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Question for using multiple Sata drives

Discussion in 'Storage Drives' started by t31os, 17 Jun 2006.

  1. t31os

    Mobster

    Joined: 24 May 2006

    Posts: 3,575

    Location: Surrey - UK

    I'm thinking of buying 1 raptor 16mb cache drive to run windows on, can't quite budget for 2, so 1 will be fine, but with the cheaper drives i think i can manage adding 2 smaller sata drives to go along with the raptor.

    So i'm thinking of setting the PC like so....

    C - Raptor - Windows XP install
    D - 2 x Sata drives in Raid 0 - Games/Apps
    E - Current Sata drive - Data Storage, patches, music, backups etc....

    I can afford to at least get 1 of those 74gb raptors with the 16mb cache plus 2 £40 or so smaller regular 8mb cache ones to raid. On this matter, i'm assuming the Raid config just raid which ever drives i choose right, the OS drive doesnt have to be in raid does it?..

    You think that will work pretty well?.... PSU will manage it fine, i'm just after opinions and alternatives if you see a better way to do it. thanx ;)
     
  2. Dutch Guy

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

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    Location: Amsterdam,The Netherlands

    You want Windows on the fastest drive so that would be best on the RAID array :confused:

    Why not just get two slightly bigger drives and RAID them and leave the Raptor?
     
  3. FrankJH

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 Jun 2005

    Posts: 22,518

    I dont think a raid will be any better or worse than a Raptor, so I would go with your original choice Myself
     
  4. Black Dog

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,771

    Location: Reading, England

    I have 2x sata2 drives in raid and partitioned, one with windows and the other with games.

    Maybe go for that rather than the raptor?

    Games will run in conjunction with your os anyway with Directx ect, so it maybe a good idea to keep windows and games on the same drive and in RAID.!
     
  5. xtreme.BIN

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 1 Jun 2006

    Posts: 119

    Having windows on the Raptor would be faster due to the drives much lower Random access then the RAID0 array imho.

    Also you should partition the Raptor with a Small 5-8Gb C: drive if you want to do it properly.
     
  6. t31os

    Mobster

    Joined: 24 May 2006

    Posts: 3,575

    Location: Surrey - UK

    Decided on buying 1 x 74gb Raptor 16mb Cache, and Caviar 16mb cache.

    Will do....

    Raptor - OS
    Caviar - Games & Aps
    Hitachi - Storage

    I figure the OS drive should be the quickest and kept free of as much data as most, defragged often.

    Game and Aps drive is devoted to just that.... also defragged often.

    Then the storage drive is where random files, downloads, pics, music etc is chucked around, gets more fragmented, but doesnt really effect the other two.
     
  7. mrochester

    Soldato

    Joined: 29 Sep 2003

    Posts: 5,609

    Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

    I have for the first time ever a few weeks ago installed Windows onto a RAID 0 setup (after previously using the drives seperately). They are 2 x Samsung 200GB SATA2 drives, and I have to say that I don't notice any difference at all between this and a single drive.
     
  8. xtreme.BIN

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    Joined: 1 Jun 2006

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    Using 74Gb's for the OS drive is a complete waste of a Raptor tbh!!

    You should partition it so that you have a nice little 5-10Gb C: drive for just your Windows OS files & Pagefile.
    Then it's best to have a D: drive for your Programs & Games (size depending on amount of apps/games, I only use 10Gb as I don't play games on PC)
    Then if you have any space left on the raptor you can create a E: Fast storage drive with it.

    Also if you create a nLite XP disc you can move windows default install directory away from C:/Program Files --> D:/Program Files.

    Keeping your OS, Programs/Games and storage files on 3 separate partitions is the best way to setup a PC!! period.....

    Make sure when setup like this that you move all your default C: save directory’s (Firefox settings, Outlook PST, My Documents ..etc) away from C: and onto E:, this way whenever you need to ghost restore or re-install your system you don't need to spend ages backing-up or moving files that you would otherwise lose. This method of setup also means that your OS and program/games files fragment at a much slower rate as files are not being written to these drives (C&D), I defrag once a month my C and D drive and it takes no time at all.
    Defragging a drive that contains files other than OS and Programs/games is pretty pointless and will only help wear out the hd quicker.
     
  9. t31os

    Mobster

    Joined: 24 May 2006

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    Location: Surrey - UK

    So you'd recommend filling up more of the raptor with the games?......

    Are you serious, drives slow down the more they have on them, regardless of the partitions, surely filling the raptor up more is going to have a negative effect more then a positive one.
     
  10. xtreme.BIN

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    Utter rubbish!

    I suggest you research how hard drives and OS's work before making any further comments.
     
  11. t31os

    Mobster

    Joined: 24 May 2006

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    Location: Surrey - UK

    I took a PC course on fault finding and PC support, so i'm not stupid....... was a while ago, but.....

    From my understanding as a disk fills, it takes longer to read the information at the end of the disk, like a CD the data is read from one side to the other, from the center outwards, and as the outer disk is read it takes longer.

    From what i know..... i would assume the data toward the edge takes longer to read, naturally........ so are you in fact telling me that this is not the case?.....

    I don't mind being wrong........ damn being wrong has taught me some of the most precious and worth while things i've ever known, so feel free to give me a lesson in the workings of a HDD.

    And please don't insult me by telling me to research before i make comments, i did start this thread in the hope someone would offer helpful information. Again i don't mind being wrong, but total rudeness helps noone and makes you look bad more then anything, so please, if you want to contribute to the thread then do so in a polite manner.
     
  12. james.miller

    Capodecina

    Joined: 17 Aug 2003

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    Location: Woburn Sand Dunes

    yes you are correct. data storage on the outer edges of the platters does indeed take longer to read. The trasfer rate can be up to 20mb/sec down compared to the inner-most part of the platters in a hard drive.

    However, that makes no difference to data already stored in the drive so in that sense no, it doesnt slow the drive down.


    my opinion? radi is WAY over-rated. go with a single Seagate barracuda 7200.10 hard drive. They are miles infront of any other 7200rpm drive right now, close to rapot performance and a huge chunk cheaper. look them up:)
     
  13. t31os

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    What do you mean data stored on the drive on the drive already, wether its there to begin with or not, its still stored on the outer part of the disk, i would have thought the read time would be increased.

    I had a friend benchmark his regualr Raptors in Raid0 against my Hitachi Sata II last night, and it whooped mine, though his is on a fresh install and i have lots of stuff on here (am defragged though).

    This brings me to the disk discussion with where data is on the disk........ surely this is why a fresh install is always fast, like i said, less data on the disk, which is all read from the fastest part of the disk.

    As i said before though, i don't mind being wrong...... i'd rather be wrong, more to learn that way... ;)
     
  14. james.miller

    Capodecina

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    Location: Woburn Sand Dunes

    yeah, i just said that. what im saying is it makes no difference to whatever is already stored on different parts of the platters - they still read at the same speed dont they? if your windows instill is at the beginning then it wont magically slow down if some games are stored at the end.

    of coruse it will. it pretty much doubles bandwidth, that's what raid0 is all about. Have you seen any benchmarks detailing the difference in performance in windows? it's nowhere near double.

    no, its faster because there is less data to read full stop. Installing programs means more in the registry, more on the disk, more services running, more programs.....it all slows the os down that little bit more.
     
  15. xtreme.BIN

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    When windows is running it is constantly writing and reading data (Prefetch, Pagefile ..etc) so when your C: drive is one massive partition mixed with loads of other storage files it is often forced to use sectors on the slower part of the platter.
    This slows it down in two ways:

    1: The bandwidth on this part of the platter is slower
    2: The Hd arm has to travel significantly further to actually access the sectors

    Keeping all the OS and Programs tight together in small partitions on the hard drive makes sure that these files that benefit the most from MAX speed have 'laid claim' for want of a better word of the fastest part of the hd.
     
  16. smids

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Dec 2004

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    Location: London/Kent

    Actually the outer edge is the fastest part of the drive - the heads approach from the outside to the inside and if you look at angular velocity, the outer edge spins the fastest - it covers more distance in the same time as the inner edge, think about it. Sorry, that's just me being pedantic. Anyway, the only reason an HDU will slow down is surely because of the MFT filling up with records which needs to be read? So long as it is defragged well, then the actual amount of data on the disk, whilst it does make an impact, will not make enough of one to cause huge slowdown. Take a storage drive though - say it has lots of videos on it. It will have less files than say a windows directory which whilst it may consume less space, has far more records for the MFT - what was my point now - it's hot and I've forgotten but oh well, I've typed it all now.

    Now onto partitioning. I do indeed use a RAID0 array for my windows and it has a 10GB partition on it. Whether this is any faster than the new 74GB raptor remains to be seen.

    74GB Raptor: 78MB/s average read, 7ms access time
    RAID0 80GB HDU: 97MB/s average read, 13ms access time.

    Either option is good IMO. The average read won't make too much of a difference really as you have to contrast the average read against the access times. I think the Raptor might edge it in 'feel'.

    I think putting the OS on the raptor is not a bad thing but then again, you might as well not get a RAID full stop. I'd personally have gone either:

    RAID0 80GB drives + 1x Seagate 7200.10 320GB

    OR

    Raptor 74GB + 1x Seagate 7200.10 320GB.

    Setup with a 10-15GB Windows partition - 10 if you can do it properly, 15 if you are worried. Then windows and games on the bigger partition and storage on the storage drive all backed up with True Image.

    Cross disk access i.e. one edge to the other is actually quite performance damaging. The length of seek - full stroke seek, check it out in the HDU manufacturers spec - is often a good 4-5ms which added to access time, slower parts of the platter etc can slow it down.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2006
  17. t31os

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    Joined: 24 May 2006

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    Location: Surrey - UK

    My point was that i thought having individual drives for each thing would speed it up because its read from the fastest area of the disk, and as you said as more data is written it becomes slower, but not at a considerable amount.

    Personally i've used Raid0 once before when i had 2 x Maxtor IDE drives, and the performance gain was there but not really substantial, but still increased enough to be visible.

    My needs are simply performance for games mixed in with the need to use aps, such as Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Nero, Goldwave, Terragen, and whatever else i decide to dip my hands into and i'd like the system to be able to do both without one dragging down the other too much.

    I don't simply just play games, or just use aps, i have various needs and i'm not willing to go all out expensives for one over the other.

    Hope that makes sense..... and thanx for all comments so far, always an eye opener.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2006