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Which OS is best for hardware RAID0 setup?

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April 23, 2009 4:22:04 PM

Hi,

Just need your opinion before i do my hardware raid setup. Im not sure which OS would be the best option for hardware raid purposes.Have the option of XP 32bit, 64bit, Vista 32bit, Vista 64bit.

Which one would be better and why in terms of speed,performance,reliability.

I have a Adaptec 29320 controller card and going to do a RAID0 on 2x 36gb 15K U320 Maxtor drives and install my programs on the 146gb 10K U320 drive.

The card can be used in a pci and pci-x slot, meaning 32bit and 64bit respectively.Unfortunately my m/board has only 1x pci-x slot and im using it for my ATI X1650 Pro card.Will there be a speed difference if i use it in the pci-x slot and by how much?

I have a Biostar 6100 Nforce mboard with a single core 3800+ cpu


Thanks guys
:sarcastic: 

More about : hardware raid0 setup

April 23, 2009 11:52:59 PM

are you sure its a pci-x slot on the motherboard and not pci-e. pci-x is very rare to find on a non workstation/server board and biostar isnt exactly a "high end" motherboard manufacturer. and i havent seen a x1650 in pci-x only pci-e and agp.

the pci slot will cap out around 60mb/s . the pci-x slot will cap out around 240 mb/s

there should be drivers of each of the os's listed there. and really only a synthetic benchmark will show any difference between those os's. as such i'd recommend xp 32 or vista 64. xp64 has issues and vista32 is kinda pointless.




April 24, 2009 10:09:38 PM

Ignatowski said:
are you sure its a pci-x slot on the motherboard and not pci-e. pci-x is very rare to find on a non workstation/server board and biostar isnt exactly a "high end" motherboard manufacturer. and i havent seen a x1650 in pci-x only pci-e and agp.

the pci slot will cap out around 60mb/s . the pci-x slot will cap out around 240 mb/s

there should be drivers of each of the os's listed there. and really only a synthetic benchmark will show any difference between those os's. as such i'd recommend xp 32 or vista 64. xp64 has issues and vista32 is kinda pointless.



sorry dude, i mean i have a pci-express 16X slot for my X1650Pro Radeon card and 2x 32bit pci slots.as you have mentioned that my pci slots will only run at 60mb/ps (meaning 15mb if i am correct). will it be a waste then to run the card in a pci slot?which biostar or am2 boards have those slots that you are referring to.

you mentioned that i should either go for xp 32bit or vista 64bit.would vista 64bit not be better seeing that the card is a 64bit card.i have a copy of xp 32 and 64bit and only vista 32bit ultimate.which one?

will try xp 32bit and see the performance.

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April 24, 2009 10:46:22 PM

Stevie G said:
sorry dude, i mean i have a pci-express 16X slot for my X1650Pro Radeon card and 2x 32bit pci slots.as you have mentioned that my pci slots will only run at 60mb/ps (meaning 15mb if i am correct). will it be a waste then to run the card in a pci slot?which biostar or am2 boards have those slots that you are referring to.

you mentioned that i should either go for xp 32bit or vista 64bit.would vista 64bit not be better seeing that the card is a 64bit card.i have a copy of xp 32 and 64bit and only vista 32bit ultimate.which one?

will try xp 32bit and see the performance.



sorry i should have capitalized the MB. 60 megaBytes sustained on pci. and 240 megaBytes sustained on pci-x. tested with 5 146gig 15k u320 drives in raid 0 on a dell perc4dc in a pci slot and a pci-x slot.


pci-x ~= pci-e 4x
buying a board for pci-x isnt really worth it. mostly its server boards that have pci-x or "professional" workstation boards designed around the opteron or xeon processors. since you can get phenom or core2(duo/quad) boards with multiple pci-e 16x pathways. the need for pci-x is just not there. i really dont feel like shopping for an am2 motherboard for you

http://www.pacificgeek.com/product.asp?c=211&s=1045&ID=... is the opteron board i just got. the 3 bottom slots are pci-x for visual reference.

the money and time you spend getting a athlon/phenom board with pci-x would be better spent buying a athlon/phenom board with multiple pci-e slots and and ebay a pci-e raid controller

http://cgi.ebay.com/Dell-TD977-Perc4E-DC-U320-SCSI-RAID...

or just scrapping the scsi drives and getting a couple of 500 gig sata drives.

the primary use for 64bit os's is being able to address memory above 4gb. also if you have 4gb of ram and a 1 gig video card you're system would only see 3gb of ram in windows 32bit. as it needs to be able to address the gig of video memory it will "drop" 1 gig of ram.

i'd go with xp32 if you dont have access to vista64.
April 24, 2009 11:05:22 PM

Ignatowski said:
are you sure its a pci-x slot on the motherboard and not pci-e. pci-x is very rare to find on a non workstation/server board and biostar isnt exactly a "high end" motherboard manufacturer. and i havent seen a x1650 in pci-x only pci-e and agp.

the pci slot will cap out around 60mb/s . the pci-x slot will cap out around 240 mb/s

there should be drivers of each of the os's listed there. and really only a synthetic benchmark will show any difference between those os's. as such i'd recommend xp 32 or vista 64. xp64 has issues and vista32 is kinda pointless.


Just for reference...PCI-X should not be bashed to that extent...

PCI-X 133mhz is common on most workstation/server boards and maxes at approx. 1066mb/sec, a far cry from 240mb/s
PCI 32-bit ( normal desktop ) maxes at 133mb/sec double that of the stated 60mb/sec

In fact, a PCI-E x4 slot only ties the bandwidth of PCI-X 133mhz. You gotta go x8 PCI-E to see any improvements. Other than the highest-end controller cards, PCI-X 133mhz is more than adequate, unless your total single drive array throughput exeeds available bandwidth....most home PC's don't even remotely come close.

Reference only, I know, as the OP has PCI-E......
April 24, 2009 11:16:59 PM

"or just scrapping the scsi drives and getting a couple of 500 gig sata drives"

Not on your life.....2X 15K SCSI U320 in RAID 0 for an OS/system drive is by far the best set-up you could want other than jumping to SSD's or 4x SCSI, even considering maxing the throuput on a PCI 32-bit interface. The seek times and random IO peerformance cannot be beat by any SATA drives including raptors.

You are on the right track, and if budget permits, by all means a PCI-E controller will give you an advantage in your case, but don't scrap the SCSI by any means. I wouldn't advise buying SCSI to the average home user due to price/performance ratio, but if you already have them, by all means use them. They are superior to SATA in every way when it comes to pure perfromance.

I agree, the OS makes little difference when using a hardware-based controller card, as the array is practicallt invisible to the OS anyhow.
April 25, 2009 9:12:33 AM

ShadowFlash said:
"or just scrapping the scsi drives and getting a couple of 500 gig sata drives"

Not on your life.....2X 15K SCSI U320 in RAID 0 for an OS/system drive is by far the best set-up you could want other than jumping to SSD's or 4x SCSI, even considering maxing the throuput on a PCI 32-bit interface. The seek times and random IO peerformance cannot be beat by any SATA drives including raptors.

You are on the right track, and if budget permits, by all means a PCI-E controller will give you an advantage in your case, but don't scrap the SCSI by any means. I wouldn't advise buying SCSI to the average home user due to price/performance ratio, but if you already have them, by all means use them. They are superior to SATA in every way when it comes to pure perfromance.

I agree, the OS makes little difference when using a hardware-based controller card, as the array is practicallt invisible to the OS anyhow.


Ok,i see your point. you know it all as you have worked and tested the stuff yourself.i will make xp 32bit or vista 32bit my o/s.you said that my pci 32bit slot should be fast enough for my scsi setup.in your personal view is 133 mb fast enough.

there is one thing that i am unsure about, as many other people too.my controller card is a Adaptec 29320 controller.in your opinion is this card hardware or software raid as it has hostraid on it.many get confused as you can do raid o and 1 on it.clear this up for me please.

I only have 1gig ddr2 667 in my machine, so i should beef it up in the near future to speedup my machine.
April 25, 2009 4:31:44 PM

LOL....I most certainly don't know it all, but I've got alot of benchmarking of SCSI drive arrays under my belt and have personally tested many many differnet RAID configs.

While 133MB/s may be a bottleneck with the 2x 15k's, the benefits far outweigh the lack of full sequential throughput. Sequential throughput for an OS/system drive is not nearly as important as most would have you believe. It's the seek times, and random IO that really stand out in this case. If I knew the model number of the drives, we could give a better guess to how much 133MB/s would actually bottleneck you. Switching to a fast sata drive for STORAGE would probablly be a good idea, as you just can't beat the price vs. capacity ratio.

Your card is software based. Ususally anything without a dedicated xor procesor and cache options would be considered software based, but the lines do get blurry at the entry-level cards.

With only 1GB of RAM, definately stick with xp 32-bit.
April 25, 2009 7:39:37 PM

ShadowFlash said:
LOL....I most certainly don't know it all, but I've got alot of benchmarking of SCSI drive arrays under my belt and have personally tested many many differnet RAID configs.

While 133MB/s may be a bottleneck with the 2x 15k's, the benefits far outweigh the lack of full sequential throughput. Sequential throughput for an OS/system drive is not nearly as important as most would have you believe. It's the seek times, and random IO that really stand out in this case. If I knew the model number of the drives, we could give a better guess to how much 133MB/s would actually bottleneck you. Switching to a fast sata drive for STORAGE would probablly be a good idea, as you just can't beat the price vs. capacity ratio.

Your card is software based. Ususally anything without a dedicated xor procesor and cache options would be considered software based, but the lines do get blurry at the entry-level cards.

With only 1GB of RAM, definately stick with xp 32-bit.


I have 2x 36gig Maxtor ATLAS 15K 36GB Ultra320 SCSI [DS / N SG-09X924-24951-3BG-A2LF and 1x 146GB ST3146807LC 10K ULTRA U320 SCSI.maybe with the specs i just gave you, you can give me the actual drive speeds.LoL

You saying the card is software raid, but when i google it, people refer to it as hardware raid.some say its a combination of both if i stand correctly.what is your rating on this card exactly.any good or not.what does the hostraid on it do exactly. i got the card and 2x cables with it for $80.was it a good deal or not.can i still do a raid0 on the 2x 15K drives and use the 146gb for apps.
April 25, 2009 9:01:35 PM

146GB ST3146807LC 10K ULTRA U320 SCSI

Capacity: 146GB
Spindle Speed: 10,000RPM
Interface Type: SCSI 80pin SCA-2 (Hot-Swap)
Disk Size: 3.5"x1.0" (Low Profile Hard Drive)
Sustained Throughput (MBps): 59.9
Average Seek Time (read/write ms): 4.7 / 5.3
Electrical Interface Speed: SCSI LVD U320 - 320MBps 16-bit
On-Board Cache: 8MB

The Maxtor drive is a bit tougher though as the numbers you gave make little sense to me....
If it is a 1st Gen, then this link may be helpful.....
http://www.storagereview.com/8C073L0.sr
If it's 2nd Gen, try this link instead.....
http://www.storagereview.com/articles/200412/200412088E...

If it's a 1st gen, sequential throughput is 73-55 MB/s, so x2 in RAID 0 barely saturates the 32-bit PCI bus.
If it's 2nd gen, sequential throughput is 97-74 MB/s, so that hurts a bit more on the 32-bit bus.

Keep in mind on the benchmarking charts in the links that service time = seek + latency and should not be compared to advertised raw seek times of more modern drives. Also, U320 and SAS are overlapping technologies, which means the same drive is built and sold with differnet interfaces.

As far as the controller card ? Like I said, the line between software and hardware raid becomes blury on the low-end stuff. It's hardware RAID in the sense that it dosen't reside on the mobo chipset, yet relies on software RAID ( along with the overhead that comes with it ) to handle the actual RAID processing. This is not a big deal unless dealing with parity RAID ( RAID 5 or 6 ). The added benefit of true hardware RAID is with the battery-backed cache enabling write-back, which improves things in some situations. Most people don't consider a card true hardware RAID unless it has it's own xor proccessor and some sort of cache option, as this would completely off-load all controller activity from the main system resources. The card you have is definately the low-end, but is still better IMHO than on-board, although I've never used that particular card. If you haven't done it yet, make sure to download the manuals for it, as these low-end cards have a number of restrictions on multiple RAID sets, but you shouldn't run into that problem with only 3 drives.

Yes, you could still use the 146GB for a program drive, but you may not want to. Athough unlikely in real world situations, it is possible to saturate the bus. I would put both 36GB drives on 1 channel, and the 146GB on another by itself, just because I don't like out-of-balance situations putting a single drive on a channel along with a RAID set depending on other channels, but it's just personal preference. The individual channels have plenty of bandwidth either way. If you don't use the 146GB, then 1 36GB on each channel would be prefered.

$80 for the whole kit and kaboodle isn't bad for a starter kit, especially considering cable cost can kill you with SCSI. Look at it this way, your 2x 36GB drives in RAID 0 walk all over a single velociraptor at a much cheaper price, even with your limited bus options, which will iritate the SATA fanboys to no end....and the extra 146GB drive is just an added bonus...E-bay I assume ?
April 25, 2009 9:17:41 PM

Just for reference, here's a benchmark of a 1st gen raptor for comparison....You will definately beat this in raw performance. When vs. ing the velciraptor, your imroved IO and random times will help to surpass it.......

WD740ADFD-00NLR5 74GB (SATA150, NCQ, 16MB Cache)
Sequential Read : 83.13MB/s
Random Read : 52.83MB/s
Buffered Write : 77.62MB/s
Sequential Write : 82.51MB/s
Random Write : 52.26MB/s
Random Access Time : 7ms

I wish I had my benchmark handy of my 2 old U160 36GB cheetah 1st gen's, as they more than beat the 1st gen raptors, and they're 5 generations behind your 146GB K.6 !
!