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2x Velociraptor vs 4x Samsung Spinpoint (RAID0)

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October 28, 2008 10:32:14 AM

Hello, as the name of the thread suggests, i need to know which set of drives would perform the best (2x Velociraptor 300gb vs 4x Samsung Spinpoint 1TB (RAID0)) I'll be using these drives for gaming and not alot else, in my upcoming Core i7 rig.

The idea of 4 Spinpoint's in raid 0 appealed to me because of the huge amount of cache (32mb per drive, totaling 128mb)
but then again, i've been told by alot of people that a single velociraptor is on par with two drives in a raid0 setup, so two of them should theoretically be faster than 4 spinpoints.

Share with me your wisdom ;) 

Cheers.
October 28, 2008 1:32:55 PM

The real question would be what controller? If its just a motherboard based controller then you might want to check into what its max throughput is. You may be wasting time trying to take advantage of 4 drives of spindle speed when the motherboard will be the bottleneck. If you will have a processor based controller from 3ware, Adaptec, Intel/LSI then thats a different story and the 4 Spinpoint drives might be a faster solution.

There is also the question of RAID 0 being a good option for a gaming maching in the first place but you can search around on this forum there have been lots of threads on this topic. RAID 0 may have more sustained throughput but remember you take a big hit in the access time department.
October 28, 2008 2:52:10 PM

Well, i've never made use of a controller card before, as i've always used onboard, this is a totally new build so im open to new ideas, which would you suggest for either of these two setups (2xVRaptors/4xSpointF1) in raid0, onboard or controller card?

I'll be using an Asus Rampage II Foruma x58 (socket 1366) motherboard, for what it's worth.
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October 28, 2008 5:24:38 PM

If you choose to go with RAID 0 and want it reach its potential then I would for sure use a 3rd party card. I like Adaptec for raw speed. Of the cards I have tested 3ware SAS and SATA, LSI SAS and SATA, Adaptec SAS and SATA and a few others. The new Adaptec SAS controllers with a dual core processor can not be beat for speed. Get a 5 series for RAID 5 and up, if you only need 0 or 1 then use the new 2 series like this one.

http://www.adaptec.com/en-US/products/Controllers/Hardw...

As far as using 2 drives or 4, the 4 drive RAID 0 I think will be a little bit faster but I would rather have 2 drives for OS in RAID 0 and 2 larger drives in RAID1 for data. This would work on that 4 port card I linked to.
October 28, 2008 5:45:38 PM

Why don,t you just go for a SSD SLC drive? or maybe even raid 0 that!
October 28, 2008 7:37:45 PM

Coz i be needin' the space! :p 
October 28, 2008 7:49:02 PM

Rozar: What would you gain by adding the Adaptec series two card? I was wanting to do something of the same.
a b Ô Samsung
a c 169 G Storage
October 28, 2008 8:04:08 PM

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.
If this is a no holds barred rig, get two Intel 80gb SSD's in raid-0. The positioning penalty of a hard drive is negated with a SSD. Add a separate storage drive for everything else.
October 28, 2008 8:28:15 PM

geofelt said:
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.
If this is a no holds barred rig, get two Intel 80gb SSD's in raid-0. The positioning penalty of a hard drive is negated with a SSD. Add a separate storage drive for everything else.


+1 to the SSD+large storage drive idea.
October 28, 2008 8:31:39 PM

The real world performance comes into play for anyone transferring a lot of data internally, and out to gigabit networks. Its overkill, but you'll certainly feel the difference in response time over a single drive. Virtual machines perform and respond much quicker on Raid0/5/6/50/60 than any single drive.

My solution: add 1 more drive to either configuration, raid 5 them all. In a raid5 you'll lose the capacity of 1 drive, but any 1 drive can fail without bringing the system down. Adding reliability to good performance is A way to go, not thee way of course.

using one of the high end controllers (3ware being my favorite) you will maximize performance, but you will need to use up an x4 or x8 card slot when you do it. Usually eliminates high end video card configurations. Onboard will/should work fine.
October 28, 2008 9:07:58 PM

Thanks for the advice, i've not really looked into SSD due to the price, my budget for this machine is £2399 (got an insurance claim) which looks like alot, but it's stunning how easily you can spend that much trying to build an extreme performance rig, at current i'm planning to use two VLCRaptors, and that's taken me to my budget.
October 29, 2008 12:02:48 AM

4 Drives in Raid-0.............

No way I would do that.
RAID Failure Chance would just be too great.
Especially since backup up 4GB of RAID-0 data would be tricky.
October 29, 2008 2:10:56 PM

Ok thanks alot, two raptors it is, oh, and i just had an epiphany, the hard drives will probably be lagacy hardware by the time they're done formatting... :p 
October 30, 2008 1:51:41 AM

blippo311 said:
Rozar: What would you gain by adding the Adaptec series two card? I was wanting to do something of the same.



The Adaptec series 2 cards have a very high throughput. We all know that the SATA II extension for speed is 300MB a second per port. That does not mean that all controllers can handle that speed. Motherboard controllers generally start to bottleneck after 2 drives, meaning that 3 or even 4 drives are not any faster than 2 because the controller cant handle more throughput. The series 2 and 5 cards from Adaptec can handle 1200MB a second through the controller. I have seen 3ware controllers top out at around 700MB a second (with 24 drives in RAID 0) and LSI/Intel at about 550MB a second. Basically what you gain is the potential of a very fast controller card.
October 30, 2008 10:10:08 PM

Come to think of it, i doubt i'll be able to fit a PCI card with two 4870x2's, although im not sure... still not sure about which setup to go for, i've heard good things about quad spinpoints...
!