SATA / RAID Newbie Qs - Dual SATA vs. Single SATA Drive Config

bnason

n00b
Joined
Jan 26, 2004
Messages
44
Is there any point then in having only one SATA drive?

Ie., I have just a single 70 GB Raptor. Do I get any performance improvement from that over just a normal IDE drive (have the Asus k8v mobo w/ sata support)?

Or do you really need to have dual SATA drives in a RAID array to milk their performance?

AND,

If I install XP pro now on a single drive, and I decide to grab another Raptor, can I install a RAID array after installing the OS?

And, if I'm cheap (I am!), can I go with a 36GB Raptor with my 70GB Raptor? Or even a 7200 RPM SATA Drive with my Raptor?

Thanks in advance, and sorry for my probably very simple questions!
 

Icewindius

Gawd
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
Messages
802
Unless your really wanting to reduce load times on games and such, no real reason for RAID unless you want to run mirrored drives but that cuts down on your storage space as it has to make a duplicate copy of all your data. This is only done for servers or really picky people

SATA drives currently do not offer little performance gain over IDE drives. THey do however reduce latency timings to access and transfer data and have no problems with data integrity unlike the current 80pin IDE cables.

SATA 2 will be coming out this year, with native command queing which basically makes the drive figure out whats the best order to retrive data. Current HDDS including SATA fetch data one command at a time in the order recieved. Basically, if the first command tell it to go to the end of the drive, then the second command to the beginning, and the third command to the middle, its very inefficent.

SATA 2 with NCQ lets the drive think and say" Hmmm, let me FIRST get the inside track data, then the middle, and last, the outside track data. It results in much more I/O opertions per second speeding up performance. It also has a 300mb peak speed, SATA is currently at 150.

And no, you cannot go back and later add a second drive to RAID after installing Win XP. Most people use RAID 0. Basically, RAID 0 itripes or splits your data across the two drives, resulting, in much faster loading and writing.

However, your OS must also stripped across the drives for this to work, so adding a second drive to RAID is not possible. You can add a second drive for more storage space, but you cannot put it in RAID unless you rebuild the OS from scratch.

You also must have the exact same size drives and model in order to do RAID so you cannot use SATA and IDE together to stripe or a 7200 RPM and 10,000 RPM drive. They must be EXACTLY the same.
 

bnason

n00b
Joined
Jan 26, 2004
Messages
44
Thanks! This helps a lot. With my system up and running, I think I'm good without a RAID setup anyway... this HD is FAST! I may just get a big fat IDE drive to dump stuff on at some point in the future.
 
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