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15k drive or 10k RAID0?

Hello,

Well I didn't find an exact answer to my question however there were a few close ones...a little dated though. I currently have:


MOBO: ASUS M4A89GTD-PRO/USB3

Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 965

RAM: Crucial Ballistix DDR3 1333 2GBx2

Video Card: XFX 6870 Black

HDD: WD Raptor 10k 150GB, Newegg Item # N82E16822136012

OS: W7 Ult 64-bit


My system is slightly sluggish. No it isn't spyware, I'm an IT. I am looking at my hard drive being the oldest component from a former system. I was initially considering an all out upgrade to a 15k SAS which would require a SAS adapter card. I then realized that my current 150GB setup is kind of tight between OS & APPS and that the next size up would be ~300GB. Parting this out, I came to the following conclusions:

HDD
Newegg Item # N82E16822148538

SAS Card
Newegg Item # N82E16816102116

I know the HDD is a 6Gbps and the card is a 3Gbps but I'd either spend an additional $100 for a more expensive card or save $80 for half the capacity. My W7 partition engulfs ~40GB and the APPS/Games partition nearly 80GB which is why I opted for the above HDD.

The other alternative, well I do have a second 10k Raptor in a different XP system which I could effectively make a RAID0 system with and then purchase a different HDD for that system. This would give me effectively ~300GB of space. An entertaining idea.

Another brief idea is a simple SATA 10k 6Gbps: Newegg Item # N82E16822136555


So now to my main questions:

How much difference in performance does the 1.5Gbps, 3Gbps, and 6Gbps really make?

Is there a big reason to jump from SATA to SAS?

For Overall Performance, which is recommended? 300GB SAS 15k 3Gbps, 450GB SATA 10k 6Gbps, or 150GBx2 SATA 1.5Ghps RAID0?


Of course I entertained with tossing in more memory but I noticed that natively I only use 1.5GB and even with Dragon Age graphics maxed out it only used up to 2.8GB. Any other ideas, or is the HDD the culprit?
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Hi,

    You won't see any noticeable difference from different interfaces. The 1.5Gbps, 3Gbps, and 6Gbps are the maximum burst speed but these speeds are only achievable under perfect conditions (if the drive has already cached the required data, which is rarely the case).

    The only reason to move to SAS would be in order to use the 15k drives, however any RAID configuration will outperform a single expensive (mechanical) disk.

    You will see the greatest increase in system performance/responsiveness with a RAID0 array, even if it is made up of cheaper SATA2(3Gbps) drives. In case you want all the speed you can get just create a RAID10 array with 4 drives, and they should still be cheaper than a SAS drive. Moreover you will get data mirroring as a bonus.

    You will get the best performance with a SSD drive (or a SSD RAID0) but then the price skyrockets.

    As for the memory you are right, 4GB are more than enough.
  2. What are your performance goals - pure speed, or some mix with reliability?

    What applications are you trying to speed up?
  3. gtvr- Well right now it seems my games seem to be a little slower. A friend brought his PC over to play Civ V and his loaded nearly instantly, mind you an i7 w/2Gx3 of RAM. I, however, had a far better video card. He also had a SATA 3Gbps 10k whereas I'm still on the 1.5Gbps 10k.


    jeconom- I figured 4GB would be enough but like I mentioned, he had 6GB and I was starting to second guess myself. I guess then the SAS idea is out.

    What I am leaning towards is purchasing a simple 150GB SATA 3Gbps 10k for my XP Pro box:
    Newegg item # N82E16822136296

    And then take that SATA 1.5Gbps 10k Raptor out and pair with this one for a RAID0 set since I got two of the same drives already. I do routine backups of my W7 box and will now make sure they're done more often with this new setup.

    I guess my hangup was investing in a SATA 3Gbps when the 6Gbps were out there. Thanks for the interface clarification.
  4. I think you'll find that the larger, newer 7200rpm drives are very competitive with smaller (150GB) 10K drives. Check out this review:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/wd6000hlhx-velociraptor-600gb,2600.html

    Basically the 600GB raptor is faster than any other HD tested. The 300GB is near the top of the pack, but some of the 2TB drives are competitive. Price per GB is obviously the issue in deciding which way to go.
  5. You haven't described your storage and performance requirements. Do you need high performance for ALL your files? Most people find that the OS and application files are the most performance-critical, while data files are much less so. If that's the case, you'll get a lot better performance bang for your buck if you just buy a separate SSD that's large enough to hold just the OS and your apps.
  6. Well what I ended up doing is I placed both of my WD1500ADFD 10k Raptors in a Raid 0 setup and wow, not only is the system smoother but the drives are a lot quieter as well. I have my system set to auto backup every night but I'm wondering if I should get a third one for RAID 5. Problem is I can't seem to find a SATA 1.5Gbps WD1500ADFD at a reasonable price. Kind of would like to find the same one. Thoughts?
  7. cts6288 said:
    Well what I ended up doing is I placed both of my WD1500ADFD 10k Raptors in a Raid 0 setup and wow, not only is the system smoother but the drives are a lot quieter as well. I have my system set to auto backup every night but I'm wondering if I should get a third one for RAID 5. Problem is I can't seem to find a SATA 1.5Gbps WD1500ADFD at a reasonable price. Kind of would like to find the same one. Thoughts?


    You should stay away from RAID-5 unless you have a dedicated RAID card, otherwise CPU usage is high and write performance is decreased.
  8. jeconom said:
    You should stay away from RAID-5 unless you have a dedicated RAID card, otherwise CPU usage is high and write performance is decreased.


    Ah, well thank you for that point. So would it be worth it if I were to find a third drive and then purchased a dedicated RAID5 card? Problem though is finding this same drive at a reasonable price...seems supply & demand says no...

    Right now I have my RAID0 working quite well and I have setup Storagecraft to back up the RAID 3 nights a week to my NAS. Wouldn't mind having that backup on the drive but if performance is going to tank then probably not.
  9. cts6288 said:
    Ah, well thank you for that point. So would it be worth it if I were to find a third drive and then purchased a dedicated RAID5 card? Problem though is finding this same drive at a reasonable price...seems supply & demand says no...

    Right now I have my RAID0 working quite well and I have setup Storagecraft to back up the RAID 3 nights a week to my NAS. Wouldn't mind having that backup on the drive but if performance is going to tank then probably not.


    If you absolutely need disk redundancy it would be simpler and cost-effective to create a RAID10 with 4 disks, with the added benefit of another speed boost. The cost of the fourth Raptor will be much lower than the cost of a good RAID card.
  10. Best answer selected by cts6288.
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