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seperate os and games

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
is there any performance gain in using one hdd for os only and a seperate one for games, at the minute i have a raid 0 setup but could you get a boost by doing the above, on a raid 0 if there is competing data ie for os and games at the same time that will cause a delay? but you wont get that with seperate drives?
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post #2 of 8
/ignoring RAID

only use a separate drive if you have a SSD, if you are running just HDD's you might as well put the games on your OS drive because it slows the game down if you are reading + Writing to both HDDs 24/7

I use my Cav black 1TB and it slows down games compared to if I just run them on my barracuda OS drive (but I still use the TB for storage), also the TB runs hot as hell when I game off it (though my giant steam folder will always be on the TB)
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks for the reply, i really want somebody with some knowledge of raid 0 vs seperate hdd for os and games. i need to figure out if its worth breaking my raid and do the sepearte os and games hdd or not
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post #4 of 8
Overall, things will be faster with RAID 0. Like skier said, you're only gonna benefit from separate drives if you're using an SSD + hard drives like I am. Even still, the only reason I do that is because of space constraints.
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post #5 of 8
Hey, your question though simple, can actually be rather complex when referring to a mechanical drive.

Currently, your OS and data share the same drive and therefore your hard drive will experience a slow but inevitable decrease in performance as it fills up. This is the general tendency of any HD but doubly so with a RAID drive since you're actually utilizing the CPU to stripe your data and then allocate it. As the drive needs to sift through more data, the computational time will increase accordingly. Even though this occurs the actual read speed is a difference of about 30-50mbps from the original speed(empty).

Therefore, if you were to change to separate HDDs your OS would never actually have to bear the brunt of that seek time. Performance would be better but files present on the second HDD for your games will experience the same gradual decrease(but much less since the number of small files is less). You should understand that Windows has thousands of small files and hundreds more generated weekly, and this impacts a RAID drive greatly, considering you probably have an intermediate stripe width.(128 kb maybe?)

Another factor would be stripe size but thats perhaps delving too much into it. A 128 stripe size should be pretty decent for your purposes if you intend to do that.

just note, its always worthwhile to keep the fastest drive you have for your OS. Even if you short stroke the drive, the stroke should be reserved for your OS.

Hope you found this helpful.
Edited by Razultull - 1/16/11 at 12:06pm
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Bernard
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
thank you that was very informative! my pc is only used for gaming

could i have 2different stripe area's on one array? ie first partition stripe size 4kb for the os and then a second partition for everything else at 128kb? i believe that the onboard raid controller allows 2 partitions? do they have to be the same stripe size?

secondly my stripe is 128 is this optimal for gaming? or should i have gone with 64? and thirdly the reason i ask is because in raid both hdd heads read in unison? ie if the system requests some game data its split between both drives and both heads read corresponding sections off each disk, but if the system also requested os data as well there would be a delay? but if one drive was dedicated to os and one to games the heads would work independantly there would be no delay?

and finally.....how much cpu overhead does a raid add?
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post #7 of 8
To answer your first question, it really depends on your RAID controller. Older one's like the nvidia ones could NOT have two separate stripe sizes on one array after partitioning, but thats a question of googling it.

128 is optimal for gaming since you are dealing with a mix of files ranging from small to large, and you wouldnt really feel the stripe overhead.

In a RAID drive the heads are not in unison, the way it works is since the data is split up the heads must wait for each other to catch up incrementally, then the data is assembled and read. But since it is a mechanical drive, you dont get exactly double the performance, you would get slightly less(understandable because of moving parts).

From your question i understand that you will be taking your RAID array and splitting them up into two separate standalone drives? If this is the case, i dont think you would see any increase in performance just because of the read speeds having been reduced drastically. The head of a drive moves at an incredibly fast pace, and RAID really takes advantage of that, if you were to split your array up, you would definitely see a slight droop in performance.

Where you feel this the most is when opening games and other applications, not really in load times so much.

But a good idea would be to create a RAID, then short stroke it, then use the stroke for your OS, and then the rest for gaming. The stripe wouldnt need to be different 128 would work well for both.

Just check your controller before doing anything! good luck.
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Bernard
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the info, my controller is ich10r i think the inbuilt intel one, not sure short stroking will really benefit me, i use a defrag program that moves all the data to the outer edge of the platter as it is, its annoying that shadow copies from restore point appear to sit in the middle of the drive though and are immovable here is a pic of my drive layout, see that annoying bar.....that is the only thing that would benefit me short stroking is that bar wouldn;t sit there it would sit mid way through the partition instead.
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antec 300 
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My System
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q6600 B3 @ 3.2ghz asus pq5 deluxe msi gtx 460 cyclone 850/1700/4000 4 x 1gb 667 mhz ddr2 
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2 x samsung hd103sj 1tb RAID 0 7 home premium 64 bit dell E197FP OCZ stealthxstream 2 700W 
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antec 300 
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