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RAID 0 improves writting speed, but not reading speed

grunt22

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My apologies for what must be a common question, but it is not in the relevant FAQ.
I am only concerned with gaming performance and loading times - not really bothered if file transfers, or installation times are improved. Hence,
1) Will RAID 0 improve performance while gaming in any way?
2) Will RAID 0 reduce loading times significantly when starting up a program or changing level?
Thanks for your patience. :lol: :oops:
 

slicessoul

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1. Depends. On some games yes, but some no.
2. Yes

Raid 0 has a great I/O performance on large blocks file size for example on editing movies.
 

happy_fanboy

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Its hard to justify the cost when the precious dolars could be otherwise sunk into a better GPU investment, my take on RAID and games.
Best vid card and one good SATA disk, youre golden.
 

choirbass

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for gaming, the actual boost raid offers is NOT significant... hovering around a 15% improvement in the best cases with 2 drives, instead of just 1... i dont understand the reasons for that myself... ...but, for gaming... if you want performance similar to raid, just get a fast single drive... ...i have raid 0 setup myself in my system, with 2*36GB raptors... games dont load much faster at all, though windows boots up in about than half the time, and defragging windows with these 2 drives in raid 0 gets about 32MB/s (i tend to reboot and defrag more than playing games to be honest, so i can definetly see a benefit, for me)... again, i dont understand entirely why it varies from usage to usage... but, thats just the case as it is...

so, my advice, just go with the fastest single drive youre willing to spend money on, and it should perform similar [to raid 0] for the usage youre wanting... drives that use perpendicular recording i hear are pretty fast, so, if you can find a 7200.10 of large capacity, you should be good to go, as the larger the drive is, the faster data can be read/written, ie, higher STR (sustained transfer rates)

a comment about raptors though, theyre an excellent OS drive, if anything, because there are often files that need to be accessed quickly, and its low access times greatly help with that
 

grunt22

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Well, in my case, I've put as much money as I can on the GPU and CPU and a single HDD, so it comes down to whether or not it's worth getting a second drive for a RAID 0. This is for a laptop as well...
Good solid data about performance gains in games and loading times would be welcomed.
 

choirbass

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well, i looked for about 10 seconds on google and found this http://www.overclockers.com/articles1063/ its one comparison between running a single raptor 36GB and a pair in raid 0, for game loading times and other tests ...im sure you can find many more articles though

i just typed in "raid 0 game loading time"
 

mkaibear

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RAID 0, unless you use a dedicated controller card with its own cache, has *no* benefits on the desktop. The additional overhead for doing the read/writes can result in increased loading times.

For certain games, where data is being streamed from disk and the CPU is doing no work on it at all - just data being spooled - then you may see a very slight improvement.

You're much better off with a single Raptor.
 

grunt22

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Thank you choirbass and mkaibear. I wish there were Raptors for the notebook. 7200 will have to do!
Cheers.
 

darkguset

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RAID 0, unless you use a dedicated controller card with its own cache, has *no* benefits on the desktop. The additional overhead for doing the read/writes can result in increased loading times.

For certain games, where data is being streamed from disk and the CPU is doing no work on it at all - just data being spooled - then you may see a very slight improvement.

You're much better off with a single Raptor.
Has any of you actually ever used a RAID system on a desktop? The guy is not talking about video editing or something serious. And even in the simplest cases, yes RAID 0 can bring huge benefits. I will bring out the simple experience i had with my older system. Spellforce took about 1min 10secs to load a level. After RAIDing my 2 IDE drives it took less than 25secs for the same levels!! That is close to 3 times as fast. Of course other loading times did not have that significant impact, but still the whole experience is so positive, i can't go back to using a single drive, not even a Raptor. Get two cheap fast SATA drives, RAID them in 0 and off you go! The only downside of the situation is the parity and you have to remember to backup your important data!!! And for God's shake, cool the drivers properly! I can't stand listening to people whinning about how bad RAID 0 is because they lost all their data, but they couldn't be bothered cooling the drives not even with a single fan!
 

choirbass

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lol, yes... i have, and i am currently... ive almost always used raid in my systems when the opportunity presented itself (have yet to experience a failure while using raid, though not because of raid by any means, obviously), also because i already had all of the essential data backed up, making regular backups anyhow... so in all cases [for me] there were only benefits to having it... but, going back to what was being discussed originally... game loading times do not substantially improve... maybe for older games there was an increase, for whatever reason... but, by no means will you find your load times cut in half, or even close, when playing current games...

you said at first that with a single drive, it took 1:10 seconds to load... and with 2 drives in raid 0, made it nearly 3 times faster... down to :25... ...TBH, with 2 drives, compared to 1, you can expect, at best, theoretically even, to have exactly double the performance, but triple the performance..
 

mkaibear

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Aaaaaaaand we're back to experiential evidence instead of actual science...

Seriously, darkguset, have a look at some of the articles out there talking about RAID on the desktop. They show, absolutely, that there is no performance benefit except in certain largely artificial situations for using RAID on the desktop.

And claiming that you get a "close to 3 times as fast" from RAIDing 2 hard drives, when even synthetic STR benchmarks will only ever show <2 times as fast, smacks of ridiculousness.
 

choirbass

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well, you cant say there are no benefits... i can say right away, that there are... just one example though, boot times, those are close to cut in half compared to a single drive (when using 2 drives)... other than that though, i agree for the most part
 

mkaibear

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I'd class "boot times" in with the "certain largely artificial situations" - booting is as close to a synthetic Sequential Transfer Rate benchmark as you're ever going to get in the real world - it's basically just spooling stuff to memory.

Fair point, though - Windows will boot faster.
 

Doughbuy

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RAID 0 is marginally useful in games, but thats not what it was designed for. You also have to deal with an increased seek time, even if throughput is faster, so if your moving many small files, that might also cause a hamper on performance, but either way, not by much.

I say, if you have 2 drives, RAID them together, but don't go out of your way to do so.

And I don't even want to know what darkguset is taking...
 

darkguset

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Aaaaaaaand we're back to experiential evidence instead of actual science...

Seriously, darkguset, have a look at some of the articles out there talking about RAID on the desktop. They show, absolutely, that there is no performance benefit except in certain largely artificial situations for using RAID on the desktop.

And claiming that you get a "close to 3 times as fast" from RAIDing 2 hard drives, when even synthetic STR benchmarks will only ever show <2 times as fast, smacks of ridiculousness.
Mate, what you are saying comes to the limits of ridiculousness. You are stating that you don't believe what you are experiencing because theory tells something else! That specific game behaved in that way on my specific system. It took the loading times almost 3 times down. Now regarding windows boot times as others mentioned, it only took them maybe 2 seconds down, no more. Why RAID affected that game so much, i don't know, i didn't investigate, but one thing is for sure. It happened and whatever you say or how many articles you read or whatever you may think, it HAPPENED! So get it in your small brains and digest it!
 

niz

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Aaaaaaaand we're back to experiential evidence instead of actual science...
So our actual experience from using our raided systems every day is outweighed just by what you theorize? yeah whatever...

Seriously, darkguset, have a look at some of the articles out there talking about RAID on the desktop. They show, absolutely, that there is no performance benefit except in certain largely artificial situations for using RAID on the desktop.

And claiming that you get a "close to 3 times as fast" from RAIDing 2 hard drives, when even synthetic STR benchmarks will only ever show <2 times as fast, smacks of ridiculousness.
I agree with darkguset. I speak from experience because my system has two 150gb raptors raid 0. I've also used it with only one raptor. I KNOW the difference.

mkaibear even if you don't like the fact, raid 0 is noticeably faster than 1 drive even on the desktop. Maybe not necessarily for loading game levels, but for a whole lot of other tasks. I don't care what your theories say.

You talk about links, well here's one:
http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=raptor150raid&page=5
It shows 2 raptors in raid 0 have significant performance advantage over a single raptor in all but seek time, and 8.1ms to 8.3ms is hardly significant.

E.g. from their figures 1 GB write speed test: 1 Drive: 46Mb/s 2 Drives 76 Mb/s

So if you do the math: To write a 1gb file takes 22 seconds single drive, 13 seconds on raid 0.

If you think thats not noticeable at all then I guess in your desktop world you don't ever copy isos around or anything.
 

choirbass

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Aaaaaaaand we're back to experiential evidence instead of actual science...

Seriously, darkguset, have a look at some of the articles out there talking about RAID on the desktop. They show, absolutely, that there is no performance benefit except in certain largely artificial situations for using RAID on the desktop.

And claiming that you get a "close to 3 times as fast" from RAIDing 2 hard drives, when even synthetic STR benchmarks will only ever show <2 times as fast, smacks of ridiculousness.
Mate, what you are saying comes to the limits of ridiculousness. You are stating that you don't believe what you are experiencing because theory tells something else! That specific game behaved in that way on my specific system. It took the loading times almost 3 times down. Now regarding windows boot times as others mentioned, it only took them maybe 2 seconds down, no more. Why RAID affected that game so much, i don't know, i didn't investigate, but one thing is for sure. It happened and whatever you say or how many articles you read or whatever you may think, it HAPPENED! So get it in your small brains and digest it!

the problem there, is it may have 'seemed' 3 times faster... but its 'physically impossible' for that to even be so, just from raiding 2 identical drives together... perhaps maybe the game had already been cached into your systems ram, after an initial load... having things stored in ram would definetly improve loading times honestly... ...but performance of a hdd will not triple, when youre only 'at best' doubling its potential performance from an additional hdd.

for performance to triple, assuming perfomance is scaling perfectly linearly... you would need 3 identical hdds, and enough bandwidth available to do so... same with 4 drives, 5 drives, and so on.

as far as boot times though... its dependant on much more than hdd performance... with an iRAM drive for instance, which is much faster than any standard drive... windows didnt boot instantaneously by any means... it still has to recognize and load drivers for hardware and such first too... alot more than just some software files... the less you have installed in your system however, the faster windows will boot... ...which is why a fresh installation of windows, right after an install, will typically boot faster, because theres no hardware to load really.
 

k61824

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wait... if Raid 0 has improvements, then which one improves better? Raid 0 or 1? (compare to JBOD)

(so we are working on a level playing field of perhaps say same number of drives)
 

choirbass

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well... raid 0 and raid 1 have two distinctly different purposes...

with raid 1, youll be getting similar performance to a single hdd, but you have redundancy though too, incase a drive happens to go down

with raid 0, the aim is to simply improve performance, but there is no redundancy at all included... so more danger losing data then
 

misry

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I love paper tech's, they send so much business my way.

"But it says right here you can't do that."
"Yeah, well the customer is going to be pretty pissed if you `fix' it."
 

mat347

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Having had many different RAID0 setups I can say that I have noticed a difference for the better in most circumstances. Games do load faster, some more than others. Currently I have a single 74 raptor for 0S(from 2 32gigs in 0) and 3x74gigs in 0 for games/apps. I also keep a 500 gig for storage/backup. Current HDDs are still the slowest major subsystem in any computer, an upgrade will be welcomed in most areas.

My suggestion to you is to watch your HDD lamp, if it's constantly on during loading, then RAID0 will likely be a decent upgrade for you.

If my XPS2 had an option for RAID, I would do it in a heartbeat but mainly for the extra space.
 

pumpkin-soup

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well..

i must say that with my raid experiences im very suprised by most peoples responses..
i happen to believe that raid is 100% worth it!
i read that some of you have issues with the expense of raid.. figuring that its performance does not over step the cost... well.. i mean if you go for one of those raptor dealys im sure its more expensive. im not quite sure how much those drives cost but... i was very impressed with my setup...
i use 4x250gb SATAII drives and its great.. now keep in mind that i do alot of video work...photoshop and 3d design... but i also game like a rabid animal..

and i have noticed nice improvments.. though nothing ground breaking...
games like oblivion or other load on demand games. notice nice improvements!.. less stalls...

and games such as halflife 2 andfear i have noticed very nice load times..

so i figure it like this..

i set up my raid in a matter of minutes once i installed the drives.. so its no extra task to implement...

the price of purchasing drives for raid costs very similar to purchasing for a system with out raid.. such as where i live.. the cheapest price for 2x200gb sata drives is $172AU for both drives... but for one 400gb drive it costs $245AU. so im getting better performance for less cost.. .. thats not soo bad...!!

now if your contemplating getting raid youprobably have a mobo with a built in raid device such as a nforce4 there for u wont need to worry about the cost of a raid controller.

so to sum up,,

1. RAID does not take much extra time to set up.. than a normal drive..
2. 2x200gb drives for RAID is cheaper than 1x400gb drive for normal use..
3. For individual use there is most likely no need for extra hardware..

now there are some issues that might arrise for some setups.. such as..

in my system i have a antec P180Black that houses

x2 4600 @ 2.9
2x6800gs xxx's @ 520/1280
4gb ram
4x250gb SATAII
1X 30gb drive
1x optical drive

so as you can imagine heat may become an issue.. in my system i have the 4 drives at the very bottom in the removable drive block that my case has..
they are all spaced on their sides vertically with about 2cm+ between each drive.. and a big fan blowwing air out the case.. this section of my computer expells the most and generates the most heat from my entire setup..

if you have a not so exciting case.. this can pose a serious problem as sometimes i have been forgetfull and blocked the air from my case.. worried when i noticed the hot air later...


all the vibrations that the drives make may cause some noise disturbances.. i myself have not once heard my drives..my case has rubber mounting bracketty things that are like nice jelly suspension for my drives...

power can be an issues as not every system has enough power sockets for these drives..

i myself have a single 500w antec sp 2x12vrail PSU with one of the cable sockets going straight to all 4 of the drives. 2 going to the graphicss and 1 going to the optical and leftover bits..


truthfully i dont understand why so many think that raid is such a bad idea.. but i realise i have been going on for way too long and well..
i think it may be because its 7am and i havent slept for like 2days.. but;... i hope i helped out somewhat!!
 

Uber_sven

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I am only concerned with gaming performance and loading times - not really bothered if file transfers, or installation times are improved. Hence,
1) Will RAID 0 improve performance while gaming in any way?
My opinion on this is that yes, it will improve your gaming performance, but only under very specific circumstances.

These circumstances are where the games you are playing require extensive reading and writing to the page file (virtual memory). The best example of this is BF2 which requires about 2Gb of physical ram to run the best. If you have less than this, and run the page file from a RAID0 disk, you will benefit from the higher read/write speeds that RAID allows.

All in all, for gaming, under certain circumstance, I believe RAID0 is worth it.

Just back up your critical data regularly !!!!
 

niz

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Its hard to justify the cost when the precious dolars could be otherwise sunk into a better GPU investment, my take on RAID and games.
Best vid card and one good SATA disk, youre golden.
Why are you assuming he can't afford both?.. he hasn't mentioned cost at all. its only 1 or 2 hundred bucks for good drive anyway.
 

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