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Hey guys, do I need to run my HDD's in a RAID array? I know I don't have to, but is it better? Does it make them faster, or more reliable? I have 2 WD caviar blacks 2TB. I have no problem with having two 2TB drives. I don't care about combining them. If it is a good idea to run in a RAID array, which type should I use, and why?
 

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In home systems your RAID choices are:

RAID 0 (striped with no parity): data is split evenly across two or more disks. Provides no data redundancy; failure of any member drive causes loss of entire data set. Total volume capacity equals the number of disks used multiplied by the capacity of the smallest drive. May see an increase in performance.

RAID 1 (mirroring): An exact copy of a set of data is created on two or more disks. Array provides fault tolerance from disk errors or failures and continues to operate as long as at least one drive in the set is functioning. Total volume size is equal to the capacity of the smallest drive.

The choice of which to use if any, depends on your own requirements. If you need the full 2 TB of storage, set them up as separate drives and partition away. If 1 TB is enough for you, a RAID 1 set may work for you.

PS: Hybrid RAID arrays (0+1 and 1+0) are feasible also but require 4 physical drives.
 

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RAID has a high learning curve and offer no real use for the normal user.
 

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You got good and reasonable feedback. I would just like to address your question regarding speed and reliability.

RAID 0 may give a speed gain, but has a higher chance of failing versus running single drives.

Raid 1 may give a slight reduction in speed, and is meant to prevent data loss if a member disk physically fails in the array. RAID 1 is not equivalent to a having a backup image updated often. If there's an error in the filesystem, it will affect all the drives in the array.
 
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