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Old April 18th, 2008, 06:30 PM   #1
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No Performance Increase After Installing RAID 0

Hi,

I just installed a RAID-0 array and ran some tests in Vegas. Here's my config:

- Q6600
- 4Gbs
- NVidia (512mb)
- System drive = 750gb SATA
- RAID = WD Raptor SATA 150gb (x2) 10,000 RPM

I'm rendereing an SD 1 minute file to .wmv -- 1 mbps vid, 48 kbps audio @ 720x480. Before I installed the raid, it took a minute to render a 60 second file. After installing the raid, it still took a minute. I made sure to copy the files to the new array before rendering.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

Lee
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Old April 18th, 2008, 06:48 PM   #2
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To get direct comparisons, you need to run read/write tests on the hard drives before and after. your render times will only increase if the hard drive was the bottle neck. you may have something else affecting your render times.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 06:50 PM   #3
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Installing a RAID will have no impact on how fast your machine renders. Rendering performance is governed by your CPU, how much RAM you have, and in some cases, your video card.

However, you'll most likely become aware of your RAID array's performance when you do things like capture video to your RAID drive and/or edit a timeline with multiple layers of footage. You'll find that you should be able to capture a larger amount of video without dropping frames, and you'll be able to scrub through a more complicated timeline with less stuttering and lag.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 07:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Shawn McCalip View Post
Installing a RAID will have no impact on how fast your machine renders. Rendering performance is governed by your CPU, how much RAM you have, and in some cases, your video card.
That is just plainly not true. Rendering often includes reading (helped by a RAID 0), and it generally includes writing (also helped by a RAID 0).

Sometimes pieces of code are serial (e.g. First you smash the bits, then you put them on a disk), but some pieces of code are overlapped (e.g. First you smash the bits, then you get those going to disk while you smash more bits).

If the slowest part of the serial case is much slower than the faster parts, you won't see a significant difference from speeding up the part that does the fast job. If the slowest part of the overlapped case is any slower than the faster parts, you generally won't see a difference at all.

Many rendering cases consist of taking a lot of data and making a relatively small file. If you're pegging your processor, you can see how the speed of the disk might not be as relevant to your render time as you might hope.

Render to uncompressed HD and you'll be thankful that you have that RAID.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 07:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Matthew Chaboud View Post
Render to uncompressed HD and you'll be thankful that you have that RAID.
True.

But the test case was SD to WVM. That's CPU, rather than disk intensive.

I have a 4 drive RAID-0 and did a recent project with uncompressed HD. It's a lifesaver! But for anything with high compression, it's (mostly) all about the CPU.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 08:07 PM   #6
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I run raid configurations and see little if any difference in render times, but huge performance gains when editing on the Vegas timeline.

I also do not do HD (yet). My source files are sometimes on a Raid 0 config, sometimes not, and I really see no difference except the time it takes to build audio peaks, etc. and in that area the difference is like nite and day when the source files are on a RAID set. Playback in the preview window is also improved. Overall responsiveness is simply better.

Lee, did you know about the jumper you need to place on the Raptors to get full transfer speed? If my memory serves correctly they go on the third set of pins from the left, or second from the right. If that isn't correct it is the opposite.

I personally would consider replacing the 750 drive with two raptors. Way to big and slow for OS drive for my taste. Still wouldn't expect to see much diff in rendering though. Slap the 750 in an external case and use it for archiving, etc.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 06:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Lee, did you know about the jumper you need to place on the Raptors to get full transfer speed? If my memory serves correctly they go on the third set of pins from the left, or second from the right. If that isn't correct it is the opposite.

I personally would consider replacing the 750 drive with two raptors. Way to big and slow for OS drive for my taste. Still wouldn't expect to see much diff in rendering though. Slap the 750 in an external case and use it for archiving, etc.
Thanks Jeff (and everyone else),

I'm not sure why I thought I would get a performance gain rendering the compressed files -- I guess I should have done better research.

You're talking about the OPT1 Enabled jumper? I didn't jump it initially, as I was uncertain what effect it would have. In HD Tune, the current transfer rates are :

Read:
Min: 104 Mb/sec
Max: 131 Mb/sec
Avg. Seek: 8.3ms

If I understand it correctly, enabling OPT1 allows (forces?) 150 Mb/sec. I'll give it a try and run the benchmarks again.

As for installing the Raptors as my system drive, I don't think I could bring myself to do it as a RAID-0. When I bought the drives, one was DOA (I loved the Vista message -- DRIVE FAILURE IS IMMINENT!). I replaced it and all is good, but the thought of losing one of the drives is still on my mind. Besides, I'm WAAAAY to lazy to reinstall the OS, etc. anyway.

Even though the system drive is 7200rpm, my applications cruise right along -- especially the 64-bit jewels. Now if Vegas will just release a 64-bit version......

Thanks,

Lee
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Old April 19th, 2008, 06:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Lee, did you know about the jumper you need to place on the Raptors to get full transfer speed? If my memory serves correctly they go on the third set of pins from the left, or second from the right. If that isn't correct it is the opposite.

I personally would consider replacing the 750 drive with two raptors. Way to big and slow for OS drive for my taste. Still wouldn't expect to see much diff in rendering though. Slap the 750 in an external case and use it for archiving, etc.
Thanks Jeff (and everyone else),

I'm not sure why I thought I would get a performance gain rendering the compressed files -- I guess I should have done better research.

You're talking about the OPT1 Enabled jumper? I didn't jump it initially, as I was uncertain what effect it would have. In HD Tune, the transfer rates with the jumpers NOT in place are:

Read:
Min: 104 Mb/sec
Max: 131 Mb/sec
Avg. Seek: 8.3ms

With pins 5-6 jumped (OPT1 enabled), HD Tune reports:

Read:
Min: 113 MB/sec
Max: 133 MB/sec
Avg. Seek: 8.3ms

Not a big difference. Maybe I'll play with the BIOS settings to see what else I can get out of the drives.

The other available jumpers are :

- Enable PM2 (a spin-up/power setting)
- SSC (I don't think spread spectrum clocking increases performance - I could be wrong)
- OPT2 (reserved for factory)

As for installing the Raptors as my system drive, I don't think I could bring myself to do it as a RAID-0. When I bought the drives, one was DOA (I loved the Vista message -- DRIVE FAILURE IS IMMINENT!). I replaced it and all is good, but the thought of losing one of the drives is still on my mind. Besides, I'm WAAAAY to lazy to reinstall the OS, etc. anyway.

Even though the system drive is 7200rpm, my applications cruise right along -- especially the 64-bit jewels. Now if Vegas will just release a 64-bit version......

Thanks,

Lee

P.S. After I posted this initially, I ran the HD test on my system drive:

Read:
Min: 43 MB/sec
Max: 83 MB/sec
Avg. Seek: 18.1ms

Maybe I'll rethink my position...now THAT'S a huge difference!

Thanks again ~ Lee
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Old April 19th, 2008, 08:17 AM   #9
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Running Raid, as you and I know, isn't necessary for small time guys like us, but I know that once I got used to it I never looked back.

If you keep things backed up, and I do, then it doesn't matter if a drive dies.

I suspect your benchmarks will cause you to go to RAID 0, but you won't be sorry. You'll love the improved performance.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 08:37 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Running Raid, as you and I know, isn't necessary for small time guys like us, but I know that once I got used to it I never looked back.

If you keep things backed up, and I do, then it doesn't matter if a drive dies.

I suspect your benchmarks will cause you to go to RAID 0, but you won't be sorry. You'll love the improved performance.
Indeed....I was fooling around with the recovery files that came with my PC (I didn't receive any disks, of course), but I wasn't successful installing the OS to the RAID. I'll figure it out, though.

You're right----as long as everything stays backed up, it shouldn't be a problem. I think I have about 3tb's of external storage devices (all eSATA...that was a handy little card to pop in my machine -- about +/- $15), so I think I need to get some type of auto backup going on in the middle of the night.

Thanks for all your help.

Take care ~ Lee
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Old April 19th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #11
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Actually, you shouldn't need to run a backup program, should you?

What I do is simply save EVERYTHING on non-OS drives. I backup my favs every so often, I don't save or download anything to the my documents folders, etc, but that is me. I don't store anything on my OS drive, I keep it clean and fast.

I have two drives dedicated for storage and just save everything twice, including my music, software programs, photos, everything which has it's own folder and it's own place.

New programs I might put on desktop to run, but when I'm done I save them in a programs folder where they belong. Those backup hard drives are libraries of ALL my stuff.

When I reformat hard drive and reinstall OS, all I have to backup is my IE favorites if they've changed. All of my software is on hard drive no CD's, so everything installs super fast.

The smart thing to do is as suggested in another thread is to use program to image your fresh install, but I have my reasons for not doing that (probably not rational but oh well.)
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Old April 19th, 2008, 09:18 AM   #12
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I'm with you Lee on the E-Sata. I love it. Super fast. I'm running Vista 64 bit so my drivers for the card don't work any more, but should have new certified drivers available according to Adaptec, and I'll be back in business.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 10:02 AM   #13
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I'm with you Lee on the E-Sata. I love it. Super fast. I'm running Vista 64 bit so my drivers for the card don't work any more, but should have new certified drivers available according to Adaptec, and I'll be back in business.
I'm running Vista 64-bit on 1 machine, Vista 32-bit on my notebook, and XP-Pro on another machine. I have (3) different types of eSATA on the machines:

- I bought an Antec external drive kit and mounted a big drive in it. It comes with a connector for the backplane that has a cable to attach to one of the SATA connectors on the MB. That leaves me with an eSATA plug on the backplane to use with any of my eSATA external drives. I popped that in the Vista machine

- For the XP machine, I dropped a $15 (PNY-Best Buy) PCI-X 2 channel eSATA card. It's compatible with Vista, but I'm not sure about the 64 bit version.

- For the notebook, I have a PCMCIA card.

I'm with you on the back up procedure. I just get lazy and forget, so I need some type of routine that doesn't involve me being too proactive...I know -- that's pretty sad! It seems I have stuff everywhere....

Still looking for that telepathic controller so I can just think it and my will be done -- maybe Kamen is working on it. If those string theory dudes would quit working on bending time and such, they could probably come up with something, too ;)

Later ~ Lee
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Old April 19th, 2008, 10:28 AM   #14
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I hear ya, Lee! Have a great weekend, I'm off to a wedding~
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