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Angry_Games

Nforce4 Ultra-D/SLI-DR/SLI-D RAID Tutorial (updated first post)

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For those of you that aren't experienced with setting up RAID, here's a quick, easy guide with lots of pictures to help you along.

[url="http://www.angrygames.com/nf4raid-1.htm"]http://www.angrygames.com/nf4raid-1.htm[/url]

secondary version using an 80GB PATA (IDE) drive + 80GB SATA drive to do RAID-0 on a DAGF NF4 939 (same chipset as Lanparty NF4, same RAID BIOS, just slightly different system BIOS)

feedback is appreciated!


I will possibly do a SI3114 RAID Setup if there is demand for one...

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Very nice but what's the sense? I use normally SATA Driver and i think it's not faster or slower then Raid. It's this right or misunderstood?

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Thanks Angry...

That is a pretty comprehensive guide... It should answer any questions regarding installing a RAID array... however...

I have a question regarding the nVRAID BIOS that shiped with my mobo, which is the 1/25 BIOS.

When my system gets to the screen where the nVRAID is checking the array, I get a message in bright white writing, say something like "Warning! Have Option Rom Can Not Invoke Vendor ID ***** *****" . I can't read the last few characters because it comes up very quickly and then it's gone and pause doesn't work on this screen ...

Might you have any ideas as to what could be the cause of this message, and how I can get rid of it, or is it normal?

Thanks in advance,


Geebs

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Good Guide, Thanks, I just completed a RAID 0 a couple of days ago with 2 DiamondMax 10 250GB.

Didn't have AG's guide but used this the nVIDIA manual found on the DFI web site under the LP SLI-DR it is [/color][color="black"][url="http://www.dfi.com.tw/Support/Download/manual_download_us.jsp?PRODUCT_ID=3449&CATEGORY_TYPE=LP&INDEX_TYPE=null&STATUS_FLAG=A&SITE=US"]NVidia RAID Manual [/url]3.



(the one found under the manual link for the Ultra-D Board is Manual 2)

Setting up a Bootable RAID array starts on page 22. This for those wanting a hard copy to go along with AG's guide will be helpful.


I used the floppy from DFI site [url="http://www.dfi.com.tw/Support/Download/driver_download_us.jsp?PRODUCT_ID=3449&CATEGORY_TYPE=LP&INDEX_TYPE=null&STATUS_FLAG=A&SITE=US"]F6_NF4R [/url]and did not have any problems except for the raidmgmt.ini problem noted. Can contest just keep putting in A: and it will go. Also had to hit F6 bunch of times at the start of windows.

Thanks AG

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[quote name='GNU']Very nice but what's the sense? I use normally SATA Driver and i think it's not faster or slower then Raid. It's this right or misunderstood?[/quote]
you do not use the drivers @ F6 if you are not using RAID. If you are using SATA drives but just as normal data drives, no RAID functionality, you do not use F6 drivers. Period.

a single drive is slower than 2x drives in RAID-0. 3x RAID-0 drives are faster still. 4x drives RAID-0 are crazy fast.

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[quote name='Angry_Games']you do not use the drivers @ F6 if you are not using RAID. If you are using SATA drives but just as normal data drives, no RAID functionality, you do not use F6 drivers. Period.

a single drive is slower than 2x drives in RAID-0. 3x RAID-0 drives are faster still. 4x drives RAID-0 are crazy fast.[/quote]

I have only a single SATA Drive. Shall i install this in Raid-0? I mean it's good if i install my SATA HDD in Raid-0. It's faster then a normal data driver?

Ah yes why does windows shows the symbol for external devices? It's shows my SATA HDD. It's a failure not?

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GNU,

You must use a MINIMUM of 2 drives in RAID 0. You can not have raid with 1 drive.

As for Windows, SATA Drives are designed to Hot Swappable, so Windows sees a SATA HDD as removeable, but I wouldn't advise removing the drive the OS is installed on while it's powered up... in other words, NO, it is not a failure.

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[quote name='Angry_Games']you do not use the drivers @ F6 if you are not using RAID. If you are using SATA drives but just as normal data drives, no RAID functionality, you do not use F6 drivers. Period.

a single drive is slower than 2x drives in RAID-0. [b]3x RAID-0 drives are faster still. 4x drives RAID-0 are crazy fast[/b].[/quote]

Hi :)

i'm curently running 2 diamondmax plus9 160GB (sata) in raid0 on nvidia controller....

could you tell me if it's possible to "ADD" 1 or 2 disks to the array w/o loosing data?

:)

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GNU,

A RAID-0 array is a "simple" way to increase throughput between the system and drives. There are applications where having a RAID-0 array doesn't improve performance very much. In some applications there are tremendous increases in performance due to the throughput available with a striped array.

If you are happy with a single drive solution, that's all that matters.

I held off using a RAID-0 array until the drive/controller solutions dropped in price. It was hard for me to justify spending top dollar for a pair of WD Raptors to save a few seconds of drive access. Now that Hitachi has released their 80GB SATA II drives it became easy for me to justify the cost. I got two Hitachi drives giving me at least 90%(and that's a very conservative estimate) of the performance and a 150GB array for less than the cost of one 36GB Raptor. The high spindle speed of the Raptor will always give lower random access times than a 7200RPM drive.

If raw drive throughput is your goal, you can't beat a RAID-0 array. As the CPU and memory sub-systems get faster, it will pay to have a high performance drive array. Level load times in many popular games are limited by the CPU decompressing the game files. When you get a better/faster motherboard and CPU, the limiting factor becomes the drive system.

My old nF2 motherboard with an Athlon 3200+ spent most of its game/level load time with the CPU. My nF3 motherboard was waiting on the drive during game/level loading. By installing a RAID-0 array, the limiting factor is the CPU again.

ExRoadie

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[quote name='ExRoadie']GNU,

A RAID-0 array is a "simple" way to increase throughput between the system and drives. There are applications where having a RAID-0 array doesn't improve performance very much. In some applications there are tremendous increases in performance due to the throughput available with a striped array.

If you are happy with a single drive solution, that's all that matters.

I held off using a RAID-0 array until the drive/controller solutions dropped in price. It was hard for me to justify spending top dollar for a pair of WD Raptors to save a few seconds of drive access. Now that Hitachi has released their 80GB SATA II drives it became easy for me to justify the cost. I got two Hitachi drives giving me at least 90%(and that's a very conservative estimate) of the performance and a 150GB array for less than the cost of one 36GB Raptor. The high spindle speed of the Raptor will always give lower random access times than a 7200RPM drive.

If raw drive throughput is your goal, you can't beat a RAID-0 array. As the CPU and memory sub-systems get faster, it will pay to have a high performance drive array. Level load times in many popular games are limited by the CPU decompressing the game files. When you get a better/faster motherboard and CPU, the limiting factor becomes the drive system.

My old nF2 motherboard with an Athlon 3200+ spent most of its game/level load time with the CPU. My nF3 motherboard was waiting on the drive during game/level loading. By installing a RAID-0 array, the limiting factor is the CPU again.

ExRoadie[/quote]

Hello ExRoadie: Thank you for the information. I'm not happy with my Sata HDD because my old system (Epox 8k9A2+ with Silicion Image) was faster with my one Sata HDD and now with DFI its too slow. I know RAID-0 are only with a minimum at 2 HDDs but i uses Sil Image with my single HDD and it's faster than SATA with the nForce SATA Driver. I tried to uses my single SATA HDD with RAID-0 and it's run but without any difference (not faster not slower an example: I uses Everest and Sandra. The Benchmark are so bad about the HDD Speed). I could use 4 SATA HDDs without RAID-0 and that's run better oder worse than with RAID-0? I don't know.

Sorry for my bad english i hope i don't misunderstood you.

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[quote name='GNU']Hello ExRoadie: Thank you for the information. I'm not happy with my Sata HDD because my old system (Epox 8k9A2+ with Silicion Image) was faster with my one Sata HDD and now with DFI its too slow. I know RAID-0 are only with a minimum at 2 HDDs but i uses Sil Image with my single HDD and it's faster than SATA with the nForce SATA Driver. I tried to uses my single SATA HDD with RAID-0 and it's run but without any difference (not faster not slower an example: I uses Everest and Sandra. The Benchmark are so bad about the HDD Speed). I could use 4 SATA HDDs without RAID-0 and that's run better oder worse than with RAID-0? I don't know.

Sorry for my bad english i hope i don't misunderstood you.[/quote]
I think we can work through this OK.

How do you know that your same drive is slower on the DFI motherboard? What benchmarks have you run?

If you are using the cables that came with the DFI motherboard, can you swap cables and run a benchmark so we can see if that is the problem?

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[quote name='ExRoadie']I think we can work through this OK.

How do you know that your same drive is slower on the DFI motherboard? What benchmarks have you run?

If you are using the cables that came with the DFI motherboard, can you swap cables and run a benchmark so we can see if that is the problem?[/quote]

I uses mainly Sandra.

Yes i using the same cable which came with the DFI mobo and i test with another SATA cable (From the Epox mobo). The cable from the Epox mobo is slower but only a little bit. Now i using the DFI cable. I don't have the Epox cable here.
Would you see the Benchmark? I can give more (Cache, Memory, etc.)

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