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-   -   RAID question? (http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=1983)

MUYA 09-18-02 11:41 AM

RAID question?
Folks, I have a new MSI KT4-Ultra BSR mother board with a Promise Serial ATA raid controller built in, which also has an ide connector too! Now folks, i have heard the benifits of raid 0 and would like to try but, not on the entire capacity of the 2 disks I would however, like to try RAID 0 on partitions of my HDDs. Now I've read the manual and I am none the wiser on how to make RAID arrays on 2 HDD partitions. I have made partition at exactly the same spots on both HDD, ie cylinder, head, capacity etc. Does anyone know if this is possible with the promise RAID controllers? I know u can do that through dynamic disks in Win2k and winXP but I would like to do it through the Promise Controller? Help appreciated thanks!!


FastM 09-18-02 12:20 PM

Well creating a RAID Array is done Before any sort of paritions are setup. If you have 2 40gig identical Drives i dont think you can only use 20gig's on each. When your setting up an array you choose which two HD's to use, not how much space, but i could be wrong on this one.

Spectral 09-18-02 01:06 PM

I have a RAID-0 setup, and as far as I know... its not possible to just use one partition per drive.

Both drives have to be raided as a whole. The performance isnt anything to write home about either. In fact, when I get my new WD SE drives, I wont be raiding them.

FastM 09-18-02 01:35 PM


Originally posted by Spectral
The performance isnt anything to write home about either. In fact, when I get my new WD SE drives, I wont be raiding them.
He's right. Maybe for Heavy Video Editing/Rendering it will show a big improvment, but for everyday Apps and Games its almost slower sometimes. Btw im also running RAID-0 with 2 MaxtorD740X drives and a Promise TX2 Controller.

MUYA 09-19-02 07:55 AM

Thanks guys...I guess...no RAID for me then :( Ah well, at least I can use the extra connectors to connect to 1 IDE device at a time..

Cheers Kal

SnakeEyes 09-19-02 08:22 AM

I don't know about your experiences guys, but RAID0 shows a marked improvement in performance in the right setup. Windows loads in what feels to be practically no time (by comparison to non-RAID0 using the same hdd), programs load quicker, game level load times are nonexistent, etc. True that video capture / editing / rendering runs quicker too.

Now that I've said this, RAID0 when used with a PCI-based controller on Via-chipset based motherboards seem to behave exactly as you've stated- almost NO difference.

True experience (new talk show, coming soon to an internet near you [TM]:D):
I had an Asus A7M266 motherboard, which didn't have an onboard RAID controller. The A7M266 is one of those boards that has the hybrid AMD / Via chipset. I bought it for a new system (er, beginning of 2001), and wanted a RAID0 array for the new rig, among other things, so I also bought a Promise FastTrak100 PCI IDE RAID controller and 2x IBM 7200 RPM DMA100 60GB hard drives (never mind that they were listed as Maxtors, at the time I got them, I was actually happy that they turned out to be IBMs, since that was just prior to many people seeing them die, when their performance was the big ticket.)

The fact that the A7M266 has the AMD761 onboard allowed me to see the true performance capabilities of my RAID0 array. Since I initially set up the system for testing using a non-RAID configuration, and then went back and wiped the drives once the RAID card arrived, I got the chance to compare performance before and after. With the A7M motherboard and the Promise controller, the drives were close to 2x in performance much of the time (never actually doubled, but close), and always faster than a single drive setup.

Skip to the beginning of 2002. Snake's upgrade consists of an MSI KT3Ultra-ARU (onboard RAID133 Lite controller). Same hard drives. Okee. I try the drives in the non-RAID setup first (I always rebuild the complete OS on a major upgrade like this). Then I use the onboard RAID controller in a RAID0 setup. Huh? No way. The drives vary from a bit faster to a bit slower than the non-RAID setup. Well, maybe it's the onboard controller. So I disable the onboard, install the old faithful FastTrak100, and test again. Uh, this IS NOT right! Performance IS better than the onboard controller, but not by a whole lot. It's still not nearly at the levels it was with the A7M setup. Ugh.

So I did some looking around. There are a few (read: VERY few) that claim to have their RAID0 Via-based setups running well. The vast majority all report the same thing- PCI latency issues kill the RAID controller's performance with Via chipsets. This is an issue that has been ongoing through several chipsets now (including my KT333CE :().

If it weren't for the other benefits of this motherboard (Other than the PCI issues with RAID0, everything else works great, AND the support for PC2700 DDR is a Great feature!), I'd probably have returned it at the point that the PCI / RAID issue became apparent. I instead decided to live with it for now. But my next upgrade will most likely see me moving to nForce2.

Spectral 09-20-02 11:44 AM

My RAID array just corrupted last night. Ever lose 70 gigs of useful files? :)

Movies, Animation, Music, Software.. all poof. I installed the latest VIA 4 in 1s and it wouldnt reboot after that. I tried multiple new cables, I tried everything.. Would just keep locking after the Win2k splash screen. STOP at invalid boot device.

So, I hooked them up to regular IDE and had to start over. OH yeah, by the way, I do a lot of Video and audio editing, and there was virtually no difference in performance between my RAID and a NonRaided setup.

And if there was a bit of performance gain, it is nuetralized by the fact that my RAID array corrupted and could not be rebuilt. Stay away from RAID is my suggestion.

FastM 09-20-02 01:37 PM

Well after reading SnakeEyes post i decided to loose my Audigy for a Hecurles sound card since i also use a Via Chipset. Im looking forward to see if there is any sort of speed increase.

That sucks Spectral, the same thought goes through my head everytime i boot up and watch the Raid Controller find my Array, One day i know its going to say "Error Broken Strip". I guess unless you make crazy backups the slight speed increase doesn't justify the risk of Raid-0, Raid-5 on the other hand would be wild execpt you need at least 4 disks and a very expensive controller before you see any speed increase. I havent yet decided if im going to use RAID on my next system. I guess i'll be looking for Benchmarks at the time.

And last but not least, i havent touched a Via Update since moving to WinXP and i never will. The last time i tried the 4in1's on a friends 8kha+ everytime he booted his windows would say it was not shut down properly and do a disk check, not to mention his all around system performance was worse.

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