RAID Recommendation

Hello Hardwareans....

Im currently looking at upgrading my HDD and im looking for a recommendation as to what i should do.

I am an avid gamer, run an overclocked(4.2ghz) i7 875k cpu
on a Biostar t5xe CFX SLI motherboard.
Patriot Viper II Sector 5 2000mhz ddr3.
I have a Nvidia GTX 480 and hopefully plan on getting another soon

My problem at the moment is that i have 200gb per month download limit and i only have a 250gb HDD, and im seriously running out of room.

Boot times are not really a concern to me, but i would however like my upgraded storage solution to have at least 2TB. With this in mind i am wondering if i should continue to use my 250gb as a boot and application install drive, and use the 2tb as storage for my music, videos etc...Or if i should set up a 2tb RAID array as a boot.

I would like my games to load faster so i am leaning towards the RAID setup but i dont want to spend too much money. (IE raid controllers etc)

In regards to RAID i understand there are varying types of RAID setup, and i would also like your recommendation as to what would be best.

Does my Motherboard support RAID or will i need a RAID controller card, and if so would i need a pci or pcie one for my type of setup.

EDIT: OH! Also! MY MOBO only has one PCIE x1 slot which is directly under my 480, will having a pcie card in this slot severely impede airflow for my egg cooking graphics card?

And as a side note I am also looking at upgrading to a sound card, anyone have any recommendations for that as well, (pci vs pcie) keeping in mind the raid setup.

Thanks in advance.

6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about raid recommendation
  1. If your load times are fine now, I wouldn't do anything to change that. Just grab a whatever sized drive you want, and plug it into a SATA port. Ignore RAID completely.

    Depending on what your 250GB drive is you might see gains if you use the 1 or 2TB drive as your OS drive. Seeing as 250GB drives are old, this is a 99.9% chance.
  2. RAID recommendation? Stay away from it. Why would you want to put all your music, pictures, videos, etc......pretty much everything you would hate to lose, onto an array where you most surely, eventually, one day will go belly up for one reason or another and you will lose it all. For gaming, it won't make any difference anyway. Today's drives are fast enough for the most demanding gamer.
  3. hmm sound advice from both, so would the final recommendation be to get 1 tb for boot and 1 tb for storage and ditch raid altogether
  4. Best answer
    I had first tried a RAID set up then after a lot of frustration I eventually settled with a 1TB Drive for my OS and applications and a 2nd Drive for storage, it works great.

    With the RAID setup I found myself constantly fiddling with it, I like to think of it like this. - Its the same as those folks that get aftermarket performance parts for their cars, they seem to spend more time "fine tuning" and adjusting their parts then actually enjoying their ride. Sure its faster but RAID isn't worth it for our gaming systems. Better for servers and such.

    I notice no difference in gaming, however the RAID enthusiasts will tell you "its easy" and "look at the benchmarks" yeah it is easy for people that "enojy" messing with that stuff and yes your game may load up 2 seconds faster, but once in the game all that means nothing, maybe 2-3 frames per second faster at best. Big deal..

    Keep it simple. Ditch RAID...
  5. Not even 2-3FPS. Once the game is loaded, its in RAM. Your game and levles might load faster, but once your there the FPS should be the same.
  6. Best answer selected by scorcherfrog.
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