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Best performance drives for a great RAID 0

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September 19, 2008 3:24:01 PM

Hey,

Im thinking about building a new power pc, and I already have a 1 Tb external drive so Im not that focused on space rather Im focused on performance. For what I read the best of the best is SSD, but budget is not that high.

what about 2x VelociRaptor 150Gb 10k RPM? I read a review on tom you can get a burst performance of up to 346Mb/s and something steady around 180Mb/s

Any other good alternatives or suggestions?

Thanks in advance

MVP
September 19, 2008 4:01:06 PM

What is this new power PC going to be used for?
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a c 174 G Storage
September 19, 2008 4:26:43 PM

rozar said:
What is this new power PC going to be used for?

This is an essential question.
There is generally no real world(vs. synthetic transfer rate benchmarks) performance advantage to raid of any kind.
Go to www.storagereview.com at this link: http://faq.storagereview.com/tiki-index.php?page=Single...
There are some specific applications that will benefit, but
gaming is not one of them. Even if you have an application which reads one input file sequentially, and writes
it out, you will perform about as well by putting the input on one drive, and the output on the other.

The recently announced Intel 80gb SSD will cost about the same as two velociraptors, and should perform better. But, how much space do you need for your high performance data? Is 80gb enough, 300gb, 600gb, 2tb??

Do not make a decision based on synthetic tests. Access patterns are very important, and yours will bear no resemblance to what the synthetic tests use. And, yours will change over time.
September 19, 2008 4:55:32 PM

How about 2 15K SAS drives?
a b G Storage
September 19, 2008 5:00:41 PM

Personally I am a fan of RAID0 and recommend them as long as folks understand the limitations, uses, and the fact that there is no redundancy. The thing about a RAID0 array is that any gains mostly come from the fact that data is being writting across 2 or more drives not so much from the platter speed of the drives themselves. Now, if you compared the access and read/write times of a 2 disk array with 5400rpm drives to a 2 disk array of Raptors, there are going to be obvious increases with the raptors. But, for the most part, a 7200rpm drive is a 7200rpm drive and minimal performance gain will be seen going from Seagate to Western Digital to Maxtor 7200rpm.

With that said, where RAID0 really shines is from adding more disks to the array. From a recent THG article, RAID Scaling Charts, it appears that the best RAID0 performance is achieved from an array with 4 disks.

In my opinion, a 4 disk RAID0 array with 80GB or 160GB drives are the sweet spot; more specifically, drives sized where they only have 1 platter to spin, as opposed to larger drives with multiple platters. With a RAID0 array of 4-80GB drives that's 320GB of usable space and with 4-160GB drives thats 640GB! Certainly more than enough space for an uber gaming machine.

So, rather than spending money on Raptors, get 4-80GB or 4-160GB drives and make a 4 disk RAID0 array for your machine. You can pick up new 80GB drives from Newegg at $38USD each ($152 + delivery) and 160GB drives for $42USD each ($168 + delivery)! Cheap and effective!
September 19, 2008 5:06:57 PM

I will use this to encode video, photoshop, some gaming and as an office computer for my business.

I need tops 100 gigs for video. I have a 1tb external for when I finish encoding.

probably 50 for games, and another 50 for personal data.


MVP
a c 174 G Storage
September 19, 2008 5:31:22 PM

I am not a user of photoshop or video encoding. I understand that these applications read some input in a sequential manner, do some processing on the data, and then write the results out sequentially. That type process is optimized by putting the input on one drive, and the output on a separate drive. The reason that is good is that you greatly reduce arm contention by letting the drive access arm stay at the position where the next I/O will be done.
Get two separate drives to do this type of processing.
It will not make very much difference which ones, but a pair of velociraptors will obviously be faster than something slower.

If you have the funds for 4 drives, I can see the value in two separate raid-0 arrays. One for input, and a separate one for output. I do not know if this is possible with mobo raid, but a separate raid card should be able to do it.

As to the suggestion of 15k SAS drives, I would say no. 15k drives are designed for servers, and random operations, not sequential. The SAS drives will also require a SAS controller card which can be pricey
September 19, 2008 8:59:11 PM

thanks a lot for the info
!