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Raid-0 @ 7200 vs Single @ 10,000

By Kebtiz
Sep 5, 2008
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  1. I am in the process of planning a new Gaming PC build and I ran into a snag, and can't find any tests online to back up my decision.

    For a gaming PC which of these similar cost hard drive setups would offer the best mix of speed and reliability:
    Raid-0 2x 500gb SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD
    Raid-0 4x 160gb SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8MB Cache 7200RPM HDD
    150GB Western Digital Raptor 10,000RPM SATA150 16MB Cache

    I'm in no hurry to complete my build, I was also considering a solid state Raid-0 if the prices becomes reasonable any time soon.

    I would have to add a storage drive if I went with the WD Raptor.
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,406   +314

    RAID-0 is not a reliability technique; Raid-1 is the fault tolerant solution, but even it needs backups;

    Without an adequate backup solution, NEVER use raid-0 as any failure will immediately
    force you into a reinstall.
  3. Kebtiz

    Kebtiz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Ok, thanks, on all the sites I was looking at that were raid supporters the talked about how stable and reliable it was.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,406   +314

    Use independent, 3rd parties to validate SALES hype :)

    here's a place to start reading on Raid:
    http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/raid/levels/tech.htm

    read link Reliability at the bottom
    Note the comments in the last paragraph:
  5. Kebtiz

    Kebtiz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Ok, thank you for the Info and the link, I'll read up on it, the excessive backups seems like a pretty significant downfall to me.
    The speeds on the 10,000 WD showed significant improvement over the single 7,200, now my big dilemma is whether the speed is worth the loss of capacity or not. Because for the price of a 300gb WD Raptor I could have 2gb in 7200s.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,406   +314

    Backups scheduled for every day ARE wasteful. You need a technique that copys
    only what has changed.

    There's a lot of stuff to consider, but I'll point you to a whitepaper used for
    business users on the subject of What to Backup and how to protect real data
    (ie: backing up the system every time is ^&*$ silly).
  7. Kebtiz

    Kebtiz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Another related question, would Windows Vista Basic 64-bit be turtlenecked on a system with a 2.5ghz quad core processor with 4gb of ram if it were run on a 7200 drive as opposed to a 10,000?

    Basically What I'm asking is is there any reason to install windows to a performance gaming drive rather then the storage drive?
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,406   +314

    If you want raw performance, then go back to Win/XP Pro!

    the performance issues of 7200 vs 10,000 rpm are very slight. the REAL performance
    gain is the difference in the arm seek times (without caching effects).

    IMO, this is not worth the time and effort --
  9. Kebtiz

    Kebtiz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Also from a gaming standpoint are the performance differences between 10,000 and 7200 even noticeable?
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,670   +879

    I simply avoid owning computers with one HDD. You might consider placing your permanant files on a "volume" HDD and save the Raptor for the OS, program, and files to which you need instant access. The separate HDD is a fair buffer in the event of a malware incident. I am not suggesting this as a complete backup strategy. For backup, I normally duplicate all my files on the second drive of a second computer. Obviously, burning to DVD is another form of insurance.
    At the moment, this Seagate , http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148262 , seams like a decent deal in storage. Otherwise, dust of your calculator, and start dividing Gigabytes into selling prices, to see what meets your needs.
    This option leaves you with the possibility of even getting by with the 74GB Raptor, but remember, The 36 and 74GB Raptors don't support NCQ, (Native Command Queing). This would only be a consideration should the RAID 0 bug bite you again.

    The Seagate Barracuda 500GB drives have the reputation as being almost as fast as the Raptors, but this leaves you with all your eggs in one basket, or a ton of wasted storage space on a system drive.
  11. Kebtiz

    Kebtiz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

     
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,670   +879

    Actually I think raybay lists that arrangement (or something close) in his system specs. If not him, one of our guys. So, I don't see why that wouldn't be a winner.

    Part of the trick of High HDD access speed is plenty of RAM, the less you use the drive, the faster you go. The HDD comes into play when you have to load new scenery pages in games , but for video and photo editing RAM is the place to be.
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