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About Palliator

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  1. Palliator

    Hitachi Deskstar 7K250

    Newegg has the 250 GB, SATA version (HDS722525VLSA80). Price is $315 for the OEM version. A bit pricey, but I ordered one today. Unlike a lot of you , I've actually been in the process of downsizing and simplifying my computer setup. I've sold off 4 of my drives and it will be nice to be down to a single, quieter drive for a change. Let's hope reliability is not an issue. I'll be using a 120 GB Samsung drive for backing up of important files. I was going to wait for the 72 GB Raptor and use it along with my PATA WD1200JB. I need capacity over performance though and things are kept simpler this way (I end up with more capacity with just the single drive). If there are any issues once I receive and "Ghost" the drive, I'll report them here.
  2. I have a quick question. I understand that in RAID 5, enabling write back cache can improve improve performance tremendously (as well as adding additional memory) on a controller that has its own cache memory. As far as the other forms of RAID are concerned (e.g. RAID 0 and RAID 1), am I correct to assume adding additional memory on the controller will NOT have an increase in performance? I would also think the correct setting for these RAID configurations would be write through caching (not write back), but I have 128 MB on this controller now and I could put back the old 32 MB DIMM if this additional memory is doing me no good if I run RAID 0 or RAID 1 setups. I just wondered about this considering even the documentation doesn't seem to mention too much about this, so any enlightenment would be appreciated.
  3. Palliator

    RAID newbie question

    I guess I too got off the subject here talking about RAID 5 and the Adaptec 2400A, it has nothing to do with the question. I have a similar setup (1.1 Ghz Athlon on KT7-RAID, Windows 2000) and sometimes run an FTP server so friends can download large amounts of files from me. If you have a backup plan, there's nothing wrong with running a RAID 0 setup but I question your need for it. The best setup is just spreading your files out between the two drives. This is especially important if you have no backup. If one drive fails, you still have half your files. I may be off base by saying this, but I have little faith in the Highpoint 370 RAID controller. Early on (I've had this setup a while now) I had all sorts of issues and I disabled it and replaced it with a 3Ware 6400. Very reliable controller and inexpensive these days. I would hope the situation is better with the 370 controller after multiple BIOS revisions. FWIW, I've always had good luck with the Maxtor drives and we just purchased a 20 GB D740X as a boot drive for another PC. I felt it necessary to setup a RAID configuration since I felt a backup was necessary. I have over 50 GB of music, tons of videos, and no way to practically back it all up. Of course, in the event of deletions or corruption I am out of luck. This obviously only protects against a hardware failure. If you have to go IDE RAID, do it for the redundancy and not the performance if you data if important to you.
  4. Palliator

    RAID newbie question

    I am not advocating this card by any means and I'll leave it up to the individual to decide whether this card is junk or not, but in defense I have to say your numbers seem awfully low. If your writes were 60% lower than a single drive (that's what I get from your post), then performance would be totally unacceptable. Something must have been wrong. Even random writes shouldn't be that low... I wouldn't blame you for getting rid of that card. I would too, but my own use of this card hasn't exhibited anywhere near the performance penalty you are claiming. I think it is all about hindsight. I wanted stability, capacity, lower CPU utilization, and fault tolerance and that's exactly what I got. You don't seem to feel RAID 5 makes any sense, so I wonder why you even bothered with the Adaptec 2400A setup in the first place... It might with some very expensive controllers, but the 2400A controller is about 30% slower in reading and about 60% slower in writing in RAID 5. The HighPoint won't do RAID 5... The HighPoint is a firmware controller, and thus is really a software controller. It will do RAID 0, 1, & 0+1. It performs about the same as software RAID in Windows... The 2400A is a hardware controller, with memory, a CPU, etc. It offloads the processing onto the card, so CPU usage is very, very low, even for RAID 5... But transfer rates are slower than a single drive in all cases in a RAID 5 array... Jason
  5. Palliator

    RAID newbie question

    I have this card. First, anyone doing IDE RAID 5 shouldn't even consider performance. Price will come close to balancing out with the more expensive higher capacity drives. You are correct this setup doesn't make any sense at all if you are going for cost effectiveness (especially with cheaper 60 GB drives). I have three drives in this setup and although performance isn't spectacular (what do you expect?), it isn't poor as you seem to be making it out to be. The advantage of RAID 5 is that you maximize your existing space and for me capacity is what I needed. If I must I can add another drive to the array and since it's formatted in NTFS I can simply expand the array. I get more storage from the max 4 drives in the long run, but since I didn't want more than 3 drives to get the job done I don't see myself doing that (I got sick of have too many drives in this machine). I also needed the rundandancy, and yes, I have faith in the Adaptec 2400. That's more than I can say for any Highpoint controller.... Anyone needing redundancy AND performance should pick up a 3Ware 6400 (they're cheaper now at $99) and 4 drives for RAID 10. Anyone considering the 2400: reads are quite good, CPU utilization is low, and writes, well, with 128 MB RAM they're adequate. I don't have the numbers to quote here since, as I mentioned before, performance isn't a BIG issue for me so I don't benchmark excessively. If you specifically have RAID 5 in mind, it is still a better card than the 3Ware cards (and can found cheaper than 7x50 cards which should be the only ones you should consider for RAID 5). If anyone is thinking about adding memory, any 128 MB SDRAM DIMM will NOT do. This card can be very picky with certain types of SDRAM, including the higher density kind Crucial sells (they list it as an upgrade and don't tell you that it won't work, but you learn the hard way).
  6. I should have stated my own Atto numbers apply to reads, not writes.
  7. How accurate is ATTO? I usually take my own test results with a grain of salt because I don't setup up a consistent environment (i.e. I have a million things running in the background). Performance is not a big issue for me, but I was curious about the performance I was getting from my own setup. I set up three WD1200s on an Adaptec 2400A in RAID 5. Writes are not as horrible as I expected (perhaps maxing out the cache made a difference). When I run ATTO with 1024k transfer sizes, I get anywhere between 79547 to readings as low as ~48000. I didn't run it many times, but I would say ~67000 was about average. Que depth seems to make quite a difference, so I am wondering if everyone leaves it at the default 4. Oh well, performance is more than adequate and I get the storage/redundancy I needed. You can see how interested I really am in the numbers... (sarcasm) :wink:
  8. Palliator

    Maxtor D740X beaten by IBM 120GXP

    First off I have already had the "pleasure" of using a WD120BB(the special edition with the 8mb cache). In now way shape or form does it even come close to comparing with an Ultra160 SCSI RAID controller(utilizing a 64bit PCI bus at 66mhz) and a 10k Ultra160 SCSI HD from Seagate,IBM,Maxtor, or Fujitsu in terms of acess time, read write speed, I/O performance, you name it. I have had the please of testing 2 identical systems, one with a SCSI HD, and another with the WD drive. No comparison. For similiar money(about $100 more)you can get a much better performing HD setup that can be expanded(striped)over time as your storage needs increase. SCSI HD's also have that nice TCO factor to add also along with the fact that they dont outdate themselves every 6 months like IDE drives. If you even thinking about spending $300 on an IDE drive, where performance is a big factor, try out a system set up with a performance SCSI drive. I did, never went back and as the future looks never will either. When Serial ATA comes out just imagine where SCSI will be then, and by that time you could have yourself a nice SCSI RAID setup with 4 36 or 18 gig HDs in RAID 0 with 32-128megs of cache onboard your controller instead of buying a new IDE HD every year for very marginal increases at best in the performance aspect. Seriously, who needs 80-120 gigs???Who uses that amount of space??? If you do run apps or do need that kind of space then, you SHOULD invest in a SCSI setup regardless!Bite the bullit, get a true SCSI RAID card that can be upgraded down the raod and start chaining together HD's, see how high those HDtach scores will skyrocket! Well, I need that kind of space. :wink: Every debate I hear about SCSI over IDE is all about performance, performance, performance.... I've been hearing this argument for several years now. Frankly, I never understood why people spend so much time arguing this over and over. It is like comparing apples to oranges. When I finally decided to make changes to my system setup (I had an UW SCSI setup on my Adaptec 2940UW mixed with IDE drives), I heard over and over to go U160 SCSI. I could get a 36 GB 10k or 15k drive for X amount of dollars and performance will be awesome, blah, blah.... I couldn't even fit 1/2 my collection of compressed videos on a drive that small. Again, my priority was CAPACITY. I also wanted some redundancy, hence an IDE RAID made perfect sense. I ended up getting an Adaptec 2400a with 3 120GB WD drives and setting up a RAID 5 configuration. I get over 200 GB of usuable space plus the redundancy I needed. I can even add a total of 128 MB of cache and another drive if I wanted. Please don't say all IDE RAID is crap, not everyone is interested in striping 4 drives in RAID 0 on their Highpoint controllers (the comparison everyone makes when they slam IDE RAID). Performance is good and most important I get the capacity my needs require. I would have gone broke setting up a SCSI RAID configuration with the same usuable capacity + redundancy. Also, I wanted to keep it down to three drives to keep the noise and heat down to a reasonable level. If you are happy with your SCSI configuration and it suits your needs, that's cool. Everyone has their own needs.... 8)
  9. I've recently scaled down my PC quite a bit. Like some PC "enthusiasts", I've got into a lot of things in the past for the sake of so called performance (overclocking, RAID 0 w/ several drives, etc.) without any consideration for stability or practicality. Take, for instance, the fact I had a 3 drive RAID 0 array on my 3Ware 6400. Given my average system setup and the fact I didn't need that much STR (I didn't really notice a difference to be honest) since I do everyday tasks, the whole setup was a waste. The videos I do commonly record and edit are compressed. That said, I NEED lots of capacity and redundancy. Performance is desirable (I do work in Photoshop and edit large wave files), but it takes a back seat to capacity and redundancy. Please note, I don't want to build a file server here. I don't want more than 3 drives to get the job done. I had six drives already, I am sick of the heat and noise. That said, I am considering the following: 1) A 40 GB WD 400BB boot drive (Win 2k installed) along with my existing 3Ware w/ 2 WD 1200BB drives in RAID 1. Read performance will be good and I get the redundancy I need at a good price. The downside is capacity. My MP3 collection alone is over 50 GB. I record MPEG2 videos frequently and I want them stored locally, so I would like at least 200 GB of usable capacity! 2) 3 WD 1200BBs on a Adaptec 2400A controller in RAID 5. I meet the capacity I need and I am protected against a hardware failure in event one drive fails. I also get respectable performance. A small partition will be created for Windows so a backup to CDRs is manageable (you never know if Windows gets hosed). This is a little costlier than the above, but acceptable for me. This is the setup I have been primarily considering. If you wondering why I need the redundancy, it is because I have spent far too many hours (years actually) collecting and creating media. It would be a tragedy if I lost it all due to hard disk failure. I also thought of a back up solution, but for the sake of cost (tape too expensive for me, I don't want to get into DVD media yet) and convenience a RAID solution works best for me. Please don't jump in here with SCSI. I just got out of SCSI and I just want to keep my setup simple with the above (remember I need capacity....reasonably affordable). Any constructive suggestions is appreciated in what I am about to do here.