8400, RAID 0 (stripe), with 2 SATA drives!

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Patrick L. Parks, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. For anybody considering setting up a RAID 0 stripe on their computers
    for more performance, I thought that I would share my experiences with
    you before you make the plunge.

    I have a Dimension 8400 with an onboard RAID controller on the
    motherboard. I got a hold of a free 160GB Maxtor SATA drive which is
    the same size as my Seagate 160GB SATA drive that my 8400 came with. I
    did some testing of real world performance between a single drive and
    the 2 drives together in a RAID 0 configuration.

    Overall, for general purpose stuff...booting, playing Battlefield 2,
    running Office applications and such.....using the RAID 0 configuation
    provides no improvement in performance. All tests were within 1 second
    of each other and sometimes the RAID config was even slower. Of course,
    the benchmarks apps showed a huge performane increase ( I went from
    52MB/s to 94MB/s), but actual performance for me was unnoticeable.

    Where I did see a huge increase in performance was reading and writing
    very large files from one folder on the drive to another folder on the
    drive. It would also make a large difference if you were heavy into
    graphic editing, movie editing or high end photoshop stuff.

    Overall, I went back to a single drive. The risks with RAID 0 (if you
    lose 1 drive, you lose all of the data) isn't worth the miniscule
    performance increase (or decrease in some cases) for what I typically do
    with my computers. I occassionally copy large files around, but not
    enough to risk the loss of data in the event of a drive failure.

    So there you have it, from a real world computer user who througly
    tested and timed. Even if you are a hardcore gamer, your bottlenecks
    are not with the disk drive and stipeing your hard drive for performance
    reasons is getting you no advantage.

    I'm sure somebody will strongly disagree with me, but like I said...for
    the types of things that I do with my system, RAID0 provided no
    benefits. Now, I do use RAID 1 (mirror) for my file server where data
    redundancy is the number 1 thing.......so don't get he wrong idea, I
    appreicate the benefits of RAID. There just wasn't any benefit of me
    running RAID0. My performance in battlefield 2 did NOT change.
    Patrick L. Parks, Sep 3, 2005
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  2. Thanks, that's a good assessment (and not too surprising) from first
    hand experience. Personally, I wouldn't bother with RAID on a desktop,
    perhaps a workstation, and definitely on servers. I prefer RAID 5 for
    workstation use and 6, 10, or 0+1 if you happen to have tons of space.
    At work we have a Sun 6320 with an expansion cab (currently it has
    something ike 30TB) and we use RAID 5 for each tray. We have only once
    had a major failure (two drives in the same tray failed simultaneously).
    Hopefully, we should be picking up a 9990 by the end of the year which
    will probably fill with 146GB SCSI's (fully configured that's 165TB raw
    capacity). If we go that route, I'd expect we'd use RAID 6.
    Nicholas Andrade, Sep 3, 2005
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  3. I was running WinXP with a 160gig SATA drive on my GX280 when the power
    failed and my HD crapped out. Luckily I was able to locate some software on
    the internet and rescue the data, gigabytes of photo's that I hadn't backed
    up or dumped to CD/DVD, or moved to my server (stupid on my part.)

    That experience convinced me to move my desktop to WIn2K3 and RAID5. I
    bought 4 200 gig SATA drives and right now I'm using 2k3's software RAID.
    As soon as I can spring for a SATA RAID card that support RAID 5 I'm going
    to do it.

    Needless to say I strongly recommend at least mirror even at the desktop
    Robert R Kircher, Jr., Sep 4, 2005
  4. Patrick L. Parks

    Notan Guest

    I'm running with a RAID 1 configuration... What's RAID 5?

    Notan, Sep 4, 2005

  5. Uses 3+ disk to write data across the disks with one disk used as parity.
    This way any one disk can fail yet the data remains in tact. In my case I'm
    using the built in software RAID from Windows Server 2k3. This is not the
    best solution but it's better then a non redundant solution.

    One advantage of RAID 5 over RAID 1 is added disk capacity. In RAID 1 if
    you use 2 160 gig drives you net out at 160 gigs of usable space. RAID 5
    capacity = size of drive * (1 - total number of drive in the array) so in my
    case I have 4 200gig drive netting 600 gigs of usable space.

    Robert R Kircher, Jr., Sep 4, 2005

  6. Why didn't it teach you to put your system on an
    uninterruptible power supply?

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 4, 2005

  7. LOL.

    It did, however this thread wasn't about UPS's no was it.
    Robert R Kircher, Jr., Sep 4, 2005
  8. Patrick L. Parks

    Leythos Guest

    Don't feel too bad - I've seen people trash their computers several
    times before the decided it was worth the $50 to purchase a cheap UPS
    that also included the automatic shutdown function. Funny thing was that
    the cost of a single corruption generally runs in the the $100+ and the
    cost of a UPS to prevent it most times is half that :)
    Leythos, Sep 4, 2005

  9. I don't feel bad at all, I know better and ensure that all my clients know
    better too. Anyway, you know what they say about the cobblers shoes... ;-)
    Robert R Kircher, Jr., Sep 4, 2005
  10. Patrick L. Parks

    Hank Arnold Guest

    What is RAID 6??
    Hank Arnold, Sep 4, 2005

  11. Block-level striping with dual distributed parity.

    Allows for any two drives to fail at the same time.
    Robert R Kircher, Jr., Sep 4, 2005
  12. Yep, pretty much RAID 5 but two drives worth of information is lost to
    parity (hence two can fail and you're still good).
    Nicholas Andrade, Sep 4, 2005
  13. Patrick L. Parks

    NuTCrAcKeR Guest

    Sounds like an IBM ServeRaid controller ... they have 5, 5E, and 5EE.

    not aware of any consumer grade IDE or SATA controllers that do those.

    - NuTs
    NuTCrAcKeR, Sep 5, 2005
  14. Patrick L. Parks

    Hank Arnold Guest

    Sounds like RAID 5 with a hot spare....
    Hank Arnold, Sep 5, 2005
  15. No a hot spare is just a standby disk that will automatically take the place
    of a single failed drive. RAID6 actively uses all the drives in the array
    and you can physically remove any two drives at the same time which you
    can't do with RAID5 even with a hot spare.
    Robert R Kircher, Jr., Sep 5, 2005
  16. I imagine it's possible for consumers in software RAID (I know in
    adition to the hardware RAID 5 we also used a software RAID across trays
    with Veritas). Either way in my opinion, RAID 6 (& 10 & 0+1) is
    overkill for consumers; I'd stick with 5 for workstation use (and SCSI
    if I have the choice).
    Nicholas Andrade, Sep 7, 2005
  17. Patrick L. Parks

    NuTCrAcKeR Guest

    True, but i wouldnt consider Veritas Volume Manager, or Stroage Foundation a
    "consumer grade" product. Its hardcore.
    NuTCrAcKeR, Sep 8, 2005
  18. Patrick L. Parks

    Paul Knudsen Guest

    Not me. You've summed it up quite well.
    Paul Knudsen, Sep 11, 2005
  19. Patrick L. Parks

    S.Lewis Guest

    What Paul said; for 9 of 10 home users, it is nearly completely worthless at
    worst, and the benefits over-rated at best.

    S.Lewis, Sep 12, 2005
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