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Raid Array Questions?

Robscix

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Hey guys, I am considering installing a RAID array because I do recording and audio work and the files get very large. My question is, I don't have a on board controller so if I get add-in SATA II controller would it be bottlenecked to the PCI bus? Thx for any info...
 

MpG

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I'm hardly an expert on RAID stuff, but by the numbers, I'd say that it would be an iffy proposition.

Firstly, the PCI interface tops out at 133 MB/s sustained data transfer, IIRC, and most modern hard drives have no trouble putting out half of that. Thus, a RAID 0 setup with two drives would basically max things right out, and more drives would be largely redundant, except to provide more storage space (or RAID 1?).

Secondly, the aforementioned 133 MB/s interface would be unable to take proper advantage of SATA II's maximum burst speed of 300 MB/s.

Lastly, simply introducing any RAID controller introduces additional latency into the process, increasing average seek times. This may or may not be an issue. For large file handling, probably not a huge issue, but it's still there. If you have other applications running off the disk(s), they might load a little slower.

Like I said before, I'm honestly no expert, but the numbers seem a little weak from what I can see. I'm assuming there's a reason PCI-E isn't an option for you? Even a PCI-E x1 (250 MB/s) slot would have more potential, I'd expect.
 

Robscix

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Actually That is what I was thinking the bottlekneck of the PCI Bus for the Controller. This is why I was looking at PCI-E controller. No my Mobo is brand new but I didn't get a built in RAID controller. I do alot of audio recording so the aded speed when moving big files would help quite a bit. I am researching the whole subject. thx for your help.
 

Squeetard

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What is your budget? And what are your system specs and mobo you'll be running it on?
 

enaberif

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Actually That is what I was thinking the bottlekneck of the PCI Bus for the Controller. This is why I was looking at PCI-E controller. No my Mobo is brand new but I didn't get a built in RAID controller. I do alot of audio recording so the aded speed when moving big files would help quite a bit. I am researching the whole subject. thx for your help.
You will want to use RAID 5 for the best of all worlds when it comes to RAID but unfortunately you lose amost 1 of the 4 drives when it comes down to it.

RAID 0 is VERY dangerous as it just mirrors the drives with absolutely no redundancy so if a drive dies your array is completely hosed.

RAID 1 is better due to it being mirrored so if a drive does die you can stick another in and it'll rebuilt it for you without incurring (hopefully) any data loss.

In regards to saturating the PCI(E) bus no that won't happen, many people run multiple RAID controllers and hard drives in a system and never have any issues. What you have to understand is that most work on a hard drive is burst not constant so it would only be a brief moment in where the controller would be doing LOTS of work at once and very little not at all.

Make sure also whatever RAID card you get can possibly have a bios chip on it so it bootable if you wish, if your RAID setup is purely for data backup then don't worry about that.
 

Robscix

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No I meant using a PCI-E based controller becasue it has more bandwidth. I am unsure if I am gonna go RAID 0 or not. HDD are made pretty decent these days and I do back up my important files. I learned that long ago. HDD's can go down when your just running 1 so that is a risk we all take. I would notice the speed increase when loading and moving the large files usually associated with audio recording. Which I do all the time.

Perhaps RAID 0+1....I could have a RAID 0 array for speed and have that backed up with a mirror. Thanks for your help perhaps I need to do more research.
 

enaberif

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No I meant using a PCI-E based controller becasue it has more bandwidth. I am unsure if I am gonna go RAID 0 or not. HDD are made pretty decent these days and I do back up my important files. I learned that long ago. HDD's can go down when your just running 1 so that is a risk we all take. I would notice the speed increase when loading and moving the large files usually associated with audio recording. Which I do all the time.

Perhaps RAID 0+1....I could have a RAID 0 array for speed and have that backed up with a mirror. Thanks for your help perhaps I need to do more research.
PCI-E > PCI so again you'd have no issues and yes you are correct you'll mostly benefit from the transferring of larger files over smaller ones.
 

MarshallX

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Do Raid 0 for your OS drive, since thats an easy recovery. Put your data on a different drive and keep it backed up. If you want a raid setup for it all, use Raid 5 or multi-level raid, Raid 0 + 1.
 

DaleF

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Well, depending on what you need RAID for, it would determine which would be the best for you. If you just need long-term storage, grab three drives and create a RAID 5 array, but be warned, it'll run slowly on a software based RAID solution, and you lose one drive for parity data. RAID 0 is good for sequential reads and writes as it stripes the data across multiple (at least 2) drives, but doesn't have any redundancy. RAID 1 also works if you need redundancy, but isn't as fast as RAID5 and has less storage space (with similar sized drives). You can also do 0+1 and 1+0 with a decent controller which mixes the two RAID levels.
So, what do you need the array for?
 

Robscix

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Ontario, Canada
Speed. It is for editiing and recording audio. Moving and loading large files is common place so RAID will give me a boost in performance. I don't like the idea of losing data though....Raid 5 or 0+1 may be the way to go. Experts?
 

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