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Challenging New System Setup--Need Help

Last response: in Storage
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June 28, 2002 11:49:46 PM

Below are the components in my new system followed by my intended setup and questions. Any advice and suggestions on the setup will be greatly appreciated. The system is a bit complicated and should be quite challenging to configure. It seems a bit long, but it is in outline format. Thanks ahead of time.

Core:

Motherboard: Asus P4T533
CPU: Pentium 4 2.53 GHZ
RAM: 1GB RIMM4200 ( PC1066 232 pin )

Hard Drives:

(4) Fujitsu 18.4GB 15K RPM ULTRA160 SCSI (MAM3184MP)(68 Pin)
(1) IBM Ultra2 9.1GB 9LZX Ultra2 SCSI
(1) Seagate Cheetah 9.1GB Ultra160 SCSI (ST39205LC) (80 Pin)
(1) Fujitsu 9.1GB Ultra160 SCSI (MAH3091MC) (80 Pin)
(1) Maxtor ATA Ultra 133 160GB IDE
(1)Maxtor ATA Ultra 100 30GB IDE (May put in my sons computer if there are
problems)

AGP Card:

(1) Gainward Geforce4 Ti4600 Powerpack

PCI Cards:

(1) 3400s Adaptec Scsi 4 channel Ultra160 SCSI Raid Card
(1) 39160 Adaptec Ultra160 SCSI Card (2 independent Ultra160
Channels and 1 50 pin)
(1) Soundblaster Audigy Platnium Card
(1) Dazzle Digital Video Creator 2
(1) Maxtor ATA 133 PCI Card
(1) Hauppauge Win TV-D

50 PIN SCSI Devices

(1) Creative DVD-RAM
(1) Onstream 30GB Tape Drive
(1) Iomega JAZ 2GB
(1) Iomega 100MB Zip Drive

IDE Drives:

(1) Plextor 40/12/40A CD-RW/R (ATA 33)
(1) Pioneer DVD 106s/2 (ATA 66)
(1) HP DVD200i DVD+RW/R (ATA 33)

Other Relevant Stuff:

Roughly 20 Fans and 8 Hard Drive Coolers (Sounds like a jet engine—ok for me)
Windows XP Professional

Here are the questions regarding setup for optimal performance:

(1) First, Scsi Hard Drive Placement:
This is what I have come up with:
-On the 3400s I will have two Raid Arrays:
1. 3 of the Fujitsu 18.4GB 15K RPM Ultra160 SCSI Drives each on its
independent channel in a RAID 0 configuration.
2. Another RAID 0 configuration consisting of the Fujitsu 9.1GB Ultra160
SCSI Drive and the Seagate Cheetah 9.1GB Ultra160 SCSI Drive.
The Questions Regarding this:
1. I’ve talked with Adaptec and they see no problems with having an array over
Multiple channels and will not cause a performance decrease. I just don’t want any bottleneck, which may be a problem with 3 of the Fujitsu 15K drives on one channel. Does anyone see a problem with this or have any input?
2. I know you should always have the exact same drives in a Raid Array, but does
Anyone see a problem with the 2nd array I’m doing, since they are different brands—but they are the same size?
3. As will be seen in a moment I plan on putting my last Fujitsu 18.4GB 15K RPM
ULTRA160 SCSI Drive on the Adaptec 39160 Drive and boot Windows XP Pro
From there. This brings me to one of the most important questions. I have read
many posts and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s best to separate the operating
system and applications (more of this later) on its on hard drive. I do not
understand this. What is the benefit of having raid (for performance) if the
operating system and applications are not on the RAID Array??? It would seem
to me that I should put all 4 of the Fujitsu 15K Ultra160 Drives in an array and
boot the operating system and applications from that?? If there is a reason for this
please let me know and also what gets stored on the RAID Array for a performance
increase if the OS and Apps are not on the Array?? Please, any input on this
would be greatly appreciated!!!!
4. What about Stripe Sizes? What is the Optimal level? 90% of my files will be
Under 10MB and most of that will be under 5MB. I’ve read that it’s best to have
A 64k stripe size is best for overall performance. Is this right?

-On the Adaptec 39160 this is what I plan. This takes into account that I will boot
the OS and Apps from here (see question 3 right above).
1. On Channel A I will have the Fujitsu 18.4GB 15K RPM ULTRA160 SCSI
Drive if this is the best thing for performance to do. If I do this how do I set it up concerning partitions? I’ve heard it’s best to have one partition for the OS and another for apps(concerning apps I have heard it’s best to have an additional one for games) and another for a Swap/Page file. Also, is it best to do without the swap/page file since I will have over 1GB of ram. This is the 2nd most important question!!
2. On Channel B I will have the IBM 9LZX and on the 50 pin connector I
Will have all the Ultra SCSI Drives. No question here—straight forward.

(2) Hard Drive and DVD/Cd IDE Drive Placement:
--I’m really lost here. Where should I put the 5 IDE Devices (4 DVD/CD drives and
the two hard Drives)? One hard drive is ATA 133 and the other is ATA 100. The
Plextor and HP drive are ATA 33 and the Pioneer 106s/2 is ATA 66.
--On the motherboard I have two ATA 100 connectors and two ATA 133 Raid
Connectors. On the Maxtor PCI card I have 4 ATA 133 Connectors.
(1) How should I set this up? Can I put any of the DVD/CD drives on the
Maxtor PCI Card or on the raid connectors on the motherboard? Can the
Hard Drives be put on the Raid Connectors on the motherboard without a
Raid Array?? Finally, will having say an ATA 66 and ATA 33 on the same channel decrease performance of the ATA 66 Drive?? I’m a bit lost here and need help.

Final Questions:

(1) The server case I have is double sided and has two 400W power Supplies, but I
Believe I will need more. I would like to note that having two 400Watt PS is not like having one 800 Watt PS. I would like to get two 550+ Redundant power supplies, but I’m having trouble finding one. Any suggestions regarding this???

Any more info or advice about anything would be greatly appreciated. Thank You for the help.
June 30, 2002 1:40:06 AM

Come on i need help guys and gals. I know some of you have good advice for me.
July 2, 2002 4:52:09 PM

What you need to do is sell about half of that stuff on ebay then you'll have something you can work with.
!