First raid 0 setup. Anything I need to set up?

Hi all. I have just upgraded my system to include a 5 * 250GB raid setup as my main windows 7 drive.

It works ok and I get sustained read of ~340MB/s and sustained write of ~377MB/s as measured in crystalmark.

As I'm fairly new to raid is there any settings I need to optimise or set up? I mean those speeds are fine by me, I assume the lower than write read speed is down to the drive being an os drive and raids occuring during test maybe.

I did see someone mention setting up write caching, where would I find this setting?

Just general advice really on how to optimise Raid or if what I have is about what is expected and I should just leave settings well alone.

System Spec...

E8400 @ 4.35GHz, 1.45Volts, 481Mhz FSB
Corsair H70 CPU water cooler
Asus P5Q Deluxe
Sapphire HD4890 Vapor-X 2GB @ 910/1050 core/mem
OCZ Gold 1066 @ 934Mhz
5 * Seagate Barracuda 250GB .11 w/ NCQ Raid 0
1TB Samsung Backup
160GB Samsung External Backup (USB)
K-World Analogue/Digital TV and Data Capture Card
Creative Labs X-Fi 7.1 Sound Card
Corsair HX850W PSU
2 * Phillips amBX Starter Kits
24" Acer v243h Monitor
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More about first raid setup
  1. Not knowing your level of experience, you do realize that with RAID0 you double your chances of data loss (now you have 2 hard drives that can (will eventually) fail)?

    Also, write caching should not be done without a battery backup - otherwise data loss due to a power failure is more likely.

  2. As for my experience, I have been using computers since age 5, but am completely self taught so I know my way around a pc pretty damn well, I just have a few holes in my knowledge, mainly new techs which I havent been able to 'play' with yet because of cost. I'm a bit weird really, I can code in VB6, and Assembler, but I dont get on well with C++. And I have written 2 emulators in VB6.

    But back to the raid stuff, I'm actually using 5 HDD's, yes I realise there is a data loss chance, but I also run a 1TB single backup disk and a usb external disk for backing up so data is only on the raid for speed purposes.

    Having not used a raid setup before I'm just curious how much optimisation can be done and if its worth it overall?
    For instance I overclock my PC, have done for my last 3/4 builds, but over that time I have never managed to successfully overclock my ram, so now I just run 1066DDRII and use dividers to keep the ram at or below stock spec. I now consider ram overclocking too much hassle to be worth the end result (which can usually only be seen in benchmarks anyway).

    But on the other hand I have cpu overclocking to be very worthwhile as the gains are significant and noticable in real use.

    So the optimisation of raid, can it be done, is it worthwhile, should I leave well alone or can I 'play' without doing too much damage?

    I managed to open up the intel matrix manager and see that the drives are ncq and write cache available drives, but I could't find a setting to switch it on or off.

  3. On Raid0
    I have been running raid0 since about 2000. My first Raid0 array was before SATA on a pair of IDE drives - Have only had ONE problem (one drive reported a write error, No loss of data, backed up and reinstalled - just make SURE you pick relieable HDDs.

    Raid0 improves Sequential read/writes, but does little for the more important Access time and random 4 K read/writes. (Note approx half of your filles are less than 16K (Operating system and programs). You can improve access time by using what is called "short stroking" Lose disk space, but gain performance.

    To do this: Take a pair of your HDDs (ie you have 2 x 250 gig drive = 500 Gigs). Create your strip, but ONLY use half of the disk and leave the other half along. You lose 50% and end up with only 250 Gigs for your boot drive. Should give about 25% improvement in access time. Use your remaining 3 drives as a 2nd Raid0 (use all space for your Raid0 arrary, or setup two stripped arrays on this set, each at 50%. THis will be for your data/files and as a work disk. NOTE win 7 will treat this as TWO seperate drives, not One drive with two logical partitions. You can google "short stroke" for more info.

    On strip size I set up the boot drive with a small stripe size (on mine smallest was 64 K). On the drive for my data, I used the default 128 K strip size.

    Should really have a UPS, in which case I would leave write cache enabled.
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