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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone!

I have an Asus P4C800-E Deluxe mobo and just replaced a pair of damaged drives and got two WD 1200JBSE 120GB drives. So I quickly placed them in SATA IDE RAID and I'm now experiencing very poor performance. What can I do about this? I'm thinking about buying a Raptor and installing it to be my OS drive and use theese two current drives as storage. What do you guys think??
Cheers

*edit* read the little post located here http://www.techsupportforum.com/showthread.php?t=43724
and realized that it's not very good to have the OS on the SATA IDE port...
Also what would be the fastest if I decide to buy a second Raptor later on? Should I connect them parallel on S-ATA ports and RAID them for best perf??
 

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I have a pair of the baby Raptors hooked up to the Intel connectors. I disabled the promise and striped them in Raid 0. My system is now fairly quick both read and write and coupled with the RAM I use, the end result is pretty good. I no longer overclock or benchmark as I am over that. I guess the danger of Raid 0 is if you have a disk problem you lose all your data. However as long as you back up that shouldn't be a problem.
So in my opinion the faster Raptors are well worth the expense if you want a quick system.
That, and keeping the system as clean as possible (frequent defragging and cleaning out of temp files) will work wonders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
so the other Serial ATA connectors are part of the Intel ICH5 stuff? Nothing to do with Promise at all?
 

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Yes. They are 2 different systems which give you a choice. The end result is very much the same. I've tried both and I prefer the Intel system (only because the promise has played up on me a couple of times.) The experts say the Intel chip is a fraction quicker, personally I couldn't tell the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the info, I'm not worst off on my Promise controller then with my ATA100 drives?
edit: not that I can connect them on the Intel controller but if I could theoretically...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
there has to be something wrong with my setup somewhere... When I start World of Warcraft for instance and minimize and open up Internet Explorer the computer is suspended for a few minutes before anything happens. Harddrive activity is crazy altho the throughput seems extremely low... Stuttering in WoW and F.E.A.R is just a few examples. Are two harddrives with ATA100 connected in RAID2+0 config really that bad off??

edit: what about drivers? only driver installation I've done so far is the Windows XP installation driver load. Do I need to install something more? Please help me as my computer is driving me nuts here... or rather my brand new hard drives :cry:

also seem to have very low free physical memory every time this happens so it might not be hard drive related?? I have 1024MB RAM and a swapfile at 1024MB constant size and it's allways worked out perfectly fine before I went RAID0 on theese silly drives! It actually feels like I've gone back to using just one harddrive!
 

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Are two harddrives with ATA100 connected in RAID2+0 config really that bad off??

Whats with the RAID 2 + 0 ? I thought you were trying to hook up 2 WD Sata drives in a Raid Configeration.
Raid 0 would be the easiest.
To do this you have to access the Raid bios (after the normal bios) and configure the Raid setup.
Then when you install your o/s you will be asked if you want to install a raid driver. You will need to have a floppy disk in the drive ready to go. This floppy will have the raid drivers on it.This happens before the operating system installs.
There is an excellent guide here on this website.
You need to get the Raid setup working properly before you start to worry about performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Well when I setup the raid in the raid bios I choose "performance" and it installed it as RAID0 (I hope) however in Windows XP Pro it displays as Promise 2+0 Stripe/ RAID0 SCSI Disk Device. The array is working fine, but as I said the performance is very low. Measured using HDTach and got about 90 Mb/s burst. Average read is 82 MB/s aswell...

edit:
ran a test with HD Tune 2.50 and got the following resulst...

Transfer rate:
Minimum: 66.4MB/sec
Maximum: 77.7MB/sec
Average: 73.8MB/sec

Access time: 13.2ms

Burst Rate: 83.2MB/sec

CPU Usage: 3.3%

I gather this is pretty low for a RAID0 array?? General disk performance in Windows is pretty ok I think, but as soon as I launch a game performance drops radically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just tried disablind windows page file totally... WoW runs very smooth now that I'm not paging to the RAID0 array. There has to be something wrong with my array. I would use this configuration allways if it weren't for the need of page files.
 

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Sorry I can't help but out of curiousity, I decided to check my setup:
2 SATA 10K raptors raid 0 stripe setup and if you compare my numbers to yours, I'd have to say that there's NOTHING wrong with your results.

Here's my results:
HD Tune: Intel Raid 0 Volume Benchmark

Transfer Rate Minimum : 85.8 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 100.4 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 95.0 MB/sec
Access Time : 8.0 ms
Burst Rate : 101.6 MB/sec
CPU Usage : 7.0%
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well something is deffinately wrong, I have lesser performance then when I had the drives separated... I dont understand how I could get lower performance on a RAID0 setup?? :cry:
 

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Try running that utility again after a thorough defrag. Defragging really benefits any benching.
And if you use a paging file make sure it is defragged too. The normal defrag programs don't defrag the page files.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
cheers mate I will have a look... I defragged my pagefiles earlier didn't do any noticeable difference. I'll try again now since I've redone the a few times... I am currently using a swapfile on my C drive and one on my D drive. Doesn't make much difference vs one pagefile on C or D only. Seems like I need a third drive just for the pagefile or something, theese WDC drives seems purely weak....

edit: noticed something that I'm not sure about... How can I know what Block size I created the array with?? I dont remember since I used the automatic method in the Promise Fastbuild bios. I just chose performance and slapped in the OS.

edit again: confirmed block size of 64kb is used, array is also RAID0 (stripe)
and the Driver Write Cache was set to Write Back which is supposed to give best performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Fiddled around some in Promise Array Management and got a slight performance boost when I turned off the rebuild function whateveritsname. But I'm still having rather slow performance. I'll buy a single Raptor drive when I get money and use it as system drive and hope that I will get better performance that way.
 

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DD 51 is quite right. There is nothing wrong with your performance figures, in some instances they are fractionally better than mine and I have the 10k Raptors.

You might get a small improvement if you set up using the Intel connections but it would be hard to tell the difference under normal computing conditions.

If you really want best speed performance go into Control Panel > System > Advanced > Performance settings and set it to performance. And also change the Start menu to Classic. Doesn't look pretty but it works for benching.

Regarding the page file sizes there are differences of opinions regarding this.
It seems to be generally agreed that you do need a page file but the actual size is very much a matter of personal opinion.
If you asked 10 people on here what their page size is set for you'd probably get 10 completely different answers. It would be interesting to see what settings the Mods have - they really know their stuff here.

I'm currently using 500/500 but that could well change next month!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Should I split the swapfile over the two drives or on a single partition?? I'm currently on two swapfiles, 2x256Mb and it works. The strange thing in all this is that I had alot better performance before I went RAID0 but I guess the OS shouldnt be on the same array as where you keep all your other data. I will get myself a Raptor and install the OS to it and see if I gain something by that, shouldn't choke the drives while playing games then I hope.
 

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Janne82 said:
edit: what about drivers? only driver installation I've done so far is the Windows XP installation driver load. Do I need to install something more? Please help me as my computer is driving me nuts here... or rather my brand new hard drives :cry:
Did you install the chipset drivers? (Intel INF)
 
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