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How much faster with RAID?


mattias

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Im wondering how much faster my laptop gone perform if I lay my two HD`s in RAID,

(have a FS amilo m3438g with two 80gb 5400 rpm.)

And how much better gone games like BF2, FEAR...... gone performs if i have my HD`s in RAID.

Is it something i should think about when i RAID my harddrives.

Today FSC send a "servicebulletin" to a swedish support about the lagging isue some 1437, 1439, 3438, 4438 have, it says;

"On some systems video or audio may sporadically stutter (lag) for one second while playing games, playing DVDs or listening to audio files."

The RAID-driver version are: | 5.1.2600.440a | and can be found on FSC homepage. I spoke with the support about this driver, but they couldn`t confirm anything yet, - strange, yes I know.

Edited by ®®®
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RAID 0 will boost hard drive intensive applications... games are rarely slowed down by the HDD. You might squeeze some percents in game loading times but you are more likely to get less than 10%. Instead of the 50% you would get if the HDD was the bottleneck.

Plus RAID 0 whatever the use doubles the probability of losing your data. HDDs are already the weakest point in a computer... so keep that in mind.

I use my laptop professionaly, so I wouldn't compromise my data for such a small performance boost.

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RAID 0 will boost hard drive intensive applications... games are rarely slowed down by the HDD. You might squeeze some percents in game loading times but you are more likely to get less than 10%. Instead of the 50% you would get if the HDD was the bottleneck.

Plus RAID 0 whatever the use doubles the probability of losing your data. HDDs are already the weakest point in a computer... so keep that in mind.

I use my laptop professionaly, so I wouldn't compromise my data for such a small performance boost.

so, you think its not necerary ? i dont win any gamingpower with RAID, if I understand you properly.

Edited by mattias
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Using RAID 0 will bring a tiny little speedup on most games. I bet that you might have a better boost with a 7200 rpm HDD than with RAID 0 5400 rpm. Games usually load hundreds of files so RAID 0 have little to no chance to shine.

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Using RAID 0 will bring a tiny little speedup on most games. I bet that you might have a better boost with a 7200 rpm HDD than with RAID 0 5400 rpm. Games usually load hundreds of files so RAID 0 have little to no chance to shine.

I prefer to keep my system and games partitions on different drives and well defragmented - I have 2x 120 GB. I could perhaps go from about 30-40MB/s to 50-60MB/s but lose 120GB useful space. I doubt the small speed increase is worth it.

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I second the boost going from a 5400 RPM drive to a 7200 RPM drive, you WILL notice load time decreasing, or should.

Besides, how could you not want a shiney new 100 GB 7200 RPM Hitachi drive?

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Besides, how could you not want a shiney new 100 GB 7200 RPM Hitachi drive?

I don't want these 7200 rpm... main reason NOISE. I just upgraded my less than one year old Toshiba 80 5400 16Mb with a Samsung 120 5400 8Mb...

This is the first laptop Samsung that I get... I'm pretty happy with my desktop Samsungs fast and almost silent. Yesterday when I Ghosted the 80Gb to the 120Gb, the Toshiba drive ended up really hot and the Samsung was just warm. :) (FYI its a Samsung HM120JC from the Spinpoint M60 family)

And mounted in my laptop... it's dead silent... I can't even hear the head seeks. :P The only annoyance get out of the lappy is the GPU fan at slow speed. But the cold days are coming. And it will be shockingly silent.. :)

I have no article available of laptop HDD performance and noise but I guess the Samsung HDD I got behaves like his 250Gb brothers that can be found in my desktop.

So chosing hardware parts in a computer is a manner of priorities... mine are reliability and low noise. Others my prefer performance...

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Someone should try enclosing a hard drive in a vacum(air tight box) and see how practical it is....Since sound needs a medium, It should, in theory, be dead silent :)

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You'd have to also prevent it from propagating vibrations to the structure... the ideal would be a HDD levitating in the vaccum.

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It's not just RPM, I saw some test where SG 5400 drives did about the same results that some other brand 7200 drives so best to search for test results if you want the best for your money.

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Best for your money and need... I'd rather get a reliable and silent HDD that is twice the price of the super fast noisy one. It's a matter of priority. :)

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The 7200 RPM Hitachi laptop drives are pretty much silent, and have decent prices these days.

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RAID is only any good when it gets to RAID 5 with striping and mirroring.

Too risky to use RAID 0 and RAID 1 is a waste of space.

5400 RPM drives will perform at apox 7200RPM speeds when they are bigger.

So a 160Gb 5400 RPM drive will perform about the same a 100GB 7200 RPM drive.

This is due to the data is squished onto the platters more and in each rotation the more data comes off.

Also technology also gets better with newer drives.

I'll bet my very old 4GB 15,000 RPM cheetah SCSI drive is now very slow compared to modern 5400 RPM drives.

You'll get the best performance at the moment from either the Hitachi (I have) or Seagate 7200 RPM drives.

They are silent, but so run a little warmer than slower drives

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5400 RPM drives will perform at apox 7200RPM speeds when they are bigger.

So a 160Gb 5400 RPM drive will perform about the same a 100GB 7200 RPM drive.

This is due to the data is squished onto the platters more and in each rotation the more data comes off.

Also technology also gets better with newer drives.

I'll bet my very old 4GB 15,000 RPM cheetah SCSI drive is now very slow compared to modern 5400 RPM drives.

So wouldnt it be better to just buy a 160Gb 5400 instead? If they run at about the same speed, then this would be the best choice....And they would probably cost around the same too.

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The 7200 RPM drive will still be a little faster overall.

The seek times should be faster on a 7200 RPM drive.

If you need raw speed then the 100GB 7200 RPM is for you.

If you need space and don't mind a small performance hit then the 160GB 5400 RPM is for you

Would be intersting to see what the new 200GB HD's (in some Dells) do performance wise.

100GB isn't really big enough anymore, I struggle with my one for space.

Would be nice to have the 100GB just for booting to, and 160GB+ for data to keep this place running etc.

Mind you I can fit 3 HD's inside my lappy :) if I forked out a fortune (relatively pseaking) on caddies.

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does i have RAID 0, or does i have RAID 1(i mean from the start) ?

like fabrice roux says;

"Using RAID 0 will bring a tiny little speedup on most games. I bet that you might have a better boost with a 7200 rpm HDD than with RAID 0 5400 rpm. Games usually load hundreds of files so RAID 0 have little to no chance to shine",

does he mean that i can "build" my 5400 rpm HDD with RAID, to run the same like a 7200 rpm HDD ?

Edited by mattias
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I prefer to keep my system and games partitions on different drives and well defragmented - I have 2x 120 GB. I could perhaps go from about 30-40MB/s to 50-60MB/s but lose 120GB useful space. I doubt the small speed increase is worth it.

like you proberly know, BF2 needs (want) to be on the same partition like the operationsystem (Win XP), to run 100%.

Edited by mattias
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does i have RAID 0, or does i have RAID 1(i mean from the start) ?

like fabrice roux says;

"Using RAID 0 will bring a tiny little speedup on most games. I bet that you might have a better boost with a 7200 rpm HDD than with RAID 0 5400 rpm. Games usually load hundreds of files so RAID 0 have little to no chance to shine",

does he mean that i can "build" my 5400 rpm HDD with RAID, to run the same like a 7200 rpm HDD ?

RAID 1 will decrease performance but increase stability and security....RAID 0 does the opposite. And you cant just turn a 5400 drive into a 7200. Anyway, Configuring them in RAID 0 will only give you 1-3 extra FPS so it really isnt worth it at all.

Edited by The_Lead_Factor
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RAID 1 will decrease performance but increase stability and security....RAID 0 does the opposite. And you cant just turn a 5400 drive into a 7200. Anyway, Configuring them in RAID 0 will only give you 1-3 extra FPS so it really isnt worth it at all.

but 3 FPS, is 3 FPS anyway (i thought i didn`t get any FPS with RAID, i only thought that i shorted down the "installation-time", i mean the time it takes for ex. BF2 to start up) .

so what should i do, some people say that i win nearly 3 FPS (wich is good i think), and some people say that i dont earn nearly nothing ? to change a 5400 HDD to a 7200 HDD its pretty cool, i think, i mean its a lot faster with 7200 rpm.

Edited by mattias
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You will gain FPS if your game loads a lot of data in the background. Games like Battlefield 2 don't load a lot of stuff while you play. So you probably gain 0.0 fps... on games like Oblivion which load new cells in background there might be some gain... but only when the game loads a new cell.

If you want to buy 2 7200 rpm HDDs up to you... but please don't come back here crying when you'll lose all your data. It will be a rather steep bill for gaining 1 second loading time in Battlefield 2.

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ok, i let it be !

Oh no you won't, you started this thread, you shall read each reply and then write a reply in no less than 500 words :)

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Oh no you won't, you started this thread, you shall read each reply and then write a reply in no less than 500 words :)

you think this is funny, grove up buddy !

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Actualy it is funny....Who would waste the cash on 2 7200 drives only to gain a second on loading times or 1-2 FPS on a game? You wouldnt even notice the difference.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Matt Helyar
RAID is only any good when it gets to RAID 5 with striping and mirroring.

Too risky to use RAID 0 and RAID 1 is a waste of space.

Contrary to the 2 popular beliefs.. RAID 5 isn't stripe+mirror and doesn't have a dedicated parity drive.

stipe+mirror would be raid 01 or 10, stripe with a dedicated parity is raid4, which isn't used in desktops.

raid 5 is stripe (like raid 0), with 1 block of parity for each n-1 blocks of data where n=number of drives.

The parity blocks are scatered on all the drives.

What does this mean:

1 - you lose some space to parity. if you have 4 drives, you lose 1/4 of that; if you have 5, you lose 1/5

2 - it can survive 1 disk failure at any one time without loss of data. that's what the parity is and raid 5 controllers can work out what the missing block was on the fly (loss of performance while its running in this mode) and when you replace the disk, the old data can be re-written onto it.

3 - its only effective if you have 3 or more drives in the array. Too many people have raid5 arrays with 2 drives in it. The parity doesn't do squat if you only have 1 drive left, which would be the case if 1 of the 2 drives failed, making it actaully a combination of all the worst parts of raid 1 and raid 0 IF YOU HAVE <3 DRIVES IN THE ARRAY (lose half the drive space to parity, don't get any performance boost, data is still unrecoverable if 1 drive fails).

RAID 5 is a very good pice of technology... so long as you have 3, or better 4, drives in the array.

RAID 1 (mirror) is good for a performance boost on the reading, but wont give any on the writing. It does half your space if you have 2 drives in raid 1, and there's no reason to have any other number than 2. But if a drive fails u still have a copy of it.

RAID 0 (stripe) gives the best performance boost on both read and write as it collects more blocks of the same data simultaniously. Another common misconception: RAID 0 doesn't make drives more likely to fail and it doesn't fail every drive if one does. The hard drives don't know they're in raid, they just know they're reading and writing data, they last as long as they would anyway. What actualyl happens is the more drives you have running, the more likely any one of them is to fail (like the more dice you throw, the more likely you are that one will hit 6). When 1 drive fails, you lose all the data over every drive, although all the other drives are still usable after a format. Nevertheless, it has the best performance and doesn't lose space by being in RAID, making it a good choice for gamers. Most hard drives will last at least 3-5 years before failing, by the time most drives fail, they're out of date anyway.

Personally i have 2x 250GB seagate barracuda 7900.9s (7200rpm sata2) in a RAID 0 stripe. That gives me a very fast 500GB logical drive which is very good for gaming and set me back £100 (US$140) for the pair. If one fails i'l lose data, which i would if they weren't in an array, will cost £50 (US$70) to replace one, but they came with a 5 year warranty. I can live with the risk of a a raid 0 for the massive size and performance of the logical drive.

The best way to do it is to have 4 identical hard drives, preferably with different manufacture dates in either raid 01 (mirror of stripes), 10 (stripe of mirrors) or 5 (stripe with parity). If you only have 2 drives, forget parity, go for raid 0.

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