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malmsteenisgod

Does Anyone Recommend Raid 0?

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personally, I always use RAID-0 in my gaming rigs. Whoever says there's no performance increase for games or other uses is smoking a lot of crack. I typically use 3-4 80GB SATA II drives together, and the performance increase is definitely noticeable regardless of which program you are using. Games load faster (level and texture load times definitely decreased), programs open faster, writes to the hdd are definitely much faster, etc.

 

Data loss or RAID failure or corruption is always a real possibility. In 10 years, I've had a total of ONE RAID-0 set fail (out of possibly THOUSANDS of setups, whether my own or customers or friends). If you are adamant and vigilant about backing everything up regularly, there's no reason to not run RAID-0. In my home server, I use RAID-1 for storage, and RAID-0 for everything else (like ripping dvd's, rendering movies in Sony Vegas, etc). All of the other desktops use RAID-0 and all are tied into the server for backup/storage just in case one was to fail.

 

With hdd's being incredibly cheap (I've just set up 2x250GB 16MB cache hdd's in RAID-0 and it is even better than the 3x36GB 10,000RPM Raptors I've traditionally used in my personal gaming rig for the last 3 or 4 years), there's not much extra $ in doing RAID, and the benefits are worth it, especially for gamers (since again, levels and textures load much faster than off a single drive)

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Raid 0 is the most fragile of all RAID setups. I am not saying it will fail its just MOST LIKELY to.

Will you notice a speed difference in the average things you do as a gamer? NOPE. Will some small speed increases be noticable when doing certain things IE map loads... just a bit.

 

The real question is it worth the time, money, and hassle. In my opinion (and I have ran 3 different raid 0 systems) NO. Spend time optimizing your registry, spend money on better ram, faster processor, or new video card. Raid in a gaming system is the absolute last place I would look to getting a gaming upgrade and that would be after a faster optical drive. Its a risk vs benefit cost analysis to me. I have only have had one of my three raids ever drop a drive but my single drive systems are 90% (1 out of 10 failed) and that leaves the raid set ups at 66%. Reloading my system from scratch = a full day after you patch everything and get all your custom setups saved for each game/app. So for gaming I don't build raid machines anymore. Single drive speeds are so very close when gaming its just not noticeable until you get to very small areas... ie map loading and not always is this even noticeable pending on how and where it stored these data files. Its just to iffy to bet on.

 

The most speed benefit you will ever get in gaming come from the big three

Processor

Video Card

Memory

If you have maxed out those three and are still hungry for more then you might want to make raid an option.

Edited by Rodneyho

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personally, I always use RAID-0 in my gaming rigs. Whoever says there's no performance increase for games or other uses is smoking a lot of crack. I typically use 3-4 80GB SATA II drives together, and the performance increase is definitely noticeable regardless of which program you are using. Games load faster (level and texture load times definitely decreased), programs open faster, writes to the hdd are definitely much faster, etc.

 

Data loss or RAID failure or corruption is always a real possibility. In 10 years, I've had a total of ONE RAID-0 set fail (out of possibly THOUSANDS of setups, whether my own or customers or friends). If you are adamant and vigilant about backing everything up regularly, there's no reason to not run RAID-0. In my home server, I use RAID-1 for storage, and RAID-0 for everything else (like ripping dvd's, rendering movies in Sony Vegas, etc). All of the other desktops use RAID-0 and all are tied into the server for backup/storage just in case one was to fail.

 

With hdd's being incredibly cheap (I've just set up 2x250GB 16MB cache hdd's in RAID-0 and it is even better than the 3x36GB 10,000RPM Raptors I've traditionally used in my personal gaming rig for the last 3 or 4 years), there's not much extra $ in doing RAID, and the benefits are worth it, especially for gamers (since again, levels and textures load much faster than off a single drive)

 

Ok, I get that it loads the textures faster, but this is only during a loading screen right? It won't affect in-game FPS right?

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as long as you have a decent amount of ram, then no it will not help with fps...if at all. Once, whatever it is you are loading from the hard drive is loaded into ram, the hdd are finished with their job.

 

But I do recommend Raid-0 as I hate any screen that says "loading" and I have to wait for it to go away, as I'm sure everyone else does too.

 

I've been running raid-0 for several years, on 2,3, and even 4 drive set ups. Only once had a drive fail, but I keep back ups, so it was an easy fix. I tend to re-install the os every year or so any way so no big deal.

 

The only downside is the extra step(s) to ensure you have your raid driver installed during the OS install, and the extra 2-4 seconds it takes to get from power on button to OS loaded (for the array to initialize).

Edited by Fight Game

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Raid-0 sounds good to me. I am planning to grab a couple of 80 gig drives from work and putting them in a raid-0 config as my Games drive. I was going to use the marvell sata ports on my P5Q premium. So even if it dies on me, I only lose game data :)

 

I definitely wouldnt put my OS on a raid-0 though.

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I think it's more appropriate to say that Raid-0 USED to be good, back when individual drives could not pull their own weight, and when drives in general were not very fast. That was when raiding meant each drive would cover up the other's crawling speed. However modern harddrives are all so well engineered that I see no point in Raiding harddrives anymore. Unless like Rodney said, you're rich and you have absolutely nothing else to spend your money in buffing up your computer system with.

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I've run triple and quad RAID 0 setups before...then switched to single drive setups and not noticed any loss of performance in anything except file manipulation. I don't think it's worthwhile at all for a gaming rig unless you're running SSDs, as they scale pretty damn linearly with added drives.

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I run 4x250 RAID-10 and 2x250 RAID-0 in my main rig, all on Hitachi T7K500 SATA2 drives and it satisfies my impatience...

 

my non-temporary data (i.e. media) is on single drives

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RAID-0 is awesome, I use it on everything and love it.........if you think your going to cry if you lose your data and never backup your stuff... then go RAID 5.

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Ok, I get that it loads the textures faster, but this is only during a loading screen right? It won't affect in-game FPS right?

no it wont affect FPS. Once the game's engine loads, the textures load, and the physics routines load, you are running directly out of memory. The only time your hdd will be accessed is during one of the following scenarios:

 

1. you change levels/load new levels (must read data from hdd into RAM)

 

2. you play a game that has load-on-the-fly mechanics (think GTA IV or other games where there is no level change yet a large world to explore). You will access the hdd in bits as new areas load on the fly, but you shouldn't notice this even on a single hdd.

 

3. you don't have enough RAM (either gpu memory or system memory) and so constantly hitting your swap file. Those of us that remember Battlefield 2 know exactly what this is...no matter how awesome your system was, if you only had 1GB of system RAM, you were constantly getting stuttering from the hdd constantly using the swap file to exchange data in and out of RAM. In this scenario, no amount of hdd's in RAID-0 will help you, this is a pure 'lack of enough RAM' issue

 

*4. something like your anti-virus kicks in with a scan while you are playing...RAID-0 won't help you here either as the Anti-Virus scanner needs to hit every file on your hdd, which of course RAID-0 would make this go faster, but AV scanning eats up a lot of cpu time...so not only is your hdd constantly being hit for reads during a scan, your cpu is giving up 50% or more of its time to the scan, leaving your game stuttering and usually unplayable.

 

 

Possibly more scenarios than this, but these are the major ones. Hdd's have zero impact on fps, only on load times (ie anything that resides on the hard disk and must be read into memory = affected by hdd speed, RAID-0 performance, etc)

 

However modern harddrives are all so well engineered that I see no point in Raiding harddrives anymore. Unless like Rodney said, you're rich and you have absolutely nothing else to spend your money in buffing up your computer system with.

 

Well, you might not see a point, but that doesn't negate the fact that there is a very REAL performance increase when adding drives into a RAID-0 setup. Just because a single hdd works perfect for you doesn't negate the reality that RAID-0 (and consequently, RAID-5 in webservers and enterprise servers) is a necessity for a LOT of users. Gamers probably not, but game developers, most definitely so. Photoshop/graphic editors most definitely. Music editors? Yep, it is almost a 'must have' for music editing, and it is most definitely necessary for video editing. I don't speak from inside my own butthole about this...I do this stuff regularly (record raw audio for processing/mixing, and capturing raw video off DV camera for real-time video editing).

 

You should be careful what you repeat like a sheep that other people say when it is #1 false and #2 doesn't pertain to you and your needs (and possibly #3 doesn't offer anything to the OP's topic, only flexes your opinion, which doesn't mesh with OP's questions as to what performance RAID-0 might give him and if it is something he needs or just wants.

 

I've run triple and quad RAID 0 setups before...then switched to single drive setups and not noticed any loss of performance in anything except file manipulation. I don't think it's worthwhile at all for a gaming rig unless you're running SSDs, as they scale pretty damn linearly with added drives.

RAID-0 on standard magnetic hdd's scale the same as SSD's since both use the same interface (both run on SATA II interface at this time). SSD's will eventually replace magnetic drives, and of course flash memory is much faster (nanoseconds) when it comes to access times than magnetic hdd's (milliseconds), but the interface is still the bottleneck, which in turn limits SSD's to being barely better than magnetic drives until you factor in the cost...and see that magnetic drives still triumph.

 

 

moral of the story is: c'mon kids, use your heads...logic and reason instead of repeating like bleating sheep the dogma you've "read on the internet" or "heard from a friend" (no matter how good of a friend...nonsense is still nonsense).

Edited by Angry_Games

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no it wont affect FPS. Once the game's engine loads, the textures load, and the physics routines load, you are running directly out of memory. The only time your hdd will be accessed is during one of the following scenarios:

 

1. you change levels/load new levels (must read data from hdd into RAM)

 

2. you play a game that has load-on-the-fly mechanics (think GTA IV or other games where there is no level change yet a large world to explore). You will access the hdd in bits as new areas load on the fly, but you shouldn't notice this even on a single hdd.

 

3. you don't have enough RAM (either gpu memory or system memory) and so constantly hitting your swap file. Those of us that remember Battlefield 2 know exactly what this is...no matter how awesome your system was, if you only had 1GB of system RAM, you were constantly getting stuttering from the hdd constantly using the swap file to exchange data in and out of RAM. In this scenario, no amount of hdd's in RAID-0 will help you, this is a pure 'lack of enough RAM' issue

 

*4. something like your anti-virus kicks in with a scan while you are playing...RAID-0 won't help you here either as the Anti-Virus scanner needs to hit every file on your hdd, which of course RAID-0 would make this go faster, but AV scanning eats up a lot of cpu time...so not only is your hdd constantly being hit for reads during a scan, your cpu is giving up 50% or more of its time to the scan, leaving your game stuttering and usually unplayable.

 

 

Possibly more scenarios than this, but these are the major ones. Hdd's have zero impact on fps, only on load times (ie anything that resides on the hard disk and must be read into memory = affected by hdd speed, RAID-0 performance, etc)

 

 

 

Well, you might not see a point, but that doesn't negate the fact that there is a very REAL performance increase when adding drives into a RAID-0 setup. Just because a single hdd works perfect for you doesn't negate the reality that RAID-0 (and consequently, RAID-5 in webservers and enterprise servers) is a necessity for a LOT of users. Gamers probably not, but game developers, most definitely so. Photoshop/graphic editors most definitely. Music editors? Yep, it is almost a 'must have' for music editing, and it is most definitely necessary for video editing. I don't speak from inside my own butthole about this...I do this stuff regularly (record raw audio for processing/mixing, and capturing raw video off DV camera for real-time video editing).

 

You should be careful what you repeat like a sheep that other people say when it is #1 false and #2 doesn't pertain to you and your needs (and possibly #3 doesn't offer anything to the OP's topic, only flexes your opinion, which doesn't mesh with OP's questions as to what performance RAID-0 might give him and if it is something he needs or just wants.

 

 

RAID-0 on standard magnetic hdd's scale the same as SSD's since both use the same interface (both run on SATA II interface at this time). SSD's will eventually replace magnetic drives, and of course flash memory is much faster (nanoseconds) when it comes to access times than magnetic hdd's (milliseconds), but the interface is still the bottleneck, which in turn limits SSD's to being barely better than magnetic drives until you factor in the cost...and see that magnetic drives still triumph.

 

 

moral of the story is: c'mon kids, use your heads...logic and reason instead of repeating like bleating sheep the dogma you've "read on the internet" or "heard from a friend" (no matter how good of a friend...nonsense is still nonsense).

I know Raid has a purpose but specifically pertaining to what the threadstarter (Malmsteen) asked, "is it worth it for games?" the answer is no. I never denied it being useful in a workstation type of setup, I do some video editing and some audio work here and there but I never really saw a need to Raid again. I've never done any raw video/audio processing so maybe that's what I'm missing out on but I still stand behind the fact that the 7200rpm's of today are good enough to not make having a raid platform as valuable (except maybe a raid 1 for super safe data protection), I will probably get back into raid systems once SSD becomes good/affordable (non of those MLC type crappy SSD's that are not worth the green). I'd be buying SSD hopefully when they'd release a SATA III or newer interface to truly keep up with the speed of the newer SSD technology, or in my laptop for battery savings.

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