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Need a recommendation for configuring these drives.

Posted on 2013-01-20
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I recently attended a seminar that threw a lot of information at us.  While at first glance, I was immensely grateful to have attended, when the number of items discussed began to mount, I slowly stopped thinking how glad I was to be here, and started thinking, yeah... I need to check on that.  I'm going to be posting several questions on here shortly concerning SSD, Raid, Raid Controllers, and setting up a Cache Drive.  

Description:
This post is on the optimal Performance setup of the following drives.

I have Two Solid State Drives.  Intel SSD is 120GB, and OCZ 240GB.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167050&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwords&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-_-pla-_-Internal+SSD-_-N82E16820167050&gclid=CImd6IeI97QCFYLd4AodyBEA2A

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227792

I also have two WD 3TB Green Hard Drives.  I am in the process of getting two more, so lets assume there are 4 available.
http://www.staples.com/WD-Caviar-Green-3TB-SATA-30-3-Gb-s-IntelliPower-35-Desktop/product_391828

I have this motherboard:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157299

The motherboard supports Raid 0, 1, 5, and 10.  I should say...  I'm Not really interested in setting up Raid 0 or 1, because straight up mirroring will result in a very high cost overhead + there is a Windows Home Server that is going to be providing some extra redundancy.  Also am not presently considering striping only because of the WHS cant cover all the data across 4 drives.  None of these things are set in stone.

So... now that you know all the key players involved...
I am trying to setup this system for high end performance.

The computer being built is going to used for all number of applications, most of which are fairly high end, so I'm trying to build a "Super" Computer.
http://cache.kotaku.com/assets/resources/2007/10/Alienware%20superman.jpg

Applications the computer will be running on a regular basis in Windows 7 Premium.
1.  Civilizations IV.
2.  Photoshop Elements 10 or 11.
3.  Photoshop Premiere 10 or 11.
4.  Cyberlink PowerDirector 11.
5.  Skyrim online (if it ever comes out)

Other important things to note about this setup:
There a ton of photograph and movie files (and unfortunately in all different formats)
When I say ton, I mean a ton.  Its 20+ TB.

Early unenviable tasks include attempting to organize these files onto Hard Drives and folders that I can actually find where they all are.  Most will be going onto HD, few will be going onto the SSDs.

Rather than describe what my current thinking is on the setup, let me instead ask a more open-ended question:

Question:
What would be the best way to organize the drives mentioned above to get the best Performance?  What should go in the RAID setup?  Should I be doing a RAID setup?  Do I need to purchase any additional items, HDs, or SSDs to help this setup along?


Thank you.
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Question by:FourthDownMage
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Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 38798493
WD Green drives are UNACCEPTABLE for RAID5. Period. In fact, you risk data loss in any RAID configuration at all, but RAID5 is the one that guarantees eventual data loss when you have unrecoverable read errors.

So the rest of the question is moot.  You don't configure any RAID, hardware or software with those disk drives. Replace them with something designed to be put in a RAID array, like "enterprise class" SATA drives.
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Accepted Solution

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compfixer101 earned 350 total points
ID: 38799322
I advise the OS to but put on a SSD drive and data on a different drive/raid with the OS on an SSD drive it will load much quicker and the system will be less sluggish.
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Assisted Solution

by:dlethe
dlethe earned 150 total points
ID: 38799350
RAM is king for video. Put your money there above all else.  Saving a few seconds on boot time and loading programs aren't an effective use of SSDs.  The ROI in SSD is random I/O, the more the better ... like in database index files.
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