advice please on RAID systems & SATA drives

  Kalitechnis 15:44 23 May 2004

Does anyone have any expert opinions/experience with RAID systems and SATA Hard Drives?
I'm looking for a mid-range computer for my son mainly for working on, but of course he wants gaming capabilities as well. (He is paying for half , saved up from his paper round).

Nethighstreet seem to offer excellent deals, and are recommending these technologies, using a MSI K7N2 raid motherboard.

Any drawbacks to either? Is RAID good also for general computing? I remember reading about it a few years ago when it seemed all the rage, though a bit expensive. Now they are cheaper , but maybe have now been superceeded?

Many thanks for any advice.

  Kalitechnis 15:46 23 May 2004

Sorry FE,

seemed to have a problem submitting first post-so resubmitted...please delete one.


  €dstowe 16:06 23 May 2004

Do a thorough check on what RAID is and what it can do for you. Most likely the answer to the last part is nothing.

RAID was much lauded as a must-have a few years ago. What it actually did was very little of any real use. It tied up hard drives with duplicated information and on the whole tended to slow the system down.

I remain to be convinced that SATA is anything better.

My latest machine has (unused) SATA facilities. The thing I note about it is how flimsy the connectors are!

  Kalitechnis 16:07 23 May 2004

Further to my post..does anyone have a Nethigh street computer? They seem to put together excellent systems for a VERY reasonable price.
What is their after-sales like?
Any pros or cons?

I am also considering Holly computers and Carrera. (Evesham or Mesh are my fallback choice-the others seem to be more enthusiasts machines-which is what I'm becoming!)

Many thanks for any advice/opinions,


  Kalitechnis 16:15 23 May 2004


thanks for your input, and of great interest it is to me. I have in fact read a bit about how it all works in theory, but that doesn't tell me how they actually impact in the real world..nothing beats actual experience.
What type of RAID were you talking about? RAID0, 1, or 5?
they apparently suit different needs.

Whatever, you seem to be saying forget both..Hmm.

Though they are not much more expensive than normal systems now, maybe I should forget it altogether?

any one else with opinions?


  961 17:12 23 May 2004

I wouldn't worry about RAID. For most home users it is OTT. Many motherboards have it, but that is because suppliers don't want to stock more than a certain number of different boards, and the price difference between those with, and those without is very small

SATA hard drives are a bit different. My own personal view is that, at the moment, if you are starting from scratch, it may be reasonable to choose a SATA drive, because they will be faster

But for now, I wouldn't bother about it unless you are going for mega speed etc

So far as the various manufacturers are concerned, try a search on this site for the various names. You'll learn a lot

  Kalitechnis 17:54 23 May 2004


Thanks for your tips..yes I am definitely getting the feeling that RAID is out, but the SATA drive is offered by many computer cos, and will probably go for one.


  €dstowe 19:09 23 May 2004

961 said it much better than me.


  Mister Splendid 20:36 25 May 2004

I agree that RAID 1 is ott for home use, I just use 1 DVD+RW to take care of all my back-up needs. No need for complete duplication for most of us. But if like me you are speed obsessed then there is something to be said for RAID 0. I use 2 WD Raptor 36GB drives with a 64MB stripe. HD Tach shows a mean read speed of 77.4MB/s and a max of 119.9MB/s. If the optical drives are not being used the hdd is by far the slowest link in the pc. A slow one can really slow down an otherwise fast setup. The benefits of a really fast setup have to be seen to believed, but it is not cheap. 2 WD Raptors cost a lot, £170 for 2x 36GB drives, £300 for 2x 74 GB drives. Like I said above, only for the speed OBSESSED.

  Gaz 25 21:18 25 May 2004

Good for servers though! ;-)

  Mister Splendid 21:35 25 May 2004


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