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Old 02-10-2002, 02:29 AM   #1   [permalink]
Magnus9
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Question To RAID or not to RAID

Well I was thinking of setting up a RAID array on my comp. In theory it should speed up data write speeds up greatly. Plus if I do it this week Circuit City has WD 40 GB HDD's on sale for $60 plus I already have someone who wants to buy the 80GB drive from me so it wont be costing me very much money at all. So right now it would be really affordable but since Ive never setup a RAID array before I need some advice as well as some answers.

First of all my current system setup is as follows:
SOYO SY-KT333 DRAGON Ultra
AMD AthlonXp 2000+ overclocked to 2100+
ThermalTake Volcano 7
80Gig Maxtor 7200RPM
Lite-On 32x12X40x CD-Burner
Iomega External 250 MB Zip Drive
PNY Technologies GeForce4 TI4400
ViewSonic 17 inch monitor
Saitek Blue Optical mouse - I only got it cuz it glows blue
D-Link 1.44 Floppy Drive
1 GB DDR
Vantec Tornado Case Fan - Loud MF but keeps everything cool
350 Watt Power Supply
ATX Black Full-Tower Case w/ window Kit

Well if I go with the RAID setup I will be using 2 WD 40GB 7200 RPM HDD's and was wondering about the disk size. Will this make 1 large 80GB drive or will it just be a very fast 40GB?

Also IM assuming Ill be running these on seperate IDE cables in IDE 3 and 4.

Im also assuming itd probably be a smart idea to invest in some HDD coolers if I do this.

And last but not least should I really do this? Will it benefit my system so much to be worth it? Or should I just stick with my 80GB?

All in all though Im really leaning toward doing this more because I just really want to try something new with my comp and...I want a bitchin system that kicks all my friends arses!!
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Old 02-10-2002, 05:27 AM   #2   [permalink]
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There are many different types of RAID setups ranging from RAID 0 - 5
RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is primarily a performance option, but some different setups of RAID allow it to be used for data protection.

Out of all the setups you mainly be concidering, it would be either RAID 0, 1, 0+1

RAID 0

This is the most simple out of all the RAID setups, know as SPANNING, it just adds all the harddisks up as 'one' disk. This allows you use harddrives of different brands and space to their maximum storage space. In theroy the workload between the harddrives are divided and you attain a performance boost.

One problem is if any one of the drives fails, you lose all your data.

RAID 1 (0+1)

Known as mirroring
all that happens is drive 2 mirrors drive one.
so that if one drive fails, you still have a perfect copy to work off.

it also halfs your storage space.
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Old 02-10-2002, 05:28 PM   #3   [permalink]
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Quote:
Originally posted by SaMADog
There are many different types of RAID setups ranging from RAID 0 - 5
RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is primarily a performance option, but some different setups of RAID allow it to be used for data protection.

Out of all the setups you mainly be concidering, it would be either RAID 0, 1, 0+1

RAID 0

This is the most simple out of all the RAID setups, know as SPANNING, it just adds all the harddisks up as 'one' disk. This allows you use harddrives of different brands and space to their maximum storage space. In theroy the workload between the harddrives are divided and you attain a performance boost.

One problem is if any one of the drives fails, you lose all your data.

RAID 1 (0+1)

Known as mirroring
all that happens is drive 2 mirrors drive one.
so that if one drive fails, you still have a perfect copy to work off.

it also halfs your storage space.
YEs i know this. I was planning an using RAID 0 since it seems as 1-5 are for more than 2 drives.
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Old 02-10-2002, 09:06 PM   #4   [permalink]
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it depends. but since it's not going to cost you a lot (as u explained) i think it's better off you getting RAID. but if you're not using your computer for full potential (e.g. multimedia editing, VERY large graphic editing) you're better off to be safe than sorry by sticking with the one you're using instead of using RAID-0 and accidentally fail your entire system.

as i said, it all depends on your need. if you want it faster, do it, if not, don't.
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Old 03-10-2002, 09:32 AM   #5   [permalink]
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Sorry mate, didn't mean you undermine you.

Based on experence, RAID 0 is a nice option. And unless you run VERY old or VERY hot drives, I doubt any would fail without prior warning.
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Old 04-10-2002, 03:26 AM   #6   [permalink]
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well...

I have been experimenting with RAID configurations... and have run the gamut from 2,3 and 4 drives in a "0" configuration... and can attest to the fact that it does significantly increase sustained throughput .... but ... there is the factor if reliability ... I have had a relatively high rate of failure on my raid configurations.

Out of the the 6 variations of raid, 2 have failed on me and both in the same way ... the drives did not fail per se, but had become "unsyched" with each outer... thus rendering the array non functional ... the drives could be reformatted and would work fine, but extracting data from a raid segment is not something I look foreward to.

Keep in mind though, that my experience is with IDE raid solutions, and not SCSI variants... I am told that the SCSI raid configurations are inherently more stable ... but a a significantly higher cost per megabyte. Also, I have been using Maxtor drives for the raid experiments ... I am thinking now that perhaps one of the new Western digital's models with 8 megs of cache might have been a better choice ... or perhaps drives by IBM (they are quieter, and have a better reliability track record ... but are a bit more expensive ).

At the moment, I am favoring using a single high performance drive for the OS with alot of fast ram. For me, running raid is a love/hate relationship... I love the performance when it works ... but dread the 'USOD" ....or UnSynch of Death ...

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