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Question about RAID-5 Sector size

Last response: in Storage
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December 1, 2011 12:06:53 PM

I bought a G-Speed ES array with the G-Tech RAID card, set up the drive yesterday, initialized it (took 9 hours!) as a RAID-5, and in the initialization settings window I was asked what sector size I wanted. I did some quick research and found that bigger sectors are better with bigger files (I'm a video editor), so choose the maximum size available to me under the hardware RAID, which was 4k (I'm assuming that's 4096).

Came into the office this morning and found the drive had finished the initilization and that Windows required me to create a "simple volume" on it before it could be used. I'm in the process of doing that, and have found that Windows is asking me to set a sector size again: This time my maximum option is 64k. Do I want to go with the maximum option of 64k, or do I have to use the 4096 which the hardware RAID used in initializing the array?

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a c 415 G Storage
December 1, 2011 3:15:30 PM

What Windows is asking you for is the NTFS cluster size - it doesn't have to be the same as the RAID stripe size. Generally speaking just using the default value is fine - I think the only reason you'd want to use a larger value is if the drive is used pretty much exclusively for very large files.
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December 1, 2011 6:07:00 PM

Best answer selected by davbeisner.
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December 1, 2011 6:08:22 PM

Thanks! The drive is used exclusively for HD video data files, so very large files are the norm. There is a smattering of smaller bits here and there, but a very small percentage. I went with 64k for the cluster size, and I'm transferring the data from my old internal RAID-0 to the new external RAID-5. I've noticed the sustained transfer speed is about 105MB/second. Does that sound about right?
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a c 415 G Storage
December 2, 2011 5:48:54 AM

That's a very respectable data rate for writing to a RAID-5 array. RAID-5 usually has much poorer write performance than read performance.
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