Raid 0, worth it?

Raid 0 , or striping, is a method of gaining higher read/write speeds by interleaving data between two or more hard disks. The general consensus is that this provides a faster overall system, and thus, is worth both the time and money to setup a Raid 0 array. I recently purchased two WD6400AAKS drives, and a Gigabyte Raid enabled motherboard to setup my first Raid array. I managed to create the array, and copy my operating system to the array, without having to reinstall windows. This can be done if you have a bootable harddrive outside the array, and a cloning program, such as Acronis True Image.

Before creating the array, I ran a speed test on a single WD6400AAKS drive so I would have a comparison. These were the results in HD Tune:

On the initial boot from the system (now running from the Raid 0 array), I did not notice any major speed improvements over a single WD6400AAKS drive. When I ran the HD Tune benchmark, however, the results showed that overall speed had increased:

Benchmarks are all good and well, but what did this speed increase mean for everyday performance. Well, I first tested file transfering speeds. I duplicated (copied) an 8 gigabyte folder on both the single drive and the Raided disks. On the single drive, the files took about 5 minutes to copy, while on the Raided drives, the time was closer to 2.5 minutes. While this may not seem like a large difference, it adds up for larger file sizes. Next I tested loading times for various applications. When starting Firefox, there was negligible differnce between a single drive compared to the Raided drives. Also, when loading a game of Call of Duty 4, the loading times actually seemed to be slightly longer. Moral of the story, Raid 0 will greatly improve performance when copying huge files, or installing large applications, however, don’t look to see major increases in loading speed for your applications. Is Raid 0 worth it? Well I suppose it just depends on what you expect from it.

One Reply to “Raid 0, worth it?”

  1. I think the benefits are for those dealing with large files being written in a fast pace. Have you tried using fraps with this setup? I’m gonna raid two of the same drives as written about here and test using Fraps to record my game play. As for now with only one of these drives i experience a freeze when ever the the file is finalized to begin on a new one, but without sound in the record process it runs fluently. Hopefully with raid-0 i will be able to record flawless with sound at highest settings.

    Nice post, Keep up the good work!

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