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Old June 7th, 2005, 02:05 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Granbury, TX USA
Posts: 3
Optimum drive & cable setup for an XP software RAID video drive

I am not having any obvious drive related problems with a vendor provided Matrox RTX.100 based video system, but wonder if it is "optimum."

The vendor provided INTEL 865PERL Motherboard has a boot drive on IDE0 Master, a DVD Burner on IDE0 Slave, and then two identical 250GB drives on IDE1.

In WinXP, the two drives are Striped together as a 500GB drive for video purposes. The motherboard does not have RAID capability, and I don't have a card to drop in.

My question (finally) is - would the RAID performance be better if both 250GB drives were on different ribbon cables?

If so, how would WinXP react to me moving the cables around? Would I lose my Volume and all the data? If the volume didn't mount properly with the cables changed, could I put it back the way it was without ANY risk of data loss?

Keep in mind, I'm not having problems, just concerned that performance could be better.

Thanks. Jon Back
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Old June 7th, 2005, 02:40 PM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,152
Since you're not having any problems I would leave well enough alone. Any performance you might gain isn't worth the risk of misconfiguring your system by moving them around. Compounding your situation is the fact that you have the RT.X100, which makes it more likely that something will get messed up if you try changing things.

I'd leave it as is since you don't have any problems.
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Old June 7th, 2005, 03:14 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Granbury, TX USA
Posts: 3
Must resist the temptation

I'm fighting the urge to tinker, honestly. I am a tinkerer by nature, and if it was my own home PC, I'd have already done this. :)

This is a work PC and has ongoing projects, so I logically hesitate. If nobody has tried this with success or failure, then I'll wait until all the projects are unfinished or can be backed up to an external drive.
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Old June 7th, 2005, 04:03 PM   #4
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Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 4,750
RAID doesn't seem to make a meaningful affect on performance from my limited tests with Vegas. When you render, your drives are the bottleneck only when the operation is like copying a file. If the render is really easy/fast/un-complex (takes no rendering), then that would be the case.

Having two seperate drives is actually faster if you wrangle renders manually. Read off one drive and write to another. This is faster than RAID, unless you need a high sustained transfer rate (i.e. editing uncompressed, multiple streams of video).

2- I wouldn't mess around with the system.

3- That board should have ICH5 RAID for SATA drives. I still wouldn't bother with RAID... it arguably doesn't help (increases risk of data loss), and does waste your time.

4- If you want to improve performance:
A- Upgrade to a faster CPU. This makes a huge difference in render times. Socket 478 CPUs may become hard to find later. Prescotts may need a BIOS flash, and consume more power (which needs a more powerful PSU). Northwood-core Canterwoods are less tricky.
B- If you had a different board, you could mess around with overclocking. OCing is risky... but it's good for tinkerers.
I think you can OC 4% on Intel boards. Which does nothing because it's only 4%.
C- You could also speed your system up a little if you got 4X512MB (double-sided/banked) sticks of identical RAM. This will increase memory bandwidth a little and increase performance a few (neglible) percent.
D- Check for system misconfigurations, like drives in PIO mode or programs running in the background eating up resources. Spyware, adware (they hide in the background and pop up ads), viruses, anti-virus programs can all adversely affect performance.
E- Set the premiere thread/process to real-time (or slightly lower) priority in task manager.

Honestly though, other than D, I'd just leave your system alone.

5- The two drives share 100MB/s or 133MB/s of bandwidth on the same cable (10% is lost to overhead). In situations where performance counts, this limit wouldn't be a problem.
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