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KT7A... to RAID or not to RAID?

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Bartman

Registered
Joined
Feb 9, 2001
Location
Yarmouth
I can't decide between the KT7A-RAID and the KT7A...

[CANADIAN Prices]

kt7a-raid = $258
kt7a = $228

The RAID is only $30cdn more and I plan on having this MB for at least 18months. So I want the option of upgrading (using RAID) in the future.

Problem is, a) money is tight and b) I don't have any RAID harddrives, and wont in the forseeable future.

I have a 7200rpm 13.6 Quantum Fireball (ata100?) and a 5400rpm Maxtor 27.3gb (Ata/66). Would the RAID make my 7200rpm drive any faster?

It would be nice to have, but I would rather save a few bucks, and maybe get a better HS/FAN... or an extra case fan or something...

My feelings at this time are regardless of price, the RAID option is just a waste of $$$ for me at this time.

Also, with RAID on the board... you got more stuff to screw up :)

Please let me know what you think...

-Bartman
 

Eriksson

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Location
Iceland
You need two drives (or more) to set up a raid array.. The most popular setup is RAID-0. This way the controller reads/writes both drives at once. This (theoretically) doubles the speed.. If you use two non identical drives, the size of the array is twice that of the SMALLER drive, and the speed is twice the speed of the SLOWER drive. (In your case it would be 2x13Gig array at the 2xUDMA66 speed)

If you are transferring large files you will benefit a lot from raid.. Opening large files etc.. For small reads/writes the difference is hardly noticeable.

If memory serves me correctly the non RAID Abit KT7A has only two IDE lines... Getting the two extra lines in the Raid version is a good thing even if you dont intent to use raid config...since copying files between drives on the same ide line is slow compared to file transfer between separate IDE lines..

Hope this helps..
 
OP
Bartman

Bartman

Registered
Joined
Feb 9, 2001
Location
Yarmouth
Eriksson (Mar 12, 2001 07:40 p.m.):
You need two drives (or more) to set up a raid array.. The most popular setup is RAID-0. This way the controller reads/writes both drives at once. This (theoretically) doubles the speed.. If you use two non identical drives, the size of the array is twice that of the SMALLER drive, and the speed is twice the speed of the SLOWER drive. (In your case it would be 2x13Gig array at the 2xUDMA66 speed)

If you are transferring large files you will benefit a lot from raid.. Opening large files etc.. For small reads/writes the difference is hardly noticeable.

If memory serves me correctly the non RAID Abit KT7A has only two IDE lines... Getting the two extra lines in the Raid version is a good thing even if you dont intent to use raid config...since copying files between drives on the same ide line is slow compared to file transfer between separate IDE lines..

Hope this helps..

The Non Raid version has 2 IDE lines. The RAID version has 4, supporting up to 8 IDE devices.

That was the biggest reason I was (and still am) considering the RAID version of the board.

I currently have a 52X Cd-Rom / 6X burner and 2 HD's so I am all full. I want to get another Hard Drive, and I will probably be getting a DVD sometime in the future bringing my total to 6 IDE devices. Also the new PS I am getting has 8 molex connectors on it, also making me ready for 8 IDE Devices.

I never really understood exactly how RAID worked, and I though I would need 2 identical HD's to use it.

It's interesting that you mention large files... I am ALWAYS moving movies (mostly DivX) which are ~1.2 Gigs around from drive to drive. Also lot of smaller movies (500-600mb) and always moving Mp3's and Mp3 albumz around. I have found that the current transfer rate is VERY slow.

My biggest concern is that If I get another HD (and throw CD-Rom in the desk) I still will not be able to get a DVD... A burner , DVD and 3 Hd's wont play nice with only 4 IDE connections availible. Opening the case and swapping IDE cable around when I want to burn a CD is not something I am looking forward to.

2 things that really turned me off of RAID though were the unimpressive results in the HD benchmarks I saw, and I have been hearing alot of complications with the RAID hardware etc.

Thank you very much for your reply... I am still torn between Raid or no Raid, but I am now leaning towards Raid again, knowing that I can configure my current HD's and get at least a minimal gain...

Thanks again,

-Bartman