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Which setup is going to be faster?

Posted on 2006-06-26
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
DELL PRECISON 490
Dual Core Xeon 3ghz
4GB RAM

I need this machine for a programmer/developer that will be running Virtual PC to isolate their enviornments.

The question is, what should the HD configuration be?

2 160GB SATA 3.0GB/s 7200 in RAID 0 STRIPE configuration?
1  160GB SATA 3.GB/s for bASE OS and then 1 160GB SATA 3.0GB/s for housing the virtual PCs

Please let me know

thanks
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Question by:shankshank
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7 Comments
 
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Callandor earned 1600 total points
ID: 16983825
The RAID-0 stripe will be faster.  However, stripe arrays are inherently more likely to fail, since a failure in either drive will result in loss of data.  I would include a third normal drive, either locally or on a network, for saving work periodically.
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by:PCBONEZ
PCBONEZ earned 400 total points
ID: 16984225
You are not taking into account some important information.
The 3.0GB/s SATA rating is irrelivant to the drives real world performance.
That's is only the interface. (Tranfer rate between the drive and the system.)
The bottleneck with hard drives data transfer is a physical limitation of the drive and is the transfer rate between the actual discs and heads. - Has NOTHING to do with the interface.
The fastest I've ever seen was about 59.5 MB/sec. (7200 RPM drives. PATA, SATA, SCSI were all same-same.)
- Drive and interface manufacturers don't want you to know this. They dropped the head-disc transfer rate (aka "media transfer rate") from the spec sheets around 2003 so people don't figure out all the hype about the interface transfer rate is useless information. [ A marketing ploy at our expense. ]

Unless your client is willing to write-off ALL work done between back-ups and/or have a lot of idle (non-production) time running backups I recommend raid 0+1.
.
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Author Comment

by:shankshank
ID: 16984388
Well as far as backups are concerned, the data will be held in virtual pcs. So backups are a simple shutdown virtual pc copy image file over.

So maybe my first option is ok? raid 0 stripe 2 160gb satas?

It just seems more people were leaning towards separateing the physical OS and virtual pc on diff drives
I'd hate to build such an expensive machine and have my HD be the bottle neck
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 16984426
It looks like you have the backups covered, so RAID-0 will work for you.  I use 2 WD SATA Raptors in a RAID-0 array and measured a steady 100MB/sec transfer rate with HDTach.
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Author Comment

by:shankshank
ID: 16984443
ah, you're at 10k rpm thou, i wonder how these 7200rpm drives will perform

I can see a potential 3 virtual pcs running simeltaneously......
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Expert Comment

by:puter_geek
ID: 16984605
If you want the best bang for your buck, go with the WD2500YD it is 250GB and anandtech.com just did a review of it and compared it to several other drives.  Even the Raptor, and they didn't do too all bad.  
Here is the review.
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=2784&p=1

Here is the link to Newegg.com.  They are 84.99 + 5.46 for shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822136010
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 16984674
The Raptor in single drive mode measured 70MB/sec max, so I think you will see improvement with 7200rpm drives.
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