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Simple guide to raid drives & set up for the newb

Would someone smarter and more techie than me please recommend a simple guide to buying and setting up a raid array (is that what it's called) or raid drive for a senior citizen who mostly uses my computer for trading stocks and currencies online.

Some of my stock charts and "baskets (of stock symbols, etc) are slow to load etc. I just have one 250 G HD right now. Could I just add a couple of $40 HD's to this or do I need 3 new ones. I don't have a lot of stuff on my drive at the moment, but the drive is slow to sort the symbols and info. I've been told that a raid array would speed up things considerably.

I don't think I can afford 3 solid state drives now.

Thanks.
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  1. Best answer
    I would not recommend a RAID array for the person who does not have access to some sort of tech support. While a RAID 0 will improve performance, it adds in reliability issues which in turn drives making backups more important.

    Disks do matter in the overall speed of a system - but so do processor, RAM, apps installed, apps running, and so. Its a balancing game. One super speedy part can be held back by other slower devices.

    One SSD drive would help a lot without the burden of maintaining that RAID set.

    Are you managing these investments via the web - in that case it could be your internet connection isnt adequate.

    The best advice is to list out all of these things and then these smart people can help you sort out cost versus performance gains.
  2. vvhocare5 said:
    I would not recommend a RAID array for the person who does not have access to some sort of tech support. While a RAID 0 will improve performance, it adds in reliability issues which in turn drives making backups more important.

    Disks do matter in the overall speed of a system - but so do processor, RAM, apps installed, apps running, and so. Its a balancing game. One super speedy part can be held back by other slower devices.

    One SSD drive would help a lot without the burden of maintaining that RAID set.

    Are you managing these investments via the web - in that case it could be your internet connection isnt adequate.

    The best advice is to list out all of these things and then these smart people can help you sort out cost versus performance gains.



    Thanks VV for a very informative answer.

    Yes, I know the RAM and CPU matter a great deal also and I will probably be doing a new build with a quad core CPU and more Ram soon. I do have a good internet connection through U Verse. Getting about 17+ Meg download and 1.5 M up. And I'm paying for it too!. It's pretty reliable also. If I got a SSD drive, could I specify that all my trading software would go on it and the regular stuff on the ordinary HD? I don't really have a lot of data on my regular drive.

    It sounds like Raid arrays are hard to maintain. True?

    I like ease of use and reliability over pure speed most of the time.

    What's the difference between Raid 0 and Raid 1 or the other numbers?

    Thank you very much for your knowledge and answer.
  3. Raid-0 can help large sequential operations, but not much else. It is much overhyped. Here is a link to raid-0 performance info:
    http://faq.storagereview.com/tiki-index.php?page=SingleDriveVsRaid0

    Raid-0 is striping which puts parts of each file on different drives so that they may be accessed concurrently.
    raid-1 is mirroring which maintains a copy of data on each drive to protect against drive failure.
    Other options 5,10, etc are variations or combinations of 0 and 1.

    Your 250gb drive sounds like an older drive, and newer drives are much faster today. Just replacing it might help.

    If you have a modest need for storage space, then a good SSD would be the best. I would suggest the Intel X25-M 80gb or 160gb gen2 drive today. Prices and new products are changing rapidly, so research carefully. If all your stuff won't fit on a SSD, then by all means, put your lesser used files an a second conventional drive.
  4. geofelt said:
    Raid-0 can help large sequential operations, but not much else. It is much overhyped. Here is a link to raid-0 performance info:
    http://faq.storagereview.com/tiki-index.php?page=SingleDriveVsRaid0

    Raid-0 is striping which puts parts of each file on different drives so that they may be accessed concurrently.
    raid-1 is mirroring which maintains a copy of data on each drive to protect against drive failure.
    Other options 5,10, etc are variations or combinations of 0 and 1.

    Your 250gb drive sounds like an older drive, and newer drives are much faster today. Just replacing it might help.

    If you have a modest need for storage space, then a good SSD would be the best. I would suggest the Intel X25-M 80gb or 160gb gen2 drive today. Prices and new products are changing rapidly, so research carefully. If all your stuff won't fit on a SSD, then by all means, put your lesser used files an a second conventional drive.


    Thanks for the reply and information Geo, I appreciate it. A flash drive sounds interesting.
  5. Best answer selected by r_manic.
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