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Raptor or SCSI raid(5)? Nice for games?

Last response: in Storage
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October 20, 2006 1:58:12 PM

Yo forumzors..
I'm planning on building a new comp, with focus on game performance.
I've been thinking of setting up a RAID5 OS array. My questions basicly are:

1. Does a RAID5 array with only 3 disks deliver performance to games?
2. How much boost can I expect?
3. Is it worth the money performance wise?
4. How much difference is it between SATA / SCSI/SAS in performance?

I know it's gonna be expensive. I figured, instead of just setting up a striped raid, why not add one more disk and get some more fault tolerance ? - Like.. I can burn one disk without loosing any data :!:

Hitachi Ultrastar 15K147 36 GB Ultra320 SCSI costs only like $80 extra , compared to a Western Digital Raptor 36,7 GB - yeah the controllers are more expensive, but.. - and what's the difference between 68/80 pins anyway? :p 
Lol never been even close to thinking of SCSI - but I guess the prices has dropped the last couple of years :lol: 

Thanks for dropping by! :D 
October 20, 2006 8:33:25 PM

60 vs 68 pins for scsi is for regular vs hot swap. chances are you wont need the more expensive hot swap version.

As for gaming enhancements? scsi definately decreases your load times, and all disk access for that matter.
I run a sigle 74gb 10krpm maxtor scsi drive on my system. it runs great. HL2 load times went from 30sec-1min down to 15-20 sec.

drawbacks:
1) price - you know that
2) heat. 10k and 15krpm drives generate more heat than the 7200rpm ones. HD cooling becomes mandatory.
3) startup. The time between power up and starting to load windows will increase because your pc has to detect them everytime.
4) controller card. You have to buy one seprate or make sure your motherboard has a built in one.

good stuff:
1) FAST. Scsi has been around for years and its still faster than SATA.
2) reliable. they are designed to run on mission critical servers, so the drives last forever.
3) more drives. 1 scsi controller supports up to 15 (Fifteen!) drives.

My 4yr old 36gb scsi drive still runs as fast or faster than most of the sata drives out. But with 4-5ms access time & 80mb/s burst and 50mb/s sustained transfer.. its no wonder.

Is the price worth the performance? You have to answer that. I found it was.
October 20, 2006 10:54:53 PM

The Short Answer is "NO" RAID5 is no good for games.

Here's why

1) RAID 5 offers no performance increase over RAID 0. In fact it's slower because of the overhead involved with calculating the parity bit.

2) If you use RAID 5 with 3 disks you will lose about 1/3 of your capacity.

3) RAID 5 = $$$$$$$

I could go on but you get the point

In my opinion if your MB doesn't support RAID 5 then the cost of using it is geater than the cost of replacing a bad disk in RAID 0, (you'll have to replace the disk anyway with RAID 5 plus do a lengthy recovery). In fact I can't think of a single advantage for using R5 for a gaming machine. You're better of using RAID 0+1. RAID 0 for your OS and gaming applications and RAID 1 for critical data.

RAID 5 is usually only beneficial to certain web/application servers because they do WAY more reads than writes, plus it gives them increased performance over RAID 1. and increased stability over RAID 0
October 21, 2006 5:52:03 PM

Quote:
60 vs 68 pins for scsi is for regular vs hot swap. chances are you wont need the more expensive hot swap version.

As for gaming enhancements? scsi definately decreases your load times, and all disk access for that matter.
I run a sigle 74gb 10krpm maxtor scsi drive on my system. it runs great. HL2 load times went from 30sec-1min down to 15-20 sec.

drawbacks:
1) price - you know that
2) heat. 10k and 15krpm drives generate more heat than the 7200rpm ones. HD cooling becomes mandatory.
3) startup. The time between power up and starting to load windows will increase because your pc has to detect them everytime.
4) controller card. You have to buy one seprate or make sure your motherboard has a built in one.

good stuff:
1) FAST. Scsi has been around for years and its still faster than SATA.
2) reliable. they are designed to run on mission critical servers, so the drives last forever.
3) more drives. 1 scsi controller supports up to 15 (Fifteen!) drives.

My 4yr old 36gb scsi drive still runs as fast or faster than most of the sata drives out. But with 4-5ms access time & 80mb/s burst and 50mb/s sustained transfer.. its no wonder.

Is the price worth the performance? You have to answer that. I found it was.

Sounds nice, and it's not really THAT expensive over SATA :p 
I'm planning on suing dedicated coolers for each SCSI drive.
Also - is there anything specific I should look for when buying a controller?

Quote:
The Short Answer is "NO" RAID5 is no good for games.

Here's why

1) RAID 5 offers no performance increase over RAID 0. In fact it's slower because of the overhead involved with calculating the parity bit.

2) If you use RAID 5 with 3 disks you will lose about 1/3 of your capacity.

3) RAID 5 = $$$$$$$

I could go on but you get the point

In my opinion if your MB doesn't support RAID 5 then the cost of using it is geater than the cost of replacing a bad disk in RAID 0, (you'll have to replace the disk anyway with RAID 5 plus do a lengthy recovery). In fact I can't think of a single advantage for using R5 for a gaming machine. You're better of using RAID 0+1. RAID 0 for your OS and gaming applications and RAID 1 for critical data.

RAID 5 is usually only beneficial to certain web/application servers because they do WAY more reads than writes, plus it gives them increased performance over RAID 1. and increased stability over RAID 0

The only reason I would use R5 is to get better security... kind of like a constant backup. Wasn't quite sure of the drawbacks, thanks :) 
Guess I'll go for a striped raid, and find a backup solution, so that I easily can take backup once a day.
!