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Adding RAID0 to an existing Dual Boot

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October 5, 2009 9:52:21 PM

I have a 1 TB drive that dual boots to XP pro and Win 7 RTM. My system is just a couple of months old. I just bought 2 150 gig Raptors and I want to add a RAID 0 array to the mix. I want to use the RAID drive for gaming only and not for the OSs. Is it possible to do this, or would it be better to do a clean install and go with one OS or the other. I do not really want to put the OS and games on the RAID 0 drive, but will if this is the better way to go. Thanks for any help!
October 5, 2009 10:16:06 PM

enable RAID in BIOS (if using onboard RAID), create the array, and let OSes ask for drivers for the new device (RAID controller) it will find, install driver and you're good to go.
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October 6, 2009 10:46:46 AM

If your BIOS was set to IDE instead of AHCI for your install of XP pro your XP will not boot correctly since the drivers were not installed with the install of the OS. There is a way to install the drivers afterward: http://forums.pcper.com/showthread.php?t=444831
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a c 172 G Storage
October 6, 2009 3:03:15 PM

ranspilot said:
I have a 1 TB drive that dual boots to XP pro and Win 7 RTM. My system is just a couple of months old. I just bought 2 150 gig Raptors and I want to add a RAID 0 array to the mix. I want to use the RAID drive for gaming only and not for the OSs. Is it possible to do this, or would it be better to do a clean install and go with one OS or the other. I do not really want to put the OS and games on the RAID 0 drive, but will if this is the better way to go. Thanks for any help!

Just a few thoughts for you:

1) With windows-7 availability imminent, I would make plans to install it. If you are a student, you can get it really cheap. It will be better and simpler. Select RAID in the bios before install instead of IDE which is often the default. RAID is a superset of AHCI so you will be set up for any configuration. The only reason to not select RAID is if you know you will never use it, and you will avoid the bios initialization of raid code at boot time. In that case select AHCI.

2) It is not clear to me what game usage the raid-0 raptors will serve if you do not install games on them. If you use them to save games, using a single drive is probably better.

3) There is generally no real world(vs. synthetic transfer rate benchmarks) performance advantage to raid of any kind.
Go to www.storagereview.com at this link: http://faq.storagereview.com/tiki-index.php?page=Single...
There are some specific applications that will benefit, but
gaming is not one of them.

4) The raptor or the 1tb drive will perform about the same as an OS drive. For a meaningful difference in performance, consider a good SSD as the OS drive.

5) The raptors at 10k rpm give fast access, but ordinary data transfer speeds. The velociraptor might seem to be similar but will actually give better data transfer speeds because it is much denser, and transfers more data per revolution. A good 1tb drive will do the same using only part of the drive at lower cost.

6) Go to www.storagereview.com and access their performance database. Look at the benchmarks that are representative of your usage. In particular, look at the maximum data transfer tests. It will give you a good indication of the performance capabilities of different drives.
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a c 127 G Storage
October 6, 2009 4:08:46 PM

SR conclusions are false and have been forfeited by other tech sites.

The fact that Windows is a poor operating system to use RAID on, doesn't mean RAID itself is a bad technology, or that its performance benefits are only synthetic. This is simply not true. RAID0 can give you a significant boost to IOps performance, and i would like to note SSDs achieve high speeds because they use "RAID0" internally; multi-channel flash channels is about the same as multiple disks in a RAID0 config. The same limitations apply: if you screw your chance for parallel processing you won't see any real improvements. This is what happened to Windows & RAID and probably why it got a bad name.

But don't blame RAID - blame windows instead. Look at proper RAID benchmarks to see what RAID0 can do in terms of performance scaling in realistic circumstances. The IOps should increase with each disk added to the array. If not, either the testing has been done improperly, or the RAID setup has been done improperly.

Also note that 80% of all RAIDs run by consumers are running in a sub-optimal configuration with much chance for parallel processing - the cornerstone of striping - lost and wasted.
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