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Raid zero with an existing hard drive possible??

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February 5, 2010 2:25:37 AM

I have a 150 velociraptor I just got a 300 velociraptor. My big questoin is can I put these in raid0 to equal 450gb arrray, of coarse my 150 has my os on it. I also have a segate 7200 500gb with my os backups and movies,and music and stuff but about 300gb free. Just looking for suggestions here thanks..
a b G Storage
February 5, 2010 2:31:35 AM

Sorry, setting up a RAID 0 would require you to reformat your drive (meaning you would lose all your data). Also, you can't RAID drives of different sizes (unless you only RAID half of the V 300, but I don't think that's what you're going for).
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February 5, 2010 6:45:03 PM

Thanks man I just am new with this raid I wanted anouther fast drive for game I wish there was a way to get 450 outta two in raid0 but I understand thats no fezzable Ill just wait awhile and get some ssd drives when they become more affordable. Here are some of my specs just for s and g's.

Drive B:
Description Local Fixed Disk
Compressed No
File System NTFS
Size 465.76 GB (500,104,687,616 bytes)
Free Space 364.73 GB (391,627,747,328 bytes)
Volume Name Segate 500gb
Volume Serial Number C629AB53

Drive C:
Description Local Fixed Disk
Compressed No
File System NTFS
Size 139.73 GB (150,037,590,016 bytes)
Free Space 21.45 GB (23,033,720,832 bytes)
Volume Name Velociraptor 150gb
Volume Serial Number ECB8CA8A

Drive D:
Description CD-ROM Disc

Drive E:
Description CD-ROM Disc

Drive F:
Description Removable Disk

Drive G:
Description Local Fixed Disk
Compressed No
File System NTFS
Size 279.46 GB (300,066,795,520 bytes)
Free Space 279.36 GB (299,962,126,336 bytes)
Volume Name Velociraptor 300gb
Volume Serial Number B2D364BC
OS Name Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium
Version 6.0.6002 Service Pack 2 Build 6002
Other OS Description Not Available
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name JUSTIN-PC
System Manufacturer EVGA__
System Model 132-YW-E180-FTW
System Type x64-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83GHz, 3400 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Phoenix Technologies, LTD 6.00 PG, 9/15/2008
SMBIOS Version 2.4
Windows Directory C:\Windows
System Directory C:\Windows\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume3
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.0.6002.18005"
User Name Justin-PC\Justin
Time Zone Eastern Standard Time
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 4.00 GB
Available Physical Memory 2.28 GB
Total Virtual Memory 8.16 GB
Available Virtual Memory 6.23 GB
Page File Space 4.29 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys
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February 6, 2010 7:37:39 PM

You can RAID-0 the two drives but 150GB of the new drive would be lost and you'd be left with a 300GB Raid-0 array. (And no there is no way to access the lost storage.) The RAID card takes the size of the smallest disk and uses that amount of every disk in the array.

You will get better performance by installing your game to the 300GB drive by itself. Boot the 150GB drive, and put your Windows page file on it. Install your games and applications to the secondary 300GB drive. That way when you load applications or games (when the page file is usually used) the loading happens on one drive and the paging happens on another.

A good amount of the time spent loading levels in games seems to be unaffected by RAID. My suspicion is the time is spent processing and setting up data structures. Could also be the routines for reading level data are inefficient, or maybe it's just an entirely random-access pattern because RAID doesn't improve those scenarios as easily.

I don't know if SSD drives speed up game level loading. That would help indicate whether the bottleneck is storage related.
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a c 122 G Storage
February 6, 2010 8:01:54 PM

While there are applications that do benefit from RAID 0, gaming isn't generally considered as one of them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID_0#RAID_0

RAID 0 is useful for setups such as large read-only NFS servers where mounting many disks is time-consuming or impossible and redundancy is irrelevant.

RAID 0 is also used in some gaming systems where performance is desired and data integrity is not very important. However, real-world tests with games have shown that RAID-0 performance gains are minimal, although some desktop applications will benefit.[1][2]


http://www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=2101
"We were hoping to see some sort of performance increase in the game loading tests, but the RAID array didn't give us that. While the scores put the RAID-0 array slightly slower than the single drive Raptor II, you should also remember that these scores are timed by hand and thus, we're dealing within normal variations in the "benchmark".

Our Unreal Tournament 2004 test uses the full version of the game and leaves all settings on defaults. After launching the game, we select Instant Action from the menu, choose Assault mode and select the Robot Factory level. The stop watch timer is started right after the Play button is clicked, and stopped when the loading screen disappears. The test is repeated three times with the final score reported being an average of the three. In order to avoid the effects of caching, we reboot between runs. All times are reported in seconds; lower scores, obviously, being better. In Unreal Tournament, we're left with exactly no performance improvement, thanks to RAID-0

If you haven't gotten the hint by now, we'll spell it out for you: there is no place, and no need for a RAID-0 array on a desktop computer. The real world performance increases are negligible at best and the reduction in reliability, thanks to a halving of the mean time between failure, makes RAID-0 far from worth it on the desktop.

Bottom line: RAID-0 arrays will win you just about any benchmark, but they'll deliver virtually nothing more than that for real world desktop performance. That's just the cold hard truth."


http://www.techwarelabs.com/articl [...] ex_6.shtml
".....we did not see an increase in FPS through its use. Load times for levels and games was significantly reduced utilizing the Raid controller and array. As we stated we do not expect that the majority of gamers are willing to purchase greater than 4 drives and a controller for this kind of setup. While onboard Raid is an option available to many users you should be aware that using onboard Raid will mean the consumption of CPU time for this task and thus a reduction in performance that may actually lead to worse FPS. An add-on controller will always be the best option until they integrate discreet Raid controllers with their own memory into consumer level motherboards."

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1001325
"However, many have tried to justify/overlook those shortcomings by simply saying "It's faster." Anyone who does this is wrong, wasting their money, and buying into hype. Nothing more."

http://computer-drives-storage.sui [...] erformance
"The real-world performance benefits possible in a single-user PC situation is not a given for most people, because the benefits rely on multiple independent, simultaneous requests. One person running most desktop applications may not see a big payback in performance because they are not written to do asynchronous I/O to disks. Understanding this can help avoid disappointment."

http://www.scs-myung.com/v2/index. [...] om_content
"What about performance? This, we suspect, is the primary reason why so many users doggedly pursue the RAID 0 "holy grail." This inevitably leads to dissapointment by those that notice little or no performance gain.....As stated above, first person shooters rarely benefit from RAID 0.__ Frame rates will almost certainly not improve, as they are determined by your video card and processor above all else. In fact, theoretically your FPS frame rate may decrease, since many low-cost RAID controllers (anything made by Highpoint at the tiem of this writing, and most cards from Promise) implement RAID in software, so the process of splitting and combining data across your drives is done by your CPU, which could better be utilized by your game. That said, the CPU overhead of RAID0 is minimal on high-performance processors."

Even the HD manufacturers limit RAID's advantages to very specific applications and non of them involves gaming:

http://westerndigital.com/en/products/raid/
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February 6, 2010 8:24:26 PM

I really love it when gamers benchmark games, and don't see any improvement in the games, and then blanket-statement declare that there is no place in the market for the technology that didn't make the game they tested run faster. And this from Anandtech? Come on guys.

In fact, the reality is exactly the OPPOSITE of what the Anandtech review said. The ONLY place for Raid-0 is on the desktop. That doesn't mean it's always beneficial to the application at hand. The reliability is not enough for servers, but the speed improvement is very, very real in many, many applications, and can only be fully utilized when the array is locally attached to the machine running that application.

I would build a large Raid-0 array for a video editing or compositing workstation in a heartbeat. You just have to make sure the raid-0 is only used for fast local copies of files that exist elsewhere. I had four 36gb raptors in raid-0 for several years and not only did the array never have a problem, it was juuuuust barely below capable of streaming raw, and I mean fully uncompressed, 1920x1080 video, in realtime. (play for 1.5 seconds, stutter for 1/4 second, repeat.)


On the subject of games I would say it's time to re-evaluate the effectiveness of RAID. A lot has changed. (You still shouldn't tie the 150GB drive to the 300GB drive though.)
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February 6, 2010 11:49:36 PM

Thanks for all the feedback I do enjoy mulling over all this info. I am quite the techey. I ended up finding a way to do the raid but you are absolutly correct I only could use 150gb from each drive, so I am gonna wait. My computer is still fast enough to handel anything I throw at it the only thing I am lacking is a ssd drive. For my next build I will do allot more research on raid and I will make sure to get the best performance I can. It may be a few years before this computer is not up to par. I just got the Windows 7 Ultimate upgrade and I love it seems to make all of my programs run even faster and much less buggy than vista (quad core prossesors, and a 64 bit os are a must with todays applications). I always find myself playing games, listening to music and having many pages open at once with no issues at all.



My performance index is all 7.3 and 7.4 besides my velociraptor only scores a 5.9.

Component Details Subscore Base score
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83GHz running at 3.40GHz 7.4
Determined by lowest subscore

Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB 7.4
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 7.3
Gaming graphics 2687 MB Total available graphics memory 7.3
Primary hard disk 30GB Free (140GB Total) 5.9
Windows 7 Ultimate

System
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Manufacturer EVGA__
Model 132-YW-E180-FTW
Total amount of system memory 4.00 GB RAM
System type 64-bit operating system
Number of processor cores 4

Storage
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Total size of hard disk(s) 419 GB
Disk partition (C:)  30 GB Free (140 GB Total)
Media drive (D:)  CD/DVD
Media drive (E:)  CD/DVD
Disk partition (G:)  279 GB Free (279 GB Total)

Graphics
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Display adapter type NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260
Total available graphics memory 2687 MB
Dedicated graphics memory 896 MB
Dedicated system memory 0 MB
Shared system memory 1791 MB
Display adapter driver version 8.17.11.9621
Primary monitor resolution 1680x1050
DirectX version DirectX 10

Network
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Network Adapter NVIDIA nForce 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
Network Adapter NVIDIA nForce 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet


verything runs much faster and it actually updates my score (ex
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February 14, 2010 12:40:34 AM

Best answer selected by jjsmooth.
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a c 127 G Storage
February 14, 2010 5:02:09 AM

The TS started with a specific RAID0 question, and suddenly RAID0 was on trial?

If you want to quote bad conducted reviews, then i will quote the conclusion of a counter-article, made after Anandtech and StorageReview used the worst possible RAID-setup to 'prove' that RAID0 provides little benefit. That of course didn't get by unnoticed:

"AnandTech and Storage Review should be wise to investigate matters more thoroughy before jumping to quick conclusions. You don't judge a Porsche on its capabilities to carry groceries. A car like that serves a different purpose, and it should be judged on that instead - even if it will never fulfill its true purpose in real life. Power users, tweakers and hardware enthusiasts, the target audience AnandTech, Storage Review and Tweakers.net try to please, use their desktop systems in a different way than the pretty blonde next door who only uses it to check her Hotmail account. What we're trying to say is that you shouldn't assess the performance of RAID 0 with benchmarks that are not made to test the performance of the storage subset. AnandTech and Storage Review's negative verdict on RAID 0 in the desktop environment will likely have a profound influence on the opinions of uninformed users for years to come. A sure loss, since their verdict couldn't stand up to trial."

http://tweakers.net/reviews/515/9/raid-0-hype-or-blessi...

Please, don't post that shitty article again, meant to 'prove' something about RAID0 performance. If you want a real discussion about RAID0; make a separate thread and i'll explain how i think about RAID and performance.
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a c 122 G Storage
February 21, 2010 6:24:34 PM

grafixmonkey said:
I really love it when gamers benchmark games, and don't see any improvement in the games, and then blanket-statement declare that there is no place in the market for the technology that didn't make the game they tested run faster. And this from Anandtech? Come on guys.


What has aheppened is that gamers looking to beat their buddy's posted benchmarks wanna eek out a few extra points so they can "get the title"......they read somewhere that RAID 0 boosts performance on database access or movie editing and then take that as the blanket statement that RAID 0 improves everything.

There most certainly are applications on the desktop that benefit from RAID 0 but gaming, and programs that 98% of THG's audience runs are NOT going to benefit. ANd with 6, 8, 18 and 24 GB of memory treadily available, even the ones that benefit, see much smaller improvements with all this RAM available.
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February 22, 2010 12:36:37 PM

Raid would improve load times. If that is what people are shooting for. Otherwise once you get into game, your hard drives are out.
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