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Old Nov 24, 2004, 11:54 AM
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To raid or not to raid

I started this thread as on offshoot of a discussion that started in the hunting tragedy thread. The discussion was about raid being the fastest bestist etc. etc.

My question is that while raid is fast (I have used it) what about serial ATA. I built my first serial ATA system (the one I am on) and as far as I am concerned for game playing and general use I won't use anthing else. I'm running a P4 with a gig of ram (hyperthreading enabled) and a 150 gig serial ata and this thing screams. FWIW
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 12:24 PM
Out of Time
United States, TX
Joined Jul 2003
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I think it's apples vs. oranges because RAID means "Redundant Array of Independant Disks" and is used for systems that simply require fool proof redundancy for protection and security.
In short, a RAID system will use several absolutely identical but independant hard drives that are all updated on a real time basis.

An ATA Serial hard drive IS a lot faster than standard ATA, but I don't know what a RAID installation would have to do with system performance per se.

Highflight
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 01:04 PM
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I assumed that everyone like me has heard "claims" of faster access and transfer rates with a raid configuration??
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 01:13 PM
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Possible due to caching requirements with RAID controllers.
An awfully expensive way to boost performance.
..a
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 01:21 PM
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Right I agree completely...wonder if we could test this out though
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 01:30 PM
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FreshDiagnose

Here is a little benchmark from a free program I downloaded.
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 01:57 PM
RIP Ric
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Do you have a link? I can test my drives..
..a
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 02:03 PM
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Yep sorry meant to include, its kind of a pain you must register but it is free.

http://www.freshdiagnose.com/downfiles.html
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 02:26 PM
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Mostly in Norman, OK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highflight
I think it's apples vs. oranges because RAID means "Redundant Array of Independant Disks" and is used for systems that simply require fool proof redundancy for protection and security.
Many would consider that RAID 0 or striping shouldn't be classified as RAID, as you actually reduce protection and security (loose one or more drives and you loose everything, no recovery possible).

Still, RAID 0 is what most users would encounter in their own personal systems as a way to increase performance. Keep in mind that there are varying types of RAID controllers, and you get what you pay for in general. With SATA drives you have SCSI advantages like command cueuing (Tagged Or Native for SATA) that help speed up throughtput.

I'd say hop over to Anandtech, Tom's HWG, StorageReview, etc and you'll get a earfull of opinions. (iirc MaximumPC did a shootout a couple of issues back and there was not much difference in a RAID 0 setup IN ACTUAL USE (ie, not just benchmark s/w).

If you need security, RAID 1 or 5 (or 1+0 if you wanna fork out one more drive) is an easy route. I'm certain that RAID 0 might have just the least bit of advantage in some applications, ESPECIALLY in a single user environment - but with a SATA (or even recent ATA) drive, as you've found, performance is pretty good.

fwiw I'm still sort of old school in that I use seperate physical drives which helps in performance imo - eg, 1st drive is partition to boot drive/apps and data/app drive, that way I can re-install easy. 2nd physical drive is for data, for eg when recording video the data gets dumped into 2nd drive. And finally a 3rd physical drive when encoding video files, extracting large compressed files (WinRAR) - that way system and app is running off drive #1, reading video file from #2, encoded and written to #3 - you don't have to worry about multiple read-writes (fwiw, there's some discussion wrt to some versions of BitTorrent (anyone using? ) CRASHING drives with continous read/writes). For the past couple of years I've left the data drive off my PC and put it on as a Network Attached Storage.
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 04:00 PM
Nimble with Gimbals
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RAID 0 does in fact provide faster sequential transfer rates that would benefit applications such as video editing but for everday use and gaming there is little to no quantifiable advantage. You're much better off with a single fast drive such as the Raptor.
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 04:46 PM
RIP Ric
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I do exactly what Peter does - C: is the original smaller drive for apps and OS (120GB I think), and then I have 160 and 200GB drives for data/video, etc. Now they have a 250GB unit for $129 @ Costco.. phew.. might need to upgrade again!
..a
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 05:49 PM
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Columbus, Ohio
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Awakened is right. Well pretty sure. There is a new HD (raptor model)out there that is a a serial ATA that runs at 10,000 rpm. I think this can perform in the same speeds as a RAID setup. On the hot dog gaming setups they are using these.
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 06:34 PM
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Yes but what if you raid the rapors? I've got a 10,000 rpm raptor but nothing beats a SCSI raid.

Raid 0 btw is when you write half you information to one drive while writing the other half (in a 2 drive raid) to the other. It takes about half the time so it is almost twice as fast. The more drives you use the less data each one is required to store so the faster the system can be. As Peter says this is less secure because if any one drive goes your data is lost. If you have an non-critical system you want as fast as can be than raid 0 is the way to go. You can raid SCSI, IDE or serial drives.

SCSI drives are up to 15,000 rpm.
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 10:37 PM
Nimble with Gimbals
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Anandtech's Opinion



Quote:
If you haven't gotten the hint by now, we'll spell it out for you: there is no place, and no need for a RAID-0 array on a desktop computer. The real world performance increases are negligible at best and the reduction in reliability, thanks to a halving of the mean time between failure, makes RAID-0 far from worth it on the desktop.
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 11:55 PM
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Washington, PA, USA
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I must say on my system, The RAID almost doubles measureable performance of a single ATA drive. I have no experience with SATA yet.

Doug
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Last edited by unbalanced prop; Nov 24, 2004 at 11:58 PM.
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