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  • #31
    Hey Joe,

    No problem. I think in the long run you will be much happier with the RE3 drives, especially with the set up you are doing. The RE3 drives are designed for long life and constant abuse from a server environment. I wouldn't chanced regular desktop drives in a serious set up like you described.

    Good Luck!

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    • #32
      Posted by:codeslycer

      Thanks.

      Any recommended settings for the Areca controller that you can offer? I think you mentioned that you use or used one. I plan to the use the system for a mix of things including video encoding and application development. For the latter, I'll be using VMWare to setup a number of virtual machines running various types of databases. Will likely be using programs like Flash Builder or NetBeans as my primary development IDE to develop the applications that will connect to the various databases.

      Also -- in looking at the 500GB RE3 drives more closely, I noticed that they have 16MB of cache whereas the 750GB+ RE3 drives have 32MB. Given my expected usage pattern, do you think I would see any benefit to going with the 750GB RE3 with 32MB?

      Thanks as always for the help

      Joe

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      • #33
        Posted by:codeslycer

        As a follow-up after doing some research, I think the on-board cache for the hard-drives becomes a moot point as the RAID controller cache will override/be utilized more. Just my understanding of it.

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        • #34
          Hey Joe,

          That would be correct. The hard drive on board cache going from 16mb to 32mb would show very little if any performance boost.

          I think you are good to go!

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          • #35
            Posted by:locrieth
            Hi
            This might not be the right place to post this but you guys seem to know a lot about WD drives and raid arrays, so here goes.

            I've recently bought 4 x 1.5TB WD Caviar Green drives (WD15EARS) and I wanted to raid 5 them to create a 4.5TB array for my Windows 7 X64 media centre. I have a Promise Fasttrak 4310 raid controller (PCI card) that I have been using in my media centre pc. It is based around an Asus AT3N7A-I Ion Intel Atom N330 DDR2 ITX Motherboard [90-MIBAN0-G0EAY0KZ], so I only have the option of a PCI controller card. I had been using 4 x 320GB HDD to make a 960GB raid 5 array, which worked fine but I had run out of space along time ago and was spilling onto external drives all over the place.

            I connected up the 4 drives and went into the cards bios set up a raid 5 array and added all the disk. When I went to continue the array said it was 100GB and in windows registered as 96GB. After some searching around I found that not all raid cards will support arrays over 2TB, which causes a problem because the only option then is JBOD on the card and 1.5TB of movies, TV episodes and films is a lot to lose.

            So I looked at software raid 5 in windows 7, but the option is greyed out in disk management, and is apparently only available in server editions of windows. I looked at a program called disparity, but to be honest, I would much rather try and get hardware raid.

            I looked at the highpoint rocketraid 1740, which is 4-port and says it support windows 7 and arrays over 2TB (64bit LBA), has anyone got one of these cards or used them? They are around 100 mark are there any other cheaper alternatives that will support over 2TB arrays?

            So what I want to know is, what are the options to try and get my array working in raid 5 to get the most out of my disks? If you are correct about all new WD drives shipping with TLER set on, should I just leave the settings as they are?

            Thanks very much

            Locrieth

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            • #36
              Posted by:lyrebird

              I used to run two EADS 1TB drives in a RAID 1 for two and half years. Last year, one of them failed and I sent in for a replacement. The WD offered me a 1TB EARS drive as EADS are out of stock for a long time. And since I am running RAID 1, they offered to replace the other healthy EADS drive as well. I took the option and my nightmare started.

              In the past three months, my RAID 1 failed three times. It all happened suddenly when the system is working. After doing some research, the reason could be two:
              1. The TLER issue of WD drives.
              2. The Intel Matrix Storage V8.9.

              WD is good enough to send me two replacement of EADS drives as I had good history with them (one failure in almost three years is acceptable). And they upgrade the drives to 2TB for free.

              Now I am wondering, shall I go ahead try the RAID 1 again with Intel Matrix Storage Manager v8.8 and setting TLER on, or just use them as two separate drives. I really want real-time data protection. But it won't worth it if I have to replace one of drives every month.

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              • #37
                Hi Locrieth,

                I think the highpoint rocketraid 1740 would be a good investment. You definitely want the "TRUE" hardware raid. I have tied software raids, and you are wasting your time and money. I had single drives outperform raids using software. I would recommend using Western Digital RE3 drives, and yes, the TLER is set on from the factory. Install the drives and go, you will be very happy!

                Let us know how you make out. Post results when you can!

                High Voltage

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                • #38
                  Hi lyrebird,

                  You did the right thing exchanging the drive and having them match. I assume, when you say you are using the Intel Matrix Storage, that you realize this is software raid? If you cannot afford to buy a hardware raid card, then there really is no point to a raid. In reality, I have confirmed with real world tests, that software raid is much, MUCH, slower then using a single drive!!!

                  You say you want real time protection. You would be better off running 1 drive, and then doing nightly backups to your other drive. I am not a fan of norton products, but I do love their Norton Ghost software. I use it to auto backup my raid drives to an external hard drive every night. It works flawlessly. And if you have a complete failure, you pop in the disk, and restore your computer to the way it was before, with no problems whatsoever.

                  Keep in mind, having a raid "mirror", is not a substitute for a backup. Yes it helps you if 1 drive fails, but it does nothing to protect you from a virus, corruption, or surge that wipes out both drives. You always need to do backups regularly.

                  Keep in mind, even when using a Hardware Raid, in a "mirror" setup, you may get "slightly" faster read speeds, but write speeds tend to be the same, or slightly slower then a single drive. This is due to it writing to "two" drives. In a software raid "mirror", the performance is really slowed down on read and writes, and it uses a lot of your CPU resources.

                  Hardware Raid cards have their own CPU, so they don't absorb your motherboard/cpu resources at all.

                  Don't feel too bad, it has something to do with the faster performing drives, and software raids not being able to keep up and drop the drive. It has nothing to do with TLER. I have tried software raids with different hard drive manufacturers, and several different motherboards, TLER on and OFF!! And experienced drives randomly dropping out when under a heavy load.

                  Good luck and keep us posted on how you make out!

                  High Voltage

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