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RAID 0 Partitions!?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi,
I'm finally planning to set up RAID 0. However, one of my friends has set up RAID 0 with a couple of partitions. Is that okay? Or should it only be a "C:" drive for the whole comp?

Can you guys tell me the pros and cons of having partitions in RAID 0? I'm new to RAID stuff so...

Thanks
:D
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post #2 of 8
Depends on usage.
Reading/Writing from more than one partition at a time will destroy any gains you have had from RAID0 when using mechanical drives.

If you can limit your activity on the second partition, you can effectively short stroke your OS onto the outside edges of the platters while still using the rest of the array for storage.

Transfers between the two partitions will be painfully slow, though.
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post
Depends on usage.
Reading/Writing from more than one partition at a time will destroy any gains you have had from RAID0 when using mechanical drives.

If you can limit your activity on the second partition, you can effectively short stroke your OS onto the outside edges of the platters while still using the rest of the array for storage.


Transfers between the two partitions will be painfully slow, though.
Hi Beers,
Can you please tell me what short stroking means? And if I set up my RAID 0, how should I? I generally use my pc for gaming , music and normal use.
:D
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post #4 of 8
Short stroking has different meanings to different people.

What you should do is "partition smartly" - take a look at this HDTune graph... it's for my 640GB Black.



Hard drives are faster on the edge of the platter, due to more data passing under the drive's head as the platter spins at a fixed speed. The farther in you go, the slower the drive gets. Between 512-640GB, the drive's max speed is under 80MB/sec. Access times are also very high, some taking as much as 50ms. But at the beginning of the drive, the speed is closer to 115MB/sec, and access times are somewhere under 20ms. That's a huge difference.

Therefore, you want your OS to be the very first partition - and fairly small, so that Windows can't stick stuff too far into the drive.

Then you may want a second partition for games and important data. Make it large enough to accomodate whatever you think you'll be putting on it.

And finally, if you must fill the drive, only use the third and final partition for unimportant stuff like downloads or static documents/pictures. Make the other partitions (the first two) as small as possible, so that they are as fast as possible. That's important, as windows tends to stick files rather far into drives, absolutely destroying the performance you could've had.




Short-stroking is basically the process I outlined, but people argue over semantics like whether it only applies to RAID arrays and stuff.
     
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post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post
Short stroking has different meanings to different people.

What you should do is "partition smartly" - take a look at this HDTune graph... it's for my 640GB Black.



Hard drives are faster on the edge of the platter, due to more data passing under the drive's head as the platter spins at a fixed speed. The farther in you go, the slower the drive gets. Between 512-640GB, the drive's max speed is under 80MB/sec. Access times are also very high, some taking as much as 50ms. But at the beginning of the drive, the speed is closer to 115MB/sec, and access times are somewhere under 20ms. That's a huge difference.

Therefore, you want your OS to be the very first partition - and fairly small, so that Windows can't stick stuff too far into the drive.

Then you may want a second partition for games and important data. Make it large enough to accomodate whatever you think you'll be putting on it.

And finally, if you must fill the drive, only use the third and final partition for unimportant stuff like downloads or static documents/pictures. Make the other partitions (the first two) as small as possible, so that they are as fast as possible. That's important, as windows tends to stick files rather far into drives, absolutely destroying the performance you could've had.




Short-stroking is basically the process I outlined, but people argue over semantics like whether it only applies to RAID arrays and stuff.
wow. this is great info. thx! btw what if you don't partition files (hence short stack). will the speed difference be considerably different?
    
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post
Short stroking has different meanings to different people.

What you should do is "partition smartly" - take a look at this HDTune graph... it's for my 640GB Black.



Hard drives are faster on the edge of the platter, due to more data passing under the drive's head as the platter spins at a fixed speed. The farther in you go, the slower the drive gets. Between 512-640GB, the drive's max speed is under 80MB/sec. Access times are also very high, some taking as much as 50ms. But at the beginning of the drive, the speed is closer to 115MB/sec, and access times are somewhere under 20ms. That's a huge difference.

Therefore, you want your OS to be the very first partition - and fairly small, so that Windows can't stick stuff too far into the drive.

Then you may want a second partition for games and important data. Make it large enough to accomodate whatever you think you'll be putting on it.

And finally, if you must fill the drive, only use the third and final partition for unimportant stuff like downloads or static documents/pictures. Make the other partitions (the first two) as small as possible, so that they are as fast as possible. That's important, as windows tends to stick files rather far into drives, absolutely destroying the performance you could've had.




Short-stroking is basically the process I outlined, but people argue over semantics like whether it only applies to RAID arrays and stuff.
Wow Kramy! Thanks for the info
As i'm setting up my RAID 0 now, should I make partitions? or doing that will defeat the purpose of RAID?

Thanks.

definately rep+ for the awesome explanation.
:D
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:D
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by chip94 View Post
Wow Kramy! Thanks for the info
As i'm setting up my RAID 0 now, should I make partitions? or doing that will defeat the purpose of RAID?

Thanks.

definately rep+ for the awesome explanation.
Yes, you should have different partitions.

If you want you can set the sizes in the RAID BIOS - you can make multiple arrays on the same set of drives. That gives you pretty HDTune graphs, since HDTune (and most other benchmarks) consider each array a separate drive. However, it's not necessary to do so - if you have one large array and partition smartly, you get the same performance benefits. (just less visible in benchmarks that test the entire drive/array)

And one perk of managing partition sizes rather than array sizes is, if you ever want to resize your partitions you can do that. You can't resize or combine arrays without deleting them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stupidcha View Post
wow. this is great info. thx! btw what if you don't partition files (hence short stack). will the speed difference be considerably different?
Err.. I'm not quite sure what you mean. Could you rephrase that?

If files get shoved near the end of the drive, it'll definitely be slower accessing them.
     
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Hitachi 2TB - HDS723020BLA64 Crucial M500 960GB - CT960M500SSD1 WD 4TB Black - WD4001FAEX WD 4TB Black - WD4001FAEX 
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post
Yes, you should have different partitions.

If you want you can set the sizes in the RAID BIOS - you can make multiple arrays on the same set of drives. That gives you pretty HDTune graphs, since HDTune (and most other benchmarks) consider each array a separate drive. However, it's not necessary to do so - if you have one large array and partition smartly, you get the same performance benefits. (just less visible in benchmarks that test the entire drive/array)

And one perk of managing partition sizes rather than array sizes is, if you ever want to resize your partitions you can do that. You can't resize or combine arrays without deleting them.




Err.. I'm not quite sure what you mean. Could you rephrase that?

If files get shoved near the end of the drive, it'll definitely be slower accessing them.
i have no clue what i meant when i posted that. it was really late at night. XP

just ignore me ~lol
    
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