RAID, to?

Started Apr 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
Roland Wooster Senior Member • Posts: 2,111
Re: RAID, to?

As others have said, RAID-0 is for performance, although it doesn't work quite as stated above. The two drives are not toggled between, but rather each data file is split into two halves and the two halves are written simultaneously to the two drives. Then on reading, both drives are accessed at the same time and then file is recombined in the RAID driver.

RAID-1 is for fault tollerance, and duplicates your data on both drives, yielding no performance gains on writing, and typically only a very small gain on reading.

Two drive RAID-0 will basically double your sequential read and sequential write performance (assuming you have identical drives) if you use two non idential drives, then you'll only end up with double the size of the smaller drive, and double the performance of the slower drive, and could possibly be a tiny bit worse than that.

What RAID-0 does not improve is random access (i.e. small file access) as this is latency limited, and the access time is the limiting factor, RAID-0 doesn't change this.

If you use RAID-0 be sure to connect it to the SATA Gen3, 6Gbps ports on the motherboard, and also assuming presuming you have an Intel 6-series or 7-series motherboard use the primary SATA ports (port 0 and 1, or 1 and 2 depending on how the board is marked), not the additional SATA 6Gbps ports connected through a discrete controller from Marvell or others, as these will be performance limited.

RAID-0 is more risky with your data because a failure on either drive will destory all the data on both. However, having said that, I have had lots of HDD failures due to thermal damage, but never had a failure with Intel SSD's, one array I've been running has 8 drives in a RAID-0 and that has been running flawlessly for over 2 years.

The other caveat is you'll need a Z67/Z77 or H67/H77 board to run RAID, or X79 if you have a High End Desktop. Setting up RAID isn't that hard. For all of these boards you need to set the BIOS to RAID mode in the SATA settings. Then during the POST press CTRL-I this will load the Intel RAID configuration tool, create your RAID-0 here. Then boot off your OS DVD to install the OS. For the H and Z boards you'll have the needed drivers for the OS to install on a RAID array. On the X79 you'll need to download RAID drivers from your motherboard vendor's website, or from and put them on a USB stick or CD which you will need to install during the OS loading. There's a step during OS install that says press "F6" to install additional drivers, this is when you need to add the drivers, but this additional step should only be for the X79 boards.


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