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Old July 27th, 2004, 12:49 PM   #1
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Raid card and Control card

i am using a ASUS P4P 800 MB and it comes with raid control card and ultra ATA 133 raid controller. Both of of these interfaces have a high bandwidth then the ata 100. i wonder without the raid can i use the raid controller as a SATA or UATA controller?

if yes, can i simply set it up in bios?
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Old July 27th, 2004, 06:17 PM   #2
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Your manuals will help you more as you haven't mentioned the types of cards. If you have SATA on the motherboard, try to use that as it will not eat up PCI bandwidth. SATA on the motherboard chipset will be much faster than PCI. I've seen some astonishing SATA RAID performance on some test machines using nVidia nForce3 and four SATA 10000 RPM WD Raptor hard drives.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 02:17 AM   #3
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thanks for the advice. why is that SATA always mentioned with it's raid config? i mean the bandwidth it's higher than parallel ATA, so supposely, even without the raid config, it will still be a good choice of upgrade. also the drive is getting cheaper, so my question is that how come most people talk about the raid instead of a simple HD up grade?

maybe i am over generalizing a bit... anyhow
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Old July 28th, 2004, 05:30 PM   #4
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There have been a lot of posts on this issue. Check Glenn Chan's posts, as well as some of mine.

>also the drive is getting cheaper, so my question is that how >come most people talk about the raid instead of a simple HD up >grade?

The cost / GByte is dropping, but the drive speed is not increasing by that much. The really fast drives are not that big, so RAID is
a way to potentially increase bandwidth and reduce disk access times. Software RAID is often faster than hardware cards because main processors beacuse the dinky processors found on RAID cards haven't kept up.

People seem more willing to spend money on a RAID card or larger disks than buying a faster disk. If you value time, get
the fastest disk in the desktop space: the Western Digital 74 GByte Raptor that spins at 10,000 RPM.
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Old July 29th, 2004, 10:14 AM   #5
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The VIA RAID controller on the P4P800 deluxe apparently is very bad (40% CPU utilization or something like that). Check hardocp.com's review of the board.

You should be able to use the thing as a normal ATA controller.

The P4P800 also has ICH5 RAID built into the chipset. You can run 2 SATA drives off that RAIDed or non-RAIDed.

If installing windows onto a RAID or SATA drive, make sure you have the drivers handy.

As far as whether it's worth RAIDing, it's not worth it IMO if you're working with DV. Many posts on this if you do a search.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=18784
My test of hard drive speed on rendering. I don't have a RAID to play with so I substituted a RAM disk instead, which is theoretically somewhere around ~60X faster than a hard drive.

I think that answers your questions...?
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Old July 29th, 2004, 11:34 AM   #6
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I have Asus P4C800E Deluxe using two Samsung 160GB 7200 drives in SATA RAID 0 using Intel ICH5 on MB. Rendering from/to that drive takes about 15 minutes for 1 hour program with little effects, cc, etc. This is much faster than 7200 drive alone (about 50 min). Keep in mind that re-rendering frames (for titles, cc, effects) is processor dependent. Rendering a cuts-only program is just copying frames, and is totally drive dependent.

Setting up the RAID as a non-boot drive is pretty easy. Set up the RAID in BIOS, then - in Windows - MY COMPUTER - MANAGE - STORAGE. There you can format and partition all your hard drives. Making it the boot drive takes some planning. Set up the BIOS, then watch for a prompt (for SCSI - special drives, etc.) as you begin the Windows install. Windows will let you set up the drive so that Windows can be installed on that drive.

I think RAID is hot because it's getting cheaper - and 10k drives are still expensive.
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Old July 29th, 2004, 08:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Rendering from/to that drive takes about 15 minutes for 1 hour program with little effects, cc, etc. This is much faster than 7200 drive alone (about 50 min).
Theoretically RAID can't be twice as fast as 1 drive. Real world performance is drastically different, where RAID may be better than or worse than no RAID.

Anyways... it has been discussed before. IMO if you want good performance, focus on the processor. That's your main bottleneck. You can buy a faster processor and/or overclock it. Although overclocking takes some time to stress test your computer until you're sure its stable.... IMO overclocking is not worth it unless you like tweaking. But overclocking does give very real performance gains- and they're noticeable in Vegas.
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Old July 30th, 2004, 12:56 PM   #8
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At NAB I had a nice chat with a guy from Promise. He said that with a good RAID you should effectively achieve that theoretical max. These were SATA drives - so they were a little faster than old ide drives. A program that I downloaded from Canopus sometime back measures continuous throughput. It indicated 25 to 30 MB/s on IDE 7200 drives, and about 90 read on SATA RAID. For some reason, the write speed was about 120???

This seems consistent with my experience.

About bottlenecks - it all depends on what you're doing!

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Old July 30th, 2004, 02:35 PM   #9
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SATA versus PATA (kind of IDE): storagereview.com did a test of this and found that the two perform practically the same.

Newer drives tend to be faster than old ones, so in a way SATA drives will be faster simply because they're a newer model.

As far as benchmarks go, you can't measure drive speed with one number. You should pay attention only to ones that are indicative of things you may care about:
A- Windows boot time
B- application loading time
C- rendering speed
D- # of streams of video you can play back

For A and B low level results (throughput, access/seek times, transfer rates, etc.) are not very good indicators of how fast a hard drive is. I would check storagereview.com for benchmarks. They tested two drives RAIDed by a Promise RAID controller and found the speed increase to be 10%. It really depends.

For C, drive speed doesn't make much of a difference in the test I did (but I didn't have a RAID to play with).

For D, sustained transfer rates are a pretty good indicator of how many streams you can play back. But for most people it won't be a problem (bottlenecked by processor).
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Old August 9th, 2004, 10:09 AM   #10
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If you do DVD authoring, use SATA RAID with 10K rpm WD Raptor drives. It will make all the difference in terms of time.

Best regards,
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Old August 9th, 2004, 04:06 PM   #11
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Agreed. If you're going to make that investment, choose a motherboard with SATA RAID in the chipset rather than on
a PCI card. I've seen four WD Raptors in a motherboard SATA RAID deliver more than the theortical PCI bandwidth in some benchmarks.
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