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Quick question for the all knowing here!!

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May 20, 2007 2:59:22 PM

Hey, I got an itch to upgrade my pc.

I am pretty fluent around my pc, and how to assemble etc, and im going to upgrade quite a bit, E6600, Nvidia8800 etc.. However, I have never messed with RAID much, and I like the sound of RAID0, which I am going to do, I have researched for last couple of hours and even read the manual of the mobo I am buying online. However there is one answer/question that I cannot find... so hopefully someone with experience can answer quick for me!

Q) If I build a new machine, with 2 blank drives, and set them up as RAID0 before I install any OS, will installing Vista onto the setup cause me any unforseen problems, or will be setting it up in the Bios and then installing the OS be ok?

I know you guys have probably answered this a million times and i did search ten pages before i asked!!

And before I get asked why, I play alot of online gaming, especially first person shooters, so the extra few seconds load times may help :) 

More about : quick question knowing

May 21, 2007 12:36:23 AM

You didn't mention the target motherboard or chipset. This matters quite a lot in RAID-related questions. Each implementation is somewhat different and advice is generally better when referred to a specific implementation.

I also don't know what sort of problems you're wondering about, but generally, RAID implementations basically work as advertised and you can install an OS on them with drivers supplied (F6 or some such) during installation. Pre-Vista this would take a floppy or custom build of the OS installation. AFAIK, Vista supports USB and CD/DVD media for drivers in addition.

As the Windows-level RAID utilities will not be usable during OS installation, you must rely on the BIOS-level RAID creation (or something else, e.g. creation of the array using another OS installation) in order to have Windows installed on RAID.

(I avoid doing this myself, as I prefer small and simple OS management separate from applications and data, etc., but many people do it.)
May 21, 2007 2:07:23 AM

Just be warned, that it's very hard to recover data on a raid 0 set up, if something happens to it.
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May 21, 2007 2:46:36 AM

Quote:
Just be warned, that it's very hard to recover data on a raid 0 set up, if something happens to it.


Indeed. Backup regularly. Raid 0 doubles the chance of data loss because if one drive dies you lose it all.

You get marginal increse in speed in exchange for this added risk.
May 21, 2007 7:27:08 PM

Thanks for the info, I read bout the risks, to be honest, hard-drives have never gone down on me, ever, but i know im temptin fate now...

this is the setup im using..

this mobo

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

these hard-drives x 2

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

From reading the mobo, its all onboard, and seems to be pretty well thought of, so I was just worried if i did a set up it would make installing windows vista hard like :|

maybe i need to reserach more.. :| but im confused, if raid 0 goes across two drives, wouldnt installing after the OS make the OS on one drive and everything else on 2 ? confused :|
May 21, 2007 7:36:08 PM

Raid 0 turns two or more drives into one large drive, and windows will space files and parts of files out, to make them faster to get too, so the OS could be scattered across more then one drive, and parts of files could be done the same, even if you defrag often.
May 21, 2007 7:43:00 PM

From a Newegg user review on this board:

Quote:
[3/5 eggs] RAID zero performance

Pros: Very stable, even after upping speed from 2.4GHz to 3.26GHz with zalman cnps9500 cooler. No need to increase voltages. Good feature list, including old style PS/2 KB+mouse ports, parallel and serial ports.

Cons: RAID 0 performance is terrible compared with previous nvidia chipsets. I believe this is the 650i chipset, not specifically this motherboard. 2x250GB Seagate ST3250620AS in RAID 0. HDTach 3.040 measure Average read of only 80MB/s. Same drives on my older Nforce4 Ultra DFI board gives 112MB/s.


Other Thoughts: If you are not doing RAID or using the nvidia onboard RAID controller then this board is a terrific choice for a gaming box. As usual newegg shipped promptly.


There have been other documented cases of i6x0 chipsets having poor SATA/RAID performance. E.g. with i680:

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/03/the_southbridge_...

nVIDIA has had much better performing chipsets in the past, and I'm not sure what the extent of the problem is nor what the resolution is, if any. nVIDIA email support kinda sucks too for this sort of issue, but it's the best that I can think of offhand, short of some sort of luck on the nVIDIA user forums or public acknowledgment (hah) and resolution.

Best of luck, let us know if you find out anything about this issue.
May 21, 2007 7:53:03 PM

Quote:
im confused, if raid 0 goes across two drives, wouldnt installing after the OS make the OS on one drive and everything else on 2 ? confused :|


Yeah, it looks like there's some confusion here. I'm not sure the cause; hope it wasn't me and hope that this won't cause more confusion.

If you're going to boot off RAID 0, then you have to create the RAID array (via BIOS-level utilities) before you can install an OS onto it -- you can't install and then set up the RAID.

(One "exception" would be if you had a multi-boot setup and booted off another drive for a second OS or created the RAID array on another computer, etc.. Another exception would be if you installed on a simple drive and managed to do a conversion to RAID -- this can be tricky, and is RAID implementation-dependent. Don't worry about these; they're just mentioned for completeness.)

Normally you setup the RAID, install the OS, supplying the SATA/RAID drivers during OS installation via F6 or something, and then after the installation, updating the drivers and utilities at the OS level. This gives you a RAID GUI / utility that you can use in Windows.

Is this any clearer?
!