choice.
October 8, 2006 12:49:26 AM

Yeah, I thought long and hard about which HD's and that Seagate seemed like a real quality drive.

So its between 2 mobos, I like option #1 better but what do you think? I want to put in a 6800 conroe and a crossfire setup. Will this work? Also I am gonna stick with the PCI-X Areca I chose, so these mobos will work with them. I am guessing PCI-X is faster than Express because it has bigger chip slots (faster transfer?)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Thanks,
October 8, 2006 1:28:03 AM

I would suggest researching drives a bit. WD has RAID edition series.

I would recommend you to check out WD4000YR if you can afford them. They really have good performance because they have firmware specially tweaked for RAID.

As for system drive, 74GB Raptor is slower than 150GB one. I wouldn't recommend the older one as it doesn't have NCQ which could be usefull in heavier multi-tasking scenarios on a dual-or-more-core CPU.
October 8, 2006 1:41:34 AM

Quote:
I would suggest researching drives a bit. WD has RAID edition series.

I would recommend you to check out WD4000YR if you can afford them. They really have good performance because they have firmware specially tweaked for RAID.

As for system drive, 74GB Raptor is slower than 150GB one. I wouldn't recommend the older one as it doesn't have NCQ which could be usefull in heavier multi-tasking scenarios on a dual-or-more-core CPU.


I think raid edition just has more integrity checking ability like scsi drives. I just need it to do gaming for fast load times on maps, not secrue data transfers for companies. What makes RE better? and whats the difference between RE & RE2
October 8, 2006 3:46:45 AM

Your assessment about RE drives for general home use is just about right. The Seagates will do fine. Tha main advantages of the RE drives is improved reliability and error correction. Which is great if you use the computer professionally. However, considering the MTBF for a new disk today is about one million hours - roughly ten years, you'll probably stop using it before it fails, and have likely switched computer at least twice.

Both mobo's are good and have both PCI-X and PCIe slots. Pick the one which suits your other needs and wishes best. PCI-X is bound to be around for awhile, so you'll likely be able to move the whole RAID to a new mobo when the need arises.
October 8, 2006 12:15:55 PM

Quote:
Your assessment about RE drives for general home use is just about right. The Seagates will do fine. Tha main advantages of the RE drives is improved reliability and error correction. Which is great if you use the computer professionally. However, considering the MTBF for a new disk today is about one million hours - roughly ten years, you'll probably stop using it before it fails, and have likely switched computer at least twice.

Both mobo's are good and have both PCI-X and PCIe slots. Pick the one which suits your other needs and wishes best. PCI-X is bound to be around for awhile, so you'll likely be able to move the whole RAID to a new mobo when the need arises.


Yeah, RE drives are exspensive. However its a neat idea for those who cant afford SCSI and need big space. So the drive I picked should be the best drive? Also can both these mobos do a crossfire? It has the 975x chipset
October 9, 2006 2:55:29 AM

Hmm, just re-reading the specs on the boards. Only the P5WDG2 WS Professional actually has PCI-X. It has two PCIe x16 slots but the Asus site does'nt say it supports crossfire. The standard P5WDG2 does do it, although ther the Core2 support isn't listed.

Seems like finding a C2D board with crossfire and PCI-X is difficult. It should be out there, although Asus doesn't seem to deliver there. As I'm not that familiar with all types of boards out there, you might have more luck asking for a board with these features in the Homebuilt or motherboard sections.
October 9, 2006 3:30:49 AM

Quote:
As for system drive, 74GB Raptor is slower than 150GB one.


What evidence do you have to support that? When I was trying to decide whether to get the 74GB or 150GB Raptor, I couldn't find any benchmarks that compared the two.
a c 168 G Storage
October 9, 2006 4:54:24 AM

go to storage review.com for a good discussion on performance. For normal single users, raid and NCQ are not very helpful, in fact, may even be harmful. The new raptor tests out best for single user performance.
In this specialized case, you might look into a SCSI solution. You can now get 18gb 15k scsi drives for about $25 each on e-bay. The server farms are going to the larger 147gb devices. Each drive can sustain about 80 mbps, so 4 of them running concurrently would saturate a 64 pin pci-x bus. A new pci-x scsi raid controller will be about the same price as the one you picked, but they can be had for about $100 on e-bay. Check out adaptec and lsi home pages to find the one you want.
Look for the 68 pin devices, not the 80 pin devices so you won't need an adapter. It might be worth the $200 or so it might cost you to try it out.
I am using a single 74gb 15k scsi device and an adaptec 19160n controller in a pci slot. It works well, and it outperforms an older 74gb raptor by a small amount.
October 9, 2006 4:57:54 AM

search for that info and you will find it...

BTW, I have two 74gig 8MB cache Raptors and 1 150gig 16MB cache Raptor...

The 150gig Raptor is indeed faster than a 74gig Raptor and the 36gig Raptor is even slower...
October 9, 2006 6:15:16 AM

Quote:
search for that info and you will find it...

BTW, I have two 74gig 8MB cache Raptors and 1 150gig 16MB cache Raptor...

The 150gig Raptor is indeed faster than a 74gig Raptor and the 36gig Raptor is even slower...


What a silly statement. You are comparing a 74gig *previous* series drive with a 150gig *current* series drive. Of course the 150gig is faster - it has twice as much cache for one thing, and also higher platter density.

This tells you nothing about the relative performance of a 74gig 16MB cache current raptor compared to a 150gig 16MB cache current raptor.
October 9, 2006 7:02:17 AM

The RE drives from WD, and specifically the WD4000YR are different from non-RAID drives in that they try less to recover from disk failures and errors. Check the wdc site for more info about these. The idea is that if you have a RAID array, rather than trying to recover a bad sector by scanning it a bunch of times, these drives timeout the scans after a few seconds, and the drive drops out of your array. If you're running RAID 5, that's not that big a deal b.c. you can reformat the offending drive and add it back into the array. If, on the other hand, you're using a RAID 0 array, then you'll lose everything, and it will happen more often than if you have a set of four standard drives.

I have 4 WD4000YR drives in my system. In RAID 5, the read times are pretty good. Happy with boot speed. Write times are not so hot, but that's what my RAID 0 array is for. They're matrixed by the intel controller.

You might really consider sticking with PCIe instead of PCI-X. The fact that one connector is wider doesn't necessarily mean it's better, b.c. the serial data xfer in the PCIe bus clocks a lot faster.
a b G Storage
October 9, 2006 8:53:04 AM

Sorry dude, time for me to be an ass.

WTF are you doing? You want to get a $300 PCIX controller? Hook up a four drive AID0 array? You didn't/don't know the difference between PCI, PCIe, PCIe? I love the "guessing PCI-X is faster than Express because it has bigger chip slots" (its not the size of the slot, but how you use it.) (wait, can I say that on a forum???)

The biggest thing that makes sense is you have no idea what you're doing. Your going to pop $1000 on an AID0 setup for what? Decrease load time for maps while gaming??? WTH! This kind of money would be better spent on video cards, CPUs, water cooling, better monitor, keyboard/mouse, etc. What kind of internet connection is this going through? Who cares how fast you can load a map if your bound to a "slow" 1.5M DSL connection. If your made of money, then by all means go for this. If not, get a normal motherboard and whatever harddrives float your boat. Map loading isn't something that really stresses a harddrive. Getting this gear might make large file size maps load a few seconds faster. Check this out.

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=2760&p=...

Scroll down to the BF2 level load times. The AID0 Seagate setup wins with a load time of just over a minute. The raptor is next. How much faster was the AID0 setup over the non AID setup? Less then five seconds slower by my math. If you look at the next graph, the AID0 setup is actually slower then the non AID setup.

Without knowing your budget, I can't be 100% certain this is a bad idea. You did say your not that rich, so your probably better off spending your money on things that might matter more.
October 9, 2006 10:38:17 PM

Quote:
Sorry dude, time for me to be an ass.

WTF are you doing? You want to get a $300 PCIX controller? Hook up a four drive AID0 array? You didn't/don't know the difference between PCI, PCIe, PCIe? I love the "guessing PCI-X is faster than Express because it has bigger chip slots" (its not the size of the slot, but how you use it.) (wait, can I say that on a forum???)

The biggest thing that makes sense is you have no idea what you're doing. Your going to pop $1000 on an AID0 setup for what? Decrease load time for maps while gaming??? WTH! This kind of money would be better spent on video cards, CPUs, water cooling, better monitor, keyboard/mouse, etc. What kind of internet connection is this going through? Who cares how fast you can load a map if your bound to a "slow" 1.5M DSL connection. If your made of money, then by all means go for this. If not, get a normal motherboard and whatever harddrives float your boat. Map loading isn't something that really stresses a harddrive. Getting this gear might make large file size maps load a few seconds faster. Check this out.

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=2760&p=...

Scroll down to the BF2 level load times. The AID0 Seagate setup wins with a load time of just over a minute. The raptor is next. How much faster was the AID0 setup over the non AID setup? Less then five seconds slower by my math. If you look at the next graph, the AID0 setup is actually slower then the non AID setup.

Without knowing your budget, I can't be 100% certain this is a bad idea. You did say your not that rich, so your probably better off spending your money on things that might matter more.


Yes, I see that the Raid-0 for 2x 750 gb's arnt an improvement. But.......4x drives in a killer raid controller is a different story. Show me a chart that has that! And how would the PCI-Xpress version be just as good as the PCI-X version???? Bigger slots sound like faster transfer to me.
a b G Storage
October 10, 2006 6:11:51 AM

Show me a chart where is makes a difference for GAMING. (that was the entire point of my last post...) As I said, I'd be throwing extra money at a large LCD/CRT. I'd be setting up a Soundblaster setup with high end surround reciever and speakers. I'd be getting a CF x1900xtx setup. Getting four harddrives setup in AID0 for gaming seems like a waste to me.
October 10, 2006 9:43:37 PM

Quote:
Show me a chart where is makes a difference for GAMING. (that was the entire point of my last post...) As I said, I'd be throwing extra money at a large LCD/CRT. I'd be setting up a Soundblaster setup with high end surround reciever and speakers. I'd be getting a CF x1900xtx setup. Getting four harddrives setup in AID0 for gaming seems like a waste to me.


Exactly. There are so many other things to spend the money on to get a kick-ass gaming system before doing what this guy wants to do with the hard drives - and your suggestions are excellent. Further, not only will the 4 drives not make much difference to gaming (as once the level loads there will be no difference), but can you imagine the heat and noise this solution will produce? And with 4 drives in Raid 0, if any of the drives give problems he will lose the whole array. It just seems the guy doesn't understand the implications of what he is proposing.
October 10, 2006 10:03:39 PM

Quote:
However, considering the MTBF for a new disk today is about one million hours - roughly ten years, you'll probably stop using it before it fails, and have likely switched computer at least twice.


This is a common misconception of MTBF - a stated MTBF of 10 years does NOT imply that your disk is likely to last 10 years, what it is really saying is that if you have 10 disks, 1 disk will fail each year...

Thus if you have 4 disk in a RIAD 0 stripe set you can expect to loose all the data once every 2 years or so...
a b G Storage
October 11, 2006 5:36:03 AM

Quote:
a stated MTBF of 10 years does NOT imply that your disk is likely to last 10 years, what it is really saying is that if you have 10 disks, 1 disk will fail each year...


I'm not sure what the difference is. The tens years is more of a max thing. Its entirely possible for it to die after 5 or 7, 1M hours is an average.

Quote:
Thus if you have 4 disk in a RIAD 0 stripe set you can expect to loose all the data once every 2 years or so


No, you could lose a drive roughly every two years. The data could be lost more often due to fail RAID driver or other such thing.
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