Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

I know very little about RAID; would I even need it? (Details inside)

Last response: in Storage
Share
October 1, 2012 9:06:12 PM

The first bit of information I should let you guys know is that I am planning to get a system from AVADirect.com, and have been configuring systems, planning out a system to buy. Okay, I've never had a computer with more than one hard drive, so please, bear with me. :??:  I am planning to have the 'C' drive be a SSD and have the OS be on there. The SSD will be not bigger than 256 GB, so I'll have a HDD for most of the storage. If I decide to get one HDD, you simply don't RAID two different hard drives, correct? It is only for two or more HDDs or two or more SSDs, correct? Remember, I've never had more than one hard drive on the same computer before, so a SSD and a HDD will be linked together somehow, in a basic manner, correct? I wouldn't have to select any specific selection in the system configuration page on a site for configuring a system, right? I know this doesn't require RAID or have anything to do with RAID. My understanding of RAID was so little, I had thought any time you have more than one internal hard drive, you needed RAID.

So the second thing I want to inquire about is that I'm thinking of having a SSD for the OS and frequently used programs, and then having two HDDs (I found that the most highly rated and most reliable HDDs, from storage capacities 1 TB through 2 TB, are 1 TB drives, and I would like more space than 1 TB, so I'm considering getting two 1 TB HDDs). With the two 1 TB HDDs (and one SSD), there is no need for a RAID configuration, is there? If I decide to go with two 1 TB HDDs, I can freely select content from either one and freely use programs from either one, correct? I could even have two drives operating at once (let's say playing music from one drive while browsing photos on another drive)? I don't need a RAID configuration for basic computer use and RAID configurations are just about increasing the performance of certain things, correct?

As I said, I don't really know much about RAID and when and why people would desire to have RAID configurations. I hope that some of you can help clarify things for me and answer these questions for me. I will appreciate all answers to my questions.

More about : raid details inside

a c 317 G Storage
October 1, 2012 9:37:12 PM

Do not use RAID if you don't need it, and you don't need it -- greater data risk and hassle. Use a 256Gb SSD for your OS and programs and get a 2 or 3Tb Western Digital storage drive, the green drives are great I have used many dozens of them.

Your OS drive will be the C drive and your storage drive will be D or E depending on where the optical (CD/DVD drive) is allocated if you get one.

You do not need RAID for multiple internal drives. My main rig has 5 hard drives and 2 SSDs, none are RAIDed. My movie storage array on another machine has 8 3Tb drives in a RAID 6 array and a small old SSD to run the operating system as the box is only for providing huge storage space to share hundreds of blu-ray images to devices around the house (the original blu-ray disks are safely stored away to keep them pristine).

The real purpose of RAID is to provide fault tolerant large storage capacity. Too many people use RAID that don't need it and have issues. With SSDs the need for RAID for storage performance in home computers is really gone. Back in the day, I would RAID 0 three small WD Raptors just for good OS performance, but SSDs have made that all irrelevant.
m
0
l
October 2, 2012 12:21:01 AM

Okay, this helps me better understand things. You recommend the WD Greens, you say? Should I get a 7200 RPM one, or would I be fine with a 5400 RPM one? I believe my current HDD is only a 5400 RPM one.

Edit: I still may just get two 1 TB Samsung Spinpoint F3s. I look at newegg ratings, how many reviews there are, and read 1 star and 2 star reviews to get an idea of the reliability of computer parts. It is something to go by. The Samsung Spinpoint F3 and it's rating and reviews: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - You can see the percentages of high reviews and low reviews and the total amount of reviews is 2,197.

In comparison, this is the best reviewed 2 TB WD Green drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Look at the overall amount of reviews (202) and then look at it's percentages of high reviews (4/5 and 5/5) vs. it's percentage of 1/5 ratings and compare that with what is shown for the Samsung Spinpoint F3.

Is it good to try and go by such things? Is this way of looking at this type of data something to go by?
m
0
l
Related resources
a c 317 G Storage
October 2, 2012 12:40:01 AM

Much of the problem with reviews from Newegg is that Newegg used very poor shipping practices for drives for a long time. The WD Green drives are fine, especially the current crop. I would avoid Seagate energy efficient drives, and there is no reason to buy 2 1Tb drives for storage when you can get a good 2Tb.

I have purchased several hundred WD Green drives for builds, and have 15 or 20 in use myself and have never had any issues at all with any of them. I have not, however, posted on Newegg even though I bought many there because I had nothing to complain about, despite getting many drives rattling around in box loose.
m
0
l
October 2, 2012 12:55:30 AM

RealBeast said:
Much of the problem with reviews from Newegg is that Newegg used very poor shipping practices for drives for a long time. The WD Green drives are fine, especially the current crop. I would avoid Seagate energy efficient drives, and there is no reason to buy 2 1Tb drives for storage when you can get a good 2Tb.

I have purchased several hundred WD Green drives for builds, and have 15 or 20 in use myself and have never had any issues at all with any of them. I have not, however, posted on Newegg even though I bought many there because I had nothing to complain about, despite getting many drives rattling around in box loose.



Okay, so newegg has used very poor shipping practices for drives for a long time. When did they improve upon it? Early this year? Middle of this year? Are they still poor or somewhat poor?

WDs website says "Intellipower" for RPM speed. Seems like the speed varies. Does this Intellipower work out well?

Edit: I found this comment in a review for a 2 TB WD Green: "Need to disable the aggressive "head parking" / "wear your drive out faster" firmware settings." Do you know what he is referring to and what the firmware setting is officially called? If I end up getting this drive, I'd like to know how to disable that firmware setting.
m
0
l
October 2, 2012 1:20:04 AM

RealBeast said:
Do not use RAID if you don't need it, and you don't need it -- greater data risk and hassle. Use a 256Gb SSD for your OS and programs and get a 2 or 3Tb Western Digital storage drive, the green drives are great I have used many dozens of them.

Your OS drive will be the C drive and your storage drive will be D or E depending on where the optical (CD/DVD drive) is allocated if you get one.

You do not need RAID for multiple internal drives. My main rig has 5 hard drives and 2 SSDs, none are RAIDed. My movie storage array on another machine has 8 3Tb drives in a RAID 6 array and a small old SSD to run the operating system as the box is only for providing huge storage space to share hundreds of blu-ray images to devices around the house (the original blu-ray disks are safely stored away to keep them pristine).

The real purpose of RAID is to provide fault tolerant large storage capacity. Too many people use RAID that don't need it and have issues. With SSDs the need for RAID for storage performance in home computers is really gone. Back in the day, I would RAID 0 three small WD Raptors just for good OS performance, but SSDs have made that all irrelevant.


Well... there are several types of RAID and greater hassle comes with all of them :)  but greater data risk only comes with RAID Level 0. RAID level 1 actually reduces risk, as does the other common RAID level 5 but R5 requires at the minimum, 3 drives. The other RAID levels are not used commonly. All that said, for your purposes, unless you're looking to reduce risk at extra expense, you don't need RAID. If you *are* looking to reduce risk (i.e. you're storing precious photos electronically only without backups), then you'll probably want to run RAID 1 and you have a tiny bit of research to do, and figure doubling the cost outlay for your hard drives :) 

As far as risk on the bigger drives, well, it may be more with 2GB but the overall risk is still pretty tiny. My suggestion to you is also to just use a 2GB "green" drive from Seagate, WD, or Samsung and keep it simple.
m
0
l
a c 167 G Storage
October 2, 2012 1:20:57 AM

Would you post a list of your proposed parts along with links that you plan to use.
And, the main usages for the pc.

Most likely, you will get some suggestions.

As to your original question, one does not usually need any sort of raid.

Raid-0, or striping, is overhyped and really not the performance enhancer that is touted for it. Benchmarks look good, but the real apps that can produce those types of results are uncommon.

Raid-1 or mirrroring, protects upu some from a hard drive failure by using a duplicate drive.. But, if you have critical data, your first line of defense is external backup.

Hard drives can fail, so I would suggest your first criteria should be reliability.
Here is one article on component return rates:
http://www.behardware.com/articles/862-6/components-ret...

Look at the SSD return rates too. Intel and Samsung would be my first picks. They make their own nand chips, and can do a better job of valication. Yes, they will be a bit more expensive.

Above all, use a QUALITY PSU such as Seasonic, Antec, XFX, PC P&C, or Corsair to name a few.
Here is one list of PSU quality tiers.
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx
m
0
l
October 2, 2012 1:33:26 AM

geofelt said:
Would you post a list of your proposed parts along with links that you plan to use.
And, the main usages for the pc.


Main usages for this PC will be basic use (internet browsing, MS Office, playing music, viewing photos), watching HD videos via streaming or from files saved onto a hard drive, and playing the latest PC games and older PC games.

My build at the moment:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CPU - Intel i5 3570k 4C/4T @ 3.4 GHz - I won't be doing editing and work with HD media. I don't need an i7.

CPU Cooler - Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO

Motherboard - Asus P8Z77-V - Newegg link with reviews: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - Corsair Vengeance 8 GB (2 x 4GB) - Corsair Vengeance (PC3-15000) 1866 MHz CL 9 (9-10-9-27) 1.5V - 16 GB is more than I need, but I may get 16 GB instead.

GPU - Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3 GB (model GV-R795WF3-3GD) Newegg link with reviews: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Storage - Still trying to pick a HDD.

SSD Drive - SAMSUNG 830 Series 128 GB (Might get a 256 GB one instead).

Power Supply Unit - Cooler Master Silent Pro M 1000W PSU (80 Plus Bronze) with modular cables - This one is the best rated for this brand for PSUs ranging from 800W to 1000W.

Computer Case - Antec Three Hundred - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive - A Lite-On Blu-ray/DVD/CD combo drive - Newegg page with reviews: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sound - Integrated audio.

Other - External card reader and writer (better selection of reliable hardware with external ones).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do you think I'll do fine with that PSU? Or should I choose Seasonic or Antec instead?

As for HDDs, I'm looking into WD Greens after someone recommended them (someone in this thread), and I'm also wondering if I should just go with a Seagate Barracuda. Is Seagate a reliable hard drive brand? Are the Barracuda drives reliable (not the XT ones, I know they are bad)?
m
0
l
a c 167 G Storage
October 2, 2012 1:51:07 AM

Mostly a good build.
My suggestions:

1) A 7950 class card is very good for gaming. It is the most important component for that purpose.
Look at the 7970 or GTX670 if you can. A GTX680 is as good as it gets.

2) Intel cpu's do not benefit from faster ram. DDR3 1600 is fine. A 8gb kit is the usual recommendation. Considering the low cost, of ram, I would consider a 16gb kit of 2 8gb. Buy low profile ram to avoid clearance issues with the cpu cooler.

3) Larger SSD's are a bit faster. A ssd slows down as it reaches max capacity. If you are considering 256gb, I would go with that.
Samsung or Intel would be my first choice.

4) Use the hard drive for video storage. I think I would pick a WD 2tb green drive. You can always add more later if you need to.

5) The Cooler Master Silent Pro M is overkill at 1000w. A 7970 or GTX680 will run on as little as 550W using a quality psu.
The Cooler Master Silent Pro M is a tier 3 unit on this list.
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

Not bad, but you can do better. Something like a 650-750w unit.
You can hardly go wrong with Seasonic X series. Yes, they are a bit more expensive.
m
0
l
October 2, 2012 2:23:21 AM

geofelt said:
Mostly a good build.
My suggestions:

1) A 7950 class card is very good for gaming. It is the most important component for that purpose.
Look at the 7970 or GTX670 if you can. A GTX680 is as good as it gets.

2) Intel cpu's do not benefit from faster ram. DDR3 1600 is fine. A 8gb kit is the usual recommendation. Considering the low cost, of ram, I would consider a 16gb kit of 2 8gb. Buy low profile ram to avoid clearance issues with the cpu cooler.

3) Larger SSD's are a bit faster. A ssd slows down as it reaches max capacity. If you are considering 256gb, I would go with that.
Samsung or Intel would be my first choice.

4) Use the hard drive for video storage. I think I would pick a WD 2tb green drive. You can always add more later if you need to.

5) The Cooler Master Silent Pro M is overkill at 1000w. A 7970 or GTX680 will run on as little as 550W using a quality psu.
The Cooler Master Silent Pro M is a tier 3 unit on this list.
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

Not bad, but you can do better. Something like a 650-750w unit.
You can hardly go wrong with Seasonic X series. Yes, they are a bit more expensive.


An i5 3570K will not benefit from 1866 RAM? The highest it'll benefit from is 1600 RAM? What is some good DDR3 RAM that is low profile. I assume you mean physical height. I read the Corsair Vengeance RAM sticks are high for RAM sticks.

I will go with a 256 GB SSD from Samsung. I'm probably going to end up choosing a 2 TB WD Green for a HDD. As for a PSU, I might choose a 850W PSU to have a little bit of breathing room. I used a PSU calculator and got a load in the upper 600s (almost 700). Getting a 850W PSU would give me some breathing room.

Also, to note, I plan on getting a custom system from AVADirect.com.
m
0
l
a c 167 G Storage
October 2, 2012 3:59:45 AM

Dubnoman said:
An i5 3570K will not benefit from 1866 RAM? The highest it'll benefit from is 1600 RAM? What is some good DDR3 RAM that is low profile. I assume you mean physical height. I read the Corsair Vengeance RAM sticks are high for RAM sticks.

I will go with a 256 GB SSD from Samsung. I'm probably going to end up choosing a 2 TB WD Green for a HDD. As for a PSU, I might choose a 850W PSU to have a little bit of breathing room. I used a PSU calculator and got a load in the upper 600s (almost 700). Getting a 850W PSU would give me some breathing room.

Also, to note, I plan on getting a custom system from AVADirect.com.



Read this analysis on ram speed scaling.
Benchmarks might look good, but real app performance or FPS is hardly affected by faster ram:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...

Here is a good 16gb G.skil kit:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
m
0
l
October 2, 2012 4:32:05 AM

geofelt said:
Read this analysis on ram speed scaling.
Benchmarks might look good, but real app performance or FPS is hardly affected by faster ram:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...

Here is a good 16gb G.skil kit:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thank you for helping me with inquiries.

That is scaling for Sandy Bridge. Perhaps it is different for Ivy Bridge? If it isn't different for Ivy Bridge, would there be even a slight advantage with 1866 over 1600 on some things? Although, no matter what the answer is, I'll probably go with the 1600 RAM linked below because it is lower profile and someone who gave a review on it said their CPU cooler wouldn't fit with higher RAM, and it is a similar CPU cooler from the same brand as the CPU cooler I plan on getting.

Keep in mind, I plan to get a custom built system from AVADirect, that is the plan at the moment. At this site, the G. Skill Ares aren't available at 16 GB (2 x 8 GB or 4 x 4 GB). Would I be fine with Corsair Vengeance? That seems to be the best stuff to select from that site.

I found 1600 DDR3 RAM with a low profile. This Corsair Vengeance: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - It is available at AVADirect.

I don't even know if any games today use 8 GB of RAM or even 6 GB of RAM. Do you think I should still get 16 GB of RAM in this system?
m
0
l
a c 167 G Storage
October 2, 2012 3:00:03 PM

Sandy and ivy bridge have the same memory controller. the article is relevant to both.

You are looking at perhaps up to a 1% benefit in real app performance. And, you need to have the ram overclocked to get the higher speed. 1866 ram is really the same 1600 ram that has the ability to be overclocked to 1866.

No game I know of can use more than 2-3gb by itself. Hence the usual 8gb recommendation for the gamer.
More ram is always a plus since windows can keep more apps in ram awaiting instant reuse. But if you are not a big multitasker, or have 64 bit enabled apps. From what you have said, 8gb is plenty.

Corsair is fine. But if you go 16gb, get a 2 x 8gb kit, not a 4 x 4gb kit. It is easier for the motherboard to manage 2 sticks vs. 4.
Other name brands such as G.skil, Patriot, Kingston are equally good.
m
0
l
October 2, 2012 8:34:31 PM

I think I'll just go with 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) of RAM. By the time I will actually need 12 GB of RAM or 16 GB of RAM will probably be in about 3 years, and I plan to do some upgrading by then, including a new motherboard and new CPU, so by then, I can get the latest and greatest type of RAM. I suspect in three years DDR3 won't be the best RAM available.
m
0
l
!