I've read a couple threads regarding (r)aid 0 versus a single drive, but what about a specific comparison using a hardware RAID controller?
Which is better? (prices from Newegg)
Hardware (r)aid0 ($389.23 total)
AMS DS-2350S eSATA 5 bay Aluminum Enclosure $217.99+$14.16(s/h)=$232.15
2 - Western Digital Caviar RE WD2500YS drives [$69.99+$8.55(s/h)]*2=$157.08
VelociRaptor ($331.95 total)
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS $299.99 (no s/h)
OKGEAR OK350AU2S1-S Aluminum 3.5" eSATA Enclosure $22.99+$8.97(s/h)=$31.96
I need faster disk io for some number crunching. My program writes a temporary ~10 GB matrix of numbers to disk and then does considerable matrix calculus and manipulation using that data. I'm not sure how the transfer rates will compare: the VRaptor claims 120 MB/s, the WD2500YS claims 70 MB/s... but what will my RAID 0 transfer speed be? I assume it will be less than 140 MB/s, but how much less?
Also, how will seek times compare? How important are seek times for number crunching?
Obviously, the (r)aid0 is expandable, while the VRaptor is not. (Putting VRaptors in the (r)aid is prohibitive.)
I would not put the velociraptor drive in a external enclosure unless it had some crazy cooling solution on it.
I can't provide any proof to my theory but i would go with the raptor. It would give you the speed you want with a faster seek time. Plus it has a much higher mtbf so with as much work as your making it do that would be a huge plus. Also considering you won't have to raid the raptor that would be even less opportunity for failure.