I'm thinking of setting up RAID 0. My motherboard (Gigabyte Z68-) supports Sata-III.
I'm currently torn between these three drives:
- WD: Caviar Black 1TB (good, though very expensive - and I'll be buying two)
- WD: Caviar Blue 1TB (cheaper, though not as good)
- Samsung: Spinpoint F3 1TB (cheaper and good, but not Sata-III)
Things I'd like your opinions on:
- I've also heard that WD Caviars die alot... What do you guys think?
- Caviar Blacks have 64Mb cache.. will make any noticeable difference?
- Does Sata-III improve things that much if you're using RAID?
Do NOT worry about SATA II (more properly, SATA 3 Gb/s) vs SATA III (really, SATA 6 Gb/s). On any mechanical drive (spinning disks, not SSD's) about the maximum average data transfer rate you can achieve is 150 MB/s - pretty much what the original SATA interface could handle. None of them get close to saturating the SATA 3Gb/s interface standard, let alone the faster new one.
The 64 MB cache is a little better performance than a 32 MB. Going down to 16 MB cache will make more of a slow-down. Blacks are known to out-perform Blues. Spinpoints get a lot of good comments around here.
SOME drives are NOT well suited to RAID use. Examine the specs of the HDD manufacturers on their websites if you know you will put a pair into a RAID0, and chose the right type for your pair.
Before committing to RAID0, read the many performance reports on Tom's. These days the speed difference between a Caviar Black or a Spinpoint single drive and a RAID0 array is getting pretty small. Don't just believe the myths - compare the numbers and make up your own mind.
I have heard a lot of people saying that Sata III is pointless if you're using HDDs rather than SSDs, and I guess it makes complete sense when you think of Sata III as "6Gb/s", rather than Sata II +1..
I have read a few people who've used RAID0 with Spinpoint F3s and get very good results, and since I tend to keep most of my important work stuff on a university server anyway, I am not too concerned about the risks of a HDD dying.
I think getting a Caviar Blue would be stupid when I could get a Spinpoint F3 for the same price, and since Caviar Blacks are so expensive I think I'll go for the Spinpoint - which, as I've noticed too - are very popular on here... So yep, I think I'll order the F3s..
Here are the results of RAID 0 with 2x 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 as given by HD Tune:
Min read: 123.0 MB/s
Max read: 266.6 MB/s
Av. read: 211.5 MB/s
Access time: 11.7ms
Burst rate: 1621.3 MB/s
The rest of my system:
Intel Core i5-2500k
Corsair 2x4GB Vengeance RAM
Asus GTX 560 Ti DirectCU II TOP
All in all, I'm pretty happy with the speed of the Spinpoint F3's, however, one (maybe both) drives make a throbbing/whining noise.. It's only subtle, and I don't usually care about fan noises, but I have a musician's ear, and the repetitive rhythm of it sticks out.. and is driving me crazy lol..
I hear that this is a common problem with the F3's?.. yet I also hear that the WD Caviar Blacks are even noisier... Meh? Maybe I just need to buy much noisier case fans.