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Swap drive with a RAID 0 array! Must implement today!

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June 15, 2007 2:25:20 PM

Ok, so I've got a strange situation where I've been using an evaluation copy of XP for the last few months and it expires tonight. I've got a copy of vista business to throw on the machine, but the thing is I wanted to implement a separate drive for swap. I have a pair of WD 250gb 16mb cache drives in a raid 0 configuration on a stand alone raid card. I was debating getting a compact flash card with and IDE adapter and dedicating it to swap when I setup vista, or springing for a raptor. I'd have to replace my two existing DVD IDE burners with SATA ones (which I'd been hoping to do anyway) as my 965 board has only 1 IDE channel, the price difference isn't too huge.

What do you guys think would be a better situation, CF with low access times, or Raptor with better throughput?

On a side note, when setting up my stripes, I was debating between 16kb and 32 kb, any thoughts?

Geoff
June 15, 2007 3:15:10 PM

In Vista you can use a usb flash drive for your swap file, it would probably leave you with enough cash left for the raptor as well. The flash drive works pretty well for swap, nearly instantaneous access times but low throughput. It would save you the IDE hassle as well. Then if you did get the raptor, you could install Vista there, use the thumb drive for your swap, and your raid array for your files.(fast)

Picking between just the flash drive or the raptor, I would get the raptor. I think you would see more noticeable benefit from that.

The stripe size for raid arrays is a hot topic around here, frankly I haven't seen any definitive answer on what is the best stripe for everyday use. Maybe we will get a good answer this time. :wink:

Edit: spelling
a b G Storage
June 15, 2007 3:21:40 PM

If your going vista 64 bit, you could get 8gigs of ram and never look at a swap file again... well not for a year anyway.
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June 15, 2007 3:39:31 PM

I've got 4gb of RAM already, but unfortunately I only have a 32bit copy of vista business. Not complaining though as I got it for free. Ya I picked up a USB memory stick for a couple bucks to dedicate to readyboost in Vista. Just want to minimize my disk thrashing on the array. You think I'd have better performance from vista off of a raptor than off of the array? I know for sure I want my apps on the array as I'm an MMO gamer, and instance loading off of RAID 0 is quite nice :) 
June 15, 2007 3:49:55 PM

Yeah, you will see some very noticable benefits from running your operating system and apps on different drives. Even if the other drive wasn't a raptor, I would install OS and apps on different drives. I have a 74 gb raptor that I partitioned ~30gb for XP and ~40 gb for Vista, while I keep all of my apps on my array.

I personally have never had a raid array die on me, but the added security is another benefit you get of not having your OS on your raid array.
June 15, 2007 4:00:19 PM

wow thanks for the advice Pete, I'm definetley leaning toward the raptor now, what do you do for your swap file?

I have my stripe size currently set to 64kb, was planning on 32kb for the next install. I was worried that there would be too much disk thrash with 16kb?
June 15, 2007 4:39:37 PM

In Vista I use a thumb drive(corsair flash voyager GT), in XP it's on the raptor, same partition as my OS.
June 15, 2007 5:08:37 PM

Pete: wow, how big is your thumb drive then? a 4gb or 8gb? the one that I picked up is only a 1gb as I was just hoping to supplement a page file on a hard drive. It's a 1gb version of this:
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
picked it up for $5 at a closing clearance sale at a computer store near my house.

You think I should just get a bigger one and dedicate it as the swap drive?
June 15, 2007 5:12:31 PM

Also I read that if using a seperate partition for swap as long as the partition is less than 10gb the fat32 outperforms ntfs, you ever tested it?
June 15, 2007 5:17:08 PM

I have the 4gb version, and I haven't tried using a separate partition for my swap file.

here's a cool article on using flash drives for your swap file that I found while I was looking though.
http://www.dansdata.com/flashswap.htm
June 18, 2007 4:32:19 PM

Pete:

Bought a 74gb raptor over the weekend, setup vista on it with the swap file and 1gb readyboost stick, all apps and data on the raid 0 array. Running reat. I'm actually getting better performance in my games than I was under XP, kinda crazy, thanks for the advice!
June 18, 2007 5:43:29 PM

my pleasure dewd, enjoy :D 
!