RAID 5 Issues

Hi, New here, and first time PC builder...

I currently have three WD Blue 320gb HDD's in a RAID 5 configuration. I configured the volume thru the BIOS prior to installing the OS. My PC has been up and running for about a week, however I keep having problems with this RAID configuration. The volume has stated that it has been "Degraded" twice now, one of the harddrives via the SMART reported it failed 2nd day my PC was built, I swapped it out with an identical new HDD then "repaired" it thru "Intel storage matrix" which took about 20 hours.. :(

Now today I was playing a game (COD Black Ops) and my system froze hard when I was exiting the game, so I had to hit the power switch, then upon rebooting I had a HDD read "error" and my RAID 5 Volume was degraded. So I selected the HDD and set it to "normal" now it is repairing I have about another 15hrs remaining :(

So far I have replaced the Power and SATA cables to the HDDs (just in case) and

I understand that cold shutdowns are especially bad with raid configurations compared to normal HDD set ups, but I think there must be something else going on here, I really do not want to have "Repair" for 20+ hours which lags my system big time every time I have an issue shutting down.

I think I must be missing something somewhere or I don't have my PC configured to use RAID 5 correctly.

PS: This system is intended for gaming 90% of the time anyway, and Im starting to think maybe I would be better off with out raid. I mean once games are loaded and im in "playing" raid arrays shouldn't increase performance much should they?
BTW this is the first PC I've ever built, take it easy on me if I have things all messed up, I've done a lot of research (a lot of it conflicting with each other) prior to posting this.

Any tips and/or guidance will be appreciated. Thanks.

My systems components:

Sabertooth X58 - Motherboard
Three, WD Blue 320gb Sata / 16mb cache - HDD's
Two, ATI 6870 in Crossfire - GPU's
Two, Corsair XMS3 DDR3 6gb 1600MHz Tri Channel (3x2gb modules) kits - total of 12gbs
Antec 1000Watt True Power Quattro - PSU
Intel i7 950 - CPU
Cooler Master HAF 942 - Case
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about raid issues
  1. Best answer
    I personally think RAID belongs on a server. Years ago we worked with Promise RAID controllers on workstations and our hair turned gray and/or fell out.

    We subsequently reserved RAID for servers only, using highly respected hardware and have never regretted the decision.

    If you want speed on a workstation, buy an SSD for your boot/windows drive; put anything of size on either a 2nd hard drive or preferably a NAS device with RAID.

  2. Thanks for the reply..

    I've decided to drop RAID and go with a single high performance HDD.

    So far I really can't even tell the difference, although im sure RAIDs benchmarks are faster, at least now I playing games (like I want to) instead of fiddling with my system all day.
  3. RAID5 would have been much slower than a single disk for various tasks; definitely not suitable for a gaming system. Keep an eye on your disks SMART data; i presume you did not check it yet? You say you replaced the cables; but it would be much more interesting to see if there actually were any cabling errors. This can be easily seen in SMART output under UDMA CRC Error Count. Also check Current Pending Sector; this is probably what caused your degraded RAID5.

    Now that you stopped using it, your reliability and performance should increase.
  4. Best answer selected by r3con_woo.
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