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New build, Nice drives, RAID performance terrible

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  • NAS / RAID
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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September 26, 2011 3:45:57 AM

Hello! So I just built a brand new PC, i7-2600k clocked at 4.6, 16 gb of g. skill ram, 2310 at 10-10-10-28, Radeon 6950 clocked to 800 mhz, memory - 1300 mhz. Motherboard is ASRock P67 Extreme 4, win 7 ultimate.

I bought two WD Caviar Black 7200rpm hard drives, plugged them into to the intel sata III ports and through the Intel boot up, disk manager put them in RAID 1. The idea was to get a really secure, large long term storage solution (I'm an audio producer, so I do a little gaming but a lot of work in various DAW programs, hence all the RAM) that was also quick, since I've heard RAID 1 offers a nice performance boost on startup and a slight performance boost in software with the double-disk security.

At any rate, I fire it up, and w7 loads reaaaalllly slow. I get to the welcome screen after staring at black for a minute and then once my password is in, it reaches the desktop reallllly slow. I right click? menu comes up reallllly slow etc etc... I ran passmark, I got amazing CPU and RAM scores, Hard Drive score was comically low, like 80% slower than baseline. My harddrive win experience score is 5.9 (though it performs worse than this) which is the same as my 5400rpm caviar BLUE laptop drive. This can't be right. What do you guys think (I'm on the PC right now)? Thank you!

More about : build nice drives raid performance terrible

a b G Storage
September 26, 2011 3:57:52 AM

RAID 1 is mirror RAID Dude. You have disk redundancy set up there not performance. The RAID that boosts your performance in theory is RAID 0 or striped RAID. RAID 1 takes a slight performance hit under some circumstances.If you want real speed you need a SSD. A lot people have a fast HDD (Single or RAID 0) or SSD for the system drive and a RAID 1 array to store data.
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September 26, 2011 3:59:59 AM

right, but its supposed to be able to read data simultaneously from both drives on startup for a slight speed boost at most. CERTAINLY not slow down at all. I'm experiencing slowness worse than a single non RAID caviar black.

I should also mention that these are 2 tb hard drives
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a b G Storage
September 26, 2011 4:04:51 AM

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/250390-32-does-raid-i...

Go to this link and check out the comments. The thing is that RAID 0 barely delivers real world performance increases so RAID 1 certainly won't. After years of trying out various configurations under RAID 1 and 0 I have found the only real way to get screaming performance is going SSD.
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a b G Storage
September 26, 2011 4:07:06 AM

You are also very dependent on the RAID Controller to take advantages of any RAID performance bonuses and the onboard controllers are rather basic.
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September 26, 2011 4:57:33 AM

oh alright. does it make sense though that it would go so slowly? also, is there a way for me to seperate the two drives without reformatting? It wont be a huge deal since I got this thing running yesterday.
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a b G Storage
September 26, 2011 5:24:07 AM

It can be done but sometimes the results are mixed. You would need to switch to ACHI or ACPI (more likely in modern boards) which can cause Win 7 to Blue Screen as it will try and load and execute the RAID Drivers. Probably best to reinstall but make sure your BIOS is set to ACPI before you do. You could try switching to ACPI and booting. Win 7 may pick up the ACPI driver and boot successfully.
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October 3, 2011 12:54:55 AM

Thanks for the help everyone! So strangely enough, about a week ago everything just decided to improve... drastically. I have NO clue what I did or what happend but now once the system has loaded everything moves lightning fast. Startup is still a bit slow, but that doesn't bother me since its a desktop. Lol even my passmark score when up. wtf ah well I'm not complaining
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Best solution

a c 353 G Storage
October 3, 2011 3:40:00 PM

What SATA ports are you using for your raid set up, Hopefully it's the Intel ports, not the marvel ports.
If Intel ports, then are you using the Latest Intel RST driver (Ver 10.6). If you did not update the intel driver a windows update may have and that upped the performance. But verify that you are using ver 10.6 RST driver.

A little tidbit, The only advantage of SATA III HDDs on a SATA III port is in the Burst rate. Outside of the burst rate (Really not much of a performance boost) there is very little diff from using two HDDs on sata II. Sata II for HDDs is more a marketing tool - Who wants to advertize, still using sata II, never mind that very little diff.

As iam2thecrowe indicated WD Blacks are NOT the better choice for a raid setup. Infact although I switched from Segate (Back with the -11 problems) to WD Blacks, My last several HDDs have been the F3 drives from Samsung.

Added:
If have the cash, add an SSD just for the OS and Programs.
(A) You can still use raid and as long as the SSD is not a member drive of a array the SSD will still operate in AHCI mode and trim will still be passed to the SSD.
(B) the criticallity of redundancy for OS and programs is not near as important as redundancy for your data. Reason:
... Using windows 7 back up (under control panel) which will create an image of your SMALL "C" drive on your internal HDD, or externall HDD, or DVDs.
... You only need to redo this image periodically after the initall creation (ie only redo after new programs are installed). This image can then be used to restore a "C" drive. It will restore the operating system and ALL programs to the last state AND ONLY takes about 10 mins


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October 10, 2011 1:37:42 AM

Best answer selected by Zamaster.
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October 10, 2011 5:42:28 AM

Zamaster said:
Thanks for the help everyone! So strangely enough, about a week ago everything just decided to improve... drastically. I have NO clue what I did or what happend but now once the system has loaded everything moves lightning fast. Startup is still a bit slow, but that doesn't bother me since its a desktop. Lol even my passmark score when up. wtf ah well I'm not complaining



Sounds like your disks were busy mirroring in the background.

Typically when you mirror a disk you have to copy the binary contents of the first disk to the second, usually takes awhile. But if the drivers were doing it all in background then the system would of been extremely sluggish until all the coping was done.
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