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  • Gaelstorm - Wednesday, October 08, 2008 - link

    This article was a long time ago, but the second to last comment before mine was talking about fair. If a program is not hard drive intensive and is just slow all around like the Sim 2, you are not being fair by mentioning that Raid 0 doesn't help it. Honestly nothing will help with that games load time except a faster computer overall. Even so that game loads horrible for the type of game it is. I can tell you right now, there are very few situations I have encountered where Raid 0 didn't way outperform a single drive for gaming or just feel on a desktop type system. All the arguing I read, actually made me rethink trusting information from certain sources at all. Reply
  • Per Hansson - Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - link

    Some ideas, as could be seen on page 4 of the review the system was limited by something (flat graph in STR instead of what you would expect)

    This is probably because you are using the normal SCSI Miniport driver, which happens to be the only choice for Win2K and WinXP 32 bit

    WinXP 64bit, 2003 Server 32bit and 64 bit and Vista 32 bit and 64 bit has the new StorPort miniport driver, which improves performance tremendeously in RAID arrays

    Of course the controller cards driver must also actually support and use the StorPort driver instead of the normal SCSI miniport driver

    What this means in laymens terms is that it was not because the "software based" RAID controllers where crap that we got shitty performance in Win2K and XP, it was because those controllers had shitty drivers. Which really was MS fault.

    The really expensive RAID controllers however did not use the NT4/2000 Server etc native SCSI miniport driver but had their very own implementation (just as good as MS "all new" storport driver) which meant that they where not capped at about 100-150MB/sec, but rather unlimited... Try your review with 4 150GB Raptors in RAID-0, your performance will be the same because it is the drivers that is holding the system back...

    Please keep this in mind for your upcoming review ;)

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/6/6/5664b...">http://download.microsoft.com/download/...06-45ec-...
    Reply
  • ShadowdogKGB - Saturday, April 21, 2007 - link

    You have 5 synthetics that tell us that two are faster in stripe but then you have 5 real world tests that aren't real world at all. Tell me who plays HL2 Lost Coast and Sims2 Neighborhood. I think you should just stop testing raid setups all together since you can't be honest about it. Reply
  • Gary Key - Sunday, April 22, 2007 - link

    quote:

    You have 5 synthetics that tell us that two are faster in stripe but then you have 5 real world tests that aren't real world at all. Tell me who plays HL2 Lost Coast and Sims2 Neighborhood. I think you should just stop testing raid setups all together since you can't be honest about it.


    The Sims2 continues to be one of the top selling/played games in the world and HL2 along with its various versions is also a top played title. We are revising our benchmark suite to include WoW and a couple of other titles that were recently released. As far as the other benchmarks, compression/decompression and encoding are fairly common activities on a PC the last time I checked. ;-) What are we not being honest about?
    Reply
  • jleboeuf - Saturday, April 21, 2007 - link

    I'd be interested to see what your results fair out w/ a raid 10 config w/ 6 drives. that's 3 terabytes, and completely mirrored Reply
  • aethyrmaster - Friday, April 20, 2007 - link

    They said they only used a 64 kB (KiB if you prefer) stripe size. Using stripes of 128 kB size would most likely have changed the results significantly. If possible, I'd like to see results with a 256 kB stripe as well.

    Separately, I personally have used RAID 0, as well as used exactly the same drives in a non-RAID setup. I often times do a lot of transferring of video from my PC to other devices on a Gigabit ethernet network, and the extra 10 to 30 MB/sec transfer rate provided by RAID 0 is well appreciated when you are copying 400 to 800 MB (MiB) of video.
    Reply
  • GOSHARKS - Friday, April 20, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Our preliminary acoustic testing revealed minor differences between the drives with the retail unit having an increase in noise levels at idle from 26dBA to 27dBA and load results going from 35dBA to 36dBA with AAM enabled at the silent setting of 128. At an AAM setting of 254 we noticed an increase from 27dBA to 28dBA along with load results increasing from 36dBA to 38dBA.


    Is that even statiscally significant? As it is, it can be slightly misleading.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Sunday, April 22, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Is that even statiscally significant? As it is, it can be slightly misleading.


    Not in the grand scheme of things but the tests were run five different times with the same results. We were providing information based upon having a retail drive to test instead of the OEM drive we had in the first article. There were a few comments that suggested differences could have existed between the two so we tried to answer it.
    Reply
  • tshen83 - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    reviewing a 1TB drive by raid 0? the writer obviously have NO FREAKING IDEA of what the target audience is. A RAID5 review would be much more appropriate. Hate to lose 100GB of data nowadays...let alone 2TB, at that point, you might as well kill yourself Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    We have a full RAID article in the works that will test RAID 1, RAID 1+0, and RAID 5 with several drives, Intel and NV chipsets, along with hardware controllers. As I mentioned in the article, this story will be up in the coming weeks. As far as offering RAID 0 results with a motherboard controller chipset, this was done as the vast majority of boutique systems offer this option along with several hundred emails asking when we could provide RAID 0 results with the latest drive releases. Reply
  • userexists - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    As I understand it, from previous articles, the limiting factor in gaming tests seems to be the CPU. I understand why you'd want to use an Opteron or Xeon system for benchmarking the access patterns -- the only people who care about those results are probably going to be running servers. But most people playing games aren't using server components. I'd love to see how the QX6800, for example, and some fast RAM affects gaming benchmarks under RAID-0 -- i.e. answer the question of whether the CPU bottleneck has been relieved. Probably not, but who knows until you test it, right? Reply
  • Gary Key - Sunday, April 22, 2007 - link

    I will have some Intel benchmarks with a QX6700 up this week although I doubt the results will be that surprising. ;-) Reply
  • cbuchach - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    For all the arguing, NO ONE can say that RAID0 is overall slower. In most situations it is faster by varying degrees, maybe a percent or two or maybe more. For enthusiasts, the percent counts. Look at heatsinks or overclocking. Someone may spend an extra $50 for a better heatsink, for what, maybe an increased overlcock from 3300 MHz to 3400 MHz or spend lots of cash for a water cooling setup, or spend an extra $100 for slightly better RAM; the list goes on and on. For real enthusiasts, the extra 1-2% counts.

    (And as far as data loss goes, everyone should backing up all their nonrecoverable data data anyways, so that point is moot.)
    Reply
  • tshen83 - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    and don't even talk about performance, people who want performance will buy Raptors X or SCSI drives. this drive is for storage. RAID storage for cheap Reply
  • tshen83 - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    yes, backing up 2TB of data, with what? probably a RAID1(takes 4 drives to have 2TB) or RAID5(3 drives) of the same drives. so why not just use RAID1 or RAID5 in the beginning? Reply
  • ncage - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    I just wish hitachi would make this drive in something other than 1TB. I love hitachi hard drives and just which this awesome thing would come in like a 500GB or something like that.

    Ncage
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    750GB drives will be available in May, the smaller capacities later this summer. Reply
  • TomWomack - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    What I'd be much more interested by is a review of performance for a pair of these drives in RAID1. RAID1 read speed ought to be the same as RAID0, and most disc-limited tasks are read-limited, whilst running drives in RAID1 seems a sensible reaction to the combined unreliability and cheapness of modern HDDs.

    [also you can break a RAID1 mirrored pair and grovel for deleted data on one of the drives while running the computer happily on the other, which I've found useful in the past]
    Reply
  • Watson - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    I would love to see if useful speed increases are actually available over multiple drives when splitting OS and cache files from applications vs. Raid 0. I have a Raid 0 on 10k Raptors in my machine, and they are very fast (obviously), but I have often wondered in a reinstall if I would be better off splitting the drives and what is put on them. Any thoughts? Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    If you are wondering if booting from this array would be slower, or faster, the chances are with RAID0 if anything, the array will boot slower vs a single Raptor. The reason behind this is simple: booting windows, HDDs benifit more from faster access times, and RAID0 will increase random access times. RAID1 on the other hand, could help some here, but it really depends on the controller(RAID1 paired with the right controller can actually decrease access times, but it will not be a huge difference).

    Now, all that being said, there is a reason why systems, where speed, and redundancy is crucial, people opt for RAID10. Obviously, there is the redundancy factor, but you can get the from RAID5 as well as speed if enough drives are used. Pretty much, you get the best of both worlds having a RAID10 array, faster access times, and throughput. This performance of course comes at a cost, you need a minimum of 4 HDDs, so for instance, using 4x 1TB Hitachi drives, we are talking in the balpark of $1600 for a bare minimum + controller capable of handling RAID10.

    When it is all said and done, unless your system is serving thousands of people data every hour of the day, heavily editing video, or some other similar task you do not need this kind of disk performance. Also, for the life of me, I can not see how making one large disk array, for your OS, and putting all your data on this array is going to help things either. Personally, I think it is much smarter, to use a single fast disk for the OS, and perhaps multiple drives for data, keeping everything seperate. As for using RAID, well, I can see an application for it, even in the home, but not for the OS.

    Think about it, what is so important about the OS that you need redundancy for it ? Nothing, plain and simple. Need a RAID array for video editing, or something else ? fine, get a third HDD for the OS, and keep the RAID0 array seperate. Same goes for RAID1, or RAID5, keep it seperate from the OS, and if something catostrophic does happen, chances are, it wont be on the data disks(however, nothing is ever set in stone). I have been using this technique since the mid 90's, and have had very little problems, and have lost next to zero data, that I needed. Not only this, but it does help to organize your data, so it is more easily found later on, but not as important.

    As for splitting OS/swap accross multiple drives, this is debatable. First, if all of your SATA channels are saturating what your system is capable of handeling, then no, but in theory it should help. I personally have noticed the bigest differences when transfering file locally, if I am transfering files from a PATA -> SATA drive, or vice versa. Two different interfaces, using two difference I/O channels.

    </two cents>
    Reply
  • photoguy99 - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    You have tested XP 32-bit which uses the "ScsiPort" storage system.

    This artificially limits results using Raid.

    Vista 32, Vista x64, and XP x64 all use the "StorPort" storage system, which is much faster and doesn't limit Raid results.

    You could add 4 or 8 drives in Raid 0 and your transfer rates would not change much.

    This should really be part of the discussion for the article.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    Funny that, last time I personally did a dirrect comparrison of a 3xRAID0 array in Vista, it was 30-40MB/s slower comparred to the same array in XP Pro.

    Nothing changed, only the OS.
    Reply
  • photoguy99 - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    Perhaps in your case the Vista driver was not as optimized as the XP driver or was not using storport.

    However, it is absolutely invalid to benchmark raid performance on XP 32-bit if your goal is to test hardware rather than OS specific results.

    Microsoft reference:
    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms803198....">http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms803198....

    Reply
  • AllanLim - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    http://kakaku.com/item/05300415786/">http://kakaku.com/item/05300415786/

    Along with every other pc component, this probably comes at 20-30% premium compared to Stateside when it becomes available, but at least you can but it here.
    Reply
  • Myrandex - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    Two 250GB drives in Raid 0. I dunno, I still feel that it helps with some load times on large maps on games and large numbers of file transfers at once, but I could be full of it. I do keep an off disk backup though that is pretty current.
    Jason
    Reply
  • Sunrise089 - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    Sorry to double-post, but the end of the article says:

    " As stated in both articles, we believe leaving AAM and NCQ turned provides the best user experience with this drive."

    I think there should be an "on" or "off" after "turned".
    Reply
  • Sunrise089 - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    I have a long-running arguement with another PC enthusiest about the relative merit of RAID 0. Some people just cannot get it through their heads that no matter how great the idea sounds, the performance just isn't justified by the cost. At all. With video card price/performance scaling perfectly, and CPU and memory scaling at least OK, it's insane to spend hundreds of dollars on a second hard drive and gain a few percentage points in real-world tests. Thanks Anandtech for keeping the real-world focus of these articles. Reply
  • mesyn191 - Saturday, April 21, 2007 - link

    Depends how its done...

    These software RAID controllers (yes NVRAID, Intel Matrix RAID, Silicon Image 3112/4 etc, Promise, Highpoint are all software RAID controllers that often act more like storage subsystem DE-celerators and often slow things down...) that Anandtech keeps using to demonstrate the pointlessness of RAID 0 really only prove how crappy software RAID controllers are. If you use a "real" enterprise class RAID controller that has a dedicated CPU and significant cache you'll see some real world performance improvements, even with doing things like loading games which is a far from ideal work load for RAID 0. The problem is most of these "real" RAID controllers tend to cost ~$300, and that is for a cheap one, high end versions can easily cost thousands of dollars and most people don't want to spend that much on storage. Most of these enterprise class controllers also tend to have issues working with desktop motherboards, they're really meant for use in server motherboards and so they won't even boot up properly in alot of them, just read up on all the issues people tend to have getting the Areca 1210 (probably the most commonly used enterprise class RAID card in the enthusiast PC crowd) PCIe RAID cards working in commodity consumer grade motherboards.

    Of course another nice thing about those enterprise class RAID controllers is most of them support multiple levels of RAID at the same time, so you can have a RAID 0 set and a RAID 5 set on the same bunch of hard drives, providing you a good way to safe guard your data and get a performance benefit.
    Reply
  • PenGun - Friday, April 20, 2007 - link

    K .... maybe you can tell me how I'm gonna get a solid write of 150MB/sec any other way. My camera in HD SDI needs to move that much data.

    RAID 0 or perhaps RAID 5 (to be tested soon) is the only way. 4 Western Digital 500G drives is my way of handling that fire hose of data.

    Oh go back to your games it really does not matter, it's just my problem right now. It is my desktop when it's full. It's easier to crunch the massive files in situ.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    quote:

    I have a long-running arguement with another PC enthusiest about the relative merit of RAID 0. Some people just cannot get it through their heads that no matter how great the idea sounds, the performance just isn't justified by the cost. At all.


    Some people just can not seem to get it through their heads, that not everyone plays games, or surfs the web, on a home desktop PC. Video editing applications that require 65MB/s substained transfers rates, will require either a very fast disk, or two lesser drives striped.

    Since most enterprise drives cost an arm and a leg, I think running RAID0 for this application, or something that NEEDS the throughput justifies the cost. Now, I personally DO run RAID0 on my home desktop, and I think it is more than justified, but I do not expect it to work wonders, and I definately know, it will not make my system boot faster, will not make a First Person Shooter faster (except, perhaps level load times, which is pretty much moot).

    Now, Imagine spending 2x $400 for RAID1 . . . that is what I call a waste of money, although, with these hitachi drives, who knows how reliable they are. The point here, being, you can not tell anyone what they need, or want in a desktop, because you really have not a clue what they really need / want. This being said, RAID0 for most people probably is overkill.
    Reply
  • Pirks - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Imagine spending 2x $400 for RAID1 . . . that is what I call a waste of money
    call it a waste after you lose a terabyte of data because you hdd died on ya, until then - move along
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    BTW, those of us who are truely serious about their data, do not keep the data stored on HDD alone. Tape, offsite, optical, choose your poison. Reply
  • Pirks - Friday, April 20, 2007 - link

    for me number one reason for data loss was ALWAYS hdd failure, those caviars that click to death. I've never experienced data loss for any other reason. hence my natural impulse is to put two hdds in mirror raid - this eliminates most potent threat. and striping only doubles it, plus striping only slows things down when you copy big files (video mux/demux and stuff like that) so for me its mirror only (plus extra drive to speed up file copies a LOT) Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    If you are smart about how you use your HDDs, you will have no need, BUT if it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, more power to you. The rest of us, who live in reality, and have HDDs much older than 10 years old, still functional, know better. Reply
  • Pirks - Friday, April 20, 2007 - link

    yeah, I have 80 gig wd that I bought I forgot when, 5 years ago? maybe more... it's hot and noisy but looks like it's immortal. however, I wish ALL hdds were like this one. which they are not, unfortunately. those who experienced dead hdds (without doing anything special, just hdd that suddenly dies on you after a couple of years of excellent service) know better than you Reply
  • mlambert890 - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    it's not hundreds of dollars, its not insane, and you are wrong. its really kind of amusing that people are "debating" the basic premise of if a stripe set yields better read performance as if this were some new invention newly discovered and untested! Reply
  • Boushh - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    Well, maybe not hunderds of dollars (I agree that putting two of these 1 TB drive in RAID 0 is not very usefull) but if you go down the price list you can buy 2 320 Gb drives and put them in RAID 0. They are not expensive, and I know from my own experience that it realy makes a difference. All disk based activity is a lot faster than it would be on a single drive.

    I've may OS and my games on the RAID 0, and it realy helps speeding things up. So when the price is right RAID 0 is the way to speed up disk activity.
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    *sigh* Reply
  • mlambert890 - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    sigh all you want, but this is not up for debate. Many of us spend all day every day building and operating RAID systems. maybe for you, one article from anand that confirms some weird bias you have is sufficient. for those of us with 20+ years of doing this, the benefits of multiple spindles really dont need to be retested, and reproven, to make yet another generation feel cozy.

    synthetic benchmarks arent operating in some alternate reality. if whatever you are doing on your pc involves moving large, linear, blocks of data then you will benefit from a throughput boost clearly. in this case, a stripe set will yield quantitative benefit.

    for many, loading something (even a game) seconds faster has value. esp since raid 0 has become a complete commodity. pointless article really, and pointless comments from the clueless. raid 0 has been written about and analyzed by smarter poeople with better measurement tools for decades. maybe people should try using common sense and broadening their google searches (that is if collecting their own real world experience is too much trouble)
    Reply
  • OrSin - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    I got 20 years plus experience working in server farms and Raid is great from 0 to 5.
    With that said desktop raid dont do crap. I have over 10 systems in my house most on the extra same hardware. I tested Raid 0 and raid 5 and the difference in transfer speed even from GB switchs in less then 8%. Sorry but unless the maps or levels are just sitting in cache it don't do anything. Most of the delay is in seek time and Raid dont improve that at all. In fact I beleive it slows it (no proof). Please with all your experience the desktop and Server space is very different. Also remember SCSI raids improve seek time alot. I think if SATA hardware raids improve then raiding desktop might help.

    PS
    What are people doing they they even need a 50% improvement in hardrive speed on a desktop? Load levels and map? Sorry but saving even 5 secs out of 10, 5 times a day is not work the extra money to me. CPU, Ram, and Video cards scale so much better. You want the speed make a ram disk. :)
    Reply
  • MadAd - Saturday, April 21, 2007 - link

    <quote>Sorry but saving even 5 secs out of 10, 5 times a day is not work the extra money to me</quote>

    I take it you dont play battlefield 2 then. Having just two or three seconds advantage on each mapchange can mean the difference between a round flying a jet or helo, or a few seconds later watching everyone else fly off and being left with a humvee (if you are very lucky) or nothing at all.

    Of course not all games have this problem however with bf2 when there are 32 players a side and only 2 jets each then its the quickest in that gets first picks, and if it takes running raid 0 just to pick up that extra second or two, then so be it.
    Reply
  • ShadowdogKGB - Saturday, April 21, 2007 - link

    My four little Hitachi 80gigs in R0 will load the single player Daging Oilfields in 18-20 seconds. Hows that for real world performance. Or maybe somebody from the church of the anti-raid can explain that away for me. My point of contention from this article is that the author went out of his way to denigrate the concept of raid. And another point is that you don't buy a 1 terabyte hard drives just to put them in raid, and especially put them in raid 0. These babies are for storage. You're definitely are not going to want 2 Terabytes of data sitting on a fragile Raid 0. No, this article is just plain skewed. Now there's gonna be a bunch of knuckle heads pointing to these benchmarks and saying "See? See? I told you so!" Yeah, HL2 Lost Coast. That's not even a real game. And The Sims2? Oh please. Yeah that's real world performance figures right there. Bleh. I'm no programmer or mathematician but I could have done a more decent article on this subject than this amateur. Reply
  • Axbattler - Friday, April 20, 2007 - link

    I do not buy the 'extra money' argument that much (**). It's not like performance is the only (*possible) gain from striping two drives. The second drive get you extra capacity, and as long as people choosing to go RAID-0 are using the extra space, then they are not paying a financial premium over buying two drives and running them separately (unless they need to purchase a RAID controller). To me, the main cost from going RAID-0, is the added risk in case of failure.

    * Though I am in the school of thought that RAID-0, do not provide significant performance boost in the majority of the cases, I do find gains more often than penalties (from overhead).

    Regarding from the article results, I am not surprised by the game loading results. I do, however suspect that the performance benefit of RAID-0 may be more noticeable in XP boot up time however (whether that is important enough, I'll shrug to it. Not my cash).

    The file copy result make me wonder if there is not a bottleneck elsewhere though.
    7.55 *1024 / 100 = 77.312 MB/sec on average. That's the transfer rate of a single drive.

    ** I do make an exception to people stripping Raptor's. I can't think of many desktop users who have enough 'performance sensive' applications (OS, apps, games - as opposed to multimedia files for instance) they use regularly - so much that they would need a second Raptor in the same rig. I do suspect that those users are really going for the bragging right rather than the 'free performance'.

    Lastly, I wonder if RAM Disks, in their current form, are really faster the fastest SCSI drives at loading games. I seem to remember benchies of i-RAM some time ago showing it to edge the 150GB Raptor by not that much.
    Reply
  • Griswold - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    Absolutely agree. The only winner is the storage industry. Reply
  • gramboh - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    No kidding, been waiting for the Seagate for a while. It will also be nice to see 250GB platters (x4) on a 1TB drive. I'm running 2x 7200.10 500's right now and am happy with them. I'd like 1TB to come out to push drive costs down so I use a few for external back-up. Reply
  • BoberFett - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    Anybody who stripes drives of this size is asking to lose a lifetime's worth of data. Even assuming it's data than can be reassembled such as ripped or downloaded music and movies, the time required to reassemble that data is pretty significant. Reply
  • goinginstyle - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    Glad to see you guys still telling it like it is with RAID 0. I am just waiting on the comments to come in from people who swear it lets them operate their systems at light speed. This drive seems to be really nice but I will wait for the Seagate 1TB to come out before making an upgrade decision. When is it coming out? Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    The Seagate 1TB drives are due out in four to six weeks according to the last information we had from them. Reply

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