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6 hard drives?

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  • New Build
  • Hard Drives
  • Systems
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April 27, 2009 3:05:53 AM

Ok so have have built a computer but now a friend want me to build him one.
he is a media man
he has requested 6 hard drives, 1.5 tera bytes each
ok so first of all, will it work? is that possible?
he does not want raid, just 6 1.5 terabytes
does it need special mother board compatibility or just 6 sata's on the mother board?
what about power supply? how big will that have to be?
i was hoping to put on windows 7 beta to save him some $$$ but will it work? we could go vista no problem
here is the build at this point...



LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30
. .
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
. .
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive (bare drive)

X6!!!
. .

EVGA 512-P3-N973-TR GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

. .
ZALMAN ZM1000-HP 1000W Continuous @ 45°C (Maximum Continuous Peak: 1250W) ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Modular Heatpipe-Cooled SLI Pow
. .


CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model VS4GBKIT667D2 G
. .

ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813131299
. .


Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 2.33GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80580Q8200


all from newegg at this point, would love compatibility suggestions or any others!!!
THANKS FOR READING!

More about : hard drives

April 27, 2009 5:33:09 AM

Using 6 extremely large drives individually is a HUGE risk. If he needs that much storage space, Raid is the only smart option and adding a Highpoint 4320 for $290 to run all 6 or leave one for the OS and run 5 in Raid 5 would work. The chance of one or more drives failing increases exponentially as the number of drives increase. With 6 drives, the chance if losing over 1TB of data is rather high within a year. Plus, you would get much faster performance.

The PSU is way overkill. A 500-600w PSU would work just fine.

Everything else looks good.
April 27, 2009 2:45:58 PM

i would raid-5 5 of them and leave a single for the OS and apps
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April 27, 2009 2:56:43 PM

You don't need anything special to run 6 hard drives other than enough SATA ports on the motherboard. Remember you'll also want a SATA port for the optical drive, so you probably want a motherboard with 8 SATA slots. The P5Q Pro that you listed above has 8 SATA ports, so you're fine. I run 5 HD's, 4GB RAM, 2 optical drives, and a highly overclocked CPU in my multi-purpose computer. I only have a 520W Corsair PSU, so your PSU is way more than you need. HD's don't take much power to run.

You might want to check out the Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R motherboard if it's available where you're purchasing your parts. It also has 8 SATA ports and is generally considered a slightly better motherboard.
April 28, 2009 12:17:49 AM

thanks so much for the replys but im not shore what raid-5 is... could anyone fill me in, i have never messed around with raid and don't no much about it
April 28, 2009 12:53:34 PM

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive (or Independent) Disks. It's a way of either expanding storage space and/or securing data. There are different RAID levels, each of which comprises multiple disks:

RAID 0 - An even number of drives (minimum of 2) where data is striped across them. This provides faster read/write times and larger capacities, but no redundancy. If one drive fails, all data is lost. In your case, six 1.5TB drives would result in one 9 TB drive.

RAID 1 - An even number of drives (minimum of 2) where data is mirrored across them. This provides redundancy against drive failure, at the cost of capacity. In your case, six 1.5TB drives would result in one 4.5TB drive with data redundancy.

RAID 5 - At least three drives where data is striped across all but one drive. The remaining drive contains parity data should one drive fail. This allows you to rebuild the array in the event of a single drive failure. In your case, six 1.5TG drive would result in a single 7.5TB drive with data redundancy.

There are other RAID arrays as well as combinations of RAID Arrays, but this gives you the basics.

-Wolf sends
April 28, 2009 10:08:10 PM

I would like to adjust some of that info on Raid.

Raid 0 requires at least 2 drives but does not require an even number. You can use 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 drives.

Raid 10 requires 4 drives and must be even numbered which means you can also use 6 drives. Raid 10 is a combination of Raid 1 and Raid 0 and provides the highest redundancy against drive failure. With 4 drives, name them A, B, C & D.
A & B are mirrored and call it X. C & D are also mirrored and call it Z. Now data is striped, like Raid 0, between X & Z. The write speed is equal to a 2 drive Raid 0 and the read speed is faster than a 2 drive Raid 0 and the random access is also greatly lowered due to Raid 1 being the underlying Raid level. (Raid 1 improves Read speed and Random Access due to "Split Seeks" where the OS is able to read from both drives at the same time).

Raid 5: data is actually striped across all drives including parity. Raid 3 & 4 are the only ones where one drive contains parity and those two Raid levels are not used much so just forget I said anything about them. I just wanted to clarify Raid 5. Also, with Raid 5, you lose 1 drive's capacity for parity storage.

Raid 5 really needs a hardware Raid controller to work well.

With 6 drives, I would get the Highpoint 4320 8port Raid controller for PCI Express. I would get a small drive for the OS and use the onboard Sata for that and put the 6 drives on the Highpoint in Raid 6. What is Raid 6 you ask.

Raid 6 is just like Raid 5 except you lose 2 drives to parity storage thus allowing up to 2 drives to fail without losing ANY data. This will give you 6TB of storage.
April 28, 2009 10:52:31 PM

Thanks for the corrections/updates, specialk90! :-)

-Wolf sends
April 28, 2009 11:23:45 PM

so if i was not to put them in any raid first of all, would it work if i just plugged them into sata ports? how does that make them less reliable? if they are all working on there own? thanks so much for the raid definition
April 28, 2009 11:28:24 PM

Yes, you can just plug the drives into a SATA port without doing any RAID if that's what your friend wants. I think it's funny how the OP says "he does not want raid" in the first post, and the thread turns into a RAID education thread. :) 

If your friend is really against RAID, remind him he needs a good backup plan to avoid losing any data.
April 29, 2009 2:29:18 AM

thanks so much for all the help, but im curious, does anyone know why the chance of hd break downs grows the more hard drives u put in?
April 29, 2009 12:50:21 PM

The life expectancy of the typical hard drive is around five years. Now that doesn't mean that every hard drive will last that long. It just means on average, five years. Some drives may last ten years, some will last ten minutes. As you continue to add more and more hard drives to a system, your chances of getting one of those drives that lasts 10 minutes increases. That's all it means.

-Wolf sends
April 30, 2009 4:34:35 AM

i got it, other then the psu how do i look compatibility wise? if i was to build this, would it work?
April 30, 2009 4:37:48 AM

also, if i was to plug in all of the hdd into satas what will they show up as in windows?
April 30, 2009 4:49:08 AM

All the parts should have no issue with compatibility, but I want to restate what was said before. With lots of very large drives and no redundancy (no drive mirroring or RAID of any kind), if a drive dies the data is gone. It's very easy to get lazy with backups and 1.5TB is a LOT of data to lose.

As to the question as to what they'll show up as in windows, they'll show up as around 1,464GB each since 1.5TB is 1,500,000MB or 1000MB per GB as the drive manufacturers see it whereas in reality it's 1024MB per GB as far as Windows and reality is concerned.
April 30, 2009 5:50:34 AM

i hear you i think i will go raid, prob 5 or something but my second questions was what it will show up as in my computer (now just "computer" in vista and 7). will it be more then one c drive or what?
April 30, 2009 10:41:47 AM

You will have one drive letter per hard disk volume. If you create one partition on each 1.5 TB drive, you'll have 6 drive letters (or you could use volume mount points if you don't want to use drive letters). One thing to mention though, if you'd go RAID 5, you'll need to spring for a hardware RAID controller or disk performance will be pretty low compared to non-RAID performance.
April 30, 2009 12:02:18 PM

I think i might have found a small flaw in your build and that deals with your case. The case has room for 6 hard drives (which is ok) but you also are getting a 10.5" vidoe card. I'm not sure and maybe someone can help me with this, but doesn't this long card take up a few slots for hard drives? Meaning he wouldn't be able to handle all 6 of them anyways?

Out of curisoty, he must have been using an old computer. How much space did that computer have?
May 1, 2009 12:28:51 AM

kubes, i think your write, great call thanks a lot. he used a laptop with tuns of externals which i think is a waist of money, i recommended buying a blu-ray burner and using thos, it owuld be a lot cheaper but he would rather keep it to a hdd. do you have any recommendations for a new case that would work with this build, keeping in mind the heat output from all of the hdd's
May 1, 2009 12:26:16 PM

I think i'd suggest a full size tower. He's packing a lot of stuff into his case and due the size of the graphics card, these are a few case.

Here's a few that might work but I CANNONT gaurntee you still won't have the same problem. I am just taking an educated guess.

Coolmaster cosmos 1000

Coolmaster HAF 932 RC

Antec 1200
Here is a picture that might show how tight of a fit it will be for the antec 1200 but it at least looks like it'd make it. It also has extra hard drive slots. I think this picture might be similar to the tight fit most cases will impose though.

I was struggling finding any cases that are mid size or smaller that could handle 6 hard drives and a 10.5" card. And I was even struggling finding full size towers that could meet the requriments. I'm sorry I don't have more time to do research on this subject for ya. Due to poor documentation on dimenisons (internal lengths) it has made this much harder than it looks to find cases that can handle this setup. Maybe someone can give me a hand.
May 2, 2009 4:57:50 AM

thanks so much it means a lot that you tried. I think i like the cosmos and i might switch the graphics, its not set in stone...the gpu
May 3, 2009 4:41:22 AM

Depending how much you want to spend on the case and fans for the drives, there are 2 options:

1) a Lian-Li case that has a separate compartment for the drives and has good airflow. However, the Lian-Li cases supporting more than 6 drives cost $250+. I have one that holds 12 drives and was $350. I don't see it on Newegg anymore though. He will need more than 6 drives because he still needs a drive for the OS. Believe me when I say an OS on Raid 5 do not play well together at all.

2) A case with good airflow and 6+ 5.25" bays and get a 4-in-3 or 3-in-2 drive cage. A 4-in-3 holds 4 drives and fits into 3 5.25" bays. Icy Dock and Athena make good ones with a large fan on the back to cool the drives and run $80-100 for a 4-3. The most IMPORTANT thing to look for is if the case can support these drive cages. Some cases have support brackets sticking out for the 5.25" bays and these little brackets prevent installing drive cages. This is probably the best for airflow and keeping drive temps down; however, the drives will be easier to hear. Learn from my mistake as I have 4 Raptors in Raid 10 in the 5.25" bays and my $350 case with all of its great noise suppression material does nothing.


Back to Raid. I highly recommend using no more than 4 drives in Raid 5 or if he must, use a max of 5 drives. Leave 1 drive for non-important data and to use as a spare in case one of the drives in the Raid 5 array fail. I suggest having a spare because another drive can fail between before he can get another drive to start the rebuild process.

I really think the best option is Raid 6 due to the huge amount of data he will have. Drives can die while waiting for a rebuild and also during a rebuild. Unless he wants to spend another $800-1000 for an adequate backup setup for a 6 drive Raid 5.

I know you want to use Raid now, but let me share some of my experience.

I have had the fun experience of partition corruption on a Raid 5 array using a hardware Raid controller. I still don't know how it happened but it can happen. Luckily, after about 40hrs trying to find a program that could get my data back, I got about 95% back.
I have also had a drive die - a Raptor as part of Raid 10 a few weeks ago and I have not had any downtime or data loss.

So, what I'm saying is that your friend really should have a backup setup in place or, at the very least, use Raid 6.

What does your friend need all of this storage for?

I forgot to talk about what Windows will see. In Disk Management, it will show the total volume as unallocated and then you can create partitions. Due to disk fragmentation, I would keep each partition at 1TB or less. Now that I think about it, due to my partition corruption, I would make each partition 750GB so he wouldn't lose ALL data if something like this happens.

Once you know the exact size & number of drives and Raid 5 or 6, I can help you determine the best stripe & partition size.
!