RAID 0 - Worth It in Performance?


R

Richard K

I am setting up a new XP client using and Athlon 64 dual quad cpu and 4gb
RAM. I first debated using XP64 vs XP and everything I read tells me I see
no real differences between the two and more of a headache with XP64 and
drivers. I also know that my 4gb RAM will really only show about 3-3.5gb or
real RAM so no big deal there.

So now I am concentrating on the drives. I have 2 80gb WD Raptor 10,000RPM
SATA drives. I can configure them as a straight C: and D: for 80gb each
using C: for OS or I can RAID 0 them for 160GB and break up the C: and D: as
I see fit. The only real reason I would consider RAID 0 is for performance.
Is it any better or am I thinking too much? I'm not worried about fault
tolerance since I'll have regular backups so rebuilding on a failure is no
big deal for me. It's all about performance.

Oh yea... 1 more thing. I want to eventually install Vista 32 or 64 as a
dual boot so that may affect the RAID setup and be easier on just a standard
drive build.

What are any thoughts and how would you proceed?

Thanks!

-Richard K
 
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H

HeyBub

Richard said:
I am setting up a new XP client using and Athlon 64 dual quad cpu and
4gb RAM. I first debated using XP64 vs XP and everything I read
tells me I see no real differences between the two and more of a
headache with XP64 and drivers. I also know that my 4gb RAM will
really only show about 3-3.5gb or real RAM so no big deal there.

So now I am concentrating on the drives. I have 2 80gb WD Raptor
10,000RPM SATA drives. I can configure them as a straight C: and D:
for 80gb each using C: for OS or I can RAID 0 them for 160GB and
break up the C: and D: as I see fit. The only real reason I would
consider RAID 0 is for performance. Is it any better or am I thinking
too much? I'm not worried about fault tolerance since I'll have
regular backups so rebuilding on a failure is no big deal for me.
It's all about performance.

Oh yea... 1 more thing. I want to eventually install Vista 32 or 64
as a dual boot so that may affect the RAID setup and be easier on
just a standard drive build.

What are any thoughts and how would you proceed?

You get improved performance in a RAID-0 configuration due to the
minimization of head movement. If you read your files sequentially, there
will be virtually no improvement. If the files are being accessed randomly,
there's a 50% chance the head on the other drive can access the desired
record.

Some controllers for RAID-1 can achieve almost the same thing. That is,
writes are mirrored to both drives but for a read, the closest head gets the
assignment.
 
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F

frodo

performance increase will be noticable, but not mind blowing. It's your
choice. Those drives are fast already, they will be a bit faster w/ raid
0. It's not a bad way to go if you're knowledgable, despite a lot of
nay-saying re: raid 0 out there. as always, backup your work!

Stick w/ the default stripe size unless you have good reason to alter it.
Don't reduce stripe size because you've seen HD-Tach benchmarks that show
it'll work faster - those benchmarks are not real-world at all.

Only downside will be to be sure your backup and recovery solution can
deal with the RAID'd setup natively, as well as any other boot disks you
may want to use (UBCD4WIN should be able to handle a standard nvida raid
setup). You may need to slipstream the drivers into a boot/recovery disk.

good luck.
 

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