Should I create a RAID configuration?

  Mufassa 09:29 19 Feb 2008

Hi all,

I am adding two new WD hard drives to my system, which has just one at the moment. They will all be 160 SATA second gen hard drives. Making a total of three.

I am currently dual booting xp and Vista, and have had no problems yet.

i am a bit lost as to what configuration to use. Initially I thought of creating a RAID 5 config, but now I'm not so sure.

Would it be best for me to simply add them as ordinary drives and use them as and when necessary? Will that affect my performance?

Or do I go ahead and create the RAID system, and configure it as RAID 5 or perhaps RAID 0+1?

I use the computer for a lot of gaming, Crysis, CoD4 etc, but I also do a lot with watching HD films, photo editing, and storage for backups and software etc. I have a RAID compatible mobo, and the intel matrix storage manager on disc, so I have all the necessary utilities.

Any Ideas or suggestions would be seriously appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.

  anskyber 10:10 19 Feb 2008

It's always down to personal choice. I run RAID1 for data security but as I realise you will know RAID 0 is the best for speed and therefore good for gamers.

This short article confirms the relative speed points in RAID. click here

  Mufassa 10:17 19 Feb 2008

Hi Anskyber,

Thank you for replaying-I appreciate it.

I understand what you are saying about personal choice. As I've never done it before, I'm not exactly sure as to what would be the better option....

I can still perform my backups ( I use Acronis True Image ) can't I, so data loss wouldn't really be a major concern as everything would be backed up to a hidden partitrion? (would it? :) lol)

Thanks for sending me the link too, I've been looking everywhere, and this tutorial is very informative, cheers.

So, by using RAID0 or RAID 1, it'll definately improve my performance, but would I be able to do the following:

Still dual boot xp and Vista
Create usual partitions for backups and data storage?

I apologise for appearing as such a 'newbie' but I am very uncertain with what to do....

  anskyber 10:30 19 Feb 2008

RAID 0 for performance and RAID 1 for data security.
RAID does not alter the partition arrangements. So in both RAID 0 and RAID 1 the array is seen as one disc in effect. RAID 1 which I use is shown as a single C drive for example even though it's two discs.

As far as I am aware you cannot divide (partition) discs in an array individually since they are in effect one disc for operational perposes.

I use Acronis as well and the image works perfectly in RAID. My arrangement is completely belt and braces for data security, up to a point. Obviously if one disc fails in a RAID 1 arrangement the other will carry on regardless and the array will be reconstructed if I put a new disc in to replace the failed one.

What it will not protect against is an unimaginable failure through say a malicious code, the code of course infects both discs. Not that I have suffered in that way. The data security issue good for RAID 1 unless of course your house burns down (!) then critical data should be stored elsewhere, say on an Acronis image.

  anskyber 10:33 19 Feb 2008

Yes you will be able to partition the RAID array because the system sees it as one disc operationally.

  Mufassa 10:34 19 Feb 2008

Excellent responce,

Thank you very much. That's basically what I was unsure of, partitions and the ability for creating/storing backups etc.

I appreciate your time and answers.

Thanks again

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