Raid 0 config help!!!

As the title states, am a newbie in raid array world! I have a ssd for OS and 2 640GB caviar blacks, which I want to setup raid 0 for gaming and multimedia and I have a 1.5 TB caviar green for storage and back ups. Now how do I start setting raid 0 for the two caviar blacks (I've formatted everything in SSD and don't mind loosing stuffs from 2 640gb hdds)? Do I have to disconnect my 1.5 TB storage drive before I start coz I don't loose any data on this one?? I know if I configure raid 0 on those two hdds my SSS will automatically be on ahci setup but my main concern is the third 1.5TB hdd!!

Any input will be appreciated! My sys config is

MOBO – EVGA Classified 760
CPU – Core i7 @ 4.0GHz
CPU COOLER – Megahalem
RAM – Kingston 3x2GB DDR3 1333MHz @ 1146MHz
SSD - Kingston V Series 128GB
HDD #1 – WD 640GB 32MB Cache (X2) [tryin raid 0]
HDD #2 - WD Caviar Green 1.5 TB
GPU – Radeon 5850 CrossFire setup
PPU - Zotac GT240 96 SP
CASE – Cooler Master HAF922
PSU – Antec Signature 850 Watt

Thanks in advance!!
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  1. If you have specialized apps or are doing major movie editing, I wouldn't comment but gaming and multimedia are not thimngs that generally benefit from RAID 0.

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

    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]
    "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."
    ".....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."
    "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."
    "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."
    "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:
  2. You are correct in that you'll loose all data on the RAID drives, but if you don't RAID the 1.5TB drive, it'll be ok! Just like the SSD.

    You set up your drives in BIOS to RAID (vs. ACHI), and upon boot up, you'll enter the RAID set up utility. I don't know what the keystroke is to enter it (It's <Ctrl>+<I> for my Asus board), but it'll post on the screen like the BIOS settings.

    Once in there, you can choose which drives you want in what RAID array. If you don't choose a drive, it'll be left alone. So, you set the SATA drives to RAID (vs. ACHI), but not all drives have to be in a RAID array.

    Myself, I have 2 SSD's in RAID 0 for OS, 2 HDD's in RAID 0 for Data/media, and 1 HDD for backups.

    Once Windows boots up, you can format the new RAID array within "Disk Management." Windows won't list it in "Explorer" until it's formatted.

    Do you have enough space on the SSD for your gaming applications? That is where you should put the programs, to launch much faster than even on a RAID 0 HDD array. For multimedia, it'll work for files (i.e. Music, Documents, Downloads, Video, Pictures). And you'll have a backup in case something happens to the RAID drives (knock on wood). But, it'll still be (albeit slightly) faster launches/loads.

    SO, not as bad as you thought! :D

    BTW: I have 2 SSD's in RAID 0 due to the size of each drive (40GB). Much dicussion has went on about SSD's in RAID. I would prefer to have one large drive now (lack of TRIM support), put it still rocks! I carefully set the system up, hitting up alot of threads/advise here.
  3. @JackNaylorPE:
    Thanks for your input and your comments does make sense to me. But I really wanted to try RAID 0 and it won't cost me anything cos I already have all the required hardwares. also, it'll be something new that i may learn and small benefit for no extra $$$ doesn't seem to harm me.

    thanks for your help!! will definitely try once i get home. I have 128GB SSD drive, probably won't be enough for gaming (hence, wanted to try out raid 0), but i install all my application in this drive, which is more than enough.
  4. One more thing. Which stripe size will be better mainly for games??? Since it will be 2x640GB making it a considerably large hard drive! Will it be better for me to go with 64KB block size or 32KB or lower!!! I think this is another main question I generally see in forums but couldn't find an appropriate answer!!!
    And what about partitions I want to make around 3 partitions docs, musics and videos and games!!!
  5. How well your array performs will depend a lot on your controller. You should benchmark before and after RAID to make sure you're getting the performance gains you expect. I set up RAID with 2 SSDs on my budget motherboard and it performed only slighter better but with wildly fluctuating throughput rates. In the end I wasn't prepared to double the risk of data loss for a 10% performance increase. If you have a decent motherboard with a decent chipset then you *should* be ok - but you'll definitely sleep better if you have benchmark results to prove it :)
  6. Best answer
    To answer your 2nd question: 128K (the largest stripe size). :bounce:

    Since you will have such a large drive, use it. Much discussion has gone on about stripe size on other threads.

    I used 128K for my OS drives & data/media drives. There are other threads about what size is best for what kind of data.

    And yes, you can still partiton within a RAID array. You'll do it under "Disk Management" just like format, after the RAID setup in BIOS (see my previous comment). My OS drive has 3, for reasons I won't go into (SSD stuff). :pt1cable:
  7. Best answer selected by dahammer.
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