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Which Raid is right for me?

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JoshOohAh

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Location
Canada
I sadly have had a hard drive failure and am using an old hard drive with an os on it and some old music and basic programs. That means the money I was spending on my soon SSD needs to be invested into a new hard drive(s).

I was thinking of getting Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB or 1TB with 32 MBs of cache. Are these recommended drives? From what I've seen they look pretty good.

The main debate for me is between Raid 0 (2 1TBs) and Raid 5(3 500GBs). Does running either one of these combine the memory so the Raid 0 would be 2 TBs in toatal and the Raid 5 would be 1.5 TBs in total? Do they show up as a single hard drive in "My Computer"

Now here is what I was thinking of doing:

-I get these hard drives based on which Raid I decide to go with

-I use my current 80 GB 7200 Rpm as an OS hard drive because I plan to get an SSD in the future to use as a boot drive

-Then use my Hard Drives as normal

Could these at all effect which Raid I should get?

The only thing I don't understand is how a Raid 5 works with 3 hard drives. I see it being compared all the time with 4 hard drives but never 3. Or can I run Raid 0+1 with 3 500GB hard drives + the one OS hard drive?

Thanks
 

BossBorot

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
what are you going to be using this array for? Simple data storage or something else like programs and games?
 
OP
JoshOohAh

JoshOohAh

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Location
Canada
what are you going to be using this array for? Simple data storage or something else like programs and games?

Program and games.

I was talking about this with my friend and I think I'm also considering RAID 1 which also has a doubled read speed since I do more reading than writing.

Also maybe RAID 0 is more suitable because the only files I can not bear to lose is my music. Downloading all 8-10GBs is probably the worst thing to do on earth and yet I'm re-living that nightmare right now. My solution would be to backup that 10 GBs with no RAID config onto my Mp3 player or SD card that I never use any more. Most of my program I can re-download which is still annoying but not that bad.

Or maybe I could run RAID 0+1 with 3 Hard drives if that's at all possible.

I'm leaning away from RAID 5 because of the very slow write speeds (when compared to RAID 1 or non RAID).
 

BossBorot

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
I hate to say it but do you really need raid at all? In those two posts you mentioned almost every kind of raid array that you can possibly have.

If all that you need to back up consists of 8-10gb then you could easily back it up to dvd, sd, or flash instead of mirroring your data on a raid array.

I would grab a 500gb-1tb Samsung F3, western digital black, or if you want your apps and games to be even faster a velociraptor, and call it a day. These three options represent the fastest single drive magnetic storage options currently. The problem with raid is it really does not improve seek times only transfer rates, and for apps and games usually seek time is the most important measure of speed in regards to recent mechanical hard drives that have around 100mb/sec transfer rates on the faster parts of their platters.
 
Last edited:

jediman

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2003
ya doesn't sound like you need raid at all. you ahve 10 gigs you need to back up? thats 2-3 dvd's and you're done.

ps raid 0+1 needs 4 drives. raid 5 with 3x500g drives would give you 1 tb of storage space. raid 0 will offer you no protections
 
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JoshOohAh

JoshOohAh

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Location
Canada
I hate to say it but do you really need raid at all? In those two posts you mentioned almost every kind of raid array that you can possibly have.

If all that you need to back up consists of 8-10gb then you could easily back it up to dvd, sd, or flash instead of mirroring your data on a raid array.

I would grab a 500gb-1tb Samsung F3, western digital black, or if you want your apps and games to be even faster a velociraptor, and call it a day. These three options represent the fastest single drive magnetic storage options currently. The problem with raid is it really does not improve seek times only transfer rates, and for apps and games usually seek time is the most important measure of speed in regards to recent mechanical hard drives that have around 100mb/sec transfer rates on the faster parts of their platters.

Well now I think RAID 0 is the best bet in my case although you might not agree. You and Jediman just proved to me that this would be the best option because in the case of failure I don't lose many important files because I will have backed up the stuff I need on the few DVD's. Although VelociRaptor does seem like a sweet idea they can get very pricey and not enough space for my needs so I would end up buying another HD down the road.

Which do you think I should go with (keep in mind these all equal the same $ and also keep in mind I do plan to get an SSD within a few months):

-2x 1TB (not sure which WD hard drive) on RAID 0
-3x 500GBs (the same branded WD hard drive) on RAID 0
-1x VelociRaptor and another hard drive down the road for more storage (this comes out to more money than the two above)


ya doesn't sound like you need raid at all. you ahve 10 gigs you need to back up? thats 2-3 dvd's and you're done.

ps raid 0+1 needs 4 drives. raid 5 with 3x500g drives would give you 1 tb of storage space. raid 0 will offer you no protections

See you just proved that I should use RAID 0 because I could just back-up on a few DVD's and even though RAID 0 has little protection I will still have my important files.
 

BossBorot

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
I would go the 2x1tb route personally.

I can't stress this next part enough, for raid 0 you do not want the green or any other low rpm drives. Not only is their design philosophy against the very principle of raid 0, but they have a tendency to drop out of the raid array which causes major headaches.

In the 1tb size Western Digital has the re4 and black as well as the green drive. The former two should work well in raid 0. Samsung has the F3 in the 1tb size and should also work well in raid 0. Seagate should be avoided completely, and Hitatchi will perform subpar compared to the WD and Samsung drives.
 
OP
JoshOohAh

JoshOohAh

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Location
Canada
I would go the 2x1tb route personally.

I can't stress this next part enough, for raid 0 you do not want the green or any other low rpm drives. Not only is their design philosophy against the very principle of raid 0, but they have a tendency to drop out of the raid array which causes major headaches.

In the 1tb size Western Digital has the re4 and black as well as the green drive. The former two should work well in raid 0. Samsung has the F3 in the 1tb size and should also work well in raid 0. Seagate should be avoided completely, and Hitatchi will perform subpar compared to the WD and Samsung drives.

One more question while your still online:

Would this make more sense to do get 1 VelociRaptor now and save money to purchase another and run in RAID 0. Or stick with 2 1TB WD Caviar Blacks in RAID 0?
 

tuskenraider

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
I was talking about this with my friend and I think I'm also considering RAID 1 which also has a doubled read speed since I do more reading than writing.
No onboard RAID controllers can perform accelerated reads in RAID1. You need a $$$ add-in controller to get that function. What's the smallest drive that can handle your programs and games? 80GB VRaptors can be had for $70........
 
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JoshOohAh

JoshOohAh

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Location
Canada
No onboard RAID controllers can perform accelerated reads in RAID1. You need a $$$ add-in controller to get that function. What's the smallest drive that can handle your programs and games? 80GB VRaptors can be had for $70........

Well I think 80GBs could most of my games with some programs. So I was thinking either 1 150gb Vraptor and get another one later on for RAID 0 or 2 1TB in RAID 0
 

dorkbert

Registered
Joined
Oct 28, 2009
Location
California, USA
No onboard RAID controllers can perform accelerated reads in RAID1. You need a $$$ add-in controller to get that function. What's the smallest drive that can handle your programs and games? 80GB VRaptors can be had for $70........
Depends on how the fakeraid code is written. But it's a no-brainer (as in it's one of the oldest trick in the book) to write the code such that it issues the read commands (when the read operation and size exceeds the stripe size) to both drives in parallel to improve performance.
 

tuskenraider

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Depends on how the fakeraid code is written. But it's a no-brainer (as in it's one of the oldest trick in the book) to write the code such that it issues the read commands (when the read operation and size exceeds the stripe size) to both drives in parallel to improve performance.
If it's that easy then I don't see why onboard RAID chip makers don't do it. Intel, NVidia, VIA, Promise, Marvell, etc. have never been capable of doing this on any mobo for the enthusiast market that I've seen. Know of one? I could see server boards having this feature.
 

dorkbert

Registered
Joined
Oct 28, 2009
Location
California, USA
If it's that easy then I don't see why onboard RAID chip makers don't do it. Intel, NVidia, VIA, Promise, Marvell, etc. have never been capable of doing this on any mobo for the enthusiast market that I've seen. Know of one? I could see server boards having this feature.
They do, although more likely out of legacy than intend (as in code were more often than not written long ago when there were tangible benefit to do so.) Truth is that these days the caching algorithms on drives has gotten to be VERY good that that benefit from striping host read commands across two drives is fairly limited, if any.

Windows defaults I/O size to 64kB so you're unlikely to see much benefit of this ''feature'' unless your I/O does not land on stripe size boundary or you find some way to issue I/Os larger than 64kB (which I think is a registry tweak. Before you go off and run IOmeter with large I/O size, remember I/O is still being issued through Windows, so without the tweak Windows will faithfully segment the large I/O into 64kB chunks.)

Of course, if you patch in protocol anaylzer between host and drives, you will see those commands...
 

tuskenraider

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Of course, if you patch in protocol anaylzer between host and drives, you will see those commands...
That's getting beyond my knowledge and I'll take your word for it. All that matters to users in the end is if there is a benefit and I've never seen one on an onboard controller.