View Full Version : accelerate performance through 2nd hdd

07 July 2005, 05:14 PM
Hi. I've got a shuttle barebone which offers RAID function. I have one Maxtor Diamond 10 with NCQ inside, which works great. But I am curious whether it would accelerate the performance a lot if I'd add a second HDD to make it a RAID or is the videoperformance depending more on the graphics card? I use Combustion and Vegas Video and I am planning on a 720p HD project and that's why basically acceleration came to my mind. Securing the data would be a nice sideeffect.
Has anyone installed a second HDD after the first, I mean is it possible to just add a second hard drive without having to format the first one or reinstalling the OS?

07 July 2005, 05:53 PM
RAID can be used for both, speedup of harddisk access and read/write as well as more security. To have both you will need a RAID 0+1 or 5 where RAID 5 is more efficent.
If you are going to use HD video material fast read/write shold be handy to have. Striping with RAID 0 (striping) as well as RAID 5 (striping with parity) can do this for you. More security will be given by RAID 1 (mirroring) or RAID 5. For RAID 5 you will need at least three drives.
None of the mentioned things except RAID 1 can be done without reformatting your existing drive.
Hope this helps

07 July 2005, 06:50 PM
That helps a lot, thanks! So Raid I (mirroring) is a good option. But is performance increase with RAID I as good as with RAID 0? Do you think that's worth the 150$ and I will be able to improve playback performance noticeable?

07 July 2005, 07:57 PM
With RAID 1, you will not see any performance increase. In some cases, you may see a performance drop, but you will get full redundancy of your data.

RAID 0 will effectively give you double I/O speeds due to data striping, but you effectively also double your chances of data loss because there is no redundancy. RAID 0+1 is best of both worlds. Full redundancy and effectively double I/O performance. This requires at least 4 disks though. RAID 5 will give you the bonuses of RAID 0 and RAID 1. You will get additional I/O performance, as well as some redundancy. If more than 1 drive crashes in a RAID 5 configuration, your array is hooped though. You need at least 3 drives in RAID 5, and a controller to calculate the parity blocks on the fly, otherwise, a software RAID 5 is taxing on your CPU and you lose precious clock cycles in the name of speeding up I/O performance.

07 July 2005, 09:12 PM
Hm, that gives me a lot to think about. A second disk just for the footage would be good idea and probably the most simple one to install. But not having to worry about data loss through mirroring and
double read speed with a Raid1 (as I red at Intels Site) sure is tempting. Then, in Combustion, I think the most timeconsuming process is the calculation of the operators, and layers and not the reading from the disk. Though that might shift with increase of layers. But in fact I am still not sure wether a Raid or a second HD would bring better improvements. Maybe somebody can comment on this.
And then I read in the manual of the raid (ICH6R Controller) that you should have activated the raid in Bios prior to installing the WinXP which I apparently didn't cause I just see the AHCI Controller in the device manager. Having to reinstall the whole OS would be an unbearable burden that could hinder me from installing any Raid. Or is there something I got wrong?
Anything above Raid1 is not possible for me because I use a shuttle barebone, that allows two discs and not more.

08 August 2005, 02:03 AM
Adding a second HDD will boost your PC's performance noticeably ONLY if you are running two or more applications that access the HDD a lot. In such scenario, the HDD read/write mechanism becomes the performance bottleneck and the second HDD will be able to feed more data to the CPU to speed things up noticeably. I doubt that too many personal PC systems belongs to this category.

In most other casees (involving systems with adequate RAM and a healthy HDD that is not overly cluttered/fragmented), there is likely to be performance boost but nothing dramatic.

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