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RAID 0 - is it worth it?

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February 22, 2008 1:38:35 PM

I have two 150Gb Raptor hard disks on my new setup.

I intend to put Vista on one 150GB Hard disk and XP MCE 2005 on the other.

If I was to combine these two hard disks into a single RAID 0 array, despite the fact that I will be splitting the array in half again for the two OS installs would I gain any performance boost?

Also, what pitfalls will I need to watch out for when building/using this RAID array?

More about : raid worth

February 22, 2008 2:17:00 PM

Yup, Just create the array and make it 2 partitions when you go to install the OS. You will still see a performance gain.

Only real pitfall with RAID 0 is the increased risk of complete data loss in a drive failure. If I remember the numbers correct, your chances of complete drive failure and or data loss on a bad drive in a single drive setup is less than 1% but in a RAID 0 setup the risk is ~9%. So, back up your data!

IMO, RAID 0 is an easy way to speed up load times and increased overall 'snappyness' of the OS.
Do some searches and you can find some pretty good benchmarks.
February 22, 2008 2:33:56 PM

The raptors overall dont need the boost in performance but ive been doing it for a while and have had no problems with mine so knock on wood.
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a b G Storage
February 22, 2008 2:41:02 PM

I don't understand those numbers. Data backup is obviously important, but you still have a chance to lose data no matter what lol. Raptors have a 5-year warranty so that's a start =D
February 22, 2008 2:46:40 PM

My two pence.....
If you are asking the question then my answer is do not do it.
ST is correct, a RAID 0 will speed up load times of your os and some applications. It is great when you need to access very large uncompressed data files. Working with NLE video editing and animation for instance (what I use it for), it can add quite a bit of performance.
The down sides I have personally experienced:
You break the stripe, you lose the data.
Running 2 os's off the same hard drives can cause problems for back up programs.
Over clocking can cause the stripe to fail.
A power outage during a read/write operation can cause the stripe to fail.
A software bug can cause the stripe to fail.
A buggy BIOS can cause the stripe to fail.
My observations of the various reviews of RAIDS... They are significantly faster at benchmarks but not for many applications. Those that take a long time to load, such as large games, are usually slow due to the need to uncompress the files. A few due benefit though.
I am constantly looking to squeeze that last bit of performance out of my system, but I balance that with the risk of having a failure. After several years of trial and error, my main system is 4 os', XP Pro, XP 64, Vista Ultimate 32 and 64. The XP's are on their own partitions on their own 300 gig WD SATAII, same as Vista. I have 2 WD 500's in a RAID 0 for data only. 1 WD 300 for swap files/cache files. I do daily backups of the RAID to a external 1394 drive.
Those drives you have are fast and will perform real well. The first time your RAID fails, the time you spend reloading and rebuilding will more then offset any savings you gain.
February 22, 2008 3:18:09 PM

mobo57 your downsides seem to be putting me off making a RAID array for the two drives. The facility and circumstances warrant it so it is tempting but by the sounds of your personal experiences it sounds like RAID 0 is rather fragile. So much as resetting or turning off the machine while it is say loading a game or stuck in a heavy task will kill the whole array.

Are you really saying that RAID 0 is really that delicate??? :-O
February 22, 2008 3:38:06 PM

Yes
February 22, 2008 3:42:50 PM

i have had a raid0 array for 3 years with the same two drives and have had no problems (even with many random BSODs when Vista first came out). But if you are going to use it I would recommend a third drive as a backup for important irreplaceable files.
February 22, 2008 4:15:52 PM

I have been using RAID for about 9 months now and I LOVE IT!!! I am only using 2 WD 160GB hard drives at 7200 RPM but the difference is very noticable. From the time I push the power button, log on, and double click the icon to start my game is 1min. That is awesome. I hate waiting and being able to start loading a game in only one minute from power on is great.

As for how fragile it is? I don't really know if I can confirm mobo57's statements. I have never had any problems with it, and it has randomly restarted on me a few times. I have never had a power loss as I have a battery backup on my system but I have never had an array break down.

Also, I consider myself a fairly heavy user and because of that, I make sure and reformat my drives at once every 6-9 months. Because of this, I always have my important files saved on another drive. That way, in a worst case scenario, I will only loose my most recent data. Just back up your data and you won't have to worry. It is a good idea even if you don't use raid.
February 22, 2008 4:24:06 PM

Well, as has already been stated, and as my real world experience proves, RAID will let you load the OS faster. It will let you access large files faster. It will evey start games faster.

It will not help you play games better. It will not make your FPS higher. It will not make hardly anything faster/better after that program is already open.

Add to that, it is much more prone to problems, so it requires more diligence in backing up your data. Finally it makes basic maintenance/troubleshooting a bit harder since not all diagnostic programs work as seemlessly with RAID.

So, make your choice based on those pro's -vs- con's.

I ran a RAID 0 array for about a year. I'll never do it again. For me the benefit was not worth the extra pain. You may have a very different experience than I did.
February 22, 2008 4:29:03 PM

As far as the numbers go...

In a single drive you have a less then 1% chance of drive failure (as in physical drive failure)

With a RAID 0 you have at least 2 drives required to create the Logical Dive. But, with RAID 0 even if one drive fails you lose everything. There is some logarithmic function that defines the fact that if any single drive has a ~1% chance of failure that x amount of drives in a given array will increase the risk factor of data loss if catastrophic drive failure occurs in any of the drives in the array by amount n

Get it ;) 
a c 353 G Storage
February 22, 2008 4:29:52 PM

Have used raid 0 for 4 to 5 years. My 2 B/U computer (An old p4 prescott is about 4 years old) Only on problem, shortly after loading OS I bumbed the HDD dring a write - Dumb.

My current system (Built Jan 07) has 2 pair of Raid 0 drives, One pair has XP Pro and the Other pair Has Vista 32. Use Bios to select which drive to boot from.

Performance gain depends on usage and file size. I notice very little difference in performance only daily task (Don't game)

If it was me I probably would not raid 0 the two Raptor. One for OS and programs, One for Data.
February 22, 2008 4:50:56 PM

Go for it, you get the same space in the end and a performance gain.

February 22, 2008 5:02:40 PM

I have run raid 0 for along time, have I had it fail yes but don't be a moron and put critical data on those drives, make sure you have a spare drive to put critical data on. For me even if the stripe fails I just shrug and reload the OS, piece of cake. Better yet if you know how to make a proper image you can reload it and set it up with the raid drivers and bam! within half hour or less you back up and running. My opinion is don't do it if you don't know what you are doing, otherwise GO FOR IT! Heck I would just say go for it, its all a learning experience anyway.
March 5, 2008 4:30:40 PM

The problem I'm running into is that I built up too much data to back up easily.

I have a 250 - solo and a pair of 320s in raid 0

I was using the 250 for data security, and now I've filled it and had to transfere stuff to the raid. Now I'm looking at redoing the system, and breaking it up, but I just dont have the free data capacity to do anything about it. I looks like I'm going to have to buy another HDD just to reuse the drives I have.

If I hadn't done the raid, I'd have no problems.
March 7, 2008 6:56:12 PM

got Raid 0 and external drive backup
March 7, 2008 6:58:35 PM

Hi

I ran Raid 0 on two gaming systems, one for more than three years over 4 drives. This was the best experience ever!
March 7, 2008 8:23:42 PM

What kind of MB do you have? Is it an INTEL chipset? If you have a higher end intel chipset board with ICH7R or higher you can have the best of both worlds with INTEL matrix Raid on just 2 drives - reply before I go futher.
March 12, 2008 12:48:57 PM

ICH6R supports Matrix Raid too and you can easily migrate from single to Raid
March 12, 2008 1:47:14 PM

If you are really hung up on the drive fail -> loss of everything problem, I wonder, would buying a 3rd HDD and using it in a RAID 5 setup be something you would consider? You get the space of 2 drives, very nearly the speed of RAID 0, and if a drive fails, you dont lose anything at all.

On a related note... whats the best way to migrate from single to raid?
March 12, 2008 2:45:45 PM

I used RAID 0 for a couple of years and realized little benefit from it, even for video editing. I found that using AHCI for my SATA II drives made more of a difference than anything else.

I had a couple of heart stopping moments when my array went missing at startup for a couple of different reasons. Even though my data is backed up to two different locations (LAN and USB HDD) unless I had performed a backup minutes before an array went down, something would be missing.

As others have mentioned, if there's a problem with EITHER drive for any reason, you lose the contents of BOTH drives.

I no longer feel that RAID 0 is worth the trouble.
March 12, 2008 3:50:19 PM

That Puget article about RAID was one of the worst articles I've ever read.

First of all, he made it clear he hates RAID because he's sick of helping his customers dealing with problems that it can cause. His attitude toward the matter is 100% unprofessional. An "I told you so" attitude in the IT world is one that true professionals just can't have. Just because he's upset he has to provide service for his customers doesn't mean he has to flame a whole technology for it.

Secondly, for someone who builds some decent computers, he didn't seem like he knew that much. Sure, a RAID setup doesn't decrease the access time of a single hard drive...but who was saying it did? Instead, what you have is overlapping access times of multiple hard drives so that it appears that your access time (when reading multiple small files) is shorter.

Also, whenever you hear someone saying that they don't see an increase in performance between RAID0 and a single drive it's most likely because one of the following:
1) Crappy RAID Controller, it'd be like plugging an 8800xx into a PCI 1x slot (ignoring the inherent incompatiblitiy issues)....your capping your self.
2) The hard drives just simply aren't meant to be in a RAID setup and will benefit little from it. Check the HDD section of Toms to see which hard drives scale well.
3) Solitaire just doesn't take that long to load anyway.

To say that RAID is more hassle than it's worth, that's a judgement call, but don't let someone try and fool you into thinking that there is "little benefit" from it.
March 13, 2008 2:24:07 AM

Hoodlum, I'm not necessarily defending the article, but the guy does make some good points to consider:

- The onboard controllers are very crappy.
- RAID adds a significant amount of complexity to the system
- It is their most common help desk call.. the technology isn't up to par

I agree he was a bit unprofessional, but he wasn't denouncing all RAID. Only in some enthusiest desktop machines where his point seems to be "It's usually more trouble than it's worth."
March 13, 2008 2:45:42 AM

I remember reading an in depth article about raid and the benefits. I have used raid in action, both raid 0 and 5.

The only time there is an increase in speed is when you dish out some cash for the very expensive pci cards. Typically from what i've seen on board raid, really is pretty worthless. You will see such a marginal performance increase and add in the risk for data loss, with no way to recover I personally don't see a benefit.

One hard drive goes in raid 0, thats it, audios data. Rebuild the array and start over.

Raid 5 is your best bet if you want best of both worlds, but that requires at least 3 hard drives, 1 for parity and 2 for the striping. Once again, most likely no noticeable differences. perhaps in programs that do very heavy read/writing like video editing, compression etc.

Never hurts to try it out though. In the end its up to you.
March 13, 2008 3:51:07 AM

cranbers said:

Raid 5 is your best bet if you want best of both worlds, but that requires at least 3 hard drives, 1 for parity and 2 for the striping. Once again, most likely no noticeable differences. perhaps in programs that do very heavy read/writing like video editing, compression etc.


one of us is confused as to how a raid5 works
March 13, 2008 4:09:09 AM

I have used RAID for the last 5 years on several home PC's and it is a must for me - can't say I have ever had any problems with it. I have 3 x 320GB drives currently, 2 operate in RAID 0 while the other acts as a reserve and backup drive. In my opinion, performance increase is very noticeably and I wouldn't consider going back to a single drive set-up. The benefits of a more responsive system with reduced load times outweigh the extra complexity and slightly increased chances of a failure.

As a note, I'd avoid RAID 5 unless you have the appropriate hardware controller. The Intel controllers found on the vast majority of desktop motherboards will implement a RAID 5 array in software... you now have that processing overhead and the risks associated with relying on the OS to manage the array.
a c 114 G Storage
March 28, 2008 2:40:14 AM

Look at it this way. In all but DTR and access time benchmarks, a Seagate 7200.11 is faster than two 7200.10's in RAID 0. Exceptions will be in boot time and in access time say for example in accessing lots of small files with a database app. SO do ya buy two 7200.10's and go RAID or replace ya 7200.10 with a 7200. 11?

The downside is that you double your chance of data loss and spending lotsa time on recovery. But if you find yourself booting ya machine every morning and sipping coffee while you wait for it to finish, then you will notice the reduced boot times. Of course if ya keep machine son 24/7 then it ain't gonna do much for ya.

As an AutoCAD user, I am very conscious of disk usage and I just bought my 1st four non SCSI desktop drives about 18 months ago. I tries RAID 0 but frankly I didn't see a real impact with what I was doing.

Gaming sees the least impact. This is a good read to see if you are likely to benefit:

http://faq.storagereview.com/tiki-index.php?page=Single...

Here's some benchmarks:
Benchmark / One Drive / Two Drives in RAID 0 / % performance increase
SR Office DriveMark 2002 / 395 IO/sec / 426 IO/sec / 7.8 %
SR High-End DriveMark 2002 /373 IO/sec / 408 IO/sec / 9.4%
SR Gaming DriveMark 2002 / 519 IO/sec / 529 IO/sec / 1.9 %
SR Bootup DriveMark 2002 / 288 IO/sec / 474 IO/sec / 64.6 %

So if you are expecting to double performance you are going to be disappointed. If you find the 64% increase in boot time performance exciting, then that may be enough for you alone. If you keep machine on 24/7, maybe not so much. In the end, that is once booted, if you find the T & E worth a performance increase from 2 to 10%, then by all means go for it.


April 5, 2008 11:24:24 PM

I've never personally used a setup with RAID 0, but it doesn't seem like it would be worth it. From reading lots of reviews across many different websites, hard drive failures seem to be quite common. (That's why I'm using RAID 1) Aside from just a small performance boost, remember that if one drive fails, that's it.
April 6, 2008 1:08:06 AM

marshahu said:
I have two 150Gb Raptor hard disks on my new setup.

I intend to put Vista on one 150GB Hard disk and XP MCE 2005 on the other.

If I was to combine these two hard disks into a single RAID 0 array, despite the fact that I will be splitting the array in half again for the two OS installs would I gain any performance boost?

Also, what pitfalls will I need to watch out for when building/using this RAID array?


I'd use raid0 if I had a dedicaed, quality raid controller. For home use, Adaptec makes good controllers, but not very cheap. At least they're portable, so will move easily from one MB to another with a minimum of hassle.

Given the amount of work that the typical MB controller off-loads to your CPU, I just don't feel its worth it. Plus, if your MB dies, you'll have issues rebuilding the raid without data loss.

I do have an external raid storage unit, (an early model readynas unit) and it performs nearly as well as some of the high-end dedicated controllers we use at work.

my 2p's...
a b G Storage
April 6, 2008 1:20:44 AM

marshahu said:
I have two 150Gb Raptor hard disks on my new setup.

I intend to put Vista on one 150GB Hard disk and XP MCE 2005 on the other.

If I was to combine these two hard disks into a single RAID 0 array, despite the fact that I will be splitting the array in half again for the two OS installs would I gain any performance boost?

Also, what pitfalls will I need to watch out for when building/using this RAID array?


1) RAID 0 setups make the system feel more robust and alive
2) Data Loss from failure isn't like what people here are saying, its easier to get a virus or accidentally delete your data
3)External caddys are your best friend when they have a sync setup ;) 
4) Intel MATRIX arrays are the best setups
a c 114 G Storage
April 7, 2008 3:30:21 PM

apache_lives said:
1) RAID 0 setups make the system feel more robust and alive
2) Data Loss from failure isn't like what people here are saying, its easier to get a virus or accidentally delete your data
3)External caddys are your best friend when they have a sync setup ;) 
4) Intel MATRIX arrays are the best setups


1. "Feel" being the operative word. They do boot a lot faster which ya kinda lose the benefit of when you leave machines on 24/7. With RAID 0 Raptors gaining you 7.8% in apps, 9.4 % in hi end apps and 1.9% in gaming, it seems awful paltry compared to the increases offered by say the Samsung F1.
2. It's not complicated, whatever it is with one drive, it's twice that what two drives.
3. Most caddies are not rated for "everyday" usage". If one chooses this route, make sure you clarify this.
4. Like croc, I'm an Adaptec man myself.....and I too made the switch to NAS's.
April 7, 2008 4:22:54 PM

Rapter are are only a tiny bit faster in raid 0....as they are smoking fast already....I would stick with reliability and put an operating system on each drive....
April 7, 2008 5:12:36 PM

Never thought I'd say this, but I agree with Mr. Naylor, PI.

Any "it feels faster" comment gets dismissed as placebo, because it flies in the face of BENCHMARKS. Storage review article is a good one to read, or try Anandtech's writeups. And by all means, avoid Tom's benchmarks which show throughput increases that relate very little to the real world usage.

qwertycopter - just because it is the #1 source of support calls it doesn't mean the technology is not up to par; it mostly means that it is grossly misused by uninformed masses. It really has no place in the desktop. Think about this; the highest margin of improvement is up to 30% [edited; I recalled 20% but it's sometimes higher] in media encoding scenarios. That's not a really wide margin, and again, that's best-case usage scenario on the desktop. But some people might consider the extra investment (ordinarily) involved in setting up RAID0 worth it for 20%. Your typical margin of improvement, though, is well below that. RAID was never meant to be on desktops.

April 7, 2008 5:23:08 PM

rushfan said:


I had a couple of heart stopping moments when my array went missing at startup for a couple of different reasons. Even though my data is backed up to two different locations (LAN and USB HDD) unless I had performed a backup minutes before an array went down, something would be missing.


Heheheh, I know that feeling. Tryed pushing my overclock a few times after I set up my RAID, would have to reset the BIOS after it would no longer POST, but forgot that the RAID setup was part of the BIOS. Had given up hope and was ready to reinstall before I remembered, lol.

Overall, I like having the RAID setup, I have no benchmarks, but the system just feels faster with it, although I will say I did see a bigger speed increase going from PATA to SATA than from single drive to RAID. I use to keep my system on 24/7, but with the price of electricity, I've started to shut it down while I'm away at work. Its nice to be able to fire that puppy up in <2min and be ready to go, longest part is connecting to my wireless, lol.
April 7, 2008 5:50:50 PM

i have 2 150 gb raptors in raid 0 and they are definately faster than 1 at loading maps on online games and i have never had a problem.i had 2 74gb raptors in raid 0 before in my last rig for 3 years and didn't have a problem.go for it
a c 114 G Storage
April 8, 2008 2:22:48 PM

The 74 GB Raptors did very well in the storagereview.com reliability survey. It was the newer 150 GB models that dropped to the 12th percentile.

Raptor WD360GD - 86% (released 2nd quarter 2003)
Raptor WD740GD - 94% (released 4th quarter 2003)
Raptor WD1500 - 12% (released 1st quarter 2006)

Don't assume it's the size that makes the difference. The Raptor is now in version 4 and I'd expect all version 4's regardless of size to perform similarly. They must have swapped a part or two in the latest versions that accounts for the difference.

The last Raptor design came out 9 quarters ago which accounts for the performance loss as it's rpm advantage is eclipsed by competitor's advances in areal density over the past 2+ years. If WD plops it's new hi density 320 GB platters into a 10k design, the Raptor should retake it's performance edge.


April 8, 2008 3:26:36 PM

Smoked Turkey said:
Yup, Just create the array and make it 2 partitions when you go to install the OS. You will still see a performance gain.

Only real pitfall with RAID 0 is the increased risk of complete data loss in a drive failure. If I remember the numbers correct, your chances of complete drive failure and or data loss on a bad drive in a single drive setup is less than 1% but in a RAID 0 setup the risk is ~9%. So, back up your data!

IMO, RAID 0 is an easy way to speed up load times and increased overall 'snappyness' of the OS.
Do some searches and you can find some pretty good benchmarks.


Actually the chances on a single drive used by a consumer is probably more like >0.01% and in a two drive RAID0 array it's just double that or technically a slight bit more than double as there's a RAID controller involved that could go wonky. On the plus side, Raptors are essentially enterprise class SCSI drives refitted with SATA controllers. So they're more robust than your average hard drive.

9% failure rates would mean no one would ever run R0 :) 
a c 114 G Storage
April 8, 2008 4:10:34 PM

Quote:
9% failure rates would mean no one would ever run R0 :) 


Maybe they shouldn't ..... considering the current Raptor's failure rate:

9% was a good number for the old 2003 version of the Raptor. But the new 2006 versions has fared far worse.

http://www.storagereview.com/WD1500ADFD.sr?page=0%2C9
"According to filtered and analyzed data collected from participating StorageReview.com readers, the Western Digital Raptor WD1500 is more reliable than 12% of the other drives in the survey that meet a certain minimum floor of participation."

Out of 168 WD 1500 Raptors in storagereview.com's reliability survey, they published the following results amounting to 25 dead drives:

Dead on arrival
Dead on arrival
Dead on arrival
Dead on arrival
Dead on arrival
Failed before 1 month
Failed before 1 month
Failed before 1 month
Failed before 3 months
Failed before 3 months
Failed before 3 months
Failed before 3 months
Failed before 1 year
Failed before 1 year
Failed before 1 year
Failed before 1 year
Failed before 1 year
Failed before 1 year
Failed before 1 year
Failed before 2 years
Failed before 2 years
Failed before 2 years
Failed before 2 years
Failed before 2 years
Failed before 2 years

That equates to:

a) a 15% chance of dealing with a dead drive within 2 years
b) a 12% chance of lost data (excludes DoA's) within 2 years
c) a 24% chance of lost data if used in RAID 0 within 2 years

And there are still 3 years to go in it's warranty period however if something gonna fail, it usually goes in 1st 2 years.


By comparison the 2003 version (698 in survey) of the Raptor had:

9 DoA's
8 Failures within 1 month
3 Failures within 3 months
12 Failures within 1 year
8 Failures within 2 years
2 Failures within 3 years
1 Failures within 5 years
13 Peeps stopped using before it died.

That equates to 43 failures out of 685 drives:

a) a 6% chance of dealing with a dead drive within 2 years
b) a 5% chance of lost data (excludes DoA's) within 2 years
c) a 9% chance of lost data if used in RAID 0 within 2 years
April 10, 2008 3:30:21 PM

russki said:
qwertycopter - just because it is the #1 source of support calls it doesn't mean the technology is not up to par; it mostly means that it is grossly misused by uninformed masses.

I was referring to their quality and reliability, not performance.
April 10, 2008 4:09:21 PM

To give some tangible figures:

Benchmarked WD 320GB on it's own with HDDTune and avg around 80-90 MB/sec.
Benchmarked 2 x WD 320GB in RAID 0 and avg 130-140 MB/sec.

It's synthetic yes but that is a significant increase and I certainly do notice my system is faster with RAID 0. Used RAID for years and year, never would build a personal machine without it now, and never had any major problems.
April 10, 2008 5:16:06 PM

Maximus, try SiSoft Sandra, that would show you a great improvement, also. I could do a search for synthetic benchmarks that show you the throughput benefit of RAID0, I'm sure there are many...

People like you kill me.
a c 114 G Storage
April 10, 2008 5:30:47 PM

Yes it will boot faster and it will do a DTR synthetic faster. But running gaming benches don't show any significant improvements. As a comparison, buying a 500 GB 7200.10 last year and a 7200.11 this year would have netted a user a 34% increase.

And it does double your failure rate.

Looking at the last Caviar in the storagereview.com reliability survey the 500 GB RE2 shows that it finished in the 4th percentile. IOW, 96% of the drives out there proved to be more reliable. With 187 drives in the 500GB RE2 reliability survey:

13 drive still running after 2 years
139 drives still running after 1 year (includes the 13 above)
7 DOA's
22 failures within one year
3 failures between 1 and 2 years

So that means:

17+% failure rate so far with most of the drives just one year old.
13+% of the people using them "lost data"

About 1 in 4 people using RAID 0 would experience a failed array within the 1st year alone.
April 10, 2008 10:51:25 PM

russki said:
Maximus, try SiSoft Sandra, that would show you a great improvement, also. I could do a search for synthetic benchmarks that show you the throughput benefit of RAID0, I'm sure there are many...

People like you kill me.


The point I am making is that it is 'faster', even if not quite what the benchmarks show. Windows, games etc load quicker... big file transfers happen faster and it copes better multi-tasking with heavy disk work. I notice it to point of thinking that non modern RAID HDD setups are slow and bog down easily when I use them.

The thread was, is RAID 0 worth it? My answer is yes for justifiable reason - sorry if that's got your back up.

As a note I currently use the server versions of the WD discs which have 5 year warranty - I am sure they are more reliable than a 25% chance of my array failing this year. Anybody with RAID 0 should back up frequently - I have a few sync routines that do this automatically...
a b G Storage
April 11, 2008 8:30:49 AM

Maximus_Delta said:
To give some tangible figures:

Benchmarked WD 320GB on it's own with HDDTune and avg around 80-90 MB/sec.
Benchmarked 2 x WD 320GB in RAID 0 and avg 130-140 MB/sec.

It's synthetic yes but that is a significant increase and I certainly do notice my system is faster with RAID 0. Used RAID for years and year, never would build a personal machine without it now, and never had any major problems.


Agreed mate

As for benchmarks showing little/no improvement, the benchmarks are synthetic and dont show real world performance, its the usability, same as Intel's HT, NCQ, SATA, 32mb cache (HDD), Ready Boost and many other technologies and specs - its not just high benchmark figures that make a computer "fast" and "robust". Why dont we all buy IDE hdd's and disable AHCI/NCQ and every other minor feature that "doesnt perform any better on synthetic benchmarks" - EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS.

Failure rates? Most people are stupid and don't handle hardware correctly, short it out, drop it, misuse it or blame it for faults etc - thats something your figures dont show.

I trust my data on a Raid 0 hdd setup as much as i trust a single hdd setup - that is, i do not trust either. My data is backed up onto external drives as well as my server with raid1, all my pcs have raid 0 setups and no important data is stored on any of them, not that iv ever lost a Raid0 array.

Let the single drive users live with there little computers, we can use our pcs knowing that the bottlekneck is nearly half of everyone elses - the minimum spec is doubled. :D 
a c 114 G Storage
April 12, 2008 6:40:55 PM

Maximus_Delta said:
As a note I currently use the server versions of the WD discs which have 5 year warranty - I am sure they are more reliable than a 25% chance of my array failing this year. Anybody with RAID 0 should back up frequently - I have a few sync routines that do this automatically...


There is no real difference between the drives. Take for example the "enthusiast Raptor and the server Raptor". They are the identical drive except for that:

a) One has a metal cover and one a clear plastic cover

b) The server version has a 1,200,000 MBTF, the other a 600,000 MBTF. Now logic would dictate that this meant that the server version was better somehow. Not at all, the only difference between the two drives is how the MTBF is calculated. By changing the number of hours that the drive is expected to run, they essentially double the MTBF with the argument being, I suppose, that the more frequent start ups of a home drive puts more shock loading on moving parts than one that runs smoothly 24/7.

If you buy a "server" hard drive and use it in a home machine, the rated MTBF drops in half. Take a home use HD and put it in a server and its rated MTBF doubles.

Warranty to a certain extent is determined by price. If you buy something in Best Buy that has a warranty of one year, and you buy a 2 year 3rd party warranty, does that in and of itself make the product better. Same thing with manufacturer warranty. Very often the only difference between the server version and the home version is the:

a) Label
b) MTBF rating (and again, you can double any drive's rating simply by calling it a "server" drive.
c) Price

By charging the higher price, they pay for what is in effect an insurance policy against future warranty claims.
April 12, 2008 7:00:55 PM

waranties on something like this are like rebates. most people dont go through the hassle.
a c 114 G Storage
April 13, 2008 8:05:24 PM

I have obtained replacements for every failed part under warranty and every rebate I have ever been offered, with one exception. My last rebate was a $2,000 straight rebate and $2,000 trade in rebate on a $11,995 plotter which was "on sale" for $9,995.....Wound up saving me $6k over retail.

The exception was a failed HD that WD refused to cross ship 3 years ago. I used keep spare HD's handy. The spare goes in and the warranty replacement becomes my new spare. But w/ RAID 1 on the NAS, a failed HD doesn't mean that much anymore.
April 17, 2008 5:34:54 AM

JackNaylorPE, I can see how that would work with the higher prices just to cover the higher cost to them of providing a 5 year warranty. I won't worry too much about the home vs server editions in future then...
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