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Worth adding VelociRaptor on top of 1TB RAID1 to eliminate bottleneck?

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March 8, 2009 5:47:50 PM

Hello all --

I am building a new rig (Vista Home Premium) but never had used RAID. I want a ton of space to store all of my multimedia/files, and I want to keep it safe without the need for cumbersome backup software or external HDDs, so I figured a RAID 1 would be ideal, since it's hardware based and automatic.

I am planning on getting a pair of 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F1 drives to make this happen. Despite being 7200 RPM w/ 32mb cache and apparently less platters than many other 1TB drives), I am still concerned about bottlenecking my new rig because I know that larger drives are generally "slower," but this may have changed since my last build due to tech advances...

My question is whether or not it would be worth the trouble and cost of adding ANOTHER drive (e.g. a 300GB 10K RPM VelociRaptor) solely for Vista and program installs, while keeping the dual 1TB RAID for pretty much everything else...

Not only would this would add $200 to my build, which is fairly substantial, it would mean that the RAID 1 would only backup my files, and not my OS/programs/and all of the program settings that go with them -- further, the more components that I add, the more strain on whatever PSU I choose. I am thinking it is largely more trouble than it is worth, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on the bottleneck issue.

Thanks!
March 9, 2009 6:55:00 PM

The hard disk bottleneck should not be too much of an issue, but the velociraptor will help to improve performance.

Ideally, set up the Velociraptor as your main C drive for installing the OS and programs and setup the RAID 1 drives as your D drive with your 'My Documents' folder pointed there.

Backup the Velociraptor to the RAID1.

This should give you very fast access to your system while providing plenty of storage space. If you subscribe to one of the online backup services, your data should be pretty much indestructible.
March 10, 2009 12:39:10 AM

Personally , I would'nt bother with either, just get the latest hard drives, they'll come close to the velociraptor, for a lot less money. The raid setup isnt worth it either, when you boot up and see that it says your raid setup is corrupted you'll wish you had'nt messed with it.
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March 10, 2009 1:04:18 AM

If you gotta have the best, grab the velociraptor or even a SSD, or like homeboy2 said, any fast drive. Splitting your files ( my Docs, etc. ) onto a different HDD will always work better. I would however, use the RAID 1 for the storage drive. I have never had or even heard of any "corrupt" RAID 1. There are significant dangers with RAID 0 or even RAID 5, but never with simple mirroring ( hardware not software ).
March 10, 2009 1:08:36 AM

ShadowFlash said:
If you gotta have the best, grab the velociraptor or even a SSD, or like homeboy2 said, any fast drive. Splitting your files ( my Docs, etc. ) onto a different HDD will always work better. I would however, use the RAID 1 for the storage drive. I have never had or even heard of any "corrupt" RAID 1. There are significant dangers with RAID 0 or even RAID 5, but never with simple mirroring ( hardware not software ).



yeh, guess i should read the posts, he's talking about Raid 1 for backup purposes, i was talking about raid 0.
March 10, 2009 2:20:45 PM

The benefit of using the Velociraptor rather than an SSD is for virtual memory. Sure the SSD would probably be faster, but for the capacity and the lack of concern over re-writes, it seems like a fast traditional hard drive still has flash beat for the moment unless you have money to burn.

SSDs have much faster random access but their streaming data performance is not that much better than a fast hard drive. If you look at comparitive reports, you will see lots of benchmarks showing SSDs blowing hard drives out of the water, but they are usually the 'artificial' benchmarks. Once the comparison looks at real world performance, there is much less difference normally.
March 10, 2009 9:08:56 PM

Siggy19 said:
The benefit of using the Velociraptor rather than an SSD is for virtual memory. Sure the SSD would probably be faster, but for the capacity and the lack of concern over re-writes, it seems like a fast traditional hard drive still has flash beat for the moment unless you have money to burn.

SSDs have much faster random access but their streaming data performance is not that much better than a fast hard drive. If you look at comparitive reports, you will see lots of benchmarks showing SSDs blowing hard drives out of the water, but they are usually the 'artificial' benchmarks. Once the comparison looks at real world performance, there is much less difference normally.


I agree with no swap file on an SSD. What you say about the artificial benchmarking of SSD's though is only true for the "cheapies". I think you'de be hard pressed to find a flaw in the Intel's. From a storage standpoint, I agree that spindles are still more useful ( especially considering capacity ), but as a system/program drive which rarely requires sequential read throughput ( which the Intel SSD's beat a Vraptor by a good margin anyhow ), I would think the random read ability would really step out on top by a good margin in "real world" responsiveness. This same principle applied to using SCSI for years, sparking all kinds of arguments ( I'm still in the SCSI camp ). The benifits of access times on an OS drive cannot be underestimated. It's all just theory right now anyhow, as I'm just to plain cheap to buy either a SSD or Velociraptor :) . It is still a technology in infancy, but like I said...If you want the best....
March 10, 2009 9:37:47 PM

I think this may be the first post I’m going to suggest an SSD!

In your circumstances having 2TB available for backup in raid1 and not really writing to the SSD… I think an SSD would smoke everything else if used solely for the OS.

This is the SSD I would purchase if you cannot afford an Intel one (who can) http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=35881&vpn=CM...

If not go for a WD Black Caviar 640gig OS Drive, Don’t bother with the Velociraptor.
March 10, 2009 10:32:27 PM

Just curious, why not the Velociraptor ?

My main concern with SSDs even for the OS is that the OS files seem to change and move around surprisingly often and I'm not sure what impact this will have on the wear of the SSD, even the Intel ones. Of course, the wear levelling algorithm may resolve this and I may simply be exposing my phobia of any new technology !
a b G Storage
March 10, 2009 10:57:21 PM

Western Digital found that it would have needed to beef up
the main bearing on the Raptors' spindle, because of the extra
centrifugal force created by 10,000 rpm. So, instead they
reduced the platter diameter.

This resulted in much "shorter strokes" e.g. from outermost
to innermost cylinders. Coupled with the rotation speed,
the access times for Raptors and the latest VelociRaptor
are significantly less than the access times on larger platters
spinning at 7,200 rpm.

One-half rotation is easily computed as a function of rpm.

I have double-checked this next point, nevertheless, and
the VR does not presently use perpendicular magnetic recording,
and that's why the 7,200 rpm models from WD, like their
RE3 series, are almost catching up with the VR.

Their RE3 series all use PMR, which results in raw data
passing much faster under the read/write heads,
at any given rpm -- the binary digits are simply packed
much closer together than they are with horizontal
magnetic recording.

I would predict that WD is now developing a VR with PMR
and a 32MB cache. That would follow their obvious trends
with rotating disk drives.

FYI: WD's Product Line is here:

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/productcatalog.asp?langu...


MRFS
a b G Storage
March 10, 2009 11:10:47 PM

> My question is whether or not it would be worth the trouble and cost of adding ANOTHER drive (e.g. a 300GB 10K RPM VelociRaptor) solely for Vista and program installs, while keeping the dual 1TB RAID for pretty much everything else...

P.S.

To save money, install your OS on a 50GB +/- C: partition
on the 150GB VR, and format the rest as a data partition.

Then, a second HDD or RAID array should be added
for data storage.

When writing a drive image file of C:, output that file
to the second HDD or RAID array: this will prevent
"thrashing" of the read/write armature on the primary HDD.

Then, copy that drive image file back to the data partition
on that primary HDD.

In this way, if the drive image restore task should run
into trouble accessing the RAID array or secondary HDD,
an exact copy of the desired drive image file will also
be found on the data partition of the primary HDD.

And, that data partition on the primary HDD will
almost surely be detected by the restore task.


Summary: this setup permits all application software
to be installed on C:, for simplicity and consistency; and,
restore tasks will restore all application software installed
as of the latest drive image file created of C:


MRFS
!