RAID 0 or Native IDE?

Hello all,

I know this may be a stupid question to ask, but I need to know the answer. I am looking into using a RAID 1 configuration with 2 SATA hard disks at 3.0gps. I've been using native IDE. I also use WinXP x64. My motherboard has the AMD 790FX NB and 600 SB chipsets. How much of a performance increase, as well as any other advantages, would I have with the RAID 1 compared to the Native IDE? I use my PC for both gaming and office applications.

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  1. You know RAID1 hardly comes with any performance benefit, and in fact on driver RAID will just behave as a single disk. Writes may even be a little slower.

    So you are not comparing RAID against PATA; you are comparing your SATA drive against your PATA drive. Both PATA and SATA are IDE, by the way.

    I would advise against RAID1, because its better to make a backup, either manually or automated synchronisation. This protects against more dangers and relieves you of using RAID drivers which may not work flawlessly on Windows.
  2. Thanks for your reply. Would there be any advantage then with using a RAID 0 instead of the RAID 1 over the Native IDE. I do have one other disk that I can use as a back-up for the RAID 0 in case it fails. By the way, my disks are Seagate SATA II 250gb with 16mb cache size each which are RAID compatible. Here is the link to some info on those drives:
  3. 1) RAID is a MODE the drives are arranged in to add redundancy and/or performance
    2) IDE and SATA are physical port/connections
    3) "Native IDE" is usually a sata port mode to sort of trick older operating systems into thinking there IDE ports and allowing normal instalation of the OS to the HDD attached, rather then say AHCI or RAID mode (requiring drivers most of the time)
    4) RAID1 aka mirror mode is good for hdd failure - if any 1 of the 2 hdd's you have fail, your data will still be safe (beware this will NOT protect against data corruptions, accidental deletion or virus's etc)
    5) RAID0 (not really a true RAID) adds performance\storage space at the risk of reliability - twice the components to fail, but nearly twice the performance and exactly double the storage space of a single hdd in the array (or to be exact 2x(smallest drive size)) - if using and you have important data, always do backups to your requirement (importance of your data)
    6) ALL hdd's can be run in RAID mode - theres no "raid compatible" hdd's - the device its self does not care.

    RAID0 will take off loading time of your system in say games, windows loading etc, personally i love RAID0 as it does raise the minimum PC spec (slowest component - the HDD) by 2x etc (your ram and cpu etc may be quick but its fed from the HDD).

    It is also recommended to always have 2+ physical copies of important information as even stored on another physical hdd in your system is still succeptable to surges and virus's etc.

    Hope this helps.
  4. RAID0 on PATA is not very smart since disks will have to wait on eachother (shared access). RAID0 is all about parallel transfer, so if you want to use RAID0 for performance you ought to look at SATA, or giving each PATA disk member their own cable, for example:
    PATA1: HDD0 + DVD
    PATA2: HDD1 + DVD

    This way, RAID0 on the HDDs won't be slowed down because of the interface. But decide if RAID0 is for you first, by taking into account the feedback from apache_lives.
  5. Thanks for the help. I went ahead and tried the RAID 0 and I did notice a significant increase in hard disk access as compared to the Native IDE when installing WinXP x64 as well as the load times as you said for applications and games. I have one of those portable USB hard disk drives that I can unplug when I am not using it, so backing up data is not a problem.

    On my motherbaord there are SATA II connectors labeled as SATA II 1 and SATA II 2. I have my hard disk drives connected to the SATA II 1 connectors and the DVD drives connected to the SATA II 2 connectors.
  6. First let me state - I use 3 pairs of HDDs for 3 Raid0 1 for XP, 1 for Vista and one for Win 7. I like raid 0. BUT

    (1) Apache_Lives "but nearly twice the performance"
    Real life performance gain is only 10 - 20% improvement for the operating system/programs. The reason for this is that the majority of files will reside only on one drive. Default strip size is 128Kbytes and about 75% of my system/program files are less than that. In fact 50% of my system/program files are 16K or less. Raid0 only improves performance for a file that is equal to, or larger than strip size.
  7. I used a stripe size of 64k. What additional settings should I use when setting up a RAID 0?
  8. Quote:
    Raid0 only improves performance for a file that is equal to, or larger than strip size.

    Only with a queue depth of 1. If you use multiple queues, then disks can work in parallel. Disk1 will handle I/O request 1 and disk2 will handle I/O request 2. Parallel operation, that is what striping RAID is all about.

    So you can make up to 10MB stripesize and have excellent speeds for random read IOPS. The stripesize should at least be as big as the biggest I/O request possible, which is often 128KiB. This way, one disk can process one I/O request. If you setup a too low stripesize or a misalignment, you will need multiple disks working on the same I/O request which reduces or completely removes parallel transfers.
  9. I just have one more question concerning the set up of a RAID 0. In the RAID 0 BIOS setup there a two settings that I need help adjusting. The first is the Fast Initialization setting and the second is the Gigabyte boundary setting. What do these settings do and how should I set them?
  10. Fast init sounds like skipping syncing of mirror arrays, not something for RAID0.
    Gigabyte boundary setting is also called "capacity truncation". If your disks are 501GB, it can limit those to 500GB so all disks have the same capacity even they they vary slightly in size. Recommended if you do not have the exact same model/brand or are mixing disks of different types/brands in one array.
  11. Thanks again for the help.
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