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Raid 0?

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June 3, 2010 2:30:23 AM

How do you configure a raid set up? and do you need two identical drives? does it increase performance?

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June 3, 2010 3:24:26 AM

jijoslin said:
How do you configure a raid set up?

Depends on the motherboard or add-on card that you have. There are other guides on the net for this.

jijoslin said:
and do you need two identical drives?


Ideally you need two identical drives. This eliminates the possible problems you may encounter.

jijoslin said:
does it increase performance?


For Raid 0, it increases read and write rates to nearly 2x compared to a single drive. Though Raid 0, does also increase the chance of losing your data by 2x. With 0, even if one drive goes bad, all your data becomes irrecoverable.
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a b G Storage
June 3, 2010 3:41:49 AM

Make sure you understand what amnotanoob wrote. It increases your read/write speeds, nothing else. If your bottlenecked by CPU power, this won't help. It won't help your video card put things on the screen faster. It can/will help with reading/writing large files, nothing more.
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June 3, 2010 7:25:47 AM

4745454b said:
Make sure you understand what amnotanoob wrote. It increases your read/write speeds, nothing else. If your bottlenecked by CPU power, this won't help. It won't help your video card put things on the screen faster. It can/will help with reading/writing large files, nothing more.


+1. Only possible good use would be for faster loading of games. I wouldn't recommend it for video production or any other type of production work, as you might lose everything at an instant.
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a b G Storage
June 3, 2010 9:55:04 AM

I actually don't suggest AID0 for games. Putting the extra $50+ towards a faster CPU or GPU makes a lot more sense. Faster CPU will decompress things faster still allowing a faster load, and a faster GPU allows for more FPS. And because the problems with failures and AID0, I'd rather have a SSD.
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June 3, 2010 10:44:03 AM

4745454b said:
I actually don't suggest AID0 for games. Putting the extra $50+ towards a faster CPU or GPU makes a lot more sense. Faster CPU will decompress things faster still allowing a faster load, and a faster GPU allows for more FPS. And because the problems with failures and AID0, I'd rather have a SSD.


The CPU doesn't aid in quicker loading of games. The CPU can't do anything if the hard drive is still looking for the textures or objects to load.

An SSD would be a quicker option than a regular hard drive RAID-0, though the price is something to consider.
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a b G Storage
June 3, 2010 11:52:57 AM

Actually incorrect. There is more to loading a game/level then just reading data. The data needs to be interpreted and sent to where ever it needs to go.

My motherboard recently died. I went from using my dual core E6600, 4GBs ram, and 7200.10 seagate drives to my wifes 3500+, 1GB ram. (I moved my 7200.10s over. Loading a level of TF2 took MUCH longer then it used to. The drives were the same, but the CPU power or lack there of, was a major bottleneck.
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June 4, 2010 8:32:31 AM

4745454b said:
Actually incorrect. There is more to loading a game/level then just reading data. The data needs to be interpreted and sent to where ever it needs to go.

My motherboard recently died. I went from using my dual core E6600, 4GBs ram, and 7200.10 seagate drives to my wifes 3500+, 1GB ram. (I moved my 7200.10s over. Loading a level of TF2 took MUCH longer then it used to. The drives were the same, but the CPU power or lack there of, was a major bottleneck.


LOL, the CPU wasn't the only thing that changed. Your 1GB of RAM is causing the game to page in-and-out of the virtual memory. Try running your E6600 rig with 1GB of RAM and you'll see how slower it is.
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a b G Storage
June 4, 2010 9:13:32 AM

True, but that doesn't change that loading a level is more then just reading data.
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June 4, 2010 9:23:41 AM

4745454b said:
True, but that doesn't change that loading a level is more then just reading data.


It is true if you try it out in a system wherein the only difference is the storage device (SSD vs HDD), which is what the OP was exploring.

Problem is, you're comparing 2 data points from 2 completely different systems.
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a b G Storage
June 4, 2010 9:58:03 AM

And your missing the point/splitting hairs. Even with identical systems, getting a drive twice as fast isn't going to cut your load times in half. There is more to loading a game then reading data off a drive. Check out storagereview.com to see what they say about AID0.
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a c 117 G Storage
June 4, 2010 6:35:38 PM

RAID 0 does some wonderful things:

1. Will boot your system almost twice as fast.

2. Comes in handy w/ HD intensive tasks like movie editing

3. Comes in useful for huge database manipulation and other specialized scientific / big business apps.

4. It has more value pre 64 bit OS's as the increased memory capacity wipes out whatever small gains it provided in texture and map loading.

Otherwise .....

<and now for my regularly scheduled RAID 0 copy / paste :)  >

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/articles/hardware/raid-and-...
".....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.suite101.com/article.cfm...
"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.php?view=article&id=7...
"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/

Money would be much better spent with an SSD which are starting to drop to price levels that consumers would find palatable.
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a c 127 G Storage
June 5, 2010 5:17:32 PM

Quote:
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.

On Windows yes, especially XP.

On Windows the RAID0 performance gain is only sequential throughput increase; the random IOps gains are virtually non-existent; unlike RAID0 on other operating systems which can scale up to 100%.

So a better conclusion would be "RAID on Windows platforms loses most additional performance gained from striping". Microsoft obviously doesn't care about RAID; it decided to only basically implement it, and cripple it for millions of users.

To see what RAID0 is capable of, you would need to be running Linux or BSD. There you can see hefty performance increases with each disk added; like it should be.

The two prime reasons for lower windows stripe performance:
- windows XP and below creates misaligned partitions, crippling all non-sequential RAID performance
- Windows onboard RAID drivers often transfer the whole stripe block, even if only 4 kilobytes was requested. This makes large stripesizes perform poorly, which means you never get optimal striping performance under Windows.

RAID0 or interleaving is a great technology, and it is used everywhere:
- multicore CPUs
- SLI graphic cards
- Dual Channel memory
- Solid State Drive multiple channels (i.e. one Intel SSD = like a 10-disk RAID0 internally)
- multi-lane PCIe
- network link aggregation
- etc
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June 12, 2010 12:28:54 AM

Best answer selected by jijoslin.
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