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Innovation

To RAID 0 or not to RAID 0?

When I blogged about building our quad-core PCs, many of the questions that I got related to RAID 0. Many people wanted to know if I was going to be utilizing a RAID 0 array to improve performance while others wanted to know why I hadn't chosen to make use of a RAID 0 array in the first place.

When I blogged about building our quad-core PCs, many of the questions that I got related to RAID 0.  Many people wanted to know if I was going to be utilizing a RAID 0 array to improve performance while others wanted to know why I hadn't chosen to make use of a RAID 0 array in the first place.

I'll be honest with you, I'm not a big fan of RAID 0 arrays.  Sure, you get improved performance (and next week I'll give you some data as to how two Raptor X drivers set up as a RAID 0 array work) because you get the throughput of two drives, but there's a huge downside - if one drive has a problem, the whole array is destroyed and it's goodbye data.  The MTTF (Mean Time To Failure) for drives is pretty good there days (and I'm speaking from experience here rather than the crazy figures pulled out of the air by drive manufacturers) but I'm still not happy about doubling up my chances of things going wrong.

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Don't get me wrong, there is a very substantial performance boost to be had from making use of a RAID 0 array, but having run real world tests using RAID 0, the gains seen on synthetic benchmarks don't translate all that well into work taking less time.  If I was building the ultimate gaming system then I'd use RAID 0 (you see performance gains here because the system is reading in a lot of data), but for a general purpose system, the downsides of RAID 0 outweigh the benefits.

Thoughts?

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