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Hard Drive Dilemma


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#1 Boyo

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 11:07 AM

I am building a new rig and I am stuck on my hard drive set up. I have read a lot of articles about RAID. Some, like AnandTech recommend not using it, as it is not worth it for a desktop. Others, like Overclockers.com say definitely use RAID.

I am considering 2 set-ups, and I could use some advice on which would be better.

2x WD 7200.9 8MB Cache 200GB RAID 0
or
1 WD 10,000 16MB Cache 34GB
1 WD 7200.9 16MB Cache 250GB

I will be using the PC for gaming, multi-tasking and internet. Here is a list of the rest of my hardware selected:

AMD X2 4400+
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe
2x 1GB Corsair XMS PC3200C2PRO
Lite-On DVD/CD burner Lightscribe
1 of the above HDD set-ups
not sure of PSU

I could really use some advice as this is my first build. Thanks
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ @2.64GHz|AC Freezer 64 Pro|Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe|Corsair 2GB PC3500LLPRO|eVGA 7900GT CO Superclocked|SB Audigy 2 ZS|Logitech MX1000|WD 74GB Raptor|WD 320GB Caviar SE16|WD 250GB Caviar RE16 eSATA Mobile |Lite-On DVD/CD with Lightscribe|Enermax Liberty 620W|Lian Li PC7 Plus II

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#2 Herk

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 12:04 PM

I'm currently working on a machine that had RAID 0. I dislike using RAID for a number of reasons, mostly, there isn't much performance gain and it's too easy to lose the data. I had to replace the motherboard in this computer and doubt there's any way to do a repair install of XP. There's about six gigs of data that was backed up and can be replaced though it's very time-consuming. Here's an article describing some of the woes of RAID. In all my reading on the subject, those most experienced in replacing motherboards say to format the drives and do a clean install because if you don't, you'll be having continual problems.

#3 Mr Alpha

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 01:47 PM

Seems like a nice system. (Look who's talking :thumbsup:, my sig)

Don't bother with RAID. It will only increase the chance that something will stop working and it doesn't offer any real-world performance boost. The second option is definitely the way to go. Although getting a bigger Raptor might be wise, so that you can get Windows, temp files, pagefile, and a bunch of modern 5 GB games on it.

As for a PSU: Something nice and big of a quality brand. There are a lot of criminally crappy PSUs out there.
"Anyone who cannot form a community with others, or who does not need to because he is self-sufficient [...] is either a beast or a god." Aristotle
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#4 Boyo

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 05:14 PM

Mr Alpha, I like your idea. The way RAID sounds to me, it is more of a marketing gimmick, but I just wanted to hear from experienced PCers what were their thoughts on RAID. I totally see your point in getting a larger Raptor. That sounds like a great solution and I am going down that road. I will look into the 74GB and up.

I think I have settled on a PSU. The OCZ Powerstream 600w. It's got 20A & 18A on the 12 rails, and they are adjustable. It's expensive, but I think it sounds like a strong, stable PS. What do you think?


Herk, thanks for the link. It led me to a number of articles that soured me on RAID. Appreciate it.....
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ @2.64GHz|AC Freezer 64 Pro|Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe|Corsair 2GB PC3500LLPRO|eVGA 7900GT CO Superclocked|SB Audigy 2 ZS|Logitech MX1000|WD 74GB Raptor|WD 320GB Caviar SE16|WD 250GB Caviar RE16 eSATA Mobile |Lite-On DVD/CD with Lightscribe|Enermax Liberty 620W|Lian Li PC7 Plus II

#5 Mr Alpha

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 05:28 PM

Sounds good. The OCZ Power Stream are quality stuff.
"Anyone who cannot form a community with others, or who does not need to because he is self-sufficient [...] is either a beast or a god." Aristotle
Intel Core 2 Quad | XFX 780i SLI | 8GB Corsair | Gigabyte GeForce 8800GTX | Auzentech X-Fi Prelude| Logitech G15 | Logitech MX Revolution | LG Flatron L2000C | Logitech Z-5500 Digital

#6 Snapper

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 11:54 PM

well, opinions eh! i run and recommend a raid setup for people that would get a use out of it. it is not for everyone, but it can fit anyone. You can have raid as redundancy<mirror> speed<striping> or both, or speed and paridy checking with hot swapable option.
i have a raid 0, striping with 4 7200 rpm WD 80 g hdd's.
i use mine for gaming and ripping/burning. i am all about speed for my uses also using dual channel ram.
I also know that the possibility of losing my data is 3 times more likely becuse i use a 4 drive srtiping without mirror or parity. but, i also have a 200 gig "dump" drive on another sata controller that houses my ghost image of my latest configuration, and all my unrecoverable files>pics>music>docs.
this way is best for me.
what do you want outta your system? speed, redundancy, both.
there is a configuration for everyone.
BTW, if u r interested in my opinion about sli (your board supports it), no bother, and PSU, thermaltake no second thought 4 me. but again, opinions eh?
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#7 Boyo

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 10:51 AM

You have 5 HDD's????? Wow. Sounds like you are all about speed.....Your 200GB "Dump" drive sounds interesting. What is a ghost image, and how do you do that??? Are you saying if you lost your 4 Raptors, this ghost image will get you back up and running without a hitch??? I've never heard of that. Could you explain it to me? Thanks....

Mostly I will be using my computer for multi-tasking projects, on-line first person gaming and internet surfing. Pretty standard stuff.
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ @2.64GHz|AC Freezer 64 Pro|Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe|Corsair 2GB PC3500LLPRO|eVGA 7900GT CO Superclocked|SB Audigy 2 ZS|Logitech MX1000|WD 74GB Raptor|WD 320GB Caviar SE16|WD 250GB Caviar RE16 eSATA Mobile |Lite-On DVD/CD with Lightscribe|Enermax Liberty 620W|Lian Li PC7 Plus II

#8 Snapper

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 12:26 PM

well, 1st of all, my drives arent raptors, i am currently in an arguement at work with someone about his and my array, to see who's fastest, his 2 raptors raid 0, or my 4 sata drives raid 0. there are also other considerations, but thats for later. raptors run at 10000rpm, whereas my drives run at 7200, then there is a cache difference as well.
a "ghost" image basically, is a program, norton's "ghost", which does the same as making an image of a cd, it takes a mirror image of my hard drive, or in my case ,array of drives, and compresses it to make a mirror image of my system, it uses it's own extension of course. so, if it hits the fan, i replace the bad drive(s), boot into the norton ghost program (floppy) and select option "copy drive from image". It decompresses, and creates exactly the same information using the mirror it made and compressed onto another location, (of course, my dump drive). i then simply reboot, and resume operations as normal.
to make an image is also easy, but a bit time consuming, so i choose to do this at long intervals, but regularly backup my mail,pics,music,docs etc on my "dump drive". this way i dont have to do an image every week, but i have a current one, and all my stuffs are also copied.
on my board i have 8 sata controllers, and 2 ata controllers, so i have loads of room for more hdd's if i need to.
if u r gaming, u will benefit from raid 0 and dual channel ram if your board supports it. also, make sure you go sata when u buy your drives, for the extra like 10$ a drive, it is well worth it.
hope i helped
dave
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#9 Boyo

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 01:12 PM

Thanks for explaining a ghost image. I have never heard of that before, so I will look into it. But, I have to say, I am going to stay away from RAID. I've read too many articles and I don't feel comfortable using it. I'll just get a Raptor, SATA, and I still have my external for backups. Thanks for your help......
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ @2.64GHz|AC Freezer 64 Pro|Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe|Corsair 2GB PC3500LLPRO|eVGA 7900GT CO Superclocked|SB Audigy 2 ZS|Logitech MX1000|WD 74GB Raptor|WD 320GB Caviar SE16|WD 250GB Caviar RE16 eSATA Mobile |Lite-On DVD/CD with Lightscribe|Enermax Liberty 620W|Lian Li PC7 Plus II

#10 Snapper

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 01:17 PM

no prob, onto each thier own! raptors are very fast drives!
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