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RAID 0 + 5

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Last response: in Storage
May 4, 2009 10:57:52 AM

I’m trying to bye myself new pc. I select the motherboard - MB ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe and I found one very interesting feature on an ICH10R. I intent to bye 6 x Seagate Barracuda 1000GB/7200/SATA2/32MB and on Intel site found that I can crate two RAID volumes on a single RAID array so I decided to crate one RAID0 volume for the OS and applications and second RAID5 for storage. And my question is: What happens if there is a disc failure? For about two years my PC is working fine with RAID 5 and several times I changed drives and just rebuild the array but if my OC is on the RAID 0 volume I will have to create new array and install OS there then add new drive and try to rebuild the RAID5 volume. Is anyone having any experience with that configuration? I also want to ask what happens if there is a motherboard failure: can I just pick any ICH10R or ICH9R motherboard or I need to bye the exact same model?
Thanks in advance

More about : raid

May 4, 2009 3:12:50 PM

I've been running that kind of setup for the 18 months now. Using ICH9R I've got 6 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7.11's raided together with Matrix raid so I've got 600 GB in Raid 0 for the OS and games partition's and 1.8 TB in Raid 5 for all my data. Just to be on the safe side I've also got an internal 1TB sata for backup's and 2 external 500GB's for off site backup's. This all works really well as I get up to 550MB per second read on the Raid 0 OS and Game partitions and even the Raid 6 is 450MB per second so performance is truly excellent :-)

It's pretty robust I had a drive start to fail the other week and I just swapped it for a new one and the Raid 5 just rebuilt itself and I restored the Games and OS partitions from backup. I've been using Symantec Backup Exec 8 (which used to be called Ghost 14 in it's previous version) and this is really excellent for both file and partition backups. The only down side is that it can take quite while to rebuild (up to 24 hours) and sometimes it does decide to do this if after you've had a pesky blue MS screen.

I did try Raid 10 setup when I first built the PC build the Raid 0 for OS and Raid 5 for Data works faster.

I doubt if you could transfer everything over to a new motherboards if it fails. Raid 5 is quite robust but not infallible so you still need good backups.
May 4, 2009 3:49:04 PM

Thanks a lot. I just buy LAN HDD case and put two 1T HDD in it so the backups won’t be a problem.
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May 4, 2009 8:43:59 PM

Raid 10 is faster than Raid 0 for the OS and general applications. Raid 0 increases Random Access times with each drive added whereas Raid 10 decreases Random Access times. The OS does a lot of small random reads and writes so having faster Random Access helps more than throughput. Anything over 150MB/s read/write does not provide much, if any, boost in OS performance. A 2-drive Raid 1 has shown to provide more benefit with an OS than a 2-drive Raid 0. This is possible because drives have very high throughput and Raid 1 uses a nice feature called "Split Seeks" where the OS is able to search both drives simultaneously.

I have compared 4 150GB Raptors in Raid 0 vs Raid 10 and the Raid 10 was faster for the OS & Apps. I now have 4 74GB Raptors in Raid 10 for the OS+Apps and a Raid 0 array for Adobe stuff. One of the 150GB just died so I moved the other 3 to my 3ware Raid controller in Raid 0 for video editing.

With the 4 150GB Raptors in Raid 10 for OS+Apps, I had also created a Raid 5 array for storage. I can guarantee 450MB/s is not possible with even 6 drives in Raid 5 except for the initial few second burst which is only due to the Write Cache. I was lucky to get more than a constant 40-50MB/s write speed and up to 100MB/s read speed.

However, with 3 500GB 7200.11 in Raid 5 on my 3ware controller, I get 150MB/s write and 160MB/s read speeds.

Using the Intel onboard Raid for Raid 5 is playing with fire. There are a few long on-going threads here about problems with Raid 5 and Intel Raid. Look for Shadowflash or Sub Mesa's posts as they have extensive knowledge on the subject.
Even SomeCallMeTim has problems with the Raid 5 needing to rebuild after a BSOD. Another extremely important aspect to desktop Raid 5 and using desktop drives is that the drives don't have Time Limited Error Recovery. When a drive takes more than a few seconds to respond, the Intel Raid controller will "Drop" the drive from the array meaning that the Raid 0 array is now toast and hopefully the Raid 5 array can be rebuilt. I had this happen with 4 7200.10s in Raid 10 for OS and Raid 0 for other stuff. The drive took too long to respond so it was dropped and I lost 200GB of data on the Raid 0 array. This was before I ever knew about TLER. This is also why I use enterprise class drives(Raptors) for the onboard Intel Raid.

PS If you are using Vista and/or plan on doing more than 1 thing at a time, Raid 5 will be horrendously slow. The Raid 5 array with my 4 Raptors was EXTREMELY slow when the OS(Raid 10) was doing something or I was watching a movie from the Raid 5 array. Also, Vista constantly reads and writes which slows down everything.
May 5, 2009 9:07:46 AM

I didn’t buy the drives yet and your idea for RAID10 for the OC and applications + RAID5 for storage seems pretty reasonable. Calculating my finances for the next two months shows that I’m broke so I take my chances with the ICH10R controller and after wile will spend some additional money on external RAID controller. The RAID10 + RAID5 configuration can only be on four drives so I will buy 4x Seagate Barracuda 1500GB/7200/SATA2/32MB. This way I will have 500G for the OS and apps and 3.75T for storage. This is almost 30% lose of space but I feel pretty confident that I won't lose any data and I will have nice performance. If you know some affordable RAID controller that provides better performance and safety then ICH10R please let me know.
Thanks for advises.
May 7, 2009 12:03:36 AM

Look at the Highpoint 4320 8 port controller which has fantastic speed and is on sale because Highpoint has released an updated version using a slightly newer Intel CPU. The 4320 normally sells for $600+ and I've seen it on Newegg for $290 recently. There is also the 4 port version for a little less but I don't know the model #.

You can also check ebay for this card as well as LSI/Dell Perc Raid cards. I have read about many people buying these from ebay for very low prices.
May 9, 2009 3:43:35 PM

I finally configured my new pc and I write this post from it (MB ASUS P6T Deluxe CPU i7-940 Akasa Nero AK-967 RAM 3xDDR3 2GB/1600MHz HYPERX KINGSTON SAPPHIRE HD4870 X2 CASE Lian Li PC-B25B). The trader offer me a huge discount if I buy everything from him and the finally I take 6xSEAGATE Barracuda 7200.12 750G. The configuration is RAID0 (600G for the OS and applications) and RAID5 2.7T for storage. It works perfectly but it cost much more than I originally want to spend. And now I want to send some time clocking to figure out does i7 processors and motherboards are really worthy for theirs price.
May 10, 2009 12:50:19 AM

Have fun because I can just about guarantee that your Raid 0 array's data will be lost at some point due to the Intel Raid and those drives not having TLER. Not to mention that a 6 drive Raid 0 is slower than a 4 drive Raid 10 for the OS+Apps. Enjoy the 2-3 day rebuilds. But oh wait, if your Raid 0 array with the OS is gone, then you can't rebuild because it requires the Intel Matrix Storage program to rebuild.

When the time comes, you can find the many posts across many threads here saying the same thing I warned you about.