Solved RAID 0: Worth it?

February 17, 2014 at 14:09:48
Specs: Windows 8.1 64 Bit, AMD FX-8350 8 Core @ 4.0 GHz w/ 2x4 DDR3-1600
Hey Everyone,

The other day I was shopping for Hard Drives. There were two identical 4 TB drives, yet one costed $120 less than the other. After talking to the people at the store, they said the only difference was that one (the more expensive one) supported RAID, whereas the other did not.

My question is, do you guys think the ability to use RAID 0 is really worth $120? Will not having the option for RAID really decrease the performance of my drive that much? The only thing I would really keep on the drive would be things like Movies or Music, not really anything that would require a lot of speed.

I probably wouldn't use RAID 1 or whatever to backup my data, as I have an external hard drive for that sort of thing.


See More: RAID 0: Worth it?

Report •

✔ Best Answer
February 18, 2014 at 13:15:06
Yeah, they were Western Digital drives. I wan't planning on using RAID to back up the data, mostly just to help improve performance, but if it won't help that much I won't spend the extra cash. Thanks.

February 17, 2014 at 14:25:45
Whoever told you that the drive supported RAID was talking rubbish.

RAID is a function of the controller the drive is attached to and has little to do with the drive itself. Almost any drive can be used in a RAID array providing you have the right hardware to use it. They only requirement is that the drives have a similar capacity. Probably what made the difference in the price was the size of the on-board buffer which has nothing to do with RAID

Having said that, keep well away from RAID 0. It has no redundancy which is what RAID is designed to do and if one drive files there is little chance of recovery. Theoretically RAID 0 should increase read.write speeds as the reading and writing is split between two different drives. However in practice the difference is negligible.

RAID 0 was devised at a time when hard disk were relatively slow. With modern drives with huge on board buffers the advantages are not there any more and the added complexity is not worth it.


Report •

February 17, 2014 at 15:02:15

As StuartS comments - almost any drive will work in a RAID environment; it just needs to be compatible with the chosen controller; and the drives involved of the same size. If they differ in size then the default size/capacity for each drive involved will be that of the smallest drive installed. Quite what the store people really meant to say - who knows… Possibly they were a little confused as to how RAID systems work?

This link explains the whole RAID system in a very clear and simple graphic style…

Raid 1 (Mirror) is the minimum I'd go for. Many NAS systems targeted at the domestic and small office environments are two drive systems in a mirror. Having one for a few years now, and recently lost a drive - it was a relief to have the RAID 1 arrangement as it meant I could still use the remaining drive whilst waiting for the replacement drive. And the automatic rebuild of the mirror was quite easy and fast. No data lost.. One thing though.. Even a server (whichever RAID it is) needs a backup. So I have a USB drive across mine to make backups at intervals… Then if for whatever reason both drives went down. I have the backup around

If a server is to be on for lengthy periods - say most of 24x7x365… excluding holidays… Then wise to install the heavier duty drives; rather than those typically installed in just about every desktop etc… Those are designed for some reasonable down time and relatively short times up… Heavy duty drives sometimes cost a wee bit extra - but you get what you pay for; increased reliability not the least.

message edited by trvlr

Report •

February 17, 2014 at 15:29:51
No form of RAID is an acceptable backup solution. RAID (except RAID 0) provides protection only from drive failure, and you can't even rely on that. It offers no protection at all from malicious or accidental file deletion or other causes of data loss. There is no substitute for a backup system.

RAID 0 is usually more trouble than it is worth. The benchmarks can be quite impressive but real world performance gains are more modest. They do have some legitimate uses but they are not typical usage. I believe many manufacturers are offering it in motherboards because it is a feature in demand, not because it is a good idea.

Western Digital has a series of drives designed for RAID and I suspect these were the drives in question. But other drives will also work.

Anyone contemplating RAID in any form needs to do some research on the implications beforehand. Many people blindly rush into RAID and only find out later that it doesn't do what they wanted.

message edited by LMiller7

Report •

Related Solutions

February 17, 2014 at 15:46:21
All the above responses are correct. See the link below for more on RAID.

Report •

February 18, 2014 at 13:15:06
✔ Best Answer
Yeah, they were Western Digital drives. I wan't planning on using RAID to back up the data, mostly just to help improve performance, but if it won't help that much I won't spend the extra cash. Thanks.

Report •

February 18, 2014 at 20:49:36
Western Digital Drives' basics:
Blue Series: Good all around desktop drives
Black Series: Better drives for performance (speed, cache)
Green Series: Storage drives, powers down when not using to save energy and drive life, not good as primary drive.
Red Series: Supposed to be like a Black drive but better for RAID and NAS systems, but has 'Green features' and is closer to Green series.
RE Series: for Server and Workstations, really closer to Black series but with a few modifications that make it better for RAID than Black series which has had some reported problems in RAID situations.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

Report •

Ask Question