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Should I RAID0? For FFXIV MMO

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June 15, 2010 6:46:25 AM

I'm hoping I might find a beta tester for this unreleased game, also experienced PC tech to answer this, but if not, anyone please give your opinion.

System:
i7 920 OC'd 3.35ghz
P6T V2
12gb 1600mhz DDR
SB X-Fi Fatal1ty Champion
SLI 250 512mb GPU's Superclocked edition
GLFS Velociraptor 300gb
Backup drive of 500gb

Here's my question and issues:
Supposely the HLFS Velociraptor can RAID0 with the GLFS version according to people who have done it, and according to my last thread on this forum. But I read that the HLFS version is designed to RAID, while the GLFS is not. The HLFS latency is 3.0 seconds, while the GLFS is 5.5. Does that mean that if the HLFS has to access 30 files, it'll be 1 second faster?
Western Digital support replied to an email saying I should buy 2 HLFS drives if I want to RAID0 because they are designed for that, and the GLFS is not. That would mean the GLFS drive I have would be put to the side if I were to go that route. Right now I am not interested in a SSD as I hear I should give those drives more time to finalize or something. Or is that wrong?

So I'm stuck with the decision... Do I spend $200 on a HLFS and raid it with the GLFS despite WD support's recommendation NOT to do so?
Or do I spend $400 on 2 brand new HLFS drives and make use of the GLFS elsewhere?
Or is there a SSD that is stable enough that anyone would recommend. One that would be exceptionally fast. I've never had a SSD.
Or do I just save the money and eventually just upgrade the graphics cards and forget RAID0 as it wouldn't make a difference? When I say difference, I mean half a second. A big difference in my opinion is a second or more.

Supposely the maps on FFXIV are huge, and when you move from zone to zone like in FFXI, you aren't actually put into a loading screen. Instead, it just loads as you go (thats how I take it)
It is important that if having a faster drive means your game loads 1 second faster than someone elses, that puts you at a fine advantage that if utilized right, can sometimes make you or break you.

Thanks in advance!

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June 15, 2010 3:22:17 PM

I have been testing FFXIV and i will tell you that there is no way to tell you the benefits of RAID-0 right now as the Alpha (and possibly beta) instances are limited to 30 FPS and windowed mode, there is plenty time before Square Enix will actually optimize the game for commercial use so as of right now it is folly.

If you plan on Beta testing, don't worry, you're PC will handle it no problem and chances are, then by the time they release to the public, some MAJOR enhancements will have taken effect so RAID-0 would be a gamble, it may help when the game is released but chances are that you won't have to worry about it, especially if you install the game on your raptor...
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June 16, 2010 3:36:14 AM

it seems unlikely that they will give an advantage to someone who can afford a really expensive set up over someone who can't. I doubt having maps load a bit faster will make a difference.

All that is assuming a faster HD setup actually will make it load faster. Depending on the way the loads are done this may not be the case.

In any case, as jonpaul37 mentioned, don't waste money right now, wait until the game is close to release and they release recommended specs. I highly doubt they will mention HD speed, they will just mention capacity.

Also for $400, if you really want performance go with an SSD. You will be very happy with an OCZ vertex or one of the Intel drives. Be sure to read reviews first. Tom's has SSD round up articles that compares several of the drives.


BTW, is your GPU a pair of GTX 250s SLIed together? I would rather spend the money on a new GTX 400 series or a 5800 series from ATI. The rest of your computer is a beast, why are you playing around with two 250s?
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June 16, 2010 7:50:12 AM

Thank you guys!

They are SLI, but you're right, they're old. I've been thinking of upgrading.. maybe buy a 480 and sticking a fan underneath it, (then another 480 later on) or 2 smaller cards SLI for about the same price. I can see spending $600 on a GPU, but not $1200. Just been putting it off. It's so easy to snag a quick $220 dollar SSD vs a $600 dollar graphics card. But I guess a new GPU is going to make 10x a difference for 3x the price, than a new harddrive.

What would you recommend for a GPU upgrade? The dual core Radeon? a 480? or SLI of something else?

Thanks

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a b G Storage
June 16, 2010 4:36:28 PM

A hard fought, expensive to learn, rule is that you never upgrade your computer until it is not performing the way you need it to perform.

This is especially true for Video cards.

The raptor should read up to 250MBytes/second. You can raid 0 two of them but you generally take a small hit in seek time and... SATA II maxes at a theoretical 300MB/s.

IMHO games will load faster based on seek time and not read speed (to a point). So your raptor can maybe seek at 3.0ms. Any SSD reads faster than 0.2ms. That's 15 times faster. And intel seek faster than 0.1ms. Meanwhile they read at more or less 250MB/s and write somewhere between 100MB/s and 200+ depending. Add to that the sound of silence.

You can wait for SSD prices to come down or technology to mature but we are in third and fourth gen now. This is no longer early adoption. Prices are good enough for me for the huge performance gain.

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June 16, 2010 9:43:26 PM

Best answer selected by blckhaze.
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