mgillespie

RAID or not?

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Hi, I currently have a Maxtor MaXLine Plus II 250GB SATA drive in my desktop PC. However, it's feels quite sluggish. I feel the disk speed is whats holding my system performance back. I'm not sure which way to move, and wondered what peoples opinions are. I figure I have 3 options.

1/ Sell the drive, buy something newer (faster?)

2/ Buy another drive of same model and RAID0 it.

3/ Buy a different (newer/faster) model and RAID0 it.

Not sure how RAID deals with different drive makes/models (have Promise 378 RAID controller on my ASUS A8V motherboard). Should I stick with the same make/model for my RAID?

Cheers.

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The first thing is to clearly identify the problem. "Feels slugish" is not enough - that could easily be a Windows that hasn't been reinstalled in years, or a drive fragmentation problem. So get some benchmarking software and run it.

If the hdd speed is really the problem, I'd suggest getting a new drive (a raptor). RAID0 is also ok, but only as long as you use it for games (i.e. you don't care that much if you lose everything)

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Id give raid a try at least, if you get the subjective feeling its faster then problem solved and it might be fun trying. Later if you think raid is getting to be a hassle you can run with 2 separate drives and divide the swapfile amongst the drives (smaller swapfiles on several drives is faster in xp according to MS).

I would buy 2 new drives, raid0 them and keep the MaxLineII as backup drive.

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Option 4: tell us your complete system configuration.

As mentioned, Asus A8V, Maxline II 250GB, 1GB DDR running Dual Channel, AMD64 3500+. Running XP x64 edition.

Use it for occasional gaming, but more often as a general purpose PC and software development PC.

I have bencharked the drive, and I get 60Mb/sec from it, with exactly the same profile, as shown in the review here, so I don't think there are any hardware problems.

I don't need extra capacity, just more speed. Is RAID0 the way to go then, with another drive of the same type?

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Striping will probaly improve you performance marginally. It's overrated for most things you know.

Say like... an E-cup. Sure, there's more to touch but most people have little use for it and there are more ways to enjoy yourself than just fondling a couple of big ones...

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Striping will probaly improve you performance marginally. It's overrated for most things you know.

Say like... an E-cup. Sure, there's more to touch but most people have little use for it and there are more ways to enjoy yourself than just fondling a couple of big ones...

When i wanted to try raid0 nothing could talk me out of it, i have a feeling its the same here. ;) Lets give him some help in setting it up.

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Personally, I'd prefer not to help people waste their own or anybody elses time, or to aid people in doing things they will later regret, regardless of how much they want to.

Though if you see any reason why RAID will be any better than a faster drive, please feel free to discuss.

Edited by qasdfdsaq

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Personally, I'd prefer not to help people waste their own or anybody elses time, or to aid people in doing things they will later regret, regardless of how much they want to.

Though if you see any reason why RAID will be any better than a faster drive, please feel free to discuss.

To be honest i have tried raid and have now returned to running a single drive. The only raid i would consider right now is mirroring otherwise its more of a hassle at least on a PC (nice transfer rates though :D ). But i had really fun trying it out and i thought that others at least might try it just for fun and learning, if they like it they kan keep it and otherwise use single drives. An extra drive is always good to have as a backup drive so the raiding wont be totally useless.

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Granted, RAID may be fun to try out and/or to play around with, but RAID-0 is an uneccesary risk to the user's data, with very inconsiderable boost to performance for most people. He/she asked not whether it is fun and mess about with RAID, but how to improve his/her storage subsystem performance. RAID-1 is very unlikely to solve the performance problem, as is RAID-0 though less so. In my (and most other people's) opinion, this would be better done by a faster drive rather than RAID.

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Granted, RAID may be fun to try out and/or to play around with, but RAID-0 is an uneccesary risk to the user's data, with very inconsiderable boost to performance for most people. He/she asked not whether it is fun and mess about with RAID, but how to improve his/her storage subsystem performance. RAID-1 is very unlikely to solve the performance problem, as is RAID-0 though less so. In my (and most other people's) opinion, this would be better done by a faster drive rather than RAID.

Yes it is a risk to the user data but if you have stable hardware, adequate psu, backup vital data and dont experiment with beta drivers then the risk is statistically doubled (2 units dependent on eachother can fail during the same time period).

Performancewise hardware and computing power has come a long way since the old highpoint 378 days so i think (but im not sure) it could result in a performance boost. Maybe its time for a raid article comparing single drive versus raidX of the same drives.

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We already have one. FAQ.

Card performance is a moot point and has been a moot point for many years, at least in terms of RAID-0. Even in 1998, different controllers had very little difference on elemantary measures of performance. RAID-0 will not significantly improve system performance for the average user. Which bit do you not understand.

Edited by qasdfdsaq

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We already have one. FAQ.

Card performance is a moot point and has been a moot point for many years, at least in terms of RAID-0. Even in 1998, different controllers had very little difference on elemantary measures of performance. RAID-0 will not significantly improve system performance for the average user. Which bit do you not understand.

Good article cleared up some of my questions on raid. Evidently to benifit from raid you either have to move really big files to get the transfer rate benifit or move such a big amount of randomly located files that the caching strategies will not come into play.

Seems to be the same for command queuing - to benifit from it you'll have to have server like usage where many requests wants data from random locations on the harddrive. Maybe a heavily fragmented drive might benifit from it?

Edited by stefanpi

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overclockers dot com has an interesting 2 part article. dominick compares a raptor 74 to 2 raptors in raid0. booot times and game load times are 1/3 to 1/2 less. everything else parity.

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overclockers dot com has an interesting 2 part article. dominick compares a raptor 74 to 2 raptors in raid0. booot times and game load times are 1/3 to 1/2 less. everything else parity.

Interresting article, raid might give some performance benifits in some situations at least with the hardware in the article. As for now raid seems to be good in some articles and bad in others.

The SR article on raid and command queuing is 2 years old (2004) so come on now SR, crush our raid-cq dreams one more time in a 2006 article.

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