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Old 08-09-2010, 11:53 PM   #1
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Default Hard Drives

Finally got around to unpackaging the rest of the Hard Drives, (6) 1TB Western Digital RE3'*. So far I have been VERY happy with these drives, they are enterprise class drives meant for RAID, and very close to the performance of the raptors. I decided to take advantage of RAID on my system and set up a RAID10 on 4 of the drives. The 5th drive will be for Recorded TV, and the 6th is getting replaced with an SSD that will be my boot drive.

Now I just have to wait for the drive to initialize...

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Old 08-09-2010, 11:58 PM   #2
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Nice! Just one question though. If you're waiting for the drive to initialize, are you using a software RAID? Just curious because when I had RAID setup through the BIOS on my Alienware M17 it just worked. Didn't have anything extra I had to wait for.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:02 AM   #3
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Very nice.

Unfortunately, you cannot replace 10k drives. :P The raw read speeds will match up, but its the latency that everyone underestimates.

I'm also curious about the software RAID. I've avoided software raid at all costs, for a number of reasons.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:03 AM   #4
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It'* a firmware RAID through the motherboard'* built in raid controller, but it'* initializing with Intel Rapid Storage Technology. I've never used it before but it looks like as long as you initialize the RAID it can help in recovery should you lose a drive or two, and also has some nifty management features.

I'm also transferring data to the RAID while it'* initializing at 90+ MB/* : ). Not sure what the initialization is doing, but if it means I can recover data and manage the RAID easier, then I'll do it.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:05 AM   #5
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Ahh ok. Yea I try to avoid software raid at all costs as well so that'* why I was wondering.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by xtremerevolution View Post
Very nice.

Unfortunately, you cannot replace 10k drives. :P The raw read speeds will match up, but its the latency that everyone underestimates.

I'm also curious about the software RAID. I've avoided software raid at all costs, for a number of reasons.
I think you would be surprised with these drives. They may not keep up with the 10K drives, but they would put up a good fight.

I've played with software RAID, never in anything I actually cared about though. I had (6) 8GB IDE drives in RAID-0. Mounted it all on a wall, I've got a picture somewhere. Used it to play music.

Eventually I will get a bigger better motherboard and a RAID card, but I'm looking forward to experimenting with this for now.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:15 AM   #7
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It'* a firmware RAID through the motherboard'* built in raid controller, but it'* initializing with Intel Rapid Storage Technology. I've never used it before but it looks like as long as you initialize the RAID it can help in recovery should you lose a drive or two, and also has some nifty management features.

I'm also transferring data to the RAID while it'* initializing at 90+ MB/* : ). Not sure what the initialization is doing, but if it means I can recover data and manage the RAID easier, then I'll do it.
Motherboard RAID is decent, though it still uses your RAM and CPU to process and buffer RAID transactions. Its not as bad as straight up software raid, but a dedicated controller wouldn't be a bad idea.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:22 AM   #8
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Motherboard RAID is decent, though it still uses your RAM and CPU to process and buffer RAID transactions. Its not as bad as straight up software raid, but a dedicated controller wouldn't be a bad idea.
Agreed. Unfortunately I literally have 0 open expansion ports. The SLI'd GTX285'* took care of most of the slots, and then the TV tuner gobbled up the rest. So it'* either get a bigger motherboard, or replace the GTX'* with a single better card.
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by xtremerevolution View Post
Motherboard RAID is decent, though it still uses your RAM and CPU to process and buffer RAID transactions. Its not as bad as straight up software raid, but a dedicated controller wouldn't be a bad idea.
Software and onboard RAID used to be really taxing on the CPU when it was first introduced, but those observations were made in the Pentium II and Pentium III days. Since then, processors have gotten much faster, gone 64-bit, and gained more cores; now, we're to the point that things like software RAID or full drive encryption feel transparent.

Similarly, I'm using BitLocker (full drive encryption) on one of my notebooks, and feeling zero performance penalty compared to when it was unencrypted.

Of course, if I had the feasible option, I'd pop in a hardware RAID controller.
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:51 PM   #10
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Software and onboard RAID used to be really taxing on the CPU when it was first introduced, but those observations were made in the Pentium II and Pentium III days. Since then, processors have gotten much faster, gone 64-bit, and gained more cores; now, we're to the point that things like software RAID or full drive encryption feel transparent.

Similarly, I'm using BitLocker (full drive encryption) on one of my notebooks, and feeling zero performance penalty compared to when it was unencrypted.

Of course, if I had the feasible option, I'd pop in a hardware RAID controller.
I know he has an overclocked i7, but this still takes a toll on your memory subsystem. Its data throughput that is constantly processed when you're using the computer. RAID 5 will put a huge load on any RAID controller.

Will he notice? Probably not. I guess part of the reason is that is I simply don't trust motherboard RAID. I have motherboard RAID on my motherboard right now with two 500GB drives in a RAID 1, and the write performance is pitiful compared to the 3 SCSI drive RAID 5 with the dedicated controller.
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