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.