General performance questions, RAID, SATA, RPMs

By Vigilante
Feb 25, 2005
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  1. I'm getting ready to upgrade my PC after getting some tax $$ :D

    So here is what I'm getting:

    Upgrading CPU to Barton (400fsb) 3200+ from Athlon 2400 (266fsb)
    Upgrading HDDs (currently 40gb IDE)
    Upgrading Case (desperately need a new one!)

    My question is on the HDDs.

    I was originally going to get TWO Seagate 7200rpm 120GB SATA w/ NCQ drives on RAID 0 (striping). The RAID is hardware based.

    Then I was looking around Newegg and came across the WD Raptor 74GB 10000rpm drive.

    So the question is, if it were your box, would you go for dual 120s on RAID 0 or a 4.3ms 10000 74gb. Both are SATA.

    The size difference doesn't matter that much, I have an IDE drive for holding data, this will be just for windows and games. But based on what you know, would 2 drives at 8.5ms on RAID 0 compare to WD Raptor which has only 4.5ms seek time?

    I'm weighing certain issues like:
    1. Manufactures. The Seagates get rave reviews for quietness, speed, reliability. Plus 5 year warranties.
    2. Speed. The ms seek times issue?
    3. Having dual drives versus just 1 drive. Leading to issues of noise. Heat. If one drive fails on my RAID 0 it will kill it all. That kind of thing.
    4. Space. Not so much but dual 120s certainly has more space. Though some day I could possibly get a second Raptor and RAID 0 those!
    5. Pricewise the Raptor is just $3 cheaper then the 2 Seagates.

    Any and all comments welcome. Thanks.
    Here's the two drives:
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=22-144-160&catalog=23&manufactory=BROWSE

    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=22-148-039&catalog=23&manufactory=BROWSE
  2. tom_pearson

    tom_pearson Newcomer, in training Posts: 103

    i got half way through your post and remembered what my collegue from work encountered. To set up SATA raptor drives as RAID 0 you will need to first boot the computer with a IDE as primary with a boot disk to load certain files so that windows recognises it. then set the SATA as primary boot drive. obviously this would cause problems when reinstalling Windows (which i do everymonth as a kind of "oil change") as far as answering your question im too drunk to bother atm :approve: ;)
  3. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 2,120

    Well normall WD Raptors are SCSI but this seems to be a new thing now with SATA.

    It should be that, during setup, you press F6 to load a special driver. Then use that to load the SATA driver so XP can install to it. No need for all the hibbily jibbily stuff :)
  4. tboneman

    tboneman Newcomer, in training

    Did you get an answer on this? I'm asking the very same question, and don't know whether to go Seagate or Raptor on this.
    Thanks!

  5. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,067   +13

    wouldn't recommend having SATA with an IDE drive also. Causes too many glitches. Have one or the other.
  6. tboneman

    tboneman Newcomer, in training

    Interesting! I have an Asus p4c800-E deluxe with a Maxtor drive attached to the ATA133 controller. I was planning to keep it and add either a WD Raptor 74GB, or a Seagate 120MB SATA drive to the SATA controller. All reviews indicate that the Raptor is MUCH faster than the Seagate. I may even add an identical drive later and invoke RAID 0.
    Also, I understand that to take advantage of TCQ or NCQ, you MUST have a SATA controller capable of TCQ or NCQ somewhere in the system. Unless I buy a controller, the ICH5 controller on my mobo isn't capable of this. The point is, if that's true, then the Seagate's NCQ is a moot point.
    Any thoughts?
    Thanks!
  7. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 2,120

    I'm really leaning toward the Raptor. I've been searching around the Internet and some people are saying they really don't see much of an improvement with doing RAID 0. Or I should say, "some" things improve but some don't. For example seek time versus transfer rate. Transfer rate improves but seek time seemed to go down even with some people.

    Though the Raptors are way more expensive and less space, I think that would be the way to go. And I'll be buying a HDD cooler for it when I get it!

    As for running the IDE and SATA together, the glitches may be motherboard or driver specific. I have an Epox board and I plan to freshly reload XP Pro and add the IDE back in afterward.
    But only until I get another SATA for storage!

    I may come back and POST some benchmarks comparing my IDE, that aught to be interesting!
  8. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 2,120

    If anybody is watching, here's what I did.

    Bought the AMD Athlon 3200+ 400fsb:
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=19-103-390&depa=0

    Ended up going for the 120gb SATA:
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=22-148-039&depa=0

    And bought this case:
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-105-115&depa=0


    Excellent combo. The Raptor would have been faster, BUT, I benchmarked my old Maxtor 40gb and the new SATA is THREE times faster! So I'm happy. Stuff loads in no time. XP boots up in like 8 seconds. It's great.

    Incidentally, my IDE Maxtor DID cause problems with the new SATA!! I had like 4 lockups and a BSOD or two. And in the meantime upgraded drivers etc... But no luck. And this on a fresh load of XP. I ended up taking the poor Maxtor out.
    So as not to loose it's capacity for backup, I'll re-hook the Maxtor up to an external USB 2.0 enclosure, that shouldn't cause problems.
    Until I get a second SATA.

    cheers
  9. slim26

    slim26 Newcomer, in training

    Raid 0

    I just ordered a new whitebox system with athlon 64 3500+, 1gb mem, and two WD 80GB SATA drives. the MSI RS480M2 mobo has a built-in raid controller, so I asked them to set up the drives as raid 0. After reading several threads here, I'm starting to think this may cause more trouble than the performance boost is worth.

    What do you guys think?
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