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RAID Block Size

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March 7, 2007 10:18:24 AM

I want to stripe my 4 250BG Seagate Barracudas. What is the best block size?

More about : raid block size

March 7, 2007 4:35:24 PM

well, if youre even considering raid 0, the best stripe size would be the largest available to you... as raid 0 provides the most benefit when dealing with large sized file transfers, such as for editing and transferring video, audio, etc (due to increased STRs)

raid 0 is not really worth considering for other uses, in a desktop environment
March 7, 2007 4:38:03 PM

If you're referring to the stripe size, that is dependent on the data that you have on the array.

If you access tons of small files, a smaller stripe size like 16K or 32K is recommended. For primarily large, sequential accesses like video files, a higher stripe size like 128K is recommended. If you're not doing either one of these, then a good overall size for many applications is 64K.

The block size would refer to what sector size the RAID controller abstracts to the computer. In virtually all cases, this is 512 bytes and is not changeable. Although, I have seen some high-end SAN units that can alter the block size, although this technique is incompatible with all versions of Windows except Vista.
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March 7, 2007 5:03:18 PM

Yes, I meant stripe size. I want a PURE gaming rig. And I am planning on using Vista Ultimate with almost everything stripped off using vLite.
March 7, 2007 5:50:42 PM

for gaming you shouldnt use raid 0, as raid 0 will provide near no benefit to the vast majority of games (as most games dont benefit from the higher STRs)... load times are improved by an average of ~1 second, unless the maps are consisting mostly of large bitmaps and such

if youre looking to improve game load times however, youre much better off going with a faster single hdd, more system memory, or a faster cpu
a c 152 G Storage
March 7, 2007 7:05:15 PM

bahh... I beat 90% of players by quite a margin from FPS(on WolfET i don't even see the load screen on some maps...farcry gets a boost in load speeds too) to MMO's(in guild wars it can be up 5+ second....does not sound like much....but it is...on COH the lead can be more....i can get to a mission while players are still loading the map to go there)..... thank you raid....

On the other hand...if you get a single raptor....the seek times may beat me on game loads....but if i am defragged its not a problem..
Anonymous
a b G Storage
March 7, 2007 7:29:55 PM

i never understand why people say there is no gain from raid 0 for gaming, i see a huge difference between load times with raid 0 machines and non raid...i have two amd 3500+ machines both with 1gb memory same wd drives one with 2 x80gb raid 0 and the other has just 1 80gb loading CS:S maps is cut almost in half on the raided machine.
March 7, 2007 7:38:40 PM

ill simply say to google for 'raid 0 game load times' (or a variation of that)... doing that youll find quite a few benchmark reviews from reputable sites about exactly this topic, and how much raid 0 actually does help (and doesnt in other cases)... ive posted quite a few thread responses on this TBH, and a multi page topic about it as well (on THG forums)... but, if you do the research, instead of just relying on hearsay, or what you feel is the reason why... youll then find out the truth (with numbers to back it up, that are entirely reproducable as well).
March 7, 2007 8:11:44 PM

okay, those are 2 games, very good :) 

but its still not doing anything to disprove what im saying, lol... have you googled for any factual info yet, any explainations, any charts even, to disprove what im saying?
March 7, 2007 8:19:15 PM

Quote:
ill simply say to google for 'raid 0 game load times' (or a variation of that)... doing that youll find quite a few benchmark reviews from reputable sites about exactly this topic, and how much raid 0 actually does help (and doesnt in other cases)... ive posted quite a few thread responses on this TBH, and a multi page topic about it as well (on THG forums)... but, if you do the research, instead of just relying on hearsay, or what you feel is the reason why... youll then find out the truth (with numbers to back it up, that are entirely reproducable as well).


HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!!!

Choir.... are we going to have to explain this all over again? :?

I can't keep going through this... I'm going insane lol.

RAID 0 ~0 benefit in load times as you are bottlenecked by your CPU. Using old games with new hardware will skew your results. Using new games with new hardware is what is in question.

Of course if you try and load a game from 2000 on a new system you will be bottlenecked by your hard drive, but if you tried to load that same game on a rig from 2000 it would be bottlenecked by the CPU.

The best thing for gaming is a Raptor.... not RAID 0
March 7, 2007 8:22:12 PM

i know lol, i do honestly get tired of this same thing... i guess i did forget though, that some people really dont, or just wont, listen, lol

thank you :) 
March 7, 2007 8:26:09 PM

Quote:
i know lol, i do honestly get tired of this same thing... i guess i did forget though, that some people really dont, or just wont, listen, lol

thank you :) 


Word.

There are some things that are in debate.... but this has been proven time and time again. Don't make me go and benchmark a *new* game to prove this... I really don't want to take the time to prove something I know.... lol.
March 7, 2007 8:28:02 PM

exactly, lol
March 7, 2007 8:35:21 PM

prove it :lol:  :lol:  8) :wink:
March 7, 2007 8:39:57 PM

Quote:
prove it :lol:  :lol:  8) :wink:


Burdeon of proof is on you.... we have sources. You have to overturn and disprove accepted documentation of reputable magazines and websites.
March 7, 2007 8:41:11 PM

Word.

lol
March 7, 2007 8:43:49 PM

So, what about 2 Raptors in RAID0? Better than 4 Seagate 250GB drives in RAID0?
March 7, 2007 8:55:42 PM

for theoretical performance (benchmarking), the 4 seagates would most likely offer better results... for sustained transfer rates, they would most likely be better also... it also depends on which raptors your referring to also, 2 of the oldest, or 2 of the newest... comparing 4 of those seagates, against 2 of the newest, in real world usage the seagates would probably be slower, TBH

and again, sidestepping the debate of why this is or that for raid, in regards to most games in general... comparing a single raptor (any raptor i guess), to a single 250GB seagate... a raptor will almost always come out of top, to some extent
March 7, 2007 9:25:27 PM

4x Seagate Barracuda 250GB
vs
2x Western Digital Raptor X 150GB

Both in a RAID0 array. I want PURE gaming. I don't give a damn about anything else but gaming. Which is the best?
March 7, 2007 9:46:49 PM

I have to agree with choir... I think the Raptor 150's should be faster due to the shorter seek times in straight up gaming performance. Games request "random" data, not necessarily sequential data, so you would benefit more from the shorter seek times on the Raptor's 10k RPM than the larger sequential throughput from 4 seagates.
a c 152 G Storage
March 7, 2007 9:58:18 PM

well prove why my Athlon 64 raped my core2 in guild wars(both loading maps and on the fly world loading)? ohhh right raid....was the same on lots of FPS too....
March 7, 2007 10:15:14 PM

Quote:
well prove why my Athlon 64 raped my core2 in guild wars(both loading maps and on the fly world loading)? ohhh right raid....was the same on lots of FPS too....


What....? Hard to understand without proper grammar.

You can't just say A64 vs C2D.... that could mean FX60 vs E4300 at this point.
March 7, 2007 10:21:46 PM

Quote:
well prove why my Athlon 64 raped my core2 in guild wars(both loading maps and on the fly world loading)? ohhh right raid....was the same on lots of FPS too....


What....? Hard to understand without proper grammar.

You can't just say A64 vs C2D.... that could mean FX60 vs E4300 at this point.

You spelled "propper" wrong... And as long as we are on the topic of grammar, there should be a maximum of three "."s. So "What....?" is wrong.

As far as the A64 vs C2D comparison, that is very, very vague. Please elaborate on the specific models.
March 7, 2007 10:30:43 PM

Try this on for size

I'm not sure how you spell proper...

I win!

Yes ellipses are supposed to be 3, but 4 adds emphasis! lol. 8)
March 7, 2007 10:59:12 PM

Touche. I couldn't remember what they were called and I was freaking out because I new it but I just couldn't remember!
March 7, 2007 11:49:45 PM

No biggie... hell I have issues adding 2 + 2 on some days... lol. Yes, this is why they made calculators.
March 8, 2007 12:14:19 AM

Quote:
well prove why my Athlon 64 raped my core2 in guild wars(both loading maps and on the fly world loading)? ohhh right raid....was the same on lots of FPS too....


just got back from an appointment, but, you have to realize that not all levels are created equally (as im sure you do)... some levels do inherantly benefit from a faster cpu being able to decompress and process the level and map data from the hdd, including sounds and anything else, loading it into memory (essentially waiting on the cpu to do things)... this is the most common way for current games to load...

other levels/games dont deal with compressed data as much, and if theyre fairly large sized maps/levels, but not compressed or requiring much additional cpu usage, raid by itself will offer more benefit, compared to the former example (its basically a large sized file transfer is all)... pretty much just loading it from your hdd to your cpu to memory... with your hdd being more of the bottleneck in this case... this is more the case with older/smaller games

as far as the raptor itself benefitting more... superfly i believe is right, the raptor can handle random accesses easier than other 7200rpm hdds can... a raptor essentially doesnt have to wait as long to do something, its 'always on the ready', so to speak... which is why it does also benefit more as an os hdd, being able to find all those little files quickly, certainly faster than a 7200rpm hdd can... which translates to more fluid gameplay as well

more memory always helps in either type of situation, so you can hold the fully loaded levels for quick access, and not have to worry about the hdd as much, especially if you have enough to hold the loaded levels

also realistically, dont forget that a pair of hdds in raid 0 will only offer from a 0-15% improvement above a single identical hdd (assuming the situation benefits much from raid 0 to begin with)... so its usually much more beneficial to go with a faster single hdd anyhow

in any case... unless you know of specific games that will actually benefit much from having raid 0... its usually a safer bet to say that having a single faster hdd, more system memory, or a faster cpu with help the most, as it does with 'most' current games
a c 152 G Storage
March 8, 2007 2:52:15 AM

ohhh right raid ---this means raid is why it was faster....

was the same on lots of FPS too.... ---- the performance is the same on many fps(First Person Shooter.....maybe this confused you....) games....loading and getting textures in world on the fly....

The system was an A64 3200(754 :)  ) and my current rig without raid...and YES the A64 was smoother thanks to faster data rates. Guild wars seems to like data speed allot...Now thats not to call Core2.... It is fast....but was getting a bottleneck from the HDD

@choirbass
I am never going to say raid will double your speed..... but it will help most games....

there are games that will take no advantage of it....i know this....but i also record allot of uncompressed video...i notice it there....In general raid is good for me....maybe not for all....but for me
March 8, 2007 9:47:46 AM

I'd say it all depends on your budget.
Raid WILL give a boost - maybe not noticeable with every application, but atleast a couple percent at average.
How much benifit you get from using raid, depends on how the game is designed, and thus how the files are organized.
I googled abit and found this article - which I believe is very relevant to the thread starter.
What I'm curoius about is which is better, a raptor for OS or games/apps?
My understanding is that it would be benificial to have a separate HDD for OS and application/games, which reduces the pressure on the hard disks "arms", thus giving each disk a freeway of its own. - Am I right?
I'm considering buying a raptor, one of the newer models. Where would the disk do the job best? As OS or game disk? I've always thought that isntalling games and applications on it would benifit most, but there's so much different information on the web, and I can't really find any reliable source.

Those who say they get looots of FPS and better loading times from raid, aren't really representative, since the game design is crucial to how you would benifit from it. If you want to double your HDD cost for a mere 15% reduce in loading time, you can obiously afford it and should really go for it.. But I don't see how someone can get FPS boost in BF2/CS etc, since the game doesnt really read any data from the discs after the map is loaded. Large games like World of Warcraft, loads files continously, as the game is based on what I think peaople call bitmaps. When the game is loading new bitmaps or characters/mobs, you can "feel" it on the FPS. Now always a big deal, but in large areas such as the outlands, there are more loading sessions. As I'm playing WoW myself, it would be interesting to see if it could profit from RAID.

I'd be interested in seeing a chart over game mechanics, and a sorting of game designs, to see which would profit from RAID.
March 8, 2007 11:02:55 AM

So, what should I specifiy for each drive?
1x OS Drive
1x Swap drive
2x Everything else?

I want screaming fast performance.
March 8, 2007 11:20:19 AM

Quote:
ohhh right raid ---this means raid is why it was faster....

was the same on lots of FPS too.... ---- the performance is the same on many fps(First Person Shooter.....maybe this confused you....) games....loading and getting textures in world on the fly....


The system was an A64 3200(754 :)  ) and my current rig without raid...and YES the A64 was smoother thanks to faster data rates. Guild wars seems to like data speed allot...Now thats not to call Core2.... It is fast....but was getting a bottleneck from the HDD[/quote]

Nice tone and grammar, like ellipses much?

2GB of RAM is more important than HDD speed in this case. Guild wars is what 2-3 years old? and your playing it on a Core 2? I'm not surprised at a bottleneck under Core 2. Core 2 is so many times faster than your Sempron. Your Sempron could decompress crap compared to a C2D so of course there is a bottleneck. Also, most FPS that I know of load the entire level *before* you start playing in order to avoid such ugly instances as loading screens. Have you even thought about the amount of bottlenecks on your Sempron system? Single channel DDR, low cache, low clock speed, IMC helps, but be realistic. You were outstripping the system ability to manage your RAID 0.

Quote:
@choirbass
I am never going to say raid will double your speed..... but it will help most games....

there are games that will take no advantage of it....i know this....but i also record allot of uncompressed video...i notice it there....In general raid is good for me....maybe not for all....but for me


Hmmm doubtful, *new* games are bound by the CPU's ability to decompress data and shunt that data to the GPU for processing and effects. However, on older games RAID would likely help because the increased computing power over the past 3 years (more than doubled in most apps) and thus the CPU isn't the bottleneck. Bottlenecks are fluid, so what is a bottleneck now for a certain game won't be the bottleneck if you play the same game on a newer system in 2 years.

Learn the use of commas.
March 8, 2007 11:23:35 AM

Quote:
How much benifit you get from using raid, depends on how the game is designed, and thus how the files are organized.
I googled abit and found this article - which I believe is very relevant to the thread starter.


Choir and I have been over that article before. Good find though. 8)

This is why I say the burden of proof is on people for RAID, because so many tests have been done with *new* games on *new* systems and they all sing the same tune, "RAID doesn't help."

The benefit from RAID 0 is highly dependent on the size of the file. Large files love RAID 0, but with lots of small files you have double the seek movements going on and it can just be a pain in the butt and there is no throughput improvement on such files.
March 8, 2007 3:04:32 PM

Quote:

What I'm curoius about is which is better, a raptor for OS or games/apps?
My understanding is that it would be benificial to have a separate HDD for OS and application/games, which reduces the pressure on the hard disks "arms", thus giving each disk a freeway of its own. - Am I right?
I'm considering buying a raptor, one of the newer models. Where would the disk do the job best? As OS or game disk? I've always thought that isntalling games and applications on it would benifit most


well... ideally you would want to seperate simultaneous reads and writes between hdds if possible... that would be the main benefit, kinda like parallel processing almost

but, in this case, the best place to have both your os and applications, would simply be on the newer raptor (its easily fast enough to cope with most desktop usages, fast data accessing, fast transfer rates, etc)... and the other slower (and larger) hdds for data backup, so you can back stuff up from your raptor on a regular basis, which is easier than backing up from 2 or more seperate hdds (you should have multiple identical backups nonetheless)... it would make sense though to place your pagefile and internet cache on a seperate hdd than the os (a raptor is indeed fast, but having those on the raptor as well would needlessly reduce performance, by however small an amount)

as far as which raptors to consider, the 3 newest ones all offer virtually the same performance (due to the same 74GB platter and 16MB cache sizes, and firmware versions)... but differ in total capacity, and cost

150GB 16MB ADFD ~$190+ (2*74GB platters)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

74GB 16MB ADFD ~$150 (1*74GB platter)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

36GB 16MB ADFD ~$100 (1*74GB platter, half disabled)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

again, they all offer the same performance, it just depends on how much you want to spend, and how much capacity you feel you need, 74GB IMO would be more than enough for your os and applications

Quote:
So, what should I specifiy for each drive?
1x OS Drive
1x Swap drive
2x Everything else?

I want screaming fast performance.


that arrangement seems good, raided or nonraided will offer about the same performance, also depending on the use, so you could even have all 4 as jbod, and it may still perform about the same as having all 4 in raid 0, primarily due to this being mainly a gaming rig...

if possible though, i would see if you could sell a few of those [again] for one of the raptors i listed above (unless capacity is an issue more than performance)... whichcase a hdd with pmr might be more worthwhile than a raptor, theyre not quite as fast, but their capacity is certainly larger (a seagate 320GB 7200.10 sata for ~$90-100, for example)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
a c 152 G Storage
March 8, 2007 5:16:41 PM

learn to READ...A64 not Sempron....

don't bitch about grammar(if you can't read)....The internet is an informal place...So grammar can suck my balls...

you can doubt all you want...want me to record side by side(without raid? and see the load stutter?)? Nightfall is not 3 years old.. It is also patched to take advantage of new hardware.

I am not going to waste my time replying to you....as you are set in your belief...I HAVE fully tested this....and as i said. It may not be good for all, but it is good for me.
March 8, 2007 7:44:38 PM

Quote:
learn to READ...A64 not Sempron....

don't bitch about grammar(if you can't read)....The internet is an informal place...So grammar can suck my balls...

you can doubt all you want...want me to record side by side(without raid? and see the load stutter?)? Nightfall is not 3 years old.. It is also patched to take advantage of new hardware.

I am not going to waste my time replying to you....as you are set in your belief...I HAVE fully tested this....and as i said. It may not be good for all, but it is good for me.


Sempron is a subset of the A64 architecture and is 98% of the socket 754's in existence. I can only find 1 A64 for socket 754 that isn't a Sempron. Which one do you have?

Well good grammar is the mark of good communication. If you can't communicate effectively, it makes it that much hard for other people to understand you. Who designated the internet informal or formal?

Nightfall may not be 3 years old, but Guild Wars base is at least 2 years old. It is a freakin NCSoft product.... they are the WORST programmers alive. Nothing they do is correct. It is one of the worst managed game companies around.

Forgive me if I don't believe you. After reading 15-20 different articles about RAID not helping gaming and then 1 person says it does, what would you believe? Documented and reputable sources or 1 person on a forum?

I have no qualms about using RAID 0 for video editing, you are quite correct that it does benefit you there.
March 9, 2007 4:34:17 AM

Quote:
Guild Wars base is at least 2 years old. It is a freakin NCSoft product

NCSoft did not program or have people to program Guildwar. Guildwar is a product of Arenanet, which is composed mostly of former Blizzard's programers. Arenanet is using NCsoft to distribute/market the game.
March 9, 2007 1:28:13 PM

Quote:
Guild Wars base is at least 2 years old. It is a freakin NCSoft product

NCSoft did not program or have people to program Guildwar. Guildwar is a product of Arenanet, which is composed mostly of former Blizzard's programers. Arenanet is using NCsoft to distribute/market the game.

Didn't know that. :) 
a c 152 G Storage
March 9, 2007 11:50:15 PM

Quote:
NCSoft did not program or have people to program Guildwar. Guildwar is a product of Arenanet, which is composed mostly of former Blizzard's programers. Arenanet is using NCsoft to distribute/market the game.

it sure is....Also programed allot better than other "PlayNC" games

@ SuperFly03
All Athlon 64's where on 754 when it came out. It is an Athlon64 3200+(as far as i know it went to a 3700+ on 754). The FX's(and opterons) where on 940. Then they pissed every 754 owner off with 939. Sempron's are just A64's with the cache and speed cut back. They where also out as 333FSB chips on Socket A.

Athlon64 when it first came out. boy was it cheap for the performance.
March 10, 2007 4:40:16 AM

Quote:
[@ SuperFly03
All Athlon 64's where on 754 when it came out. It is an Athlon64 3200+(as far as i know it went to a 3700+ on 754). The FX's(and opterons) where on 940. Then they pissed every 754 owner off with 939. Sempron's are just A64's with the cache and speed cut back. They where also out as 333FSB chips on Socket A.

Athlon64 when it first came out. boy was it cheap for the performance.


940 opty's were meant for dual proc systems, or rather capable of them, 939 were the bread and butter single CPU opty's (like my nice 165 I have hehe).

I didn't know they were all original 754's, that was before my time (before I read THG/tech web). Fair enough :) 
!