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Do I need a raid controller to use RAID 0, what is it for?

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January 27, 2012 8:59:13 PM

Hello

In the next few weeks I'm planning to put 2 WD Caviar Black 1TB enterprise edition HDD into a RAID 0 configuration, I checked a few of the videos on youtube and other websites on how to set up RAID 0, but there's one question I'm stumped and confused about is what are the factors that determine whether I have to install the RAID drivers to detect my HDD during the windows installation, is it the version of the windows 7 I'm installing with, or the model of the mobo I'm using which is the Asus Rampage III Gene, or the type of HDD I'm planning to RAID 0 together... or it's something else since I'm not sure where to download the RAID driver incase my computer doesn't detect my HDD when I'm installing windows 7.

To any of the members here using Asus Rampage III Gene and installed with Windows 7 did ya guys had to install a the driver to detect your HDD? Or it was automatically detected and no RAID drivers were needed?

Any advice, opinions, idea or replys will be greatly appreciated and many thanks in advance.

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January 27, 2012 10:52:59 PM

Hiya, I was wondering if I wanted run RAID 0 on my computer do I need to buy a raid control? If not does boost the performance of the RAID 0 HDDs, or does it serves as another purpose? etc. Sorry for all the questions, I'm a huge noob when it comes to these stuff. Many thanks in advance.
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a b G Storage
January 27, 2012 11:32:28 PM

Deep Blue said:
Hiya, I was wondering if I wanted run RAID 0 on my computer do I need to buy a raid control? If not does boost the performance of the RAID 0 HDDs, or does it serves as another purpose? etc. Sorry for all the questions, I'm a huge noob when it comes to these stuff. Many thanks in advance.


Yes - you will need a raid controller - it manage all the raid stuff. Most modern motherboards have the capability built in these days.

Raid 0 (or stripe) improves HDD performance.... you need 2 HDD and the Raid 0 will automatically write half your data to one drive and half to the other... this means it can do it twice as fast. And when you want to read the data... it can do it twice as fast as it only needs get half as much data from each drive and co do it in parallel.

In reality - its not "twice as fast"... but it is a good boost.

the down side - is that if one of the hard drive fails... you lose all your data - as half your data is no use without the other half.

Anyway - thats the gist of it... if you google about raids - it will explain all the different types of raid systems

HTH
Cheers
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a b G Storage
January 28, 2012 12:10:50 AM

You don't have to press the F6 key to add the RAID driver, it is already in W7's installation package.

Set the RAID up in the BIOS and W7 will detect it on install, allowing you put W7 on it.

Just a thought - RAID0 is faster than RAID1, but if either HDD fails, you have lost everything. Backup often. WD recommends its RE series (not Black) for RAID configurations.
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a c 523 G Storage
January 28, 2012 12:37:36 AM

Deep Blue said:
Hiya, I was wondering if I wanted run RAID 0 on my computer do I need to buy a raid control? If not does boost the performance of the RAID 0 HDDs, or does it serves as another purpose? etc. Sorry for all the questions, I'm a huge noob when it comes to these stuff. Many thanks in advance.



Yes, you need a RAID controller to create a RAID-0 (or any RAID) array, but it’s not something you need to buy separately. It’s part of whichever method you use to create the RAID.

There are 3 methods you can use to create a RAID array:

Software RAID: You use Windows operating system to create a RAID-0 array. The RAID controller is software based.

Firmware RAID: You use your motherboard BIOS to create a RAID-0 array. The RAID controller is a chip on the motherboard.

Hardware RAID: You buy a add-in card which you connect to a PCIe slot on your motherboard. You connect your drives that you want to RAID to the add-in card. The RAID controller is a chip on the add-in card.

Software RAID is the least common method used.
Firmware RAID is the most common method used by consumers.
Hardware RAID is the most expensive method and is used mostly by businesses.
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a c 167 G Storage
January 28, 2012 1:09:16 AM

Raid-0 writes alternating stripes(user defined like 16k up to 256k) stripes of data rotating among the raid-0 member hard drives.
In theory, you can then read each of the hard drives in parallel to improve sequential performance.

Raid-0 has been over hyped as a performance enhancer.
Sequential benchmarks do look wonderful, but the real world does not seem to deliver the indicated performance benefits for most
desktop users. The reason is, that sequential benchmarks are coded for maximum overlapped I/O rates. It depends on reading a stripe of data simultaneously from each raid-0 member, and that is rarely what we do.
The OS does mostly small random reads and writes, so raid-0 is of little use there.
There are some apps that will benefit. They are characterized by reading large files in a sequential manner.

Unless you KNOW that you will benefit, or are prepared to benchmark YOUR app, not a synthetic benchmark, I sugggest you stay far away from raid-0.
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January 28, 2012 1:54:55 AM

Sorry but I have to post...

I run my games in a 16KB stripe raid 0 array with 2 samsung 1TB hard drives and I must say, games load incredibly quick. Some games also write and read files from the hard drive on the fly, so the extra performance will be worth it.

If your scared of losing data, back it up :) 
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January 28, 2012 3:23:27 AM

What does stripe means and which one should I choose for my RAID 0 from 16 to 256k?

Aside from booting the comp or starting programs, sometimes when I don't use my computer the HDD sometimes runs by itself assuming it's defragging and indexing files, does RAID 0 also help speed those up too? Since I usually prefer to wait for my computer to finish indexing the HDD or what ever it's doing everytime my computer has been idle for a while, the waiting for it finish is kinda boring and made me wonder would RAID 0 speed it up.
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January 28, 2012 3:40:33 AM

Quote:
You don't have to press the F6 key to add the RAID driver, it is already in W7's installation package.

Set the RAID up in the BIOS and W7 will detect it on install, allowing you put W7 on it.

Just a thought - RAID0 is faster than RAID1, but if either HDD fails, you have lost everything. Backup often. WD recommends its RE series (not Black) for RAID configurations.


The F6 key where ya refering to the command from Win XP CD boot up? Thanks for the heads up, I remember WD mentioned something about the RE4 models were the ones made for RAID.
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January 28, 2012 10:03:03 AM

This next topics has been merged by Mousemonkey
  • Will I have to add raid driver if I'm using win7 asus rampage iii gene
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    Best solution

    a c 167 G Storage
    January 28, 2012 5:37:29 PM

    Deep Blue said:
    Hello

    In the next few weeks I'm planning to put 2 WD Caviar Black 1TB enterprise edition HDD into a RAID 0 configuration, I checked a few of the videos on youtube and other websites on how to set up RAID 0, but there's one question I'm stumped and confused about is what are the factors that determine whether I have to install the RAID drivers to detect my HDD during the windows installation, is it the version of the windows 7 I'm installing with, or the model of the mobo I'm using which is the Asus Rampage III Gene, or the type of HDD I'm planning to RAID 0 together... or it's something else since I'm not sure where to download the RAID driver incase my computer doesn't detect my HDD when I'm installing windows 7.

    To any of the members here using Asus Rampage III Gene and installed with Windows 7 did ya guys had to install a the driver to detect your HDD? Or it was automatically detected and no RAID drivers were needed?

    Any advice, opinions, idea or replys will be greatly appreciated and many thanks in advance.


    To answer your question about stripe size... Who knows? Bigger is better for sequential access, smaller is better for random, and you usually can't tell the difference with either. My guess, would be a middle number like 64k.

    Here is my advice:

    1) Hard drive prices are crazy today. If you can defer, wait.

    2) If you care about performance buy a SSD instead. A SSD is 50x faster in random i/o and 2-3x faster in sequential. A 80gb ssd can hold the os and half a dozen apps.
    A ssd will cost about $1.50 per gb. Look to intel, Samsung, and crucial, in that order for reliability.

    3) Do not try to run raid-0. Synthetic benchmarks will look good, but you will not be able to detect any performance benefit in normal activities.

    4) Reread #3.
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    a c 289 G Storage
    January 28, 2012 7:26:56 PM

    I second Geofelt's number 3, and third his number 4. RAID 0 is not raid, it is deliberate damage to your computer.
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    January 28, 2012 7:38:25 PM

    Thanks Geofelt and everyone, this was the answer I was hoping for all along hoping I won't have to go through the trouble and spend another extra 500$ on HDD just to RAID for a tiny bit of benefit if there is some.
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    January 28, 2012 7:38:34 PM

    Best answer selected by Deep Blue.
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    January 28, 2012 7:53:00 PM

    This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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