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Raptor RAID vs single SSD

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January 12, 2013 7:54:42 PM

I wasn't sure whether to put this in Hard Drives, RAID/NAS or SSD.

I am in the process of getting ready to build a new machine, and I have a question.

In my current rig I have 4 WD360GD-00FLA2 36GB 10K RPM SATA Western Digital Raptor's.

I am going to invest in a 1 or 2 TB drive fro general storage, but was wondering - should I use the Raptors as a 144GB Raid 0, or a 72GB Raid 0+1?

And how would they compare to a SSD?

More about : raptor raid single ssd

a c 82 G Storage
January 12, 2013 9:26:26 PM

Using 4 hard disks in RAID 0 will be twice as fast as RAID 0+1, but it will be much slower than a SSD.
January 12, 2013 11:27:10 PM

GhislainG said:
Using 4 hard disks in RAID 0 will be twice as fast as RAID 0+1, but it will be much slower than a SSD.


I appreciate that raid 0 would be faster than 0+1, but I would doubling the failure rate at the same time (mind you, that will be less of an issue if the RAID is mirrored onto the partition on the storage disk as a backup).

I was considering using the RAID as a boot device - so how much slower than 1 SSD do you think it would be?

I can't see any other use than to use them as my OS disk - don't really want to go through the hassle of selling them on either.

-

Other option I suppose - I will be upgrading my wife's rig with my old parts - she is running my old PIII 1GHz atm :ouch: 

I might just use the Raptors as her OS drive instead - she would never notice. Then again, she wouldn't notice if a 5400 was used for the OS. So I feel they would be wasted on her :( 

Decisions decisions.
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a c 82 G Storage
January 13, 2013 12:29:04 AM

I have several 10K RPM 36GB SCSI drives in an older system and much newer and larger 7200 RPM SATA drives in other systems; the newer SATA drives are significantly faster, but nowhere near an SSD.

http://www.techspot.com/review/443-samsung-830-ssd-seri...

Your Raptor drives are slower than the Samsung Spinpoint F1. Four Raptor's in RAID 0 would be fast, but still much slower than a good SSD and the risks of failure can't be ignored.

Note that a new 5400 RPM drive is much faster than an old Raptor.
January 13, 2013 9:17:35 AM

Looks like I'll pass them off to the Mrs then. Something else to spend out on now.

Good job I only paid for 2 of them initially ;) 

[edit]

Just re-read your last message - my 36GB drives are SATA not SCSI - will that make any difference?

[edit 2]

I just found this thread - [BLOG] 36GB RAPTORS IN RAID0 – CAN THIS DOG STILL HUNT?

Problem is I am struggling to work out which numbers to compare to the SSD numbers.

Could someone who is more knowledgeable than I have a look and tell me how far apart in real world performance I am looking and am I likely to notice it?

Yes, I know that is an old blog - these are old drives ;) 
a b G Storage
January 13, 2013 11:21:07 AM

RAID gives you excellent sustained throughput for working with very large files. But it does nothing for latency, which is the thing that most people are looking for to get a noticeable improvement in drive performance. Most people don't seem to understand that you get a much "faster" feeling and operating PC for doing most normal things on your computer by reducing latency, not increasing throughput. Throughput only matters if you constantly work with very large files, like compressing or encoding video. The raptors are best know for this, as they have very low latency for mechanical drives. That is what makes raptors stand out as top performing mechanical drivers, low latency, and pretty decent throughput as well. Although, any new mechanical drive with an SATA3 interface will actually even beat the old raptors at throughput rates now.
Now an SSD's latencies are at least 10 times faster than even the fastest Raptor. RAIDing raptors does nothing to improve latency. And the overall sustained throughput of an SSD is also just a fast, or even faster than 2 raptors in RAID, and you have to put 4 of them into RAID to edge past a single SSD in throughput. That is why we say that RAID is outdated as a performance setup. An SSD is a way better option.
January 13, 2013 11:46:53 AM

Thank you - a very informative reply.

1 last question then - would it be advisable to use the Raptors (in any configuration and maybe split between mine and the wife's machines for the virtual memory/page file?

Or is that less of an issue with newer OS's and large banks of ram.

I have inherent distrust of using solid state for the multiple writes/second that VM/PF causes - never did understand killing USB sticks by using them as extra RAM on Vista.
a c 82 G Storage
January 13, 2013 1:10:17 PM

It makes little difference if your drives (WD360GD-00FLA2) are SATA and mine (Fujitsu MAP3367NP) are SCSI Ultra-320. They basically have the same performance, i.e. they are rather slow by current standards.

The pagefile always is used, even if you have lots of memory, but swapping should rarely occur. In this case, storing it on a single Raptor drive or RAID 0 would make sense. I'd use a larger SSD and I definitely wouldn't bother with the Raptor drives. When I retire my old server, I definitely won't reuse the SCSI drives and PCI-X SCSI controller.
a b G Storage
January 13, 2013 1:21:10 PM

Gotta agree with this ^. If you even make use of a pagefile (if you have 4+gig of memory, you would rarely, if ever make use of it) letting it sit on the SSD makes more sense, beings as how the SSD is so much faster than the raptor, way faster. Unless you just need extra storage space or something, its time to set the old raptors aside.
January 13, 2013 1:27:52 PM

One or two years ago, Tom's Hardware pitted four Raptors in RAID against two SSDs. The SSDs consistently won in random read/write, which decreased boot times for software and increased responsiveness. The Raptors only came somewhat close in sequential performance.

In fact, today's single SSD could probably take on the four Raptors in random read/write, making it a superior boot drive.
January 13, 2013 1:30:34 PM

Thanks guys.

Very helpful.


I guess what I'll do is just pass them across to my wife and maintain the RAID 0+1 setup currently in use.

That will be more than enough for her. And she would never know the difference anyway.

I'll invest in the SSD for myself.
a c 82 G Storage
January 13, 2013 1:50:06 PM

That will be fine until your wife has an opportunity to use your new system with the SSD. Then she'll know that her system is slow.
January 13, 2013 2:29:48 PM

True - but she doesn't game, so whilst it would be more responsive, it would actually be wasted on her.

[edit] Plus her system is already slower (PIII 1GHz to my P4E 3GHz) [/edit]

Whilst I am here, how do I select my preferred answer - I can't seem to see the option.
a b G Storage
January 13, 2013 2:35:18 PM

Well SSDs aren't really that expensive. You can get a 64gb drive for $60 plenty of space for windows7 and office programs, just store downloads and other stuff on the mechanical.

my2cent.
a c 82 G Storage
January 13, 2013 2:48:42 PM

escribblings said:
True - but she doesn't game, so whilst it would be more responsive, it would actually be wasted on her.

Whilst I am here, how do I select my preferred answer - I can't seem to see the option.
I don't know, but this may answer your question: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/34244-12-select-answe...
January 13, 2013 3:05:03 PM

GhislainG said:
I don't know, but this may answer your question: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/34244-12-select-answe...


Cheers - I selected discussion not question *slaps head*. Thing won't let me change it - "You are not allowed to edit this post". I researched this, and that may be a bug :fou: 

As I cannot edit the thread to [Solved] I will post here instead.

Thank you all for your help, and I award best answer to...

*drum roll*

... jitpublisher

jitpublisher said:
RAID gives you excellent sustained throughput for working with very large files. But it does nothing for latency, which is the thing that most people are looking for to get a noticeable improvement in drive performance. Most people don't seem to understand that you get a much "faster" feeling and operating PC for doing most normal things on your computer by reducing latency, not increasing throughput. Throughput only matters if you constantly work with very large files, like compressing or encoding video. The raptors are best know for this, as they have very low latency for mechanical drives. That is what makes raptors stand out as top performing mechanical drivers, low latency, and pretty decent throughput as well. Although, any new mechanical drive with an SATA3 interface will actually even beat the old raptors at throughput rates now.
Now an SSD's latencies are at least 10 times faster than even the fastest Raptor. RAIDing raptors does nothing to improve latency. And the overall sustained throughput of an SSD is also just a fast, or even faster than 2 raptors in RAID, and you have to put 4 of them into RAID to edge past a single SSD in throughput. That is why we say that RAID is outdated as a performance setup. An SSD is a way better option.

!