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Old April 20, 2011, 08:36 PM
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Default Is raid0 worth it?

I tried to find good and recent benchmarks comparing a single 7200 rpm HDD vs 2 drives in raid0.

The only good one i could find that benchmarked "real world" scenarios (like Windows boot time, games and application performance) was a 2004 review. According to the test there was no benefits and in some case minor performance lost. I am wondering if it is still the case with today new 7200 rpm HDD and SATA 6GB/s controllers.

Any one knows of a recent (excluding SSD) raid0 2 drive review benchmarking real world performance? If raid 0 actually offer noticeable gains, it could be worth buying an extra drive even if i don't need the extra space.

P.S: I looked at SSD drives but they are just to expensive at the moment.

Thanks a bunch for your input!

Last edited by rachpoil; April 20, 2011 at 08:39 PM. Reason: Clarify
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Old April 20, 2011, 08:48 PM
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While yes, SSDs are too expensive, they are the sole way to go as far as performance goes.

Instead of getting another drive, I'd suggest a small 30-40gb SSD, and use the HDD as storage for programs/generic instead. I've used a 40GB SSD as my main drive for a while now and I dont regret it whatsoever (i moved from raptor x raid-0), even though its a low end SSD, its far better and faster than a pair of HDDs can ever achieve.

It's not worth it, not with SSDs on the table.
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Old April 20, 2011, 08:55 PM
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The problem is that i triple boot Windows 7. One partition for gaming, one for the wife and an other for the kids.

I would need at lease a 200 GB SSD and they sell for over $400.

But as fare as raid0 is concerned for todays regular HDD is it worth the extra $60?

Thanks for the reply!
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Old April 20, 2011, 08:58 PM
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Any HDD can't even get any benefit from a SATA 6Gb/s as it is too slow to make good use of it. If you already own 1 of the HDD then you could consider getting another HDD for a RAID 0 but if you don't then consider getting a SSD instead. Also you must understand the risks involved in setting your 2 HDD in a RAID 0 as a failure of any one drive will result in corrupted data.
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Old April 20, 2011, 09:09 PM
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I,m actualy bulding a new PC (ordering the parts tomorrow). I curently plan to buy 2 WD Black 500GB SATA 6g/s for the OS and software and a 2TB WD Black for the storage.

It's just that raid0 question that bugs me. If raid 0 is not worth it, it could be better to invest the $60 of the secound 500 GB drive for better other hardware.

What do you think?
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Old April 20, 2011, 09:23 PM
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A SSD does not have enough space for 3 similar OS in triple boot. You could get a SSD for your OS and a single WD Black for your wife and kids OS. The only problem is that you don't get a Windows Boot Manager to handle it as you need to change the boot priority at the BIOS from time to time.

Whichever is first in the boot priority will load first. If your SSD is first boot priority it will boot your OS directly without WBM but if your WD Black is first in boot priority it will go to the WBM and you can choose between your wife or kids OS.

As for the 2TB WD Black for storage you can opt for a cheaper 2TB Samsung F4EG or 2TB WD Green instead. For storage a fast drive is not really necessary.
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Old April 20, 2011, 09:56 PM
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In my case, it is more the loading time of some game levels and for my wife it's more some of her applications loading time. She does video encoding often and have a great deal of applications for that. As it would still be nice to have Windows load faster (you only need to wait for that one at start up) it's more an overall applications/game load time that would be really beneficial for us.

But if a traditional raid0 setup does not give noticeble improuvment, do you think the cost the2nd raid0 HDD would be better invested in other hardware like opting for faster ram or video card?
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Old April 20, 2011, 10:15 PM
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The fact is that a 60GB SSD has better speed compared to a WD Black in RAID 0. Compared to a single HDD, a RAID 0 will definitely give and improvement but it is not better compared to a single SSD. If you are worried about not having enough space then I guess 2 HDD in RAID 0 would be your best choice.

Faster RAM or a GPU will not help in faster loading times like what SSD does. Faster RAM gets better benchmark scores and better GPU gets better gaming performance. As for the WD Black 500GB I suggest getting a pair of Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB or 500GB. A test was conducted between a single WD Black vs single F3 and the result is F3 was faster although access time was slightly slower.

HDD Quick Bench: Samsung 1TB F3 vs WD Black 640GB AALS vs Barracuda 7200.11 320GB - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net
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Old April 21, 2011, 07:13 AM
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I run 2x 500GB Seagate 7200.12's in RAID 0 and have noticed a definite improvement in performance in particular if you move lots of large files around. Being a gamer who also does some video editing my RAID 0 setup's performance increase over a single drive is very noticeable.

RAID 0 though comes with no fault tolerance so a regular system backups, I perform an incremental image of my pc once a week, is absolutely necessary.
The reason I went RAID 0 was because at the time the cost of a good sized SSD, in the 120GB+ range, was IMHO ridiculous. Things have changed and now a current 120GB model can be had for around $200 CAD which btw will outperform my RAID 0 setup easily.

I'll probably this summer reconfigure my system so that it boots off an SSD and use the RAID 0 drives for storage.

P.S. Question:
I've noticed that 2x 64GB SSD's in many cases cost less than 1x 128MB model in the same line. Any performance advantages of running RAID 0 with 2x 64MB SSD's?
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Old April 26, 2011, 02:21 PM
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Before SSDs became faster than HDDs a few years ago, I long booted from RAID-0. It is definitely much faster than a single HDD.

My first array of four massive 10GB Quantum Fireballs on a Highpoint HPT370 PCI controller card had me sold around the turn of the century. I'd originally done it to create a large enough volume to hold all my Napster downloads in a single folder but soon realized that the performance increase was the big benefit. It made Win98se just scream. :)

That said, a single modern SSD will outperform an array of only two HDDs, even on sustained transfers. Best of all of course is SSD RAID-0, whether it's an array of individual SSDs on a third-party controller or an integrated card with its own RAID controller and multiple SSD controllers like a Revo or Ibis, but that can indeed be expensive.

If all you can afford is $60, buy a small Sandforce SSD for now if you don't need more capacity. At least one of you will be getting twenty-first century performance. Expect some real deals on first-gen Sandforce SSDs as the next generation approaches. You can always add more later and bring the others up to speed too.
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