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RAID 0 for good system performance

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May 26, 2008 2:42:38 PM

I'm thinking about my next computer. My usage is fairly basic: Internet browsing (fairly intensive, 5-20 Firefox tabs) and some design using Dreamweaver and the Gimp, so I think I don't need a powerful system (I'd maybe go for an AMD Athlon64 X2 5600+ or so). But I'm thinking about using a RAID 0 hard drive setup to reduce system and program startup times and result in a smoother computing experience. In addition, I notice that when a computer gets old, booting and starting programs can take really long, even in a well defragmented hard disk. So I think it's good to get a fast hard disk setup from the beginning.

What do you think? Is RAID 0 a good approach? Or I'd benefit more from using a faster processor? Any other suggestions for a smooth experience? I'd like to keep the cost of the system fairly low, so I discard WD Velociraptor and SSDs.

Thanks in advance.
May 26, 2008 2:47:50 PM

I think jamming it full of RAM (like 3/4gb) might serve you better. But you'd get excellent overall performance with RAID0
May 26, 2008 3:12:12 PM

Just get a raptor 150. You can always add a storage drive later. RAID 0 does add performance but it also increases unreliability. I have always just ran a single raptor because I need a reliable hard drive, and its fast enough. I would agree if your running Vista you would be served well to use 4GB of ram, even with the 32bit version it will have a noticeable improvement.
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May 26, 2008 3:18:11 PM

If you have the budget for it and the knowledge I say go for it ! But like jonisginger said more ram will definitely help more. It would not be worth it to go Raid0 and not put enough ram .... If you really wanna enjoy the full benefit of a raid0 desktop go for the fastest processor in your budget range and as much ram as you can. And keep in mind Raid0 will not double your hard drive performance but it will make your system seem "snappier".
May 26, 2008 3:33:00 PM

For an average system, RAID 0 is waste of money.
Very little benefit for money spent.
You will get far better return for your money as others have mentioned with a single fast drive, and more memory. You also increase cost and maintenence by having to use a good backup system. RAID 0 can leave you starting from scratch all over again and loss of important data if you don't have and use a reliable backup.
May 26, 2008 5:03:38 PM

I think the point here is "more performance for my money". Most of you don't think RAID 0 is cost effective. Thanks for your advice.

The issues about reliability confused me a bit. I know a RAID 0 array becomes ruined by the failure of any one of the disks, but AFAIK, current quality hard disks seem to fail very seldom. As for Raptors, I red that these are expensive, noisy beasts, and not so ahead of current big 7200 rpm drives.

May 26, 2008 5:05:20 PM

RAID 0 won't always help. Alot of the time older computers take longer to start because of bloated / unused drivers and half uninstalled programs (not your fault) bloating windows. Faster drives will not always help with that. Besides RAID 0 might outstrip your CPU (HDD performance vs HDD performance that the CPU can utilitize).
May 26, 2008 5:21:37 PM

It's not always hard drive failure. For instance, if you overclock and data gets corrupted, a power outage/sudden crash, one of the drive cables comes loose, etc. Any of these can also lead to broken array.
RAID 0 is not a bad way to go. (I run it.....) Windows and games do load a little faster, moving large files is a little faster, but you do need to have a backup of some kind if you plan on storing anything you would not like to lose.
If you take the extra steps, don't mind spending the money, then go for it.
May 26, 2008 6:07:32 PM

jitpublisher said:
It's not always hard drive failure. For instance, if you overclock and data gets corrupted, a power outage/sudden crash, one of the drive cables comes loose, etc. Any of these can also lead to broken array.
RAID 0 is not a bad way to go. (I run it.....) Windows and games do load a little faster, moving large files is a little faster, but you do need to have a backup of some kind if you plan on storing anything you would not like to lose.
If you take the extra steps, don't mind spending the money, then go for it.


Thanks for the info, I was not aware of these other possible hazards. I currently perform daily backups of my documents to a Lacie home NAS (from 2 computers), but maybe some kind of full disk image would be better.
May 27, 2008 2:00:29 AM

Don't listen to the naysayers, as you said modern hard drives are pretty reliable so the danger of RAID0 is negligible. Any of those things can be just as deadly to a single drive setup. Defiantly get the extra RAM as well if you can afford it.t
May 27, 2008 6:59:26 AM

B-Unit said:
Don't listen to the naysayers, as you said modern hard drives are pretty reliable so the danger of RAID0 is negligible. Any of those things can be just as deadly to a single drive setup. Defiantly get the extra RAM as well if you can afford it.t


I found some hot discussions in the forum about RAID 0 being worthy or not; I thought the performance benefit was clear, but it seems it's not, specially when dealing with small files. I'd keep thinking on it.

As for Ramdisk, I notice it's only for server versions of Windows, and at about the same price that 2 good hard drives (from 175 $).

I'm also unsure about using Windows 32- or 64-bit, but I've open a new thread about that.
May 27, 2008 12:54:34 PM

Quote:
NOT correct! In the left navigation column, scroll down to
"Desktop Systems":

http://www.superspeed.com/desktop/ramdisk.php


$49.95 for 32-bit Vista and XP.


Woops! You are right. Thanks for the correction. I guess it's a good way to go if you have plenty of RAM.
May 27, 2008 2:55:27 PM

Realistically, unless you game or work with large vid or pic files, the only real gain from RAID will be faster Windows boot times. Although I personally would find that worth it, some people dont.
September 13, 2008 3:34:57 AM

velociraptor 150 is only 180 or so and would most likely inprove your system a good amount, as would raid 0.

but i think that like was pointed out enless you deal with large files things like more ram better cpu would give you a lot more bang fore you buck
!