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Old August 28th, 2009, 02:27 AM   #1
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Partition RAID 0 Drive?

I just got a G|RAID3 2TB external drive that I will be running as RAID 0, NTFS, 64K cluster size.

I am wondering if it makes sense to partition this drive into two or more logical drives? It seems almost like an oxymoron to partition a RAID 0 array, but I've never used a 2TB single partition before. It just seems odd.

Any thoughts are much appreciated. Thanks!
Peter Moretti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 28th, 2009, 04:58 AM   #2
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Nothing odd about a 2 TB volume or larger. I use a 2 TB volume in raid0 and a 12 TB volume in raid30, plus some additional disks. And, I don't have any partitions at all.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 06:01 AM   #3
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I can think of no reason why you'd want to partition it. You'll gain no significant performance difference by doing so. If you want more organization, develop a logical folder structure for your projects. It will make a difference.

While it's true that certain partitioning schemes used to boost user performance from a partition on single drives and arrays I'm not familiar enough with the current state of disk technology to say whether it's still true. It used to be that disks used to have more physical sectors on the outer edge of each platter than nearer the spindle so one physical rotation of the disk would expose more data to the read/write head from the outer tracks than from inner tracks. Back when most drives were 3600RPM and 2GB drives were considered big, people would sometimes partion a drive using the outer edge for maximum performance. The theory might still be true but there are easier and more effective ways to boost performance these days.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 10:36 AM   #4
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I can think of one reason to partition.

Say you had four online disks used for backup. You could take the faster outer part of the four disks and make a small raid 0 array of the four disks. The slow inner area would be used for periodic backup. The inner, second partition would not be in a raid array.
The only caveat is to not back up the raid 0 array to any of these disks. The best use of the raid 0 array would be a scratch area that does not require backup.

It's hard to prove that partitioning slows down disk access. This may be because the partition table gets cached. But I agree that there's no reason to partition to just be organized.

Oh, a second reason to partition is multiple OS. I run both OSX and Vista on my Macbook Pro by partitioning. I can't have two different file system on the same partition.
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