[SOLVED] New PC Build - Do I need separate OS / Data Drives?

Enigmatic Squid

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I'm building a new computer and it's been ages since my last one. Is it still a thing to have separate OS / Data Drives or partitions in this day and age of super speed M.2 Gen 4 SSD's and what not? I was thinking of putting 2x M.2's in RAID 0 and just using that for everything. I suppose I could partition it out for an OS and Data volume, but besides organizing things, is there any point anymore?
Thx!
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Multiple drives are quite common.
One for the OS and applications, other drives for other things.
If the OS needs to be reinstalled, no other data is compromised.

My parts list below, I have several. Each mostly for a specific use.

Other people have a strong preference for one single drive, with everything on it.


RAID 0 with SSD's? Not a chance.
Benchmarks look great, but actual user facing benefit? Not so much.

This, from a few years ago:
SATA III - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-raid-benchmark,3485.html
NVMe - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/samsung-950-pro-256gb-raid-report,4449.html
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
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It's still a common thing, even more so than in the past. It's just handy to organize your PC in that way.

As for RAID 0, for >99% of consumers, it's an absolutely terrible idea, ranging from pointless at best to resulting in data loss at worst.
 
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Enigmatic Squid

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It's still a common thing, even more so than in the past. It's just handy to organize your PC in that way.

As for RAID 0, for >99% of consumers, it's an absolutely terrible idea, ranging from pointless at best to resulting in data loss at worst.
Really!? I'm actually surprised by this answer. So are there no performance gains to be had from RAID'ing together some blazing fast SSDS? Then you could just create a OS volume and Data volume from the array? What would be the downside to this vs just buy 2 SSD and using them for opposite means. I can't believe it's even more common now. Do you have any data or articles to support this at all?

Thanks for your reply!
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
Really!? I'm actually surprised by this answer. So are there no performance gains to be had from RAID'ing together some blazing fast SSDS? Then you could just create a OS volume and Data volume from the array? What would be the downside to this vs just buy 2 SSD and using them for opposite means. I can't believe it's even more common now. Do you have any data or articles to support this at all?

Thanks for your reply!
Diminishing returns; cutting the time it takes to do something by 30% is much more meaningful in a task that takes two minutes than two seconds. SSDs are already super-fast, so the differences only show up in benchmarks rather than real-life performance unless you have very specific workloads, such as needing to read extremely large files in a high-end editing environment or running a server in which always being on is what takes priority over other concerns. And even then, given the money at stake, someone with that specific workload likely wants RAID 3, 5, 6, or 10 (depending on exact needs).

For 99% of consumers, I'd compare it to painting a racing stripe on your car to make it go faster, but a racing stripe doesn't actually put your car at risk. Delete a file, have a file get corrupted, get a virus, have a hard drive crash? Everything's gone.

The gold standard for consumers is a fast OS drive (and applications that benefit from speed), bulk storage if fast storage isn't economical for the size of the files, and multiple backups of crucial data. There's a reason that the enthusiast community has largely abandoned RAID without a use case for it that makes sense.
 
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Enigmatic Squid

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Diminishing returns; cutting the time it takes to do something by 30% is much more meaningful in a task that takes two minutes than two seconds. SSDs are already super-fast, so the differences only show up in benchmarks rather than real-life performance unless you have very specific workloads, such as needing to read extremely large files in a high-end editing environment or running a server in which always being on is what takes priority over other concerns. And even then, given the money at stake, someone with that specific workload likely wants RAID 3, 5, 6, or 10 (depending on exact needs).

For 99% of consumers, I'd compare it to painting a racing stripe on your car to make it go faster, but a racing stripe doesn't actually put your car at risk. Delete a file, have a file get corrupted, get a virus, have a hard drive crash? Everything's gone.

The gold standard for consumers is a fast OS drive (and applications that benefit from speed), bulk storage if fast storage isn't economical for the size of the files, and multiple backups of crucial data. There's a reason that the enthusiast community has largely abandoned RAID without a use case for it that makes sense.
Nice, now that makes a lot of sense. I appreciate the response. I guess the decision now is if I want to just get 1 big super high end SSD for everything or do the smaller high end for OS and larger high end for data. No matter what, I'm going all high end SSD :D:D

Cheers.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Multiple drives are quite common.
One for the OS and applications, other drives for other things.
If the OS needs to be reinstalled, no other data is compromised.

My parts list below, I have several. Each mostly for a specific use.

Other people have a strong preference for one single drive, with everything on it.


RAID 0 with SSD's? Not a chance.
Benchmarks look great, but actual user facing benefit? Not so much.

This, from a few years ago:
SATA III - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-raid-benchmark,3485.html
NVMe - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/samsung-950-pro-256gb-raid-report,4449.html
 

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