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Thread: proformance increase with raid setup?




  1. #1
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    Default proformance increase with raid setup?

    I am just about done with new/current build all is running great GA-X48-DS4,Q9450@3.6 MEMORY@1080 ,ATI 4870 @800/1100.The ? i have is running 2HD in a raid setup worth it.The reason i ask is i am hoping to keep this comp for a while and over the last few months i have been picking up parts as needed.My current HD is no longer sold threw WD they have 1s with same specs but different model# and HD are some what cheep so getting 2 new ones that match if needed or can i get similer 1.Either way its not that big a deal if i will see a proformance(speed)gain.So my ? is 1 is it worth getting 2 new ones(if needed)and 2nd how much of a pain is it to get them setup and running?Where will i see gain if at all?I game a lot COD4 as of now and some others.I dont need a ton a space so the 2 HD will be small 120/160 at the most is all i need dont do a lot of downloading some music/movies but not all that much.Thx for any advice/help
    Last edited by K91NE; 09-07-2008 at 07:50 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: proformance increase with raid setup?

    You can put any 2 (or 3 or 4 or however many you want if you have enough ports) HDDs in a RAID configuration... so you wont have to buy 2 new HDDs, just one. If you setup the drives in RAID0 (which is quite easy, and I'll detail later) you can see a performance increase of up to 75%, in terms of speed. The performance increase, being as it is raw speed, wont be extremely evident, but you will see it when reading files from and writing files to your drive. This performance increase is because using a RAID0 type array allows you to use the writing capacity of both HDDs at the same time, so theoretically a 100% speed increase is possible, but due to bottlenecks in modern RAID controllers, the most ive ever seen is about 75%.

    Setting this up using the onboard GigaRAID controller is actually incredibly easy. Simply go to the OnBoard Peripherals menu in your BIOS setup and change the SATA RAID/AHCI Mode to RAID, then save changes and reboot. Now press CTRL + I at the POST screen to enter the RAID config utility, select create RAID Volume, then select the RAID level and HDDs you want. Then select Create Volume.

    Now, assuming you are running WinXP, you have to install a RAID driver. Insert the CD that came with your board and, in the BootDrv folder, copy the MSM32 file (MSM64 for 64bit OSes) to a USB drive. Now double click the file (one on your USB drive) and it will extract a variety of drivers. Now eject the mobo CD and insert your Windows install disk and reboot the computer (with the USB drive inserted). When you see the instruction "Press F6 to Install a Third Party RAID/SCSI Driver", press F6. Now you will be told "No Drivers were Found", press the S key. The drivers you just put on your USB drive should appear, select Intel (R) ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R SATA RAID Controller and hit Enter. Hit Enter at the next screen. You should now have a working RAID array. Press Esc to quit setup and boot Windows normally!

    Hope that helps you out!
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: proformance increase with raid setup?

    Nice info man!

    Although I personally would suggest that you get 2 new ones since you cannot get the exact one you already have. As a newer one would likely not have the same cache as your older one, and just may not be as fast either way.

    Always best for RAID 0 to get 2 matching ones I think. As said by BongWizard, it is not a must. But like you said they are cheap, so why not? I know I would. I bought my 2x250GB drives new just for a RAID @ $54 apiece, a great investment.

    And yeap, you will feel the difference in certain things for sure. Others maybe not so much. Depends also on what Stripe size you choose, That is a whole other discussion which could take many years to get to the jist of!

    I tested 128k and 64k and liked 64k better, some use 32k. It just all really depends on how you use your system. 128k would be the default size

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    Default Re: proformance increase with raid setup?

    Ok that sounds a lot easier than i was told buy fellow gamer who made it seem like much more work.The only thing well not only but first is i run Vista premium 64bit not sure how that changes things.2nd when i get it running do i need to reinstall OS if yes not a big deal but if i dont have to.The thing about different cache size that is the problem the hard drive i have has 16mb the same well not same but = now only has 8 if i mix them will that create a problem or proformance drop in RAID setup?I want to thx both Bong and LSD for clearing this up.This looks like something that is very easy.May be a trip to MicroCenter in the AM for new HD,Should i get 16 or 8 cache drives or does it realy make a difference?LSD could you tell me what the differnt in stripe setting and what speed will effect what if posibel to break it down that way,Not sure if thats easy to do.Thx again for the help!!
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    Default Re: proformance increase with raid setup?

    Na, it is REALLY simple for sure!!! Although no one amongst us mentioned you DO want to keep a third disk as well for backup of your important stuff incase your RAID Array crashes.

    If you get a 2 new disks for raid, then you will be set for backup as you can use your older disk

    Vista only makes setting it up easier as you will not need to do the F6 Driver install method. Vista will have a GUI install (Which I am sure you already installed) which you have already seen. Where you choose the disk to install vista, that is where it will tell you no disks found and ask you to load the driver. Then all you do is stick in the driver Via USB or a disk you have burned and you will be all set

    Yeah mixing drives with different caches will affect performance, that is why I suggested 2 new matching drives

    You want 2 16MB cache drives, or 32MB ones if you can afford those

    Ya, stripe size is not easy to pick or explain. So, I will just give you some reading to do and let you decide >>>>
    Standard RAID levels - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    StorageReview.com - Tiki : StripeSize

    Stripe Width and Stripe Size

    Guide to setting stripe size on RAID 0 (striped) - EXTREME Overclocking Forums

    AnandTech - Different stripe size tests - 4 Disk Software RAID 0 (x36-dq6) on Vista Ultimate 64

    Raid stripe size - what does it mean and what is the optimal stripe size? Jons Techbits

    The Definitive IDE RAID Optimization Guide

    Recommendations for RAID 0 Stripe Size - TechSpot OpenBoards

  6. #6
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    Default Re: proformance increase with raid setup?

    It's been more than 7 years since I last used RAID 0 so I can't tell you the benefits of it since technology has changed quite a bit since then, but like Lsdmeasap suggested, if there's one thing I can tell you about RAID 0 it's to ALWAYS have a backup drive. It's not a question of IF, but WHEN, one or more of the drives in your array goes bad.

    You have all that money invested in your system, another $75-$150 for a large backup drive (or even your current drive if it's large enough) shouldn't be a problem. We'd hate for you to learn the lesson the hard way. Some files just cannot be replaced and most people don't even think twice about it until they lose that file.

    Just my $.02

  7. #7

    Default Re: proformance increase with raid setup?

    One more vote for the same. No RAID is ever a backup solution anyway, and RAID-0 is not even Raid as 'R' in the name stands for redundancy, and striping (ie RAID-0) is worse than plain non-redundant disk.

    Solid backups and contingency plan for the day when things go wrong are a must.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: proformance increase with raid setup?

    OK i posted this a few months back and with the current economy it got put on the back burner.Now with X-MAS here my wife wants me to get some thing for my self(from wife and kids)and this being my hobby its time.I live about 10mins out side Boston and have a Micro Center close so this is where i going to get the new drivers.In the past i have had to RMA a few different parts so the added $ is worth it to me.Question 1 is i only game for the most part is this drive to big?($67.99)Caviar SE16 500GB 7,200RPM Serial ATA-300 Hard Drive.Also should i get 1 of these instead ($189.99)VelociRaptor 150GB 10,000RPM Serial ATA-300 Hard Drive? I have re-read the answers i got from original post and how big of a USB flash drive will i need to set this up?Also i have my "old" hard drive 160 gig WD is this OK for back up drive(size wise)?Thank for all the help in the past and any help with my current questions i am still on the hardware side of my new hobby the software tweaking and what does what and why has become the bulk of my current Internet reading.One more thing has any thing changed with INFO given in other posts
    Last edited by K91NE; 12-23-2008 at 12:55 PM. Reason: added ?
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: proformance increase with raid setup?

    It's been awhile since I last replied to your thread, so I hope my new input can give you a better answer.

    Since then I've upgraded quite a few things in my computer, such as switching my mobo to an Asus Maximus Formula II and also setting up 2 300gb Velociraptors in RAID 0.

    For the most part, my opinion of RAID hasn't changed much. 2 Velociraptors in RAID 0 is pretty damn quick, but you will really not notice it much in every day computing performance. I'm not much of a gamer, but I'm also a COD4 fan and to be honest, I haven't seen any performance increase as far as load time and what not goes.

    Part of the reason is because one of the drives started going bad, and I haven't even had the drives for even 2 months yet. When it worked fine, I didn't notice it any quicker. When it started failing, load times were longer than normal (non-RAID Samsung 750gb).

    For the past month I've been dealing with one of the drives falling out of the array. Luckily, I haven't transferred important files to the new drives and I also set up a Windows Home Server, which have already come in handy quite a few times. With my backup from the Server, I'm able to restore but it still takes quite a bit of time.

    So, to sum it up so far they've been more of a hassle than their worth. There is a performance increase, but mainly I notice it when I transfer large files or when installing programs. It's lightning quick in those instances. As we speak, currently one of the drives has been pulled out of the system while I wait for an RMA from WD for another Velociraptor. I'm back to using the Samsung 750gb for the time being. That was already a quick hard drive to begin with and if I could do it again, I probably would not have wasted money on 2 vc's. One would be more than enough.

    In your situation, I would pick up a 150gb velociraptor and then use your old drive for storage. It doesn't seem like you need much storage space so that sounds like the way to go for you. SSD's would be nice, but it sounds like many drives are still in its infancy and the one most highly recommended (Intel X-25) is way too costly currently.

    Hope that helps your decision making.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: proformance increase with raid setup?

    Well i was looking around the web to see what drives people are happy with and what ones are causing the most problems and i came across this post.

    TWeaKFoRCe.CoM your source for the latest Video Drivers

    People don't always put much thought into hard drives when they spec a computer. Normally they just to go for the biggest drive they can afford, knowing that they can always add another later. The more clued up gamer knows that you get better performance with your games and OS on separate drives, so they often go for a smaller OS drive and a larger drive to stuff full of games (and enough porn to run a small website).

    If people want a faster drive, they tend to fall back on conventional wisdom: fast drive = high spin speed. This is more or less true. A drive spinning at 7200rpm can access data faster than a 5400rpm drive, and a 10,000rpm drive should hammer both of them.

    I'll let you into a secret: that's only half the picture! Companies have two ways of making larger hard drives. The easy way is to add more platters, with capacities increasing incrementally (ie 500GB, 750GB, 1TB). The hard way is to increase the density of the platter, squeezing more storage onto each platter. They do this by increasing the areal density of the platter. I won't bore you with the details - Wikipedia can do that here: Computer storage density - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. All you really need to know is that increasing the density improves the transfer speed, as more data is accessible per revolution.

    No prizes for guessing what Western Digital did when they released the Caviar Blue 640GB...
    TWeaKFoRCe.CoM your source for the latest Video Drivers

    Can any one give me there option i went to the WIKI link and it seems to make sense.The Caviar Blue 640GB is about $10 more than Caviar SE16 500GB seems like a god buy?
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