RAID 0 vs. RAID 5 ON GA-EP45-UD3P and WD6400AAKS

Hi myce geniuses,

I have a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P and two WD 640GB SATA drives (WD6400AAKS). I recently came into some money that had to be spent quickly and it went into another WD 640 and a 1TB external HD.

I’m looking for a performance boost on the hard drives as well as some added backup safety. If I have arrived at the right conclusions these are the facts:
A RAID 0 configuration will give me the best performance all around while also boosting my storage space to just shy of 2 TB. The downside is that my system is now 3x more likely to lose everything since any single drive failure takes out the array. I would need to keep good backups on the external but then I’m back to a safe storage size of 1 TB.

A RAID 5 configuration will give significantly better read/write performance than my current 2x WD setup. This performance will not be as quite as good as a RAID 0 but will allow me to have 1.2 TB (same as now) of storage with a 1 drive failure fault tolerance. Full backups would become a matter of belt and suspenders rather than an absolute necessity.

I’m already aware that I’m going to have to start from scratch (I need to format C anyway to fix a busted Vista64 to Win7-64 upgrade, thus the 1TB external to put everything on before going to RAID, but that’s another story).

Is there a question here? Yes, several.
Given my motherboard, is there going to be a performance increase going from 2 independent WD drives to 3 in a RAID configuration?
Is the added speed on a RAID 0 really worth the risk?
Should I just add the new 640gb normally, backup the important stuff on the external, and not bother with RAID?

I don’t know if you’ve decided yet, but I wouldn’t bother with the RAID array. While it would speed up boot times and game loading times, the down side is a lot of headaches. Their are a lot of average users out there that set up RAID arrays and its a total waste, RAID is mainly for servers and it worked as a good gimmick to get regular users to buy more HDD’s :slight_smile:

SSD’s are the future of speedy data transfer, and its worth it to get one for a boot disk and software. Their constantly getting faster and the prices will continue to drop, I personally won’t be getting one till they mature a little more.

Thanks for the advice, eric. I think I’m going to cut this a different way. I’m just going to stack all three 640 GB drives in normally. So, I get the 1.9 TB without the risk of a RAID0. About 500GB of large data (music, movies, pictures, etc.) is mirrored on another PC on the network for backup and speed of access on the second computer. I’ve found a couple of interesting backup softwares (Comodo Backup for one) that will allow for compressed images so I should be able to keep the remaining storage backed up on the 1 TB external.