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Stripe size vs striping block for RAID 0

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I felt bad for jacking cognoscenti's thread where she had the exact same problem that I have, which is a low HD Tach result for burst read and average read. Actually, she even has the same setup - 2 74GB Raptors on the Nvidia controller.

Everyone here says that 16k stripe size is the best. I don't have stripe size option in the raid configurator, only striping width and striping block. Now I've read so many conflicting things that I really don't know what the striping block is anymore. If it's really stripe size times the striping width or if its another name for the stripe size or whatever. Damn it Nvidia, why couldn't you make a RAID controller like everyone else.

Anyways, these are the results with striping width 2 and striping block 64k.


Now on the one hand, some people here are saying that 16k will give you the best results. On the other, everywhere I read online says that a stripe size of 128k is best if you are a gamer.

One source said that "Remember that a controller's RAID stripe size is NOT the same as the block size used when formatting the logical drive created by the controller. Optimal is this case is generally determined by the controller by executing transfer tests with the specific drives you have installed. A large stripe won't necessarily provide the best transfer -- it simply means that the data is striped across the drives in larger "chunks". The operating characteristics of the drives, the size of their buffers, the transfer efficiency of the SATA interface, your DMA controller, etc. can all influence the true effective transfer you'll achieve with the RAID-0 controller. I can think of no reason not to use the "optimal" setting and let the controller assign the size that gives the best transfer rate. I DO agree that when you FORMAT the resulting drive you'll get the best performance for gaming by using a large block size."

Another one said "A block size of 128 probably favors larger size files, for smaller files use 32 or 16....Yeah block size is a tad high for gaming; probably would want something smaller, in the 32-64 range; otherwise, it can waste space, because for optimal performance, you would really want the cluster and stripe size to be the same, and with a 128K stripe/cluster, you would be looking at about 20% storage waste (or thereabouts)

Holy hell am I confused....
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post #2 of 9
From everything i have read and heard, 128k is what most people use, and is the best.

It works for me, just look at my hdtach scores in my sig for my 2 seagate barracudas 7200.10
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Bump. Looking for some more proof to either 16k or 128k being better.
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post #4 of 9
Your performance looks way to low to be a minor matter of stripping. You should be seeing around 150MB/s read...

Nvidia southbridge simply is not as good as Intel SB.
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post #5 of 9
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Yea, I know about that. But I'm sure there will be at least some difference if I switch to either 16k or 128k since I'm really in the middle of the 2 choices. That's why I'm trying to figure out which one will be better.
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post #6 of 9
There is (will continue to be) a lot of discussion over which stripe size is best... it will of course come down to your system, drives/controller and files to be used.

But try to keep the ratio of 4:1 for your stripe : cluster, so if you are using the default format cluster (4K) the ideal stripe will be 16K. The biggest challenge is to have different stripes for the various clusters which best suit the file sizes in use.. this will require multiple drives in different arrays which may not always be practical. I have found the nVidia controller to perform very well and actually a lot easier to set-up than the ICHxR controllers. If you do a search within the HDD forum you will find lots of examples ... for your setup I would suggest 16:4 ratio.


Edit: See a direct comparison between the ICH8R and MCP5 controllers under a RAID-0 array 4 drives (same physical drives)... 16:4 ratio

While the ICH8R has a higher burst rate the average read is slightly lower than the nVidia controller ... 238.5 vs 239.6

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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Damn. If I could give you rep I would. This is probably the closest I've ever been to understanding RAID 0.

The only bad thing is that I don't have an option for the cluster in the Nvidia RAID config (hitting F10 on startup).

So is the assumption that the format cluster is 4k? If so, then I should set the striping block to 16k to have the 4:1 ratio?

Also, I'm guessing there's no way to redo the array without deleting it in the config program and then rebuilding it which would then lead to having to reformat?
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post #8 of 9
Stripe is a RAID Array size setting and is across the whole Array.

The Cluster is the OS size when you create and then format a partition.. the OS default is 4K .. something that the Page File likes but of course you can use different Cluster sizes for other Partitions on the same array .. just the Ratio 4:1 changes...

The only way to see what is best is to test and that means changing arrays and formatting ... so if you can use a single boot drive and simply create various arrays to see what works best for your system, then put the OS down... of course your Data is backed up elsewhere ... RAID-0 being what it is and if you really need RAID-5 then use a real controller (add-in card) not the Onboard ones.
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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ahh sounds good. Its good to know that the OS at least partially controls the RAID setup cause the Nvidia RAID config prog seems really limited (i.e. delete array, create array, view details, and exit lol) I'll definitely try out 16k stripe once I get back home in a few weeks and have access to my PC workstation desk.

Now if only I had a spare hard drive to run it as boot so I didn't have to reformat 3 times to test 16k and 128k.....
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