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couple of "new to raid-0" questions

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March 2, 2007 5:42:15 PM

Hey everyone,

I'm setting up a raid-0 configuration for the first time and just thought I'd get some input on a couple things.

here's the system specs: mobo: asus A8V delux, cpu: amd64 4000+, corsair ram 1GB (bout to be 2GB), ati x1600pro 512MB, system/boot drive: 80gb WD 7200RPM (IDE), and for the raid-0: 2x WD1600YS 160GB 7200RPM 16MB (SATA).

I guess what I'm mostly concerned about is setting the correct stripe size, it seems that it can really impact performance. Here's what I'm mainly looking to do on the raid-0 drives: games, some non-pro video editing (just family stuff), and some DVD backups/shrinking, and some non-crucial data storage (just programs I've downloaded, etc...).

ok, I've done a bit of reading, I realize that I probably won't see much of a difference with the games, that's fine. I would at least like to have a bit better load times. I'd like for the video editing/producing to go faster as well.

so far I've read that stripe sizes of 16, 32, 64, and 128 are all good for gaming...lots of differing opinions. Haven't found much on working with video except that sometimes a bigger stripe is better. So...I'm not sure what to do. probably 64 or 128 would be best? would I still see better results with video files with these smaller stripes? i'm a newb to the raid stuff...

(by the way, i realize that i'm not going to see a HUGE performance boost...and that there is some risk involved, i'll be keeping my most important files on the non-raid system drive)

thanks in advance for any help with this

More about : couple raid questions

March 2, 2007 7:31:32 PM

well... for gaming, raid 0 in general wont offer much improvement at all compared a single disk, as the loading itself doesnt benefit from the higher STRs (~1 second improvement on average for most games, unless the maps themselves consist of mostly large bitmaps and such)... youll see a much greater improvement by using a faster single hdd, more system memory, or a faster cpu

google for 'raid 0 game load times' to read more

regarding stripe sizes and video editing... since youre working with most likely fairly huge files, the largest stripe size will be the best to use, in your case, 128k... using a 2 drive raid 0 array you may optimally see up to about a ~15% boost in STRs, compared to a single hdd

regarding stripe sizes and anything else, set the stripe size to be the average file size of what the majority of the files on the raid array will be... if you have mostly only 1kb files... set the stripe size to the smallest you can... if theyre mostly 8kb in size, set the stripe size the closest to 8k that you can... the same for 16kb, 32kb, etc sized files... whatever you have the most of on the array, so youll then see the greatest improvement (though the stripe size shouldnt be less than the file size if you can help it)... though it wont be much improvement anyhow... because raid 0 primarily offers performance boosts for STR, and not much else
March 2, 2007 8:01:14 PM

thanks for the reply. yeah i've read some about gaming and stuff, so wasn't expecting a big boost with that. guess i'm just going to have to try it and mess with it and see how it goes. kind of funny i've been wanting to try it for years....but the more i research...the more unsure i seem to get. some people love it, some really recommend against it...
was basically seeing if anyone has had a similar setup with similar goals, and could make a stripe size recommendation to help me eliminate some of the "mess with things" time :p  just don't have the time that i used to lol... will give it a go this weekend
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March 2, 2007 8:16:33 PM

welcome :) , yeah, for gaming, im just trying to help dispell a lot of the myth hype and fallacy around it... typically people will recommend and promote it for gaming, but its usually after moving up from 1 slower hdd on an older system, to 2 faster hdds in raid 0 on a newer system, thinking that having raid 0 itself was what gave the most boost for it, when it was guaranteed to be pretty much everything else that helped much more, including 'pseudo-speed'

but typically the largest stripe size available is going to be the most ideal to use
March 2, 2007 8:23:31 PM

I'm using 64. I never messed with it but have no complaints either. My video processing definately saw an improvement, (converting .avi's to DVD and back). The second Gig of RAM helped Doom3 far more than the RAID did.
March 2, 2007 8:26:58 PM

What choirbass said.

And please don't use it for storage. The best config for you would probably be 2 RAID'ed drives as the work volume, with a storage drive. I'll leave it up to you where you put your games. Worse comes to worst, you can always reinstall them. Back up the important files, though.

My $0.02
March 5, 2007 12:16:00 PM

well guys I had the raid-0 set up but did something stupid and put my boot hdd in a bad place with no ventilation. think i fried it while it was running overnight...temp probe was showing 51c on the bottom (others around 38c), took a while to get it to detect the drive, wouldn't run WD diagnostics, and was extremely sluggish (~3MB/s transfer rates no matter what i did lol). took forever to get stuff moved to DVDs but at least i was able to access the data.

Sooooo....since I don't really want everything sitting on a raid-0 setup I just split the raid and am running the 2 new drives independently now with a fresh windows xp install...maybe it'll be better in the long run :p  and definitely learned a lesson about heat and hdds...dang i feel dumb, have built a lot of systems that has to be about the worst thing i've done...
March 5, 2007 12:50:11 PM

As long as you have the drives sitting beside the front intake fan they should stay very cool?? I have 2 raptors at present and they are as cold as can be
March 5, 2007 1:27:18 PM

Quote:
As long as you have the drives sitting beside the front intake fan they should stay very cool?? I have 2 raptors at present and they are as cold as can be


yeah the 2 new drives are by the front intake fan, i think they are fine, decent temp readings. i moved my old drive that i was going to keep windows on up a bay, where a floppy could go... don't think any air was circulating there though, and there's only an inch maybe between it and the drive below :/  i put a fan under it the day after, but too late i think the damage done is irreversible
March 5, 2007 1:45:01 PM

RMA it. Those drives have a 5 year warranty and are designed for server type operation. If it can't take 51c overnight something is wrong. My SCSI's used to run 70c for half the night till the backups were done. (Okay, that was a 5U NAS case with 4 fans but you get the idea.)
March 5, 2007 7:36:56 PM

Every time I try and respond to a RAID question you ALWAYS beat me to it.... DAMN YOU! lol. 8O

Oooooo back to work it is then nothing to see here, move along lol.
March 5, 2007 7:52:07 PM

It's the little things that help me get through the day.
March 5, 2007 8:40:15 PM

Quote:
RMA it. Those drives have a 5 year warranty and are designed for server type operation. If it can't take 51c overnight something is wrong. My SCSI's used to run 70c for half the night till the backups were done. (Okay, that was a 5U NAS case with 4 fans but you get the idea.)


yeah my new drives have the 5 year warranty, the one that's toast only has a 3yr (expired) warranty. it could have been hotter than 51c, that was just the temp probe held up to the outer part of the underside. i dunno, if it wasn't the heat, something sure screwed it up.... maybe it's just dying of old age and it happening with the location change was just coincidental.

anyways bottom line to what i was saying... i'm not going raid-0 now, so don't bother responding to my first question(s) any more ;) 
from all the stuff i've been reading looks like i won't be missing out on much anyways...
!