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Unable to sustain good data rate with WD Caviar Blacks in RAID 0?

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kILLDR3n

Registered
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
I have 2 750GB WD Caviar Blacks in RAID 0. I'm using an Asus P5N-E SLI mobo (Onboard RAID Contoller). Core 2 Duo 2.67Ghz, 2GB RAM, Vista 32bit

I am using a BlackMagic Intensity Pro and recording uncompressed 720p video to the drives. I was getting some frame drops that I shouldn't have been getting. It was to the point where there would be a few seconds dropped from the video in one spot then it would make the audio completely out of sync. Other frames would freeze for almost 15 sec.
Here is what happened to my first capture

My disk speed test with the included BlackMagic software is shown below. It was a good test and what I should be getting.
135763d1262642221-something-wrong-my-raid-controller-does-disk-speed-test-raid-0.jpg



Then I captured some things and the frame drops were shown and I tested using HD Tune. It had a big drop as shown in transfer rate every time I tested. Why would it do that?
135764d1262642415-something-wrong-my-raid-controller-does-hdtune_benchmark_nvidia__stripe_____1.36t1.png



Also when I went to format the drives and create a partition, it wouldn't let me select New Striped Volume because I'm on Vista Home Premium. Do I need to use Ultimate so I can create the dynamic disks and use new striped volume to properly use HDDs in RAID 0?

If this is a problem with my RAID controller, what RAID controllers could I get that could sustain a GOOD transfer rate and aren't expensive. I only need to use RAID 0.

What could the problem be?
 

cw823

Honeybadger Moderator
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Dec 18, 2000
Location
Earth
I'm thinking that's nvidia raid, right? While there's no parity calculations happening for RAID 0, you'd be better off imho using a board that allowed you to use matrix raid to use the fastest part of the drives.

I don't think you want software striping, you will want to use the actual raid controller to setup the raid array.
 
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kILLDR3n

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Jan 1, 2010
I'm thinking that's nvidia raid, right? While there's no parity calculations happening for RAID 0, you'd be better off imho using a board that allowed you to use matrix raid to use the fastest part of the drives.

I don't think you want software striping, you will want to use the actual raid controller to setup the raid array.

Yeah its NVidia. Its not that the RAID controller or specs aren't good enough, I think there's a problem with something. I have the right speed and everything, but continue to get drops as shown. I still don't know what the problem is.
 
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kILLDR3n

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Jan 1, 2010
Anyone have any ideas for a good RAID card that will allow me to maintain a constant fast transfer rate and not be very expensive?
 

Gomie

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Jan 6, 2010
Anyone have any ideas for a good RAID card that will allow me to maintain a constant fast transfer rate and not be very expensive?

Speed and cheap don't go together. You should just pony up and get a real raid card, I hate all these software based RAID solutions, they are garbage. I like Adaptec and Promise, any hardware based raid controller will blow the pants off of some software based one, and it leaves your CPU cycles for actual application processing. Promise has a SuperTrak TX8650 that is entry level hardware based and goes for under $200.
 
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kILLDR3n

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Jan 1, 2010
Speed and cheap don't go together. You should just pony up and get a real raid card, I hate all these software based RAID solutions, they are garbage. I like Adaptec and Promise, any hardware based raid controller will blow the pants off of some software based one, and it leaves your CPU cycles for actual application processing. Promise has a SuperTrak TX8650 that is entry level hardware based and goes for under $200.

Do you think it is my card that is causing those big drops like that?
 

cw823

Honeybadger Moderator
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Location
Earth
Speed and cheap don't go together. You should just pony up and get a real raid card, I hate all these software based RAID solutions, they are garbage. I like Adaptec and Promise, any hardware based raid controller will blow the pants off of some software based one, and it leaves your CPU cycles for actual application processing. Promise has a SuperTrak TX8650 that is entry level hardware based and goes for under $200.

That's a great generic answer that has nothing to do with the actual issue here. There is no parity data here so there are virtually zero cpu cycles at work for RAID 0. I appreciate your answer but it has nothing to do with this issue.

Another point in response to your post is that I would consider promise on the very low end of hardware based controllers, so even IF his issue were related to the actual raid controller, that would be one of the last brand recommendations that I would make.

I only mentioned matrix raid because of the it's unique speed when configured to essentially short-stroke the drive.

That said, I'm not sure what the issue could be. It would be nice if you could do some individual tests to see if perhaps one of the drives is the issue, but I think we're way past being able to do that now.
 

solstice

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2008
Your transfer rate is too slow for raw uncompressed HD 720 video. If I recall, this is roughly sustained transfer of at least 130MB/sec (based on pixel computation.) I really recommend getting two more drive to boost the transfer rate. A cheaper method to verify this problem is to only create a small 150GB partition and don't use the rest.

And, don't use this drive for anything else. In Windows VISTA, disable defrag scheduling and other harddisk optimization.

You also will need to increase your memory for file caching of the file system. I recommend at least a couple of GB memory. You also should optimize your cluster size of ntfs with RAID 0 stripe and make sure your partition is created by Windows VISTA. Windows VISTA automatically align single partition to 1MiB boundary.

I recommend 64kb NTFS cluster with 64kb stripe. Basically 2 NTFS cluster write per stripe.
 

jgv115

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Jun 15, 2009
Location
Australia
Mmm change the stripe sizes and experiment. Also if you have the option to (prob not) turn on writeback cache.
 

dribblesnort

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2002
Location
USA
Do you think it is my card that is causing those big drops like that?

nvidia raid is probably worse than no raid at all, to be honest.

I was in the same boat you are...

I ended up not using the RAID features of my 650i based motherboard (MSI P6N Platinum) and the video I record to it from MS Media Center in Vista records just fine now...no skips or anything.
 

simcom

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
One suggestion is to try and experiment with different versions of the RAID driver.

Dell PERCs are a good investment on RAID controllers.
 

dribblesnort

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2002
Location
USA
One suggestion is to try and experiment with different versions of the RAID driver.

Dell PERCs are a good investment on RAID controllers.


That's what I did with my MSI P6N Platinum. I tried about 4 different versions of the nVidia RAID drivers and I was disappointed with every one.

The cheapo Dell E510 I am using as an HTPC (with a single 80GB boot drive) out performed the RAID 0 setup by a pretty fair margin...

That's when I decided to just stop using the nVidia driver and rely on the normal IDE driver that windows loads. Works far better now.

I think I even have a thread in the Storage section concerning my tests with all sorts of screenshots the original poster can look at to compare...
 

dribblesnort

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2002
Location
USA
Anyone have any ideas for a good RAID card that will allow me to maintain a constant fast transfer rate and not be very expensive?


For less than a "really good" RAID card, you can pick up an Intel based chipset motherboard with the ICH10R Chipset on it.

For comparison purposes, here's my score for three WD Black 1TB drives in RAID 0 on the nVidia RAID card

32kbenchmarknvidiastrip.png


Here are the same drives on an Intel ICH10R Chipset based RAID controller:
ich10rmatrixraid0.png
 
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kILLDR3n

Registered
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Jan 1, 2010
I am planning on getting a getting a Core 2 Quad Q6600 and a new PSU. There really isn't any much I do on my PC that would require an i5/i7. The most I do on my PC is a touch of editing with Sony Vegas. I'd soon get more RAM and upgrade my graphics card.

Other than that I just use the internet and listen to music.


The point of this is that I will now record compressed and not worry about the RAID issues I have. If the computer in the near future will work well or decently with what I do then I really won't care what the setup should or shouldn't be.

Does this justify my reasoning?