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Putting up RAID for desktop use , need advice!

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July 1, 2009 10:23:11 AM

Hello fellow tech people,
I have a few questions.

My System:
Q6600 @ 3,0ghz
Abit Ip35 pro Mobo
4GB DDR2 800
Geforce 8800GTS 512
WD Raptor 150gb
Samsung Spinpoint T166 500gb

My Raptor is starting to fail (my mistake) and need a replacement disk.
Now due to lack of space I considered a few upgrade drives, as I have the budget to do so.

PLAN:
Replace Raptor with Velociraptor 300GB
Add same samsung T166 for a RAID configuration.
(Buying WD MyBook for backup for raid.)

So I settled for dual 500gb Samsungs. They have been doing very well since I bought them. Now I want faster performance with my onboard raid controller.

Question:
What would be the best performance for dual Samsung T166 drives? And is putting up Raid hard to do so?

Own thoughts:
Raid 0 for performance boost. And backup @ external hdd

Kind Regards,
Kevin
a c 127 G Storage
July 1, 2009 11:09:19 AM

Think about your needs, you want:
1) performance for your system disk / files that you want to be fast
2) storage space / protection for data you do not want to loose

So pick a solution that fits both needs. A Velociraptor or SSD for your system drive (performance) and two 500GB drives for your important data; either in RAID-1 or without RAID and let one 500GB drive be a copy of the other; this offers more protection than RAID1 and you don't need any RAID-drivers, which can be a pain.

Don't make the mistake of creating a RAID0 and not having any protection for your data. Performance is nice, but performance doesn't do you any good if you lost all your important files.
July 1, 2009 11:14:17 AM

sub mesa said:
Think about your needs, you want:
1) performance for your system disk / files that you want to be fast
2) storage space / protection for data you do not want to loose

So pick a solution that fits both needs. A Velociraptor or SSD for your system drive (performance) and two 500GB drives for your important data; either in RAID-1 or without RAID and let one 500GB drive be a copy of the other; this offers more protection than RAID1 and you don't need any RAID-drivers, which can be a pain.

Don't make the mistake of creating a RAID0 and not having any protection for your data. Performance is nice, but performance doesn't do you any good if you lost all your important files.



Yeah Gaming will be on Velociraptor (boot drive)
And storage on the samsungs, but I still want it to be fast.
Like I said I will Have a backup drive (WD Mybook 1tb)

So Samsungs in RAID 0 Should be alright, but will the HD be 1tb or 500gb?
I store music and torrents which cover up 500gb atm.
Related resources
a c 127 G Storage
July 1, 2009 11:29:16 AM

Sure that would work. Because the RAID0 is not the volume you boot from (you boot from the velociraptor) you do not need any special RAID-drivers during setup. You have both speed and a backup. :) 
July 1, 2009 11:30:49 AM

sub mesa said:
Sure that would work. Because the RAID0 is not the volume you boot from (you boot from the velociraptor) you do not need any special RAID-drivers during setup. You have both speed and a backup. :) 


Thanks for the fast replies! But will the Hardisks add up to each other ? So in this situation it would be: 2x Samsung Spinpoint T166 500gb ----> 1tb raid 0 array?

And what should the stripe size be? Or should I just leave it default perhaps?

Thanks again!
a c 127 G Storage
July 1, 2009 12:24:06 PM

2x 500GB in RAID0 would be 1000GB yes, or 932GiB. The stripesize is often 64KiB or 128KiB; it depends on the driver implementation which one works best. Normally i would advise a 128KiB stripesize.

If you use Windows XP, you need to take special care on striping RAID systems to avoid a misalignment issue. This causes lower performance than should be, but can be corrected by setting up the partition table the right way. Windows Vista and Windows 7 are known to do this, but for Windows XP you need to do this manually. Since its not your boot drive, this can be done with third party utilities. You could also use Vista/Win7 DVD temporarily to create a partition, then switch back to XP and use it. For this to work you need to boot from the Vista/Win7 DVD and install raid drivers via USB pendrive. After the partition is created, wait a few seconds then hit reset and take out the DVD. Now you can continue to boot XP again and it should find your new partition on the RAID-array.
July 1, 2009 12:30:56 PM

I believe there is a partition creating program build in XP PRO via control panel, system config, and then looking at the administrative tools section.

Cluster size? what about that? I've seen topics which should say the cluster size should be the stripe size divided by 2.

Raid drivers are pre-installed I think. J-micron raid controller.
So partitioning, how do I do it without XP DVD etc...
It's just gonna be one large disk of 1000GB with folders like Music, Bitlord downloads etc.

Enlighten me on the partitioning please :) 
Sorry if my grammar is incorrect, I'm dutch ;) 

Thanks.
a c 127 G Storage
July 1, 2009 1:10:51 PM

If you let XP make the partition, your RAID may be slower, especially for random I/O.

Cluster size is a filesystem setting, its not directly related to your RAID; although if you're only working with large files you may enlarge this value.

You said your controller is JMicron, know that these RAID drivers give lower performance. You may therefore also consider using software RAID instead on the JMicron controller, or use your chipset-powered SATA ports instead, unless you have ICH9/ICH10 without RAID. If your chipset does feature SATA RAID you can use this for the RAID and JMicron for your DVD/single disks.
July 1, 2009 1:14:57 PM

So I should create one partition then?

here are some more specs,
Chipset - North bridge Intel P35
Chipset - South bridge Intel ICH9R
Serial ATA aansluitingen 6
Externe Serial ATA (eSATA) aansluitingen 2
Extra PATA (RAID) controller JMicron JMB363
Extra SATA (RAID) controller JMicron JMB363
SCSI controller
RAID 0 support yes
RAID 1 support yes
RAID 5 support yes

The Jmicron controller is software, and I know this gives lower performance than hardware based raid controllers. But I still want to give it a go.

So my questions are,
Raptor is my boot drive,
Samsungs in raid for storage etc

Creating raid with jmicron controller then?

I'm absolutely confused ha ha...
Thanks for helping me though...

Cheers,
a c 127 G Storage
July 1, 2009 8:47:14 PM

You have ICH9R southbridge, the R means you got RAID support. So if you have a JMicron-controller for 2 "extra" ports, you also have at least 4 to 6 SATA connectors provided by ICH9R chip; and that one supports RAID at high performance.

Intel has the best RAID drivers; but like JMicron this also is pure driver RAID - no "hardware acceleration" is performed!
!