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To RAID or not to RAID?

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EDITED BY ADMINTHREAD MOVED TO THE HARDWARE FORUMTHXDavid RochHello guys,I am well aware of the issues pointed out by NickN and RAID0 when it comes to FSX. But what about when your FSX PC is used SOLELY for FSX and nothing else? In other words, I currently have a FSX ONLY system which has three (3) WD 320GB SATA 3.0GB. The OS (Vista x64) is installed on the C: drive which is a two (2) drive RAID-0 and FSX is installed on the 3rd drive alone.I am in the process of installing the Windows 7 Beta 7000 and was thinking whether I should just go ahead and create a three drive RAID-0 and install FSX alongside with the OS. Like I said, this PC is FSX ONLY, so I will not be add/deleting programs on it because it will be used only for FSX.Yes, I am aware of the limitations of using a motherboard based RAID solution, but after running hard drive benchmarks on my drive, it seems like the pros should outweigh the cons drastically.For instance, after putting the drives through HD Tach, I got the following results:Two drive RAID-0Burst Speed: 363.1 MB/sRandom access: 16.8msCPU utilization: 6%Average read: 172.2 MB/sOne drive onlyBurst Speed: 235.4 MB/sRandom access: 16.5msCPU utilization: 4%Average read: 94.3 MB/sSeeing how the performance jumped considerably on a two drive RAID-0, leads me to believe that with a three drive RAID-0, the performance should be outrageous!What you guys think? Should I go ahead and go RAID-0 on three drives instead of running FSX on it's separate drive? Thanks for any help...

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Well, you keep saying you understand what NickN has been saying and then ask should I do it anyway? Seems like a no brainer to me - NO! If you followed Nick's posts, you might have missed the one where he discussed the false impressions you get from tests like HDTach *as it relates to FSX*. If you were saying that this machine was for everytjhing else OTHER than FSX, the answer might be yes but FSX access lots of small files and there in lies the problem. Using a dedicated hardware controller where you can get a large stripe will be effective but the small stripe limitation on software raid controllers is a big deal.So, again - stay away from it for FSX.Vic

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EDITED BY ADMINTHREAD MOVED TO THE HARDWARE FORUMTHXDavid RochHello guys,I am well aware of the issues pointed out by NickN and RAID0 when it comes to FSX. But what about when your FSX PC is used SOLELY for FSX and nothing else? In other words, I currently have a FSX ONLY system which has three (3) WD 320GB SATA 3.0GB. The OS (Vista x64) is installed on the C: drive which is a two (2) drive RAID-0 and FSX is installed on the 3rd drive alone.I am in the process of installing the Windows 7 Beta 7000 and was thinking whether I should just go ahead and create a three drive RAID-0 and install FSX alongside with the OS. Like I said, this PC is FSX ONLY, so I will not be add/deleting programs on it because it will be used only for FSX.Yes, I am aware of the limitations of using a motherboard based RAID solution, but after running hard drive benchmarks on my drive, it seems like the pros should outweigh the cons drastically.For instance, after putting the drives through HD Tach, I got the following results:Two drive RAID-0Burst Speed: 363.1 MB/sRandom access: 16.8msCPU utilization: 6%Average read: 172.2 MB/sOne drive onlyBurst Speed: 235.4 MB/sRandom access: 16.5msCPU utilization: 4%Average read: 94.3 MB/sSeeing how the performance jumped considerably on a two drive RAID-0, leads me to believe that with a three drive RAID-0, the performance should be outrageous!What you guys think? Should I go ahead and go RAID-0 on three drives instead of running FSX on it's separate drive? Thanks for any help...
no no no no no!!! NO MOTHERBOARD RAID!The test is a SEQUENTIAL READ TEST.. FSX is RANDOM READ APPLICATION - Average Read speed means NOTHING in that test!The burst speed has merit but means little in a sequential readThe next two items are the ONLY items in that test that have GOOD MERIT:In Motherboard RAID you LOST 2% of the CPU in that test alone and that will go UP in a RANDOM READ of the real application... expect to LOSE 5-10% MORE CPU for the motherboard RAID!!Random Access is 16.8?? thats not good! You gained nothing with motherboad RAID.. you actually LOST from the single drive (lower is better)You are better of on the single driveHere is a single WD Raptor on HD TACH with NO RAID on a controller card: Burst Speed: 250.7 MB/s = Means littleRandom access: 6.9ms <----------------------- MUCH faster than your RAID array or single driveCPU utilization: 1% <----------------------------- Almost NO CPU loss to FSX and on a controller card it will NOT increase in application useAverage read: 130.2 MB/s = Means nothingand that drive will wipe your RAID array into the toilet in ANY applicationHere are 2 Vraps on that same controller card and I have NCQ and journaling enabled for the array shown below.... so its neutered for performance! now thats rockin the house @ the same 1% CPU use and a 6.3ms Random Access. Its also not needed for FSX either. The single Vrap will do the job even if it only on a motherboard portyou GET what you PAY for :( For you people wondering why I use a controller card its because I GET BACK up to 10%+ of my CPU even on a single drive use over the motherboard ports in RANDOM READ use! Something people without a tech background do not tend to understand. When it comes to the right PCIe SATA controller card it IS about the drive but its MORE about the CPU. !@ 4GHz thats about 400Mhz of CPU FSX does not LOSE during disk accessRead my list... Learn it! what does it say about RAID? The ONLY RAID you can use is from a dedicated hardware PCIe card with onboard DDR memory and allows a 256K or greater STRIPE when the array is created.. otherwise RAID is NOT to be used for FSXEver!that is all :(

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Yes sir, Nick!! ;)Joke aside: I am nowhere near pro as Nick, but I tried once RAID on the motherboard with two Seagate 160GB drives, to see how and if it would benefit to performance of FS9...I was totally disappointed, as it actually seemed slower than a single 7200 drive. That was without any measurement - pure "load and fly" scenario. Would never RAID again on the motherboard RAID...

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