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Old 10-18-2009, 11:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default IDE vs PCI

First a little background:

I'm upgrading my dinasaur of a desktop and putting a little more RAM and a RAID controller in it. I have a lot of pictures and music that is getting too large to backup to DVD's and my other drives. And honestly i'm getting too lazy to continually do a 'manual' backup every week.

I am looking to get a RAID controller to put on the PCI bus of my desktop. I plan on getting a controller that is capable of RAID 0/1/5 and plan on using RAID 1 at first.

These two drives would be SATAII and would just be used for storage. My OS will still be on my drives that are on the 0/1 channels of the MB.

Now the questions:

1. Is there any reduction in access speed when comparing IDE to the PCI bus? (eventually might put an OS on the drive just for the sake of being able to load up the PC on the drive)
2. What about PCI Express? Express x8?
3. I've read that unless you drop 200+ on a RAID controller it really isn't going to 'lessen the load' on the processor when working, is that true?
4. Since i'm just doing RAID 1 there is no 'array' correct? So if i lose a drive i don't have to rebuild the array and I could plug that drive into any computer right? What i'm worried about is the controller burning out and i've read with RAID 5 you have to purchase the same model in order to rebuild the array, but if I only use RAID 1 there is just a mirror image.

Thanks for any input.
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: IDE vs PCI

Hmm, lex I don't much about the raids or anything like that but can I suggest this ?

Would be willing to use a SATA 500gbs or 750gbs hdd to use mainly for music and any other video files ?

1.You put music on the hdd wait a month, if you have dual layer dvd burner use at least 5 double layers discs to back up music and videos ?

Or.

Do the same thing for your pictures and data but instead make a schedule to back up at least once a month to reduce the risk of your hdd starting to wear down, you have file loss issues or corruption and you have a pretty ugly situation on your hands...
Stay away from Maxtor Maxline hdd's I already had to throw one out in the window after I had it die on me over a month ago due to over heating and corruption,,,
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: IDE vs PCI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexluethar View Post
First a little background:

I'm upgrading my dinasaur of a desktop and putting a little more RAM and a RAID controller in it. I have a lot of pictures and music that is getting too large to backup to DVD's and my other drives. And honestly i'm getting too lazy to continually do a 'manual' backup every week.

I am looking to get a RAID controller to put on the PCI bus of my desktop. I plan on getting a controller that is capable of RAID 0/1/5 and plan on using RAID 1 at first.

These two drives would be SATAII and would just be used for storage. My OS will still be on my drives that are on the 0/1 channels of the MB.

Now the questions:

1. Is there any reduction in access speed when comparing IDE to the PCI bus? (eventually might put an OS on the drive just for the sake of being able to load up the PC on the drive)
2. What about PCI Express? Express x8?
3. I've read that unless you drop 200+ on a RAID controller it really isn't going to 'lessen the load' on the processor when working, is that true?
4. Since i'm just doing RAID 1 there is no 'array' correct? So if i lose a drive i don't have to rebuild the array and I could plug that drive into any computer right? What i'm worried about is the controller burning out and i've read with RAID 5 you have to purchase the same model in order to rebuild the array, but if I only use RAID 1 there is just a mirror image.

Thanks for any input.
1 & 2. I would think you would see an increase if anything. Here are some comparisons :



source: What is PCI Express? A Layman's Guide to High Speed PCI-E Technology-Best Computer Online Store Houston Buy Discount Prices Texas-Directron.com

3. Not sure.

4. There is still an array - a "mirrored" array. If one goes down, you still have the other but it is slower than RAID 0, but unlike RAID 0, RAID one is fault-tolerant because you have the second disk if the first goes down. And that is true about the RAID 5 reference, they must be the same. And you also need at least three disks to implement RAID 5. One is used for parity checking specifically.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: IDE vs PCI

First: RAID is not the same as backing up. You still need to back things up even with a RAID.
1) I think your question on bandwidth has been answered but I will say a single IDE drive does not come close to saturating even the IDE bus. Normal, modern SATA drives are probably about 80MB/s or so and RAID 1 is no faster than a single drive.
2) This is certainly overkill for your requirements
3) Depends on the RAID level, number of disks and CPU speed, I haven't looked at the prices in America but I doubt you would have to spend as much as $200
4) You are correct but if you are only doing a RAID 1 you should consider a linux software RAID because in simple RAIDs like this are easy for the CPU and you can save a bit of money by getting an HBA/using what you have. In fact this is what I would recommend.
For example:
As part of my component shuffling I have changed my mini 2u server to use two 73GB cheetah 15k.5 SCSI drives attached to an Adaptec HBA. I then installed centOS so that I have an 18GB root and some swap on one of them and a 50GB software RAID 1 between them mounted on /usr.
You could easily do the same (or similar) with larger IDE drives using your current IDE controller or with SATA drives on an inexpensive SATA HBA.
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: IDE vs PCI

Thanks for the input everyone.

That makes sense with the bandwidth. This dinasaur that i'm turning into a server only has a PCI slot available, so it sounds as if the bandwidth is going to be similar to the IDE slot. I was just asking in case I do end up running an OS off of it, wanted to make sure i wouldn't see a HUGE reduction in speed.

As for backing up, I realize it is not a substitute for backing up - I will still backup but my only backup solution right now are those DVD's, and it becomes a pain. I know RAID isn't backing up, but the purpose is data redundancy, something that my setup is lacking right now (aside for a backup every few weeks). I don't want to purchase separate drives for this purpose, because again without that redundancy I would still have to constantly backup which is what i'm trying to avoid. I could just upgrade my drive, but why not purchase two and a cheap controller for some data redundancy

There are decent controllers out there for cheap, i'm just saying that i've read that unless the controller has a processing unit that actually does the RAID for the system, then all that load is placed on the CPU (just like a software RAID). As for Linux, again this is already a server setup (server 2008) so i'm not wanting to move from that to Linux (i use ubuntu on another desktop) just for its software RAID. I would also consider a software RAID solution (since apparently the same load would be put on the CPU as a cheap controller) but my MB doesn't have any SATA ports. So i'm using the controller for RAID and the ability to use SATA drives.
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