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Are RAID setups worth the extra money? RAID 0 looks like its the gamers setup, but do you really get that much of a performance boost?

Its couple hundred bucks extra if I order a rig with it, so I just want to see what some of those who use it think.

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Different types of RAID. Depends on what you want.

RAID 0: like you said, fastest performance, BUT lose one drive and you lose the whole volume. Generally offers about a 15% boost to reading data off the disk versus about a 10% penalty in writing to the disk. If you app is highly I/O bound in can help in performance. Also called "striped" drives.

RAID 1: Mirrored drives. One fails and you have a back up. Benefits from the read performance around 10% on average, but suffers write penalty for havig to write to both drives. Minized if spread across I/O pathways.

RAID 0+1 or (1+0): Mirrored sets of Striped drives. benefit of striping and data secure. Downside is requires 4 drives.

RAID 5: Home users don't need it. Sometimes called "poor man's mirroring". Requires minimum of three drives to work as it uses a parity bit sor data spread across drives. Lose a drive and the remaining drives can recalculate the missing data. Needs around 5 or 6 drives before it really is cost effective and suffers about a 30% hit to reading and writing. However, it is the cheapest form of data protection.

I've run RAID 0 and it did help with games that require frequent loading of texture files. I run RAID 1 on the Boy's system as he has an uncanny knack for killing hardware so having a mirror is better for him.

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I am running a RAID 0 array with 2 Raptor 10K rpm disks (35gb each for a total of 70gb). It is blazing fast, seems to me faster than 10% for read, but writing is not that much faster it seems, maybe even slower as Sensei says. The 10K Raptors are very inexpensive these days. (See Below)

It does make for quicker booting and loading if you are impatient like me, and has the added benefit of generally making you the first to load any game you are playing which can be a huge advantage in some fps games. (or give you first choice for available planes in a IL2 coop) It can also help speed texture loading in games that have massive textures like flight sims, although having more video memory is of course much better to have to reduce texture loading stutter.

Just checked Newegg, the 35gb raptor is just over a hundred bucks each, and the 150gb is around 230.

Be sure to back up often if you go RAID 0!!!!

(I am curious to see on the new 8800 generation Nvidia cards if their ability to use system RAM to draw video textures from without much penalty will be a big boost for games with massive textures.)

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using raid 0 doubles your chances of losing everything due to a hard drive failure.

for a home user about the only raid i would recommend is raid 1 - purely for redundancy as the performance benefits are fairly small.

if you want to go performance, you would look for a scsi raid controller (or perhaps SATA) with a large cache on it and raid 5 to get the benefit of stripes plus some redundancy (1 drive can fail and you're still ok).

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Never messed with Raid, other than one "customer" (family member) who wanted a continuous safe backup... Raid-1 for him. I've considered setting up a Raid-0 array for my gaming rig, but never did it. Raid-5 is just too elaborate for most home needs, IMO.

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RAID 5 is fault tolerant but even a striped RAID 5 will have less than stellar throughput performance. You definitely want to save it for jobs that need to be redundant but don't require high performance.

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