to raid or not to raid?

vaylon

Senior member
Oct 22, 2000
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I am just about to rebuild my system with some new upgrades. And was thinking of setting up raid with a couple of the seagate 320 drives I got from BB.
both will be sata1 setups, but I could also do sata2 if it would make an impact on performance.

But I am still waiting on one of the drives to be delivered.So in the meantime I have been playing with the single drive in a non raid setup on the sata1 connection. I have it set to ide mode in the bios.

But I think I am missing something, even though it's a faster drive and the sata connection is suppose to be faster. It takes much longer to boot into than the ide drive with the same OS. about 45seconds longer. and once xp pro is up and running I can't really see a diff in the performance factors in the OS or in programs. The only real diff I see is in the slower boot time with the sata.
I did google and noticed that lots of people complain about slow boots with sata setups. So I am guessing thats kind of the norm with sata.

So here is my questions.
Will a sata2 setup boot faster and give better performance?
will a raid0 or 1 setup give me better performance?
or should I just stick with booting the OS from a IDE drive and use the sata and sata2 drives as storage?

TIA
 

MegaVovaN

Diamond Member
May 20, 2005
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I don't know why your single SATA drive acting slow...it should not.

sata2 is same as sata1 for just 2 drives. Neither of your drives can push 75 mb/s to even approach limit of sata 1 bus at 150 mb/s

raid 1 is slower than raid 0
raid 1 = 2 identical disks, in case one goes belly up, you have your second. You also have only 320 gb storage.
raid 0 = 2 disks, marginally faster than single drive. Storage = 640 gb. In case one of drives dies, you are scewed (lose data on both)


So, IMO, just have 2 single drives or raid 1 if you want backup.
 

Goldfish4209

Member
Nov 21, 2007
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With 2 drives, I'd go with RAID 0. Even though it doesn't offer that much more performance, why not? I would think that you would boot windows faster, but do back up your files often. Double the drives, double the failures.
 

Zap

Elite Member
Oct 13, 1999
22,377
2
81
Originally posted by: betasub
Normally with RAID: if you need to ask, you probably shouldn't use it.

:thumbsup:

Why do people obsess over Windows boot time? As long as it isn't something like 5 minutes, and as long as things work fine once booted, why obsess over it?
 

Blain

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
23,643
3
81
Originally posted by: Zap
Originally posted by: betasub
Normally with RAID: if you need to ask, you probably shouldn't use it.

:thumbsup:

Why do people obsess over Windows boot time?
Listen...
you may have an extra 8.42 seconds of your life to waste waiting on a reboot, but not me. :roll:

 

MegaVovaN

Diamond Member
May 20, 2005
4,131
0
0
Originally posted by: Blain
Originally posted by: Zap
Originally posted by: betasub
Normally with RAID: if you need to ask, you probably shouldn't use it.

:thumbsup:

Why do people obsess over Windows boot time?
Listen...
you may have an extra 8.42 seconds of your life to waste waiting on a reboot, but not me. :roll:

I'm not gonna waste 8.42 sec either.
I never shut mine down, uptime for months...wakes up from sleep in ~3 sec!
Try bootin' in 3 secs :)
 

vaylon

Senior member
Oct 22, 2000
219
0
71
I just like my system to be quick and responsive and one of those signs is a quick boot up.
My old system booted up from the ide ata/133 drive in 16 seconds. But that drive passed away.
My newest drive is a ide ata/100 drive and it boots into xp in 22 seconds.
both of these seagates are sata with dma6 enabled and take 45 to55 seconds to boot to the desktop.

After reading all the pro's and cons on the raid setups, I will be better off not going raid. I need the storage space more than the redundancy.

As for the sata going slow? I can't figure that out. HD tune is still showing it as a super fast drive with burst speeds above 120mbs
 

Blain

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
23,643
3
81
Originally posted by: MegaVovaN
I'm not gonna waste 8.42 sec either.
I never shut mine down, uptime for months...
I hear you brother. My system has been up solid ever since my 1st load of Windows 98SE. :thumbsup::laugh:
I don't even know what the new hardware runs like, since I don't want to shut down to upgrade...
Almost 9 years now! :p I haven't even done any Windows updates if they required a reboot.

 

Denithor

Diamond Member
Apr 11, 2004
6,300
23
81
OP:

Don't laugh at this, just try it. Unplug your optical drive(s) and see if that changes how long it takes to boot up to Windows. I have seen two cases (out of literally hundreds of systems I have worked on over the years) where some kind of freaky interaction between the optical drive and the motherboard caused inordinately long boot times (>1 minute before Windows was up).

In the first case I found it entirely by accident, happened to boot one time after forgetting to plug back in the DVD burner and Windows was up in like 30 seconds (noticeably faster boot). This was on my personal system after a major overhaul, it booted much faster before the cpu/motherboard change and I couldn't figure out why. After swapping the DVD burner for a different model it was back to fast boots from then on.

The second time I saw the problem I had the first experience to draw from and tried it and it worked. In both cases swapped out for different DVD units and problem went away (and those DVD burners worked just fine on other computers, never did determine exactly what the problem was).
 

Zap

Elite Member
Oct 13, 1999
22,377
2
81
Originally posted by: Denithor
I have seen two cases (out of literally hundreds of systems I have worked on over the years) where some kind of freaky interaction between the optical drive and the motherboard caused inordinately long boot times (>1 minute before Windows was up).

Hey, I've seen that once. It was a dying optical drive. I think Windows was taking 5-10 minutes to boot with it hooked up. Couldn't figure it out, but then noticed that the optical drive wasn't reading anything, so I removed it. Didn't have a replacement drive on hand so turned on the machine w/o the optical drive, and it booted into Windows really quick.
 

Fullmetal Chocobo

Moderator<br>Distributed Computing
Moderator
May 13, 2003
13,704
7
81
Originally posted by: Zap
Originally posted by: betasub
Normally with RAID: if you need to ask, you probably shouldn't use it.

:thumbsup:

Why do people obsess over Windows boot time? As long as it isn't something like 5 minutes, and as long as things work fine once booted, why obsess over it?

The really funny thing is that with RAID, the boot time is actually going to be longer, especially on a hardware RAID config, as it checks the onboard memory and everything else.
 

Jiggz

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2001
4,329
0
76
Originally posted by: vaylon
I just like my system to be quick and responsive and one of those signs is a quick boot up.
My old system booted up from the ide ata/133 drive in 16 seconds. But that drive passed away.
My newest drive is a ide ata/100 drive and it boots into xp in 22 seconds.
both of these seagates are sata with dma6 enabled and take 45 to55 seconds to boot to the desktop.

After reading all the pro's and cons on the raid setups, I will be better off not going raid. I need the storage space more than the redundancy.

As for the sata going slow? I can't figure that out. HD tune is still showing it as a super fast drive with burst speeds above 120mbs

I understand online reviews are good source of ideas and sometimes a good reference. However, if you really want to find out the real deal and it's not really that hard or far reaching to conduct the same experiment, why don't you do the experiment yourself and make a decision based on your results, needs, usage, application and the whole nine yards! Go ahead and setup the hdd's in RAID 0 and conduct a personal test. Then you post back and let us know of your experience, not for reference but more of sharing your experience.

Thanks.
 

Jiggz

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2001
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Oh by the way, make sure the hdd's are set at AHCI, if all possible or AHCI/IDE if you are using PATA HDD or Optical Drives.
 

vaylon

Senior member
Oct 22, 2000
219
0
71
Thanks Jiggz,
I did like you said and played with the system yesterday. I had to do a complete rebuild anyways because of the 8800gtx I installed.
Here is what I found.
the raid 0 setup was slow on bootup (about 75 seconds) but once the system was up it seemed more responsive. specially in launching apps. Once I plugged all the other drives back in sata and ide's , then it really started getting slower, but was still responsive once it got up.
My second try involved installing the os from the xpcd on a sata drive instead of using the slipstreamed setup disc I made. The drive still seemed slow compared to the ide disc. So I then tried an old trick from the socket a days. I removed everything from the board except for the video card, a dvd drive and one sata drive. WOW! setup of pro sp2 took just under 20 minutes. After all the software was reinstalled, it averaged about 13 seconds to boot. Thats the fastest I have ever had a boot with xp pro, and the sytem is very responsive. Even after I reinstalled everything, it still is booting very fast.

Here is my setup as it stands today.
Asrock dual sata2 939 with x2 3800+ oc'ed to 2.73 GHZ
3gb ddr 400 Dual channel
8800GTX at stock speeds
2-sata 320gb segate drives
2- pioneer dvd-rw drives on ide2
1- maxtor 500gb sata2 drive on the sata2
2- seagte 500gb ata100 drives on ide 1

So far it's been up and being stress tested and not gone down yet. And boots and restarts are still the fastest I have had.

Thanks again guys
 

MegaVovaN

Diamond Member
May 20, 2005
4,131
0
0
So I then tried an old trick from the socket a days. I removed everything from the board except for the video card, a dvd drive and one sata drive. WOW! setup of pro sp2 took just under 20 minutes.

Thanks, I gotta try that with my C2D set-up when it arrives, as well as with my skt A setup (rebuild).
 

JackMDS

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 25, 1999
29,471
387
126
Originally posted by: ZapWhy do people obsess over Windows boot time? As long as it isn't something like 5 minutes, and as long as things work fine once booted, why obsess over it?

LOL, and usually those are the same people that Brag about keeping their computers Up 24/7. ;)

Go figure. :shocked:
 

Blain

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
23,643
3
81
Originally posted by: JackMDS
Originally posted by: ZapWhy do people obsess over Windows boot time? As long as it isn't something like 5 minutes, and as long as things work fine once booted, why obsess over it?

LOL, and usually those are the same people that Brag about keeping their computers Up 24/7. ;)

Go figure. :shocked:
What are trying to say, anyway? :shocked: Is that some kind of dig? :p
Originally posted by: Blain
I hear you brother. My system has been up solid ever since my 1st load of Windows 98SE. :thumbsup::laugh:
I don't even know what the new hardware runs like, since I don't want to shut down to upgrade...
Almost 9 years now! :p I haven't even done any Windows updates if they required a reboot.

 

Jiggz

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2001
4,329
0
76
Originally posted by: vaylon
Thanks Jiggz,
I did like you said and played with the system yesterday. I had to do a complete rebuild anyways because of the 8800gtx I installed.
Here is what I found.
the raid 0 setup was slow on bootup (about 75 seconds) but once the system was up it seemed more responsive. specially in launching apps. Once I plugged all the other drives back in sata and ide's , then it really started getting slower, but was still responsive once it got up.
My second try involved installing the os from the xpcd on a sata drive instead of using the slipstreamed setup disc I made. The drive still seemed slow compared to the ide disc. So I then tried an old trick from the socket a days. I removed everything from the board except for the video card, a dvd drive and one sata drive. WOW! setup of pro sp2 took just under 20 minutes. After all the software was reinstalled, it averaged about 13 seconds to boot. Thats the fastest I have ever had a boot with xp pro, and the sytem is very responsive. Even after I reinstalled everything, it still is booting very fast.

Here is my setup as it stands today.
Asrock dual sata2 939 with x2 3800+ oc'ed to 2.73 GHZ
3gb ddr 400 Dual channel
8800GTX at stock speeds
2-sata 320gb segate drives
2- pioneer dvd-rw drives on ide2
1- maxtor 500gb sata2 drive on the sata2
2- seagte 500gb ata100 drives on ide 1

So far it's been up and being stress tested and not gone down yet. And boots and restarts are still the fastest I have had.

Thanks again guys

You're welcome. I've also tried RAMDISK and with ram so cheap it did improve my system performance and responsiveness. I have 4GB of system ram (albeit only 3.6GB is reported by XP) and used 500mb for ramdisk. Then I made this ramdisk as my virtual memory PF. In the old days, this was like a big no-no because it basically sacrifices system ram for PF. Nowadays, it can be done because ram is so cheap!