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SATA II and SATA 6 WD Raptor Drives and SATA II Raid Controler Card

Posted on 2011-09-12
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Please Help. I posted this over an hour ago in Tom's Hardware but I need to get some answers before I have to leave.

I have the following situation.

I have a 3 drive set up. They are WD Raptor 300GB in RAID 0 for speed. I am using an areca ARC-1210 PCI-Express x8 SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Card. One of the drives failed. I removed the drive and rebuilt the raid Raid on 2 drives. I could tell the difference between 2 and 3 drives.

All 3 of the WD drives are SATA III. The card seems to be SATA II.

I called WD and complained. They sent me an RMA. While at work i thought 4 drives in RAID 0 might be even faster so I looked at the Model number on the WD RMA email and ordered a 4th drive using that model number.

I got the RMA and the new drive today. Guess what. The RMA and new drive are SATA 6. So now i have a delima. I have 2 SATA III drives AND 2 SATA 6 drives.

My raid card appears to be SATA II.

I am looking for performance. I want speed. Can all 4 of these drives live in raid 0 ok?
Will the faster ones drop down  to SATA III speed?
Should I buy2 more SATA 6 drives?
Should I look for a new raid card?

I was told this raid card was very good and much better then the on board cards and i dished out like $300 for it.

My motherboard is an MSI Eclispe SLI but I just got an ASUS Rampage III and will be swapping thee out. Both have on board raid. I think ASUS has SATA III raid card. Should I now us the on board raid?

I am looking for FAST boot times.
FAST decompression of very large files.
And FAST compression of very large files. I do a lot of video rendering as well.
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Question by:pcchaos
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Author Comment

by:pcchaos
ID: 36526959
I think ASUS has SATA 6 not III sorry.
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Author Comment

by:pcchaos
ID: 36527085
Seems WD didnt know what he was talking about. there is no Raid 6 yet.  So im confused now.

Old Drives are Model :WD3000HLFS
New Drives are Model: WD3000HLHX

With the Card Being SATA II, would it be worth changing the card or any of the drives out?

Can you tell a difference in 4 drives raid 0 vs 3? Im worried about bottle neck.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36527755
you like speed?  use SSD drives then : http://www.intel.com/design/flash/nand/mainstream/index.htm
i have an ssd x-25 160 Gb and it is really fast
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Accepted Solution

by:
McRonis earned 500 total points
ID: 36528153
BTW, SATAIII = SATA 6
SATA 6 mean that SATA interface speed is 6 Gbit/s
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA#SATA_revision_3.0_.28SATA_6_Gbit.2Fs.29

SATA2 (SATAII) controller should work with SATA3 (SATAIII) drives.
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Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 36528343
I hope you have a good backup regime with that amount of data on RAID-0 as your data is seriously at risk!

As @rindi says, if you really need that speed use a SSD or even better, a mirrored pair of SSD's
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36528647
@conolly "As @rindi says"   where?
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Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 36529216
sorry i meant @nobus (trying to answer 2 questions at the same time)
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Author Comment

by:pcchaos
ID: 36529770
I have read and found out last night that SATA 3 is SATA 6 and it has to do with issues in the naming convention. WD tech  failed to bring this up.
So... then there are still parts to this that need addressed.
I have 4 SATA drives that are SATA III.  I have a Raid controller card that is SATA II.  Would it be best to replace the raid card to SATA III as well?  Do these drives fill the bus?  I did not ask about SSD configurations because I do not own a SSD.
I cannot afford to replace ALL the drives AND the controller card. Ic an replace a drive or 2 max OR the controller card.
SO...
1.)  Is there a noticeable change in 4 drive raid 0 vs. 3 drive raid  0 (I do know this can increase potential for fail rate by a factor of  x4)
2.) Do the 3 or 4 drive SATA III drives on a SATA II raid card cause a bottle neck?
3.) Would it be worth it to replace the RAID controller card to an SATA III and if so... would the 4 SATA III drives on THAT card cause a bottleneck?

I cannot afford to replace ALL the drives AND the controller card. Ic an replace a drive or 2 max OR the controller card.

SO...

1.)  Is there a noticable change in 4 drive raid 0 vs. 3 drive raid  0 ( let me worry about my own back up s please.... I do know this can increase potential for fail rate by a factor of  x4)

2.) Do the 3 or 4 drive SATA III drives on a SATA II raid card cause a bottle neck?

3.) Would it be worth it to replace teh RAID controller card to an SATA III and if so... would the 4 SATA III drives on THAT card cause a bottleneck?

I need the speed  (with the parts I  have) Im sure that there could be other suggestions to other componets likeram and mother board etc to speed it up but that is not what I am asking.
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Assisted Solution

by:McRonis
McRonis earned 500 total points
ID: 36529876
1. I think 3 drives @ RAID0 will do the job nice, if you have fast drivers. WD are pretty fast.
2. SATA III on Mechanical drives are for marketing only, because max speed what mechanical drives can achieve is about 150MB/s linear READ and WRITE. But SATA III interface can achieve like 6Gbit/s - 750MB/s. Basically, mechanical drives do not need SATA III , they can't even achieve 1/3 of interface capable speed.
3. IT depends how fast is your RAID card, imo, you don't need any replacements.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36529913
with SSD, you won't even need a raid setup (makes it a lot cheaper )
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Expert Comment

by:McRonis
ID: 36529964
He already have 3 HDD and SATA2 RAID. So, he won't buy SSD.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36530712
McRonis - don't you think i can read?
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Author Comment

by:pcchaos
ID: 36530885
McRonis

Thanks for helping with the issue.  By what il have found on my own and you filling in the missing parts. I think it is best for me to keep my RAID  SATA II card and my 4 WD Raptor 10K RPM drives at this time.

The RAID card I have is this:
ARC-1210 PCI-Express x8 SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Card

NOBUS:  Your opion is that 1 single SSD SATA III will blow away 3 SATA II drives in raid 0 out of the water?  

Hmm... Should I keep the RAID set up then in a RAID 1 for storage and then buy a SMALL SSD? for system??

Do you think there will be any performance increase using all 4 drives in RAID 0 vs 3 drives?  I have a total of 4 drives.   I  know there is a decrease going from 3 to 2.
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Author Comment

by:pcchaos
ID: 36530894
FYI  My ASUS Rampage III does have 2 sata headers. So I could just plug SSD direct to MOBO.
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Expert Comment

by:McRonis
ID: 36530991
OCZ Agility 3 60GB SSD is about  95$ @ newegg
They are pretty fast, like ~500MB READ/WRITE.
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Author Comment

by:pcchaos
ID: 36531232
I was kind of looking at this drive here.
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Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 36531641
What do you think you need all this speed for?
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Expert Comment

by:McRonis
ID: 36531683
When i was writting post about Agility 3 , 95$ , i didn't know your budget.
Your selected drive will perform very fast.
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Author Comment

by:pcchaos
ID: 36533091
Connollyq

I dont ike to wait. I want apps to load fast... AND I do a lot of video editing and rendering. I deal with large files and a lot of apps open at once.  
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36534219
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Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 36534615
Presumably you have lots of RAM in this system as well then?

I really hope you have this lot backed up well, as using RAID-0 is a big risk (some would say unacceptable risk). Losing one disk and you have lost the lot!
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 36537984
I have the Areca 1210 in a RAID-5 configuration and while it is a good performer, it does not come close to what an SSD will do.  I have both the Vertex2 and the Corsair ForceGT, and they are much faster at random access and sequential reads and writes.  In order to make use of SSDs, you MUST have an OS such as Win7 that supports TRIM - it takes care of wear leveling, and without it you will suffer from write delays.  SSDs are also more expensive per GB, so if you need more than 120GB, the cost will go up quickly.  SSDs are also able to take advantage of SATA3 speeds, which ordinary hard drives cannot do.
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Author Comment

by:pcchaos
ID: 36540250
Here is my configuration I am about to start a new thread on a psu issue feel free to follow:

1366  Extrema 3.4Ghz CPU
ASUS Rampage III Mobo
Ultra 1600W PSU
GTX 285 x  2 in SLI   (SLI For Counter Strike lol)
The 120GB SSD I linked above ( On its way)
24GB DDR3 Corsair Dominator  memory (maxed board out)
3TB SATA 7200RPM Samsung HDD (storage)

Spare parts.:
areca ARC-1210  RAID II Controler card
4 x 300GB SATA WD Raptor Drives
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Author Closing Comment

by:pcchaos
ID: 36540256
Thanks!!!!
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 36540564
That's kind of odd that you ordered an SSD, but didn't give credit to those who suggested that you do so?
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Author Comment

by:pcchaos
ID: 36540597
LOL the 2nd check mare was suppose Tobe yours Callandor. I clicked the same guy twice. sorry.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36540991
if ssd was ok - i suggested it..
if you want to redistribute points, jusk ask a mod to reopen the Q - use request attention
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