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RAID O Setup - Need Recommendation(s) on Best Hard Drives 2Buy

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Last response: in Storage
December 20, 2012 2:41:26 AM

Hi Everyone,

I am putting a new build together and have yet to order the components because I have some questions I hope that some or one of the Geek Gods from this forum would provide me with answers or at the very least recommendations as to the course to follow in the matter of hard drives and thus ensure an ideal composite of all the components.

What I am looking to do is setup a RAID 0 configuration on my PC. I plan on purchasing to identical 500GB drives for this purpose. I read that Windows will see the two drives as one 1TB drive. The bonus of the RAID 0 setup is that searches and data retrieval on the drives is accomplished much faster (up to 50% faster at times) because they are split between the two distinct drives and therefore the information is garnered faster than if I had just one 1TB drive. If I am off on how the RAID 0 setup works then please tell me because I understand it as I have written above about it. Also, does a RAID PCIe card typically come with a MB such as the Asus P8Z77-V Pro Intel MB or is this an item that I would need to purchase separately?, or put it another way, would a $200 MB typically come with such items as a RAID card?

I am looking for some drive recommendations for this type setup. I understand that the hard drive(s) is an extremely important component because a low-to-medium end type drive can effectively drag down all of the higher-end components in a system. It sounds right to me but I am still wondering if an average type HDD really can impact the whole system's performance?

Originally I was planning on drives that had 7200 rpm and a respectable amount of buffer memory, perhaps 16MB, and it seems only logical that the drive should be a SATA 3 6GB/s drive since my MB has two SATA 3 ports available. Many drives probably don't have the SATA 3 status so that limits my choices but I still image that there are some brands that are more dependable than others. I am using two Western Digital drives now and I have had a Seagate Barracuda drive too, though I read that the Barracuda drives are not that great and fail often. Truth to this?

The issue that I had NOT expected to consider is size. So many of the 500GB drives are not the standard drive size of 5.25 but instead are either 3.5 or 2.5 sized. With this said, I would like to offer up something that is in the description of my computer case: it reads that there are four 5.25' internal drive bays and six 3.5' drive bays with removable HDD caddies that have mounting locations for both 3.5" and 2.5" SSDs. I understand the above statement to mean that I do NOT have to purchase additional mounting caddies for HDD drives that are of 3.5' or 2.5" size because they are provided with the computer case, is that right? If this is the case I think that it would be a good to go with two 3.5" drives, or should I stick with a standard size 5.25" set of drives? Any difference really?

Finally, I would like my HDDs to be quiet or a quieter type of drive with a noise level definitely below 30db.

So, will any knowledge geek share there thoughts with me regarding my questions and also make some recommendations on a drive that would work well in a RAIO 0 setup?
I have generally purchased stuff from TigerDirect or NewEgg, but I have to say that Amazon actually has had better prices on many of the components that I have selected for my build. in some cases it is only a few dollars, in other case it can be as much as $20. With that said, I forget to mention the all important budget factor. I thinking that if I could purchase two drives for no more than say $125.00. There is some flexibility in how much I will pay, more if the drive is in some way better than other choices.

Thank you in advance for your insight, and if you have any question for me, please feel free to ask away.

More about : raid setup recommendation hard drives 2buy

a b G Storage
December 20, 2012 3:13:43 AM

Linus has a good video on youtube on how to set up a RAID O. With Windows 7 RAID is set up in the BIOS. The standard size for desktops is 3.5 inches. Are looking for max performance or lowest noise? HHDs are the bottleneck in any systems.The have moving parts that's why SSD are now so popular.
December 20, 2012 3:18:25 AM

All decent motherboards come with an onboard RAID controller (double check specs on vendor's website)

Downside is that the onboard RAID only support 2 or 4 (sometime 6) drives where PCI RAID cards can support much more. NOTE:Many Intel Boards only support 2x SATA 6gbps drives in RAID, and 4x 3gbps in RAID

PCI RAID cards also tend to be a bit faster and is more business/enterprise orientated.

Don't use "green" or "eco" drives, they spin at different speeds and will just low down your raid setup.

As performance wise, 2x HDDs in RAID0 is not nearly as fast as a single SSD even if you go with WD Black or even WD Velociraptors.

To make a long story short:
Option 1 - Buy a 120GB+ SSD for your OS, programs and games and get a 1TB+ for you data.
Option 2 - Buy 2x SSDs and put them in RAID0 for insane performance and again a 1TB= drive for data.

And remember that in RAID0 if 1 drive fails everything is gone!
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Best solution

December 20, 2012 3:20:05 AM

RAID 0 system data are split up in blocks that get written across all the drives in the array so actually it doubles the speed of the average Disk R/W operations depending on the reliability of the Controller and disk drives.

All the modern MOBOs support the various RAID 0,1,5 and 10 through the built in MOBO controller, you don't have to buy a dedicated RAID controller, it's extremely expensive and not intended for your setup, it contains it's own processor and memory, which will handle most (if not all) the computation for the RAID to work, almost used in the servers and workstations hosting large amount of HDDS, for just 2-4 Drives you're gonna have the same result with the internal MOBO controller.

The term RAID stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, the technology was invented and tested on a bunch of old drives that were being used for several years, so any average good HDD will get you fine, grab 2 of the WD Blue drives with 16MB Cache.

You'll never reach the limits of SATA 6 Gb/s on the HDDs, due to the mechanical parts on it and the limited RPM that's why most of the current SSDs reach up to 550 MB/s R&W speed on a SATA 3 port. So it won't make any difference using a SATA 2 or SATA 3 HDD.

5.25'' drives stand for the Optical Disk Drives not the HDDs, the HDDs are in the 3.5'' and 2.5'' factors which will be installed in your case normally.

Now to the most important part, many don't recommend setting up a Raid 0 array including me, RAID 0 is not fault-tolerant. If one disk fails, all data in the RAID 0 array are lost. It should not be used on mission-critical systems. Ideal use for a RAID 0 is for non-critical storage of data that have to be read/written at a high speed, such as Photoshop images, large multimedia files, games and so, and you must have a regular backup plan in case the drives fail, and that's what will happen quickly due to many factors.
December 30, 2012 12:24:43 AM

Best answer selected by captainsky.
December 30, 2012 12:34:28 AM

Thank u everyone for your great feedback. U guys definitely have me something's to consider such as RAID0 really the best RAID configuration for my needs. I of course see the value of having a RAID1 mirroring configuration to protect myself should one drive fail. However I do back to anyone of three external drives for something important but certainly not everything.

I definitely plan in going with a 128GB SSD drive as my boot drive though I'm not sure yet what role my Windows 7 OS disc will have in the installation process. As I understand it now, and I haven't really researched yet, but installing an OS to a SSD is one by having a flash drive that contains the OS.

I have digressed. It's an interesting option to consider two SSD in a RAID 0-1 configuration with a 1TB hard drive for data. I imagine that setup would alleviate the normal bottleneck caused by a HDD r/w data.
a b G Storage
November 11, 2013 1:10:42 PM

been using raid 0 for the last 4 years with no issues of drive fails or bad writes. but then again i pick my drives up instead of having them delivered. this dramatically improves the life of the drives. so regardless buy them and pck them up yourself.
personally i use samsung spinpoint f3's. zero issues, zero drive fails.