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Never done RAID before, want to RAID 0, some questions?

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February 3, 2013 12:54:01 PM

Basically I want an SSD because hard drives are too slow, I've used them all my life and never even used an SSD, but it's sooooooooooo slow, at the moment just loading games and viewing photos(i do a lot of editing I have like 10GB of photos) takes so long and is just really slow

But SSDs are expensive for any decent amount of storage though, so I was thinking of getting 2x250GB drives and making a total of 500GB in RAID 0, getting half-decent read and writes for all my steam games, photos, music etc.


What do I need to do this? do I need any 250GB drives, do they need to be the same model? do I need a raid controller?

I understand it's easy to loose all your data on RAID 0 but I have a 1TB drive and a 200GB drive and I backup all my important things on both drives, I just want this for steam and editing.

all my specs are in signature

I've never set up RAID before and I only learned what it really is about 6 months ago.

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a b G Storage
February 3, 2013 1:12:27 PM

You will definitely need a RAID controller. Many modern motherboards include one, but leave it disabled by default. Unfortunately, the motherboard you list in your signature apparently does not have one. RAID can technically be done with different model drives, but works best with identical models.
a b G Storage
February 3, 2013 1:32:21 PM

You'll need a dedicated raid card or a better motherboard (as most good raid card are not cheap comparing to a new entry level Z77 board)

Also per experience newer drive with higher capacity are faster than old 250gb (1X1TB caviar Blue EZEX is faster than my old 2X250gb barracuda 7200.11 in sequential and if i had the 3tb it'll be even faster)

It's faster as on the same speed and head travel it can read more are the data on it is more compacted to have more storage space ex: the data you need is a 10gb file, it'll be reading 2.5% of the head of the 250gb drive when only need to read 0.33% on the 3tb head (so less head move/turn needed=faster performance) Most newer Caviar Black reach 150mb/s continous data throutput when old seagate reach 50-60 in sustained read so a raid-0 is slower than a newer drive... Also caviar black have about 4-5ms of latency vs the 15-20ms of old drive...
a b G Storage
February 3, 2013 1:55:49 PM

While RAID will give you double the through-put of a standard drive, you don't need more through-put for 95% of the things you do on your PC. You will see some decrease in load time, and boot ups, maybe some small difference using photo editing software, if you are working with very large image files, (by large I mean like 100 meg or more). For photos what you need, in this order from most important to least; fast multiple core processor, lots of memory, and lastly a fast hard drive.

Its the latencies that make the big difference in just using your computer for most things. That is where SSD's leave mechanical drives in the dust. If you ever used a PC that had an SSD for any length of time, then you too would be like the majority of users here and say forget about RAIDing mechanical drives; its an antiquated, slow, outdated solution. I used RAID for years myself back in the 90's, when it DID make huge difference. By comparison, mechanical drives today are lightening fast compared to drives only 10 years ago, as far as throughput anyway. Latencies are still the same, they have pretty much reached the mechanical practical limits that can be achieved for latency. Even the slowest SSD will be 10 time faster than the fastest RAID array as far as latency, and the SSD will have double the throughput of your proposed RAID 0 array. Think about that when you are pondering the value of what you get for the money you will spend.

I would suggest to anyone thinking about setting up RAID, to really ask around and talk to people who have SSD's. You'll be hard pressed to find anyone would suggest a RAID array over their SSD. They are that amazing.
Any PC with a good SSD is a simply a pleasure to use, you will never, ever go back to mechanical drives, except for backup and storage reasons.

If you are going to spend money because you are tired of the lag in mechanical drives, spend towards an SSD. Really, not BS'ing you about this at all.
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