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Question about RAID

Last response: in Storage
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June 3, 2008 10:12:00 PM

I have been reading through the forums trying to find an answer to this question but have not had any success, so I figured that I would start a new post. I am getting ready to build a new home system that I will be using primarily for gaming, but also will need to keep some files backed up. I am planning on using a 780i motherboard and then using 2- 160gb hard drives and 2- 500gb hard drives. The 160gb drives will be for install and the 500gb for storage of course. I wanted to put the 160gb in RAID 0 for gaming, and was thinking of RAID 5 for the 500gb drives for storage. After reading through the forums it seems more like I will probably go more for a RAID 0+1 or RAID 1+0.
My question is

1) Which one would be better for what I am wanting to accomplish? (increased gaming and dependable storage)
2) What, if anything, will I need besides the drives to make this work?
3) I was trying to get 1TB of storage out of the 2-500gb drives, what I have read though in RAID 1 or 5 you will only have half of your storage (ex. only 500gb for 2-500gb drives). So is there a way to keep the full 1TB of storage?

I am trying to keep this within a budget and the 4 drives seemed like they would be the best for what I was looking for. Does anyone see any problems with this or have any suggestions?

More about : question raid

June 3, 2008 10:31:01 PM

Well, you can span the 2x500gb drives and you'll see the whole kit...nearly 1TG of storage.

With the hardware setup you're considering I'd put the 2x160GB in AID-0 and either span or mirror the 500GB (I'd prolly mirror them) and place my backups upon them.

With such a setup you could put your data on the AID-0 and do backups to the mirror.

...but if you're set on seeing close to 1TB of space use spanning to glue the 2x500's together. You can still put your data on the AID-0 just so long as you're doing regular, frequent backups of any data you care about.

In comparison I use 2x250GB in AID-0 (OS' & media), 2x74GB Raptors in AID-0 (11 virtualized OS') and back it all up to a 750GB & 100GB drive.
June 3, 2008 10:34:40 PM

Well first off, if you are using an onboard RAID controller, I'd say don't f***ing bother. Those onboard RAID chips are primarily software RAID and are too damn flaky for my taste. I have one now, and it would work like a horse for a while and then all of a sudden it would dismantle the RAID array randomly and I'd lose all my $h!t.

Secondly, RAID-0 stripes 2 identical drives. You wouldn't lose space, you're two 160GB drives would now be one 320GB drive. However, if either of the drives malfunction, or the RAID controller $h!ts itself, your data is gone. There is a chance if the RAID controller just loses the RAID array that you can rebuild with the same drives in the same position and still keep your data, but not very likely. But, if you lose one of the drives, you will never get that data back.

Third, RAID-1 is a mirror. So, you're just combining two 160GB drives into one 160GB drive and one 160GB mirror. If you lose a drive, Windows should be able to boot and/or read from the mirror natively.

Fourth, RAID-5 requires 3 drives minimum and you only lose the capacity of one drive. Two of the drives are striped like in RAID-0 but the third drive is a parity drive so that the RAID-5 array can lose any one drive and be able to rebuild itself once you replace the third bad drive.

My recommendation, and personal preference, would be to just use a single drive, whether it be a 160GB or even smaller, for your OS and another single drive for storage. Only put your OS and programs on your main drive and all your files and data to keep on the other drive. That way when Windows $h!ts itself, you don't have to even worry about backing up data and can go straight to reformatting.

Now, if you are using a third party PCI-E RAID card, I'd say go for RAID-0 for performance maybe and just leave your storage drives unraided. The storage you lose from a RAID-1 mirror just isn't worth it to me. But, if you have the money and don't mind the loss of a whole drive then RAID-1 would be the safest bet with storage drives unless you want to use 3 drives in a RAID-5.

Hope that helps?

--Arson94
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June 3, 2008 11:34:44 PM

Thanks for the tips. They are greatly appreciated :sol: 
June 18, 2008 1:25:26 AM

I am thinking about doing something similar. I wanted to RAID-0 two 500Gb drives and have a third plain SATA drive for backup storage. Is that possible to have one set of drives RAID'ed and then a stand alone back up drive non-RAID'ed? Thanks!

P.S. I'm not trying to hijack this thread. I just had a small question I thought this was a good thread to ask on.
June 18, 2008 4:06:44 AM

yea you can do that easily. it's just a big waste of a terabyte of hard drives just to run your OS. and like i mentioned in my above long post, raid is a waste period using onboard raid controllers.
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