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Will a gamers pc benefit from RAID 0

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September 15, 2009 11:09:34 PM

I am researching pc parts for a new build, I am currently investigating motherboards,
My question is the benefits of RAID ?
When it comes to RAID 1. the benefits are obvious when data is critical.
But with RAID 0, there are obvious benefits when video editing because it make use of the its ability to move large files. Will computer games (which this pc will be built for)
make use of RAID 0?
The RAID setup would be drive 0 where OS would reside along with apps & games, the OS swap file would be on another drive possible on another RAID 0 setup.
Back up of important files would be to separate drive or burnt on to a disk.
The cost would be to be 2 x 150 GB SATA HDD for the RAID opposed to 1x 300GB SATA HDD. The RAID controller is built into the motherboard.
Is there performance gain when using RAID 0 for gaming?
Is there a performance gain in using a swap file on a separate RAID 0?
Thank you for your comments.
Joe

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a b G Storage
September 16, 2009 8:37:45 AM

Well, RAID 0 basically means a performance for any kind of hard disk activity, so yes you'll probably see faster loading times. But unless you've got money to burn, setting up RAID just to load games faster doesn't sound like a good value-proposition for me.

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a b G Storage
September 16, 2009 1:07:32 PM
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You'll be happier if you put the extra money in to your video subsystem unless you've pretty much capped your video performance. Then go with RAID just for the extra fun ;)  Seek-times go up slightly when you RAID so a group of very small files (as you may find in some games) may end up taking longer to read, or have little-to-no performance increase with RAID. But overall you should notice the increased throughput. I know I did!

I should heed my own words. I have an i7@3.4GHz, 2xVelociraptors, and a single 9800GTX (slap in the face for a Core i7 rig). My reasoning is that being in IT, I wanted the computer to run Windows Vista/7 as efficiently as possible FIRST, then have the sweet gaming performance later on. It's actually not that bad with the GTX, but video card upgrades are definitely in the near future.
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a b G Storage
September 16, 2009 1:11:36 PM

Another question, how much are you spending on two 150GB drives? My last two 160GB drives (WD Enterprise RAID drives, mind you) did about as well in RAID-0 as a single Velociraptor, although if your drives will be new, there are obviously other architectural differences between my old drives and your new drives. With the much faster seek-times of the 10K drive, you may be better off getting a single 300GB Velociraptor. Just a thought.
September 16, 2009 6:10:06 PM

Thank you all. :D 
I’m still in the planning stage, I’m working out what I need, what I want & what I can afford. Ill buy the essential parts first then upgrade the rest later. I also plan on building a HTPC in the future , so if buy any parts now & I upgrade later & I’ll use them for the HTPC.
I work in the IT field to & I’ve set up raids, I thought it would be neat to have one at home, but of course I have to justify it. The research I’ve done so far seems to say that a Velociraptor is about equal to a raid 0 with 7200rpm HDD,s, except when it comes to video editing, which I may do a little of later, mainly photography at the moment, internet & games & the other not so exiting stuff to. :sleep: 
Example - the cost of the drives would be for 2 Western Digital RE2 160GB @ $120 compared to a WD Velociraptor 300GB @ $320. So what it comes down to is, RAID 0 with HDD,s with 16mb cache, 7200rpm, 8,7ms seek time & $200 savings compared to a the Velociraptor with 16mb cache, 1,000 rpm, 4.2ms seek time & simplicity. I know that there is more to consider that’s why I researching & asking for your opinion. Prices @ http://www.newegg.com/
I will post a list of parts that I am thinking of getting & I would really appreciate your opinions on them.
Thanks again for your comments :D 
Joe
September 16, 2009 6:15:52 PM

PS: any SATA HDDs you would recommend? for a RAID 0 or stand alone.
besides the Velociraptor which is excellent!
September 16, 2009 7:26:39 PM

Joe,
I just built (like 2 weeks ago) an i7 920 system. I used 3x500GB WD Caviar Blue drives in a RAID 0. From my favorite online retailer, you know the new one with the egg, combo'd with other items I purchased, they ran about $40 each...so for less than the cost of 1x150GB Raptor (and my PassMark score is better than 2x that drive) I got 10x the HDD space. I'll be happy to send you my system specs if you are interested...

As for what you should pick...find a price range, look at reviews on my favorite site, and figure out how many you need/want and go from there.

KT

P.S. Don't forget, most optical drives are SATA now, so make sure your mobo has enough ports...
a b G Storage
September 18, 2009 1:28:29 PM

If you are going with two 7200RPM drives vs a single Velociraptor, my suggestion would be a Western Digital RE3 drive over the RE2 you have listed. You can get a single 320GB RE3 drive for $70 on Newegg. That's $140 for 640GB vs $120 for 320GB, literally doubling your capacity for a mere $20...and they perform better.

I double-checked the 320GB RE3 model number on the WD website, and they have the RAID-specific features like the RE2 drives. It's just not mentioned on Newegg. They also have dual-processors.
!