Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Which way to go: 2 disk raid, 4 disk raid, or ssd

Last response: in Storage
Share
January 22, 2009 12:45:29 AM

I installed win7, and in the process realized my disk is a bit slow, and that I'd really like to speed up the texture loading in wow, and OS load speed. I don't need a large amount of storage, what I'm looking at is making a smaller amount of storage pretty fast.

Hardware: GA-EP45-UD3R using the ICH10 sata controller

Choice 1: 2x 500gb disks
The Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500410AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM is on newegg for 64.99. Use 2 of them in a raid 0 configuration. This would yeild 1TB of storage and the drives are supposidly fast and hopefully don't have the issues of the 7200.11 series

Choice 2: 4x 80gb disks
Newegg has a couple of 80gb drives at the 34.99 price:
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD800JD 80GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Western Digital Caviar SE WD800AAJS 80GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST380815AS 80GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
The idea would be to take 4 of them and create a raid0 array from them. The disks are older and with only a 8mb cache, but it would be many more spindles to fetch data from. The downside I can see is that it leaves 4 points of failure

Choice 3: Cheap 64Gb SSD
Use a 64Gb SSD, say the G.SKILL FM-25S2S-64GB 2.5" 64GB SATA II Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - Retail without any raid configuration. Its on newegg for 134.99. It has a read speed of 155MB/s

As the goal would be to improve windows boot speed, and loading in wow etc, of these options, all of which are in the $130 range, which would people recommend?
January 23, 2009 4:55:58 PM

I Would highly Recomend SSD, im useing a 64 gig SSD drive from samsung, and windows boots in under 8 seconds (thats not counting bios) and Everything is loaded AntiVirus Msn firewall skype and Veroiues P2P Clients, and that is without evan raiding them, i have had such a good Expereience that my next build in a months time is going be using 4 64 gig Drives from OCZ in raid 0 with a compined read speed of 800 mps and a Write speed of 640 mps so that will be one big 240 gig drive of Lush lush speed ^^ ...

if you dont want to go for SSD.. then the next best will be 4 Smaller drives, just make sure you back up your importent stuff, i mean raid falues dont happen That often.. i have a 2 TB network drive i back up all my Critacul Data on to anyway, and i have not had a problem with raid before persoanly, Pluss this SSD has been Hard as rocks, no issues so far at All!
January 23, 2009 5:50:28 PM

I wouldn't bother going with the SSD unless you can afford one of the SLC drives. I have several MLC SSD's and I have been dissapointed time and again with their performance. In this case I think you best bet is to go with the pair of does in RAID 0 just make sure they are the largest cache you can afford. I have a pair of the Seagate 640gb with 32mb cache in RAID 0 as a Data Array and they scream through loading of applications.

The idea of using the smaller drives is attractive but you have more points to fail and it utilizes more power and produces more heat in your computer reducing the overall life of those drives. I know I already have times when I boot my machine with 5 drives in it and they don't all spin up and get detected in time by the controller.


Primary Windows Machine
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
4gb Corsair XMS DDR2-800
Asus P5B-Plus
2x WD Raptor 74gb RAID 0 (Windows Vista x64 Ultimate)
2x Seagate 640gb RAID 0 (Data Array)
1 WD GP 500gb (Windows 7 x64 Beta)
GeForce 8600GT 512mb
2x 20" Viewsonic LCD's

Mac Mini
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8ghz
4gb DDR2-667
80gb SATA
1tb MiniStack
Acer 21.5” 1080p LCD

Windows Home Server
Intel Core 2 E6420 2.13ghz Dual-Core
2gb DDR2-800
Asus P5KPL-VM
2x WD RE2 500gb

Asus Eee PC1000
Intel Atom N270 1.6ghz Single Core
2gb DDR2-533
40gb SSD
Windows 7 x32

Related resources
January 23, 2009 6:05:04 PM

Since you've installed Win7, I assume either it's not your main, or you're OK with the prospect of things going wrong. In that case, it all depends on how much you'll risk for performance.

I agree with fancaroline, don't bother with SSD. You'll get at least the same read from 2+ hdd in RAID 0, and far better write speeds than the SSD.

Now, if it were me, I'd use the 4 HDD RAID 0 setup. But that's only because I'm OK with the idea of waking up one morning and having my array destroyed by a failed disk. Everything I do is backed up, so it usually only takes me 2-3 hours to fully restore my PC to satisfaction.

Having said all that, I can tell you that I run 2 500gb in RAID 0, and it flies. So it really depends on how much risk you want to take.
January 23, 2009 6:48:04 PM

I'm also on the "the more disks the better" train of thought. I'm running 4x320GB in RAID5. (The read speed is thesame as 3x320GB in RAID0)

However dont use old disks. You can easily find 250GB or 320GB drives in thesame series as the 1TB drives. Platter size would be a good guide to go by, newer disks have a higher density and use bigger platters.
January 23, 2009 7:35:27 PM

is going to a pair of raptors out of the question? That's probably a good way to go. personally, I wouldn't risk a 4 drive R0 array- being a sysadmin, I've seen too many drives fail and statistically, you're dropping MTBF to 1/4 of a single drive.
January 23, 2009 8:30:56 PM

I have a DQ6-X48 MB with two 500 gig drives in raid 0…. I wasn’t overly impressed, and have since removed the array. I didn’t find it faster then my single Raptor (not benchmarks, these are just normal day-to-day use observations)

I plan to get dual raptors for raid 0….or maybe if the good SSD’s drop to 300’ish ill snag a couple of those, but that is wishful thinking as they are still $700+

Benchmarks are one thing and look great on paper… the true test is when you use your machine for what you require it to do.
January 23, 2009 8:59:30 PM

bliq said:
statistically, you're dropping MTBF to 1/4 of a single drive.



True, but it's obviously not a mission critical system. Personally, I think beta-testing an OS is a great time to try out a 4x RAID 0 array.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
a c 177 G Storage
January 23, 2009 10:59:54 PM

1) Don't worry about boot times. Set up your system so that it sleeps instead. Reboot occasionally.
2) Consider the velociraptor. It is the most consistently good performing device you can buy today. I tried an intel 80gb SSD and found that the velociraptor was just as good, and it was a lot easier to manage one drive instead of a small ssd and a larger storage drive.
It's maximum transfer rate is 127 mb/sec, higher than almost any other drive, and up there with SSD's
http://www.storagereview.com/php/benchmark/bench_sort.p...
January 23, 2009 11:49:21 PM

the Intel SSD's suck tho.. i cant Recomended them, but i have read so many Reviews (just like yours Road runner) where the Preformece has been Rocking on the Vertex OCZ drives, i mean the drives im planning to buy has 200 megs Read and 160 megs of write(Vertex) so raid 4 60 gig drives i get 240 gigs so that i have plenty of space for os, Games and Video editing Progames and other stuff like Adobe Ect ect and i get Blazing Speeds on All of it at 800 megs read 640 megs Write! cheak this link out, http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=948463

i mean Sure, the ones i have picked are a bit more than the other Range, but for 200 megs read and 160 megs write, i would deff go for it, And if you have the Cash Spare then you sure should think about them, When i buy then and build the rig ill let you know the boot Speeds and data speeds Ect ect,

i also read the same guide already roadrunner, and set my current 64 gig drive up like that when i got it, and also had No Problems. and i will deff do the same with my new 60 gig drives X4

hope this helped someo
a b G Storage
January 24, 2009 10:31:18 AM

puregreen said:
the Intel SSD's suck tho.. i cant Recomended them, but i have read so many Reviews (just like yours Road runner) where the Preformece has been Rocking on the Vertex OCZ drives, i mean the drives im planning to buy has 200 megs Read and 160 megs of write(Vertex) so raid 4 60 gig drives i get 240 gigs so that i have plenty of space for os, Games and Video editing Progames and other stuff like Adobe Ect ect and i get Blazing Speeds on All of it at 800 megs read 640 megs Write! cheak this link out, http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=948463

i mean Sure, the ones i have picked are a bit more than the other Range, but for 200 megs read and 160 megs write, i would deff go for it, And if you have the Cash Spare then you sure should think about them, When i buy then and build the rig ill let you know the boot Speeds and data speeds Ect ect,

i also read the same guide already roadrunner, and set my current 64 gig drive up like that when i got it, and also had No Problems. and i will deff do the same with my new 60 gig drives X4

hope this helped someo


How do Intel SSD's suck? They blow any other SSD out of the water? and are no comparison to any mechanical HDD.
a b G Storage
January 24, 2009 10:32:46 AM

seboj said:
True, but it's obviously not a mission critical system. Personally, I think beta-testing an OS is a great time to try out a 4x RAID 0 array.


How can you trust even a single drive? I see that single hdd as being just as (un)reliable as the 4 hdd Raid0 setup.
January 24, 2009 10:51:11 AM

Quote:
How can you trust even a single drive?


Because I can't yet store my data on a piece of rock.

Seriously though, I keep all my stuff on multiple backups, as no drive is perfect. But you have to admit, the chances of a failure are greater when your system relies on 4 disk drives than when it relies on 1.
a b G Storage
January 24, 2009 11:53:07 AM

The older drives in RAID may seem like a good idea, but what you will notice more than anything for general home use and gaming is a drive with super fast seek times, like the Raptor. RAIDing 4 drives will give you a tremdous amount of sustained throughput, but most people do not need this. And I am willing to bet the seek times on those drives is quite slow. Put 4 of them together and this only serves to slow the seek times down further.
If you want a very fast "feeling" system, a Velociraptor is the way to go IMHO. Are they worth the price? Not to me but if you want fast, they are the way to go.
If you want a huge amount of sustained throughput, extremely fast load times for games and booting, put 2 of them in RAID 0.
If you don't want to spend the money on a Raptor, check out the WD 640 gig drives. They are fast, and only cost about $75. Two of those in RAID 0 would be a great combination.......if you are set on RAID.
SSD's? I still don't think they are worth the price, and there issues with the cheaper ones. They are cheap for a reason. Their time is coming, and soon they will make the old spindle drives outdated, but not quite yet.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
a b G Storage
January 24, 2009 2:15:22 PM

I got a 150GB Velociraptor to use as the primary drive for my rig a few months back. I really like the difference it made. I am not willing to hassle with RAID-0, and I make enough backups that RAID-1 wouldn't do much for me.
I agree with jitp... that the time is not yet right for SSDs. I hope it will make sense to buy one in another year or two.
a b G Storage
January 24, 2009 5:54:45 PM

I have 2 300 GB Velociraptors in RAID 0. My boot time is about 10 secs in windows 7 beta. I hear that SSD can get really bogged down when your performing multiple read and writes at the same time. I have no problems recording TV, playing wow and watching video at the same time.

My system, q9550 w/ 8GB and a 8800gt w/ 1GB vram
a b G Storage
January 25, 2009 8:23:24 AM

PsyKhiqZero said:
I have 2 300 GB Velociraptors in RAID 0. My boot time is about 10 secs in windows 7 beta. I hear that SSD can get really bogged down when your performing multiple read and writes at the same time. I have no problems recording TV, playing wow and watching video at the same time.

My system, q9550 w/ 8GB and a 8800gt w/ 1GB vram


Well actually i hear when you fill the SSD's past ~70% and re-run benchmarks they tend to drop in performance a fair bit.
January 29, 2009 3:46:11 PM

Hmm, Havent had any problems with Mutiple read/ writes, i can watch about 10 - 15 films all in diff Video lan windows while i was encoding a dvd and left left for dead and downloading about 1.2 megs per sec on torrent, with no problem. so tbh i prefer ssd's and i have filled my current 64gig drive to about 52 gigs and i STILL have no problems, and as for the intel drives, i really dont like them, they are WAY to overpriced for onlyaSMALL bit more preformence and not to relable frommy Experience
!