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Discussion Starter #1
I'm upgrading,and I was thinking that maybe I should give RAID A try.

I have a Caviar Black 640GB. Should I spend the $75 on a 2nd one for RAID on Newegg, and need to get my hands on another drive to store important stuff in the event of failure?

Or should I go pick up a couple of 320gb Caviar Blues from best buy for $100 and use those in a raid with the full capacity of the discs as my primary drive for my OS and Games.

and possibly use my 640 for storage on the gamer or in my htpc?

Besides the smaller cache, is this going to give me a serious performance hit? I've read that on larger drives to "short stroke them" by making smaller partitions and not using the rest of the drive.

Also, in either event RAID 0 Striping is what I want for faster performance, right?

I've done quite a bit of reading but am kind of confused and not sure which is the better option to set up a RAID

Thanks,
 
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It depends on how much money you're looking to invest in this. If you want the best performance you would be better off buying a single SSD vs buying 2 more HDDs. But like I said it depends on how much money you want to put into this.

Certainly if you want a nice gain in performance for a good price setting up a RAID0 HDD volume would be worth it. Just make sure to do some benches so you can see the performance increase.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by WarlordOne
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It depends on how much money you're looking to invest in this. If you want the best performance you would be better off buying a single SSD vs buying 2 more HDDs. But like I said it depends on how much money you want to put into this.

Certainly if you want a nice gain in performance for a good price setting up a RAID0 HDD volume would be worth it. Just make sure to do some benches so you can see the performance increase.

Well, unfortunately, I think don't think an SSD is in the cards, nor is the cash in the wallet. I figured since I dont use nearly all of the 640gb on my black, i could buy a couple of 320gb ones but they seem to be tough to get. I also cannot afford an SSD of any substantial size.

I mean $100 for 2 320gb drives to raid is doable for me, and of course so is the $75 for the one 640gb drive, but again, i'd rather use the one I have for movie storage on my hptc/ or as backup for the stuff that is important on my gaming rig.

The smaller drives would be fine because I don't have tons of media, etc... that I store.
 

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The Caviar blacks offer better performance than the blues. To some degree it is color coded as followed

Green<Blue<Black

Also when it comes to hard drive speed the access time and overall read speeds are higher for larger drive. The reason is the data is more densely packed, giving lower access times and overall better performance. Short stroking is very efficient at giving good speeds because it only uses the outer portion of the platters, hence reducing the time it takes for the read heads to reach a certain sector.
You can visibly see the impact of writing a partition to a whole disk. If you download HDtune and run benchmark you will notice that speeds drastically taper off as it nears the end of the test. This is because the program tests from the outside of the platters to the inside.
For best performance I would recommend going with two caviar blacks, with possible short stroking. How much you want to short stroke is up to you, typical percentages are between 10% and 30% of total storage available.
For sheer speed RAID 0 is best, but there is NO redundancy, so if one drive goes, poof goes your data.
Two Caviar blacks in RAID 0 should give you 200 MB/sec+ on the outer portion of the platters.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by identitycrisis
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Well, unfortunately, I think don't think an SSD is in the cards, nor is the cash in the wallet. I figured since I dont use nearly all of the 640gb on my black, i could buy a couple of 320gb ones but they seem to be in short supply.

I mean $100 for 2 320gb drives to raid is doable for me, and of course so is the 1 640gb drive, but again, id rather use my for movie storage on my hptc/backup for the stuff that is important on my gaming rig.

and use a couple smaller drives for the raid, as I really will only install the OS and the games I am playing.

Not worth it to go from a Black drive to Blues, even in RAID.

If you are running Intel Matrix RAID, you *could* create two different RAID levels on the same pair of drives. That is, you could allocate say, 200GB on each drive to a RAID-0 array, and then create a 440GB RAID-1 array across both drives. You would then have 400GB in RAID-0, and 440GB in RAID-1.

Theoretically, if one of your drive fails, you'd lose the data on the RAID-0 array, but you would be able to recover the data on the 440GB partition on the surviving member of the array.

Obviously the array sizes is of your choice. You'd basically have a an option of minimum of 640GB (if you ran RAID-1 completely across both drives) up to a maximum of 1280GB (if you ran RAID-0 across both drives).

I'd probably get another 640GB Black and go that way.

Reference Intel article:
http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets...storage_sb.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow, there is a lot more to it than I expected. I assume RAID 0 performance is significantly increased to make it worth the money?

I realize the blues arent as fast as the black drives. I just figured if I was configuring a raid, the slower drives raided might be faster than the single caviar black, which I would guess they would be, but not enough to justify NOT getting the 2nd black drive, especially since in this instance it is the cheaper option?

Guess I have a bit more reading to do.

Thanks for the very useful posts so far.
 

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I had a RAID 0 array with two short stroked WD6400AAKS drives and while they were crazy fast for being $120 worth of hard drives they don't stand up to a decent SSD.

Also, the I have benchmarked both and the Blue WD6400AAKS is nearly identical to the Black WD6400AALS.
 

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I would rrecommend you get another 640GB WD Black and do a Raid 0 configuration.Thats what I did and could not be any happier.Also short stroking improved my performance even more.I short stroked the hard drives to 250-300gb and left the rest unpartioned.
My access times went from 11.5ms to around 8.5ms.Loading times in games improved as did opening normal programs.Even Windows it self booted faster

Use either 64kb or 128kb stripe size.I used 128kb as it gave slightly better results in HD Tune.
Just maske sure you back up any important information as in the event that one hard drive dies you lose everything on that Raid 0 set up.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by garbin View Post
I realize the blues arent as fast as the black drives.
The single platter WD5000AAKS is faster than the Caviar blacks.
 
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