TechSpot

RAID worth it? Perf gain qustionable. Failure rate doubled.

By Mugsy
May 17, 2007
  1. I'm weighing the Pro's and Con's of replacing my failing C: drive with two drives RAID'ed together. I had planned to go the RAID-1+0 route, but the more research I do, the less of a good idea it sounds.

    I'm only looking at RAID variations that let me use ALL of my capacity (rather than waste an entire drive for backup), so RAID 1, 1+0 and 5 are off the table (my Mboard does not support 0+1). That leaves RAID-0 and JBOD.

    I hear varying reports that RAID-10 doesn't always result in performance gains, and naturally, by making two drives so interdependent, if one fails, they both fail, essentially doubling your risk of catastrophic drive failure.

    JBOD ("Just a Bunch Of Disks") wouldn't result in any speed gain, but wastes less space than partitioning the drives separately, and if one fails, you don't lose all your data.

    So what are others out there using? Any recommendations? Performance issues? Maybe I'd be better off just not sing RAID at all?
     
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    You don't move to RAID to get performance gains, necessarily. You do it for security of your data.
    There is always a risk to anything on a computer, but we have yet to see such a catastorphic drive failure in our shop, if things are installed correctly to begin with...
     
  3. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 434

    No gain?

    Well, since there is no security with RAID-0 AND JBOD (the two I'm considering), should I just forget about using RAID entirely?
     
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    I have two 250GB drives in RAID 0 on my desktop. I'd say I speeded up the system by 10to 15%. I also partitioned them into two 250gb partitions. I also backup all my important datas offline. Haven't had issues yet.
     
  5. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 434

    Experience

    Thanks. It helps to hear from someone with actual experience.
     
  6. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,266   +42

    Ok I have a question here on the subject, since raid 0 gives some performance boost at all. Aren't the seek times on smaller drives usually faster than a very large drive. considering the small drive and large drive have the same information on it, and have the same rpm.
     
  7. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 434

    Seek times

    Typically, the seek time is the same for big and small drives because the platters are the same size and the arm-mechanisms move at the same speed. This is why faster rotational speeds of 10-15,000 rpm are so prized. It's the only way to "get to" the data faster.

    However, RAID-0 using four drives is significantly faster than a RAID-0 with just two drives (Here are some good benchmark results I found. The first charts show a single drive is often fastest, but as file sizes grow, RAID wins out). So maybe using more drives is worth considering, though you do quadruple your power consumption, heat, and chance of drive failure.

    It just seems to depend on how you use your PC. If you do a lot of video editing or database work (large files), RAID will help you the most.
     
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    ***************
    I have two 250GB drives in RAID 0 on my desktop. I'd say I speeded up the system by 10to 15%. I also partitioned them into two 250gb partitions. I also backup all my important data offline. Haven't had issues yet.
    ***************

    Each 250 GB drive into one 250 GB partition?
     
  9. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    In my experience, its definately worth it.

    For years and years, I built machines. In the end, I got so good at it, that round about 2002-3, I built a machine that was that good, I didn't need to ever tinker with it any more. It was just "done". Its a multimedia machine, and I am listening to Pandora on it as we speak.

    Now, a key component of that machine is RAID. Its got 3 x 80GB HDD in RAID 0 config, and it flies.

    Not only did that provide me with what was (at the time) a pretty good amount of space, its super fast. Have to unzip a large file, or do something else that's hard disk intensive? Watch it fly. Need to load a huge media file into media player? Watch it fly. Need to rip a DVD to your HDD? Watch it fly.

    I'm gradually transitioning to another multimedia machine, which I hunted down the bits for over a space of time. You can bet your *** its got RAID - in this case its actually got a RAID 5 controller card from Promise!

    So for performance... damn right its good for a multimedia machine. Stop using optical disks and have a large, fast, redundant volume for media. Its the way forward.
     
  10. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,266   +42

    Ok sweet, thanks for the information everyone
     
  11. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,423   +7

    I have a SATA 160 and it was a big pain to install.
    I ended up in a repair shop to do it.
    It's only 7200 rpm like any others.
    So Tedster,How do you measure this difference ?
    I don't see any.:D
    Any well maintained HD will operate as fast as technology allows.

    Mugsy follow your own advice in first post.
    I think you have it well figured out,especially if you need a new Sata motherboard.
     
     
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