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is raid worth getting?

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January 15, 2007 5:40:41 PM

I"m not very educated on raid, i read the tutorial, and did a google search and not really understanding the concept.

now i'm to the point to where i'm asking if my new computer should definitely have it?

More about : raid worth

January 15, 2007 6:10:47 PM

For gaming, the answer is no. RAID does not help much, if any for gaming. Yes the game will initially load a little quicker, but you will not get better FPS, etc...

For a lot of file transfering, data backup, etc.., the answer is yes.
a b G Storage
January 15, 2007 6:21:40 PM

RAID is using more than one drive to perform the same task as one drive. There are a few ways to do that.

First, you can use RAID-0 which combines two drives, and they both work together as one drive. The data is split in half between the two disks virtually doubling the read/write speed of your hard-drive. People who want performance usually use a RAID-0 setup and backup their data on a large backup disk.

Another way is to implement RAID-1 which mirrors one drive on to another. This also uses two drives. One drive is your main, while the other is an exact image of your main drive. This is used mostly for data storage. If one drive fails, you have the other drive ready to use with no loss of data. There is virtually no need to backup data with RAID-1 as all your data is copied to the mirror drive at the same exact moment you save it to your main disk. It's automatic.

RAID-0+1 combines the speed of RAID-0, and the integrity of RAID-1. It requires no less than 4 disks of the same size as far as I know.

And lastly, RAID-5+ which uses three or more (I think) disks to do both performance AND storage. This setup is more for servers ranging from small-businesses to larger enterprises and you won't need to even consider it. But, the idea is to span all the data across any number of drives, using one drive as the parity drive. One disk fails, you can restore that disk with the parity disk. No loss of data and decent performance if you have the processing power to crunch fast enough in to the parity drive.



What type of RAID were you considering? Performance, data integrity, or both?
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January 15, 2007 6:27:30 PM

Raid is for faster performance in transfer, read and write of file and as well as security. For gaming it does makes load faster. So if you're going raid then use Raptors like I am using right now. The money-to-performance for raid is not very good at all but it does increase loading and transfers nonetheless.
January 15, 2007 6:28:09 PM

I didn't like the fact that i'm screwed on 0, so i probably wouldn't do that.

I think i'm going to take bjmarler advice and just not get one, this comp is primarily for gaming. So i won't need raid.
January 15, 2007 6:32:45 PM

It depends on your needs really. If you do things with your computer that require a lot of read-write operations to the hard drive like recording high quality audio or encoding/video editing RAID will most likey help. But keep in mind you'll spend much more cash on hardware and also add more complexity to your configuration. (Could complicate data retention in the future). Depending on your needs, you may be better served by a single high speed drive like a WD Raptor 10,000 RPM.

You need to determine the value to you:
Price vs. Performance.

I would recomend doing as much research as possible on the subject of RAID. And you'll learn there are many different configurations available such as RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and so on.... You really need to understand the pro's and con's of each to make an accurate assesment of your needs and how best to meet them.

As far as gaming goes, you'll see improved load times for games that load a lot of data from the hard-disc ex:Half-life 2. But the frame rates will be the same, you'll just get there a little faster as a result of faster file transfer rates helping Windows and in turn said game run a little smoother.

But again you can buy a fast single drive and get reasonable results and save some cash for Memory or a better GPU or CPU or something..

Personally I have a machine with a RAID set that I use for Audio and Video recording. My gaming rig has 2 SATA drives no RAID.I Play FPS games like Quake4 and Doom3, my SATA II drive is fast enough for me. In fact sometimes I don't have time to sip my coffee between maps :wink:
.Also if your motherboard doesn't have a RAID controller on it you'll need to get a controller card too.

Dang, I gotta type faster lol, by the time I hit "Submit" theres a slew of responses. :lol: 
a b G Storage
January 15, 2007 6:48:28 PM

Quote:
I didn't like the fact that i'm screwed on 0, so i probably wouldn't do that.

I think i'm going to take bjmarler advice and just not get one, this comp is primarily for gaming. So i won't need raid.




How exactly are you getting screwed on 0? You're getting double the disk size, and nearly double the performance. I personally have a RAID-0 boot disk and a backup disk that equals the RAID size for storage. I think RAID-0 is worth more than RAID-1 if you're doing nothing but gaming. RAID-1, if you have two 300GB drives, your drive is still only 300GB. If you have two 300GB drives in RAID-0, you have 600GB of space and nearly twice the speed (but nowhere near the data integrity of RAID-1).

Not trying to persuade you one way or another, but RAID-0 is not really screwing anyone over ;)  It's a great compromise IMO.
January 15, 2007 6:55:00 PM

If you are doing any video editing RAID 5 is nice due to it's speed. It's also a option for many of the newer NAS coming out. But if the NAS is not utilizing the Full Bandwidth it a waste.

RAID 1 is the best for data protection. You do take a performance hit for writes. Your speeds should be faster than just 1 drive.

I dis-agree that backup are not required. Anything criticle requires backup, NO MATTER WHAT SYSTEM YOU USE. Just because you are using a redundant array does not mean it's fail safe. I have seen many cases where power surges have taken complete systems out. Users were not using UPS systems. And I have seen users with UPS that failed crashing the systems.
a b G Storage
January 15, 2007 7:34:29 PM

Why do people consider Raid 0 and 2 drives?

Raid 0 can be any number of drives.

Raid 0 with 4 sata drives would be very nice.
January 15, 2007 7:40:27 PM

Raid0 is subjected to a higher failure rate than any other raids. Once you get to 3 drives you might as well jump to Raid 5 and gain redundency. You still have the bandwidth of 3 drives.
a b G Storage
January 15, 2007 7:47:20 PM

If you're scared of losing data with RAID-1, then just move your data to a RAID-5 UPS file server. If you lose data with a RAID-1 it's probably because the PSU killed your drives. In that case the other backup disk that you say would have saved someone would probably have also died, thus defeating the purpose of a backup disk, right?

Moral of the story, RAID-5/6 on UPS if you're more than serious about data integrity. Otherwise RAID-1 will be quite enough (separate disk for archiving at most), and just make damn sure you have a good PSU.
a b G Storage
January 15, 2007 7:49:02 PM

Well, if your going raid 0, who cares about a failed drive.

Just do raid 0 with 6 Sata 100gb drives, and use IDE 500gig for your backup drive. Simple...and dang quick.
January 15, 2007 7:50:10 PM

Agree, look at my Signature Snap4500 NAS 1.6T in raid5 :D  :D 
a b G Storage
January 15, 2007 8:00:05 PM

That's what I do cept it's 2 drives RAID-0 with 320GB backup ;)  All of them are enterprise drives with 5-year waranties and RAID specific timing. Working slick so far ^.^
January 15, 2007 9:06:18 PM

Raid is handy but not needed by most users. A major advantage to using raid is that you can make a single partition that spans several drives. Then you have the data redundancy and performance increase.

Raid doesn't replace making backups of your important data.

Depending on your needs there are raids 0-7, jbod and then even raid levels built on top of eachother like 01, 10, 50, 60, or 100.

Most people who have a need for raid security will use 5 or 6. Performance junckies will risk raid 0.
January 17, 2007 2:39:55 AM

I have a modest PVR - Athlon64 3800+, 2GB memory, 2TB Hard drives. I don't do any editing, but I do do a lot of file format conversions. The system is CPU bound not I/O bound.

All of our office machines, similar to the above, are user bound.

(I have tried RAID. Differences were unnoticable.)

I would suggest you set your machine up with RAID and try it. Then try it without RAID.

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January 19, 2007 3:05:01 PM

GeorgeH: Agreed! (As I have posted on another thread), in every 2-drive RAID 0 benchtest out there the experts seem to think that due to increased seek-times, RAID 0 will give you NO noticeable difference in performance at all if you are dealing with multiple small files (e.g. loading a game), but will give to 20-30% performance boost if you are dealing with single large files, and either way half your time-to-failure with the addition of no redundancy.

Unless you are interested in large multiple arrays, a far better solution is to get a single super-fast drive, i.e. a Raptor, which will beat any other 2-drive RAID 0 array anyway and without the disadvantages.
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