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Marhier

Span vs. Raid 0 for Gaming?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hey everyone :)

Last Friday, I bought a 12TB Seagate BarraCuda Pro with a view install every game I own... Saturday morning comes and I think to myself if I do that, I probably wont have much space left for anything else... So I bought another one, which arrives today.

I'm trying to decide whether to span the drives, or set them up in RAID-0 - just after some opinions really.

I'm torn because I understand the risk of having a RAID-0 set up - if one fails, I lose everything, which would be annoying if I wanted to play a game.

On the other hand, all my games are in the cloud, so can just download again.

I'm leaning towards a span set up... Are the benefits to RAID-0 that significant for gaming; I've never had a RAID-0 set up before?

 

Appreciate any advice.
Ta.
Regards
Marhier!
\m/

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I'd honestly just RAID 0 it, the chances of drive failure double but honestly I doubt it'll really be much of a detriment to your life if you have to reinstall everything. However, on the performance side, it won't be much of a benefit but it's just bragging rights and slightly faster load times.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I thought if I used a spanned volume, a failure would only impact the the data on the failed drive, as they don't get filled up simultaniously?

Doesn't RAID-0 do the same as spanned and combine the space of two drives together, just splits the data between the two?

I thought RAID-1 was where it would create a partition as big as the smallest capacity and mirror the data?

 

I'm after a single 24TB HDD, over 2 x 12TB drives.

Regards
Marhier.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Ignore that last comment, I see what you mean now.
You mean it would only double up my smallest drive - so if I had a 100GB drive and a 200GB drive, I'd only get 200GB (2 x 100GB).

This shouldn't be a problem, as I have two identical 12TB HDDs.

RAID-0 I think it is then :)

Regards
Marhier

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Just one word of caution on RAID 0. You are twice as likely to have a drive failure in RAID 0. This is because if one drive fails you lose everything. You did buy some great high quality drives but I would still refrain from putting any thing important on there. But if it's just games I say go for it. you should see a 20-40% bump in speed. I also recommend you configure RAID in the BIOS not Windows.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Yeah, it's only games that are going on there, nothing important.


That was my next question - what's the difference between doing RAID-0 via the BIOS and setting up a Stripped Volume in Windows?

I have a Maximus V Extreme (Z77 chipset) motherboard and struggled to set up my RAID-0 there... I could see the drives, but when viewing them in the Intel section of the settings, it only showed one drive and when I selected it to view the details, it just said it wasn't part of the RAID family or something to that description.

I ended up doing it via Windows 10 - figured it's doing exactly the same thing as if I did it via the BIOS?
I'm assuming the only difference is, if my Windows gets corrupted, I'd lose the ability to read the array if I have to reinstall Windows?
From what I understand there's no performance hit doing it via Windows Storage Spaces?

All help appreciated.
Thank you.
Regards
Marhier.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 22/05/2018 at 7:11 AM, Marhier said:

"...I have a Maximus V Extreme (Z77 chipset) motherboard and struggled to set up my RAID-0 there... I could see the drives, but when viewing them in the Intel section of the settings, it only showed one drive and when I selected it to view the details, it just said it wasn't part of the RAID family or something to that description..."

So I realised one hard drive was plugged into an ASMedia SATA controller and the other was plugged into an Intel one.
This explains why my BIOS wasn't picking up both drives when looking at the Intel Rapid Storage section of the BIOS on the Maximus V Extreme.
I haven't tested it yet, but will do so when I get back from work - I'm assuming this will solve my problem and allow me to set up the RAID-0 via the BIOS.

I am still interested though as to what the difference is between doing RAID-0 via the BIOS or via Windows:


Aren't both methods technically software RAIDs?

Is it more taxing on my CPU & RAM to do it via Windows?

 

I've looked online and can't seem to find a straight answer.
Any advice on the matter would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.

Regards
Marhier.
\m/
 

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On 5/21/2018 at 2:22 AM, Marhier said:

Hey everyone :)

Last Friday, I bought a 12TB Seagate BarraCuda Pro with a view install every game I own... Saturday morning comes and I think to myself if I do that, I probably wont have much space left for anything else... So I bought another one, which arrives today.

I'm trying to decide whether to span the drives, or set them up in RAID-0 - just after some opinions really.

I'm torn because I understand the risk of having a RAID-0 set up - if one fails, I lose everything, which would be annoying if I wanted to play a game.

On the other hand, all my games are in the cloud, so can just download again.

I'm leaning towards a span set up... Are the benefits to RAID-0 that significant for gaming; I've never had a RAID-0 set up before?

 

Appreciate any advice.
Ta.
Regards
Marhier!
\m/

I would do neither.

 

I assume you have a separate SSD boot drive?


If so:

1. "C:\" Drive - SSD for Boost Drive/OS/Basic programs

2. "D:\" Drive - 12TB HDD #1 Additional programs that aren't speed reliant/Data storage/movies/music/images/documents, etc

3. "E:\" Drive - 12TB HDD #2 All your Games


For Sale (lots of stuff):

Spoiler

[FS] [CAD] Various things

 

 

* Intel i7-4770K * ASRock Z97 Anniversary * 16GB RAM * 750w Seasonic Modular PSU *

* Crucial M4 128GB SSD (Primary) * Hitachi 500GB HDD (Secondary) *

* Gigabyte HD 7950 WF3 * SATA Blu-Ray Writer * Logitech g710+ * Windows 10 Pro x64 *

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
20 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

"I would do neither.
I assume you have a separate SSD boot drive?

If so:

1. "C:\" Drive - SSD for Boost Drive/OS/Basic programs

2. "D:\" Drive - 12TB HDD #1 Additional programs that aren't speed reliant/Data storage/movies/music/images/documents, etc

3. "E:\" Drive - 12TB HDD #2 All your Games"

I do have an SSD for my boot, yeah; a 120GB 850 EVO
My PC isn't used for much else other than gaming and music production, so have a minimal amount of programs installed on my boot drive; it hasn't really moved from 70GB free for a long time.

I have a 6TB drive for my data storage/movies/images/documents etc... I keep the important files backed up on an external drive every month or so.
The 24TB of storage I have now, I only want for gaming.

I ended up managing to RAID-0 the two new drives via the BIOS; plugging them both into Intel SATA ports solved the issue I mentioned above.
I've tested Windows RAID-0 and BIOS RAID-0 using CrystalDiskMark and it seems the BIOS RAID-0 performs 15-20% better.

As I requested above - if anyone knows what the actual difference is between doing RAID-0 via the BIOS or via Windows - I'd still like some advice on it.
Thank you.

Needless to say, I'm fairly happy with how I've set this up and the performance I'm getting from it.
I'm fully under way installing my games... I've made it through A-C so far, lol.
\m/

Regards,
Marhier.

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52 minutes ago, Marhier said:

I do have an SSD for my boot, yeah; a 120GB 850 EVO
My PC isn't used for much else other than gaming and music production, so have a minimal amount of programs installed on my boot drive; it hasn't really moved from 70GB free for a long time.

I have a 6TB drive for my data storage/movies/images/documents etc... I keep the important files backed up on an external drive every month or so.
The 24TB of storage I have now, I only want for gaming.

I ended up managing to RAID-0 the two new drives via the BIOS; plugging them both into Intel SATA ports solved the issue I mentioned above.
I've tested Windows RAID-0 and BIOS RAID-0 using CrystalDiskMark and it seems the BIOS RAID-0 performs 15-20% better.

As I requested above - if anyone knows what the actual difference is between doing RAID-0 via the BIOS or via Windows - I'd still like some advice on it.
Thank you.

Needless to say, I'm fairly happy with how I've set this up and the performance I'm getting from it.
I'm fully under way installing my games... I've made it through A-C so far, lol.
\m/

Regards,
Marhier.

Do you actually need more than 12TB of space? How much space do your games currently take up?

 

As for BIOS vs Windows RAID:

BIOS RAID obviously uses the onboard Motherboard firmware to create and manage the RAID. In theory it's vendor agnostic, assuming you're using Intel RAID, but some people have problems if they need to swap in a new motherboard that's a different make (or sometimes even different model). BIOS RAID is often called "Fake RAID" because, like Software RAID, it still uses the CPU to process all RAID instructions - there is no onboard RAID processing chip.

 

Windows RAID is much like any other software RAID. It's fully controlled and managed by the OS. It's also totally hardware agnostic, so you can literally pop the two drives into any Windows machine and recover the array. Like "Fake RAID" solutions, the CPU does all the processing.

 

Personally, if you actually need the space, I'd probably go with Windows RAID instead, due to the larger flexibility - even though you might get a small performance hit.

 

If you are not using the full 12TB, I would instead do a RAID1. My reasoning: I would just be supremely pissed off if a drive dies, and I have to sit there and reinstall every single game all over again. RAID1 would mean if a drive died, you just pop in the replacement, and it'll rebuild - not a single lost file.

 

Hell, I would rather just have two unmanaged drives, and manually split the games up between the two (Eg: Drive #1: Games A-M; Drive #2: Games N-Z) - that way if one of the drives died, I'd still have half the data.


For Sale (lots of stuff):

Spoiler

[FS] [CAD] Various things

 

 

* Intel i7-4770K * ASRock Z97 Anniversary * 16GB RAM * 750w Seasonic Modular PSU *

* Crucial M4 128GB SSD (Primary) * Hitachi 500GB HDD (Secondary) *

* Gigabyte HD 7950 WF3 * SATA Blu-Ray Writer * Logitech g710+ * Windows 10 Pro x64 *

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
16 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

How much space do your games currently take up?

No idea, lol... I'll find out soon enough and report back!
I have just under 400 games, they vary in size from 2GB to 75+GB.
I'm working on the theory that it will probably take between 10-12TB (400 x 25GB | 400 x 30GB respectively as an average) though it'll probably be more like 8-9TB.
As I mentioned originally, I'd rather have loads of space left over for the future.
 

 

16 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

Personally, if you actually need the space, I'd probably go with Windows RAID instead, due to the larger flexibility - even though you might get a small performance hit.

You're probably right - I should have done it via Windows... If ever it fails and I do have to do it again, maybe I'll choose that option.
This time round, I've gone for performance.
 

16 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

If you are not using the full 12TB, I would instead do a RAID1. My reasoning: I would just be supremely pissed off if a drive dies, and I have to sit there and reinstall every single game all over again. RAID1 would mean if a drive died, you just pop in the replacement, and it'll rebuild - not a single lost file.

What can I say, I'm glutton for punishment!
You're not wrong, it would suck, but I'm willing to have it happen once and learn the hard way.
I think if I get a drive failure and I have to do it again, I'll probably do what you suggested and have two separate drives and split the games alphbetically.

Thank you for you advice though, I've learned a lot from this process.
I will report back!

Regards
Marhier!
\m/
 

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3 hours ago, Marhier said:

No idea, lol... I'll find out soon enough and report back!
I have just under 400 games, they vary in size from 2GB to 75+GB.
I'm working on the theory that it will probably take between 10-12TB (400 x 25GB | 400 x 30GB respectively as an average) though it'll probably be more like 8-9TB.
As I mentioned originally, I'd rather have loads of space left over for the future.
 

 

You're probably right - I should have done it via Windows... If ever it fails and I do have to do it again, maybe I'll choose that option.
This time round, I've gone for performance.
 

What can I say, I'm glutton for punishment!
You're not wrong, it would suck, but I'm willing to have it happen once and learn the hard way.
I think if I get a drive failure and I have to do it again, I'll probably do what you suggested and have two separate drives and split the games alphbetically.

Thank you for you advice though, I've learned a lot from this process.
I will report back!

Regards
Marhier!
\m/
 

Haha well I appreciate a person who just wants to dive in a say "fuck it".

 

Please let us know how things go :)


For Sale (lots of stuff):

Spoiler

[FS] [CAD] Various things

 

 

* Intel i7-4770K * ASRock Z97 Anniversary * 16GB RAM * 750w Seasonic Modular PSU *

* Crucial M4 128GB SSD (Primary) * Hitachi 500GB HDD (Secondary) *

* Gigabyte HD 7950 WF3 * SATA Blu-Ray Writer * Logitech g710+ * Windows 10 Pro x64 *

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 25/05/2018 at 2:35 PM, dalekphalm said:

Please let us know how things go :)


Hello again.
Just thought I'd post an update!

 

So I installed every game I own through Steam, Origin, UPlay, Oculus, Windows Store and non client games.

It came to a whopping......... 5TB (just under, lol).

So after that, I decided to install the 151 games my friend shares with me that I don't have in my own library.

That bumped me up to....... 6TB (just under, lol).

 

So you were right, I could have installed all of that on one drive, still had half left and put the 2nd 12TB drive in RAID1.
I'm now sat with roughly 17TB of storage remaining.
I doubt I'll change it now as I've installed everything; I honestly thought the amount of games I had to install would take me to at least 10TB... Turns out I could install all of that twice and still have space left over, lol!

 

Note: The downside to installing 475 games on Steam is the magnitude of updates every time I log in, lol! Usually only takes a minute as the majority of updates are tiny, but I feel compelled to clear the download list every time it finishes!

 

Anyway... Lesson learned.

At least I have RAID0 petformance, which has been pretty damn good to be honest, haha!

 

Thanks.
Regards

Marhier!

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