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RAID is it worth it?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by ST19AG_WGreymon, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. kRze

    kRze Master Guru

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    RAID 0 will be faster, it gains speed as you add more drives. So 3 HDD in a RAID 1 will not be anywhere as fast as 3 HDD in a RAID 0. Because RAID 1 will still be mirroring and RAID 0 will be spreading data across 3 disk. Even if it was only 2 HDD, RAID 0 would still have better performance over RAID 1. (You even say it yourself)

    I don't see why people shouldn't choose it for performance, when it does offer the best performance. It's just not smart to save any critical data on the RAID 0 array in case of a disk failure. Your OS, a few games and some drivers is all you need on a RAID 0 array and thats nothing that can't be reinstalled. You fail to explain yourself and only contradict your first sentence.
     
  2. Duke Nil

    Duke Nil Maha Guru

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    I see how that would be the case if data doesn't get distributed evenly in RAID 0, but why doesn't it usually? isn't that what a RAID controller is for? I could see that being true in what Hilbert calls FRAID, where there isn't any real hardware RAID arrangement, the array is just controlled by the CPU via software, but if it's true even with dedicated RAID controllers, why do RAID at all (RAID 0, that is), when you only get a noticeable performance boost in write operations, which most people wouldn't consider part of "performance"?

    I guess that's exactly what you're saying, but I would think RAID would be a little less popular if that were the case
     
  3. Psytek

    Psytek Ancient Guru

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    The article goes on to explain that, yes, on old IDE controllers only one drive in a RAID 1 set can be read at a time... but who here is running an IDE RAID array in a gaming rig?

    like I said, with RAID 1, for n drives with acess time X(avg), access times will consistently be close to nX, for RAID 0, this scenario will be far more infrequent but similarly attainable when data is optimally distributed. The same is true but to a lesser extent for sustained read speeds, but obviously this varies wildly from drive to drive.

    And please remember, that in my original post, I clearly stated that the advice I was giving was for the scenario where the ONLY reason for implementing RAID is to improve gaming performance, and RAID 1 will consistently give better load times than RAID 0.

    Empirical evidence aside, simply looking at how RAID 0 works brings out the shortcomings in terms of gaming. In order for RAID 0 to be effective, the stripe size must be as close an approximation as possible of the average size of data blocks/files which will be accessed during the critical operation of the system. But the size of the files required in games varies massively. You have every possible combination of small/large files, accessed frequently or infrequently, where only one in four scenarios can be optimally catered for when selecting the stripe size. (a gross oversimplification obviously, in reality a far smaller proportion of situations will benefit from the chosen stripe size) The only way that RAID 0 can be argued to be best is in the case of a machine designed to play only one game, but even then, the sizes of files required during loading is likely to vary enough to negate any optimisation of the stripe size. And who's to say that data can't change after a patch - way too late to change stripe size.


    The anandtech article is a little old, but the results are pretty lame for game loads: http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=2101&p=10
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  4. LinkDrive

    LinkDrive Ancient Guru

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    Save the money and wait for SSD to come down in price. Raid isn't much faster than a single drive setup other than with the burst speeds. The average speeds are more or less the same.
     

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