Raid 1, Raid 0 or No Raid

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by davez, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. davez


    I just bought a computer (Dell XPS 410) which came with a RAID 1 hard drive setup. But I don't have 'mission critical' data that must be backed up so I'm trying to decide whether to change to RAID 0 or no raid.

    The theory I've read says RAID 0 will provide faster reading and writing from/to the hard drive. For those that have RAID 0 drives, does it truly improve HD access speed? And since files are split between two drives, are parts of files more easily lost? Do the RAID 0 hard drives 'look' like a single drive if you want to find and copy a file?

    If there is a noticeable speed improvement and no reliability concerns, I'll change to RAID 0 (hope its not hard to do). But if it really makes no improvement, I'll remove the potential raid complication and just have two hard drives, even though I don't need the extra storage.

    Feedback from any that have used either RAID config would be appreciated

  2. Tums


    raid 0 helps ONLY if you have to access large files ALL the time.
    e.g. multimedia streaming, large database multi-user access, etc.
  3. dchang0


    DON'T do RAID 0. I've lost entire striped sets when one of the two drives got damaged. This has happened more than once, and the benefit derived from the increase in speed was worth far less than the data on the drive.

    Even if your stuff isn't mission critical, think about the time it might take to reinstall the operating system and applications and data on those drives.

    Use RAID 1 (mirroring) instead. There are tiny speed benefits but huge redundancy benefits.
  4. If you are diligent about daily backups Raid Zero. if not, Raid 1
  5. In your case speed and performance won't be a factor. The hard drives are probably SATA and have a very fast I/O. The only thing to consider in this case is redundancy.

    If you require it then RAID 1 or RAID 5 would be the choice. I run a RAID 5 system which has lost a disk and recovered fine.

    If you don't require disk redundancy then choose the stripe set without parity (RAID 0). This will allow you to use the entire disk space as a single logical drive. Again performance will not be noticably different if the RAID is done by a hardware controller.
  6. What brand of HDD was that?
  7. davez


    Some good replies. I do not often access large files or databases, so it is sounding like raid 0 might not make a noticeable speed difference. Probably TC2000 (end-of-day) is the largest program I use, and once it loads I think its current data sits in memory.

    Furthermore it seems there is some increased risk of file corruption with raid 0. Two hard drives must increase (double?) the risk of hard drive failure.

    The fellow I bought the computer from said that raid 1 doesn't guarantee a reliable backup as the raid system(?) itself can fail - I guess that applies to raid 0 also.

    It is sounding like the raid is intended more for corporate use.

    I'm leaning now towards using no raid at all, and getting an external backup hard drive. But I'd appreciate hearing of any others thoughts on raid.

    Thanks for the replies so far.

  8. jumper


    I use Raid 5. Allows me to have more space available while having the redundancy. No problems so far.
  9. Do this:

    - No RAID

    - Put Windows + Programs on one drive
    - Make sure the System Pagefile is on the other drive

    This will ensure you will balance the payload a bit between both drives during heavy usage.

    RAID 5 is not available with 2 drives.
  10. #10     Mar 28, 2007