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What are my options?

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September 28, 2009 5:42:21 PM

Sorry for the dumb questions, but I am kind of new at dealing with hard drives and RAID arrays. I never really did anything besides install 1 disk on any of my previous builds. That being said, I have been considering creating some kind of RAID array. My goal is to increase performance. Here is what I have:

1 x 1TB Seagate 7200
1 x 500GB Seagate 7200
1 x 500GB WD external USB

I was about to buy a second 1TB drive and do a RAID 0 with those. I could use either remaining drive for backup, correct? If I do that will partitioning off the OS increase my performance as well? Do I have any other options? Also, I have the Asus P7P55D MOBO that comes with Asus Drive Xpert. I have not installed it, but I assume it is simply RAID software. Is that acceptable, or do I need to look into hardware RAID controllers?

Thanks!

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September 28, 2009 5:50:21 PM

Software raids are a waste of time - hardware only. Real life performace or RAID 0 is questionable.

Why not by a performace hard like V Raptor or SSD and leave the existing drives for storgae.

The main idea of partiioning a hard drive for the OS is to stop the page file from spilling all over the disk - its a way of keeping 1 section "clean and ordered" if you go for a performance drive for OS and apps only - this is not really needed.
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September 28, 2009 6:05:33 PM

I thought about that too, but the price of the performance drives turned me off a bit. So you are suggesting something like 150GB raptor for OS and games/applications, and just use the others for storage? If so, can you give me an idea of what the performance difference would be from a 7200 drive like I am using now?
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September 29, 2009 6:01:10 PM

the old raptors are a think of the past - new valocer raptors can still be called performace drives.

There are 100s of bench mark tests on HDs I'm sure you can find the information/results on Toms Hardware tests.
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a c 415 G Storage
September 30, 2009 4:12:36 PM

"My goal is to increase performance" - the problem with this is that performance means different things to different people. If you're looking to improve boot and program start times, then you want a disk subsystem that can do very fast random I/O. Velociraptors are a good choice for that, and even better (way, way better) would be a Solid State Disk (SSD). But you pay for the performance you get.

If you're looking to improve the time of bulk copying or use programs that do large sequential I/Os (video editing is an example that comes to mind) then a RAID 0 solution can give you very high transfer rates. Using integrated RAID on the motherboard wouldn't be a problem for RAID 0 as long as you're using only a few drives.

You're wise to be thinking about backup - remember that good backup practice means keeping two OFFLINE copies of your data, one of which is stored OFFSITE. So take two of those drives and put them into external USB or eSATA enclosures and use them to make regular backups.
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September 30, 2009 5:39:07 PM

hmm.... That is a lot to think about. I don't really do much video editing. Its more video ripping and encoding. Also games and of course boot time! I guess raptors or SSD would be right for me then?

Would I be able to move my OS over to a new drive without reinstalling? I have an OEM license key...

Thanks again!
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October 1, 2009 8:47:01 AM

to increase performanc you would be better to re install as your old drive is probably fragged.

You could image your old drive on to the new one
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a b G Storage
October 1, 2009 9:00:57 AM

sminlal said:

If you're looking to improve the time of bulk copying or use programs that do large sequential I/Os (video editing is an example that comes to mind) then a RAID 0 solution can give you very high transfer rates. Using integrated RAID on the motherboard wouldn't be a problem for RAID 0 as long as you're using only a few drives.

Moving an existing motherboard RAID 0 array (without backing it up) to another motherboard can be iffy.
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a c 415 G Storage
October 1, 2009 5:29:21 PM

jsc said:
Moving an existing motherboard RAID 0 array (without backing it up) to another motherboard can be iffy.
Yes, completely agree. In fact I'd personally take the approach "can't be done" rather than "iffy".

But in terms of it working properly with the kind of performance you'd expect of RAID 0 (i.e., better transfer rates and concurrent I/Os, no improvement in access times, no noticeable impact on CPU utilization), motherboard RAID 0 will work as well as as a dedicated controller card. I'd add a caveat about not using an excessive number of drives, but there's a limited number of disk connectors on the motherboard anyway so it's kind of a self-limiting solution.
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