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What is the best RAID set up for gaming? Intel Matrix? RAID 5 or 10

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December 21, 2009 11:46:45 PM

Hello All,

What is the best RAID set up for gaming? Is the Intel Matrix RAID an ideal way to go? Is it better than RAID 5 or 10? I have a basic understanding of RAID and actually set one up many years ago, but I have a lot to learn.

I am building another gaming system and I want this one to be lightening fast. I have already received the Radeon 5970 video card. The other parts that relate to my RAID set up will most likely be:

Processor: Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz
Mother Board: ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"

I have no problem buying 3, 4, or 5 hard drives; whatever it takes to increase speed. The games I like are MS Flight Simulator, shooting, and racing games.

Thanks in advance for help and support (this forum has been extremely helpful).

Jim

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a b G Storage
December 21, 2009 11:55:15 PM

If you are budgeting up to 5 drives, buy an SSD that is big enough for what you need instead. If you need more space for media or whatever else you need, buy some large, 5400 rpm hard drives. Intel matrix raid can give very impressive numbers with streaming data in RAID 10 or 5 but it still does not come close to random read/write speeds that you get from an ssd. This is what would speed up game loading times. Plus you dont have to have all those drives cluttering up your case.
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December 21, 2009 11:56:42 PM

I forgot to mention that I will be using Windows 7, 64 bit, but I have not decided if I will buy Professional or Ultimate.
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a b G Storage
December 21, 2009 11:58:14 PM

This does not change anything. They concept is still the same. I have read that Windows 7 is better suited for SSD than vista. Ultimate editions adds bit blocker and that's it I believe.
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December 22, 2009 12:12:03 AM

WOW, I have never heard of an SSD drive. From what I have Googled thus far, it has no moving parts? Perhaps this is the same concept as a flash drive. I put “SSD Drive” in the Newegg.com search box and the drives that come up really are not that expensive! This sounds like a great way to go but I have much research to do.

Does an SSD drive eliminate a hard disk drive? Can they store an operating system?
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a b G Storage
December 22, 2009 12:20:21 AM

Yes, the have no moving parts which makes them much faster with random access. Yes they are flash based but more robust. Most people are in the practice of installing windows on them and booting from them. You have a lot of reading to do. Figure out how much space you need, 64-80-120-128 GB are the primary choices. Intel drives have been the talk of the town, but others are catching up and making things interesting. Good luck
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a c 415 G Storage
December 22, 2009 3:40:12 PM

Goobaah is totally right - for booting and starting up applications, a single SSD will far outperform any combination of hard drives no matter what you do to RAID them. The only drawback of SSDs is their relatively limited capacity.

By far your best bang for the buck is to buy an SSD and put the OS and your application programs on it, and buy a HDD to store bulk data such as music for video files. Those types of files don't require high-speed access to play and so a mechanical disk should be fine for them.
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December 22, 2009 5:56:29 PM

Yes, the SSD drive is the way I want to go.

After further research of SSD drives, this set up will be more expensive than I thought. I addition to the purchase of an SSD drive, I think I will also have to purchase a SATA II adapter being that I can not find a motherboard with a built in SATA II.

This technology is new to my, so suggestions on what to purchase is greatly appreciated.

Jim
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December 22, 2009 6:01:07 PM

SATA II is standard in all current motherboards - you shouldn't have any problem plugging any current SSD into any current motherboard.

Intel is widely regarded as being the best, and the OCZ Vertex drives also seem to be popular. Both support TRIM which is a good thing to have, particularly if you're going to run Windows 7.
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December 24, 2009 1:36:29 AM

if you have the $ than buy a 256GB SSD(~$700) and a 2TB regular disk. 64GB is definitely to low games take up alot of GB's. If I had the money I would buy 2x256GB SSD's and raid 0 them, The fastest 2TB HD and a 2TB network storage box for backup/sharing. Thats like $2k... Check out this SSD video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96dWOEa4Djs . SSD's are the future. Corsair is a good name and they're lower priced than intel...
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December 24, 2009 2:34:29 AM

I basically had the same idea; that is, 2 SSD drives in RAID 0 for my upcoming power house gaming system and using my 2nd computer (the one I’m on now) to store all my music, movies, and software.
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