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 Post subject: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:49 pm 
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Hi there. Because of a little boo boo with my current HDD I decided to go for a couple of new ones. The idea is to have a relatively fast one as a daily driver and primary storage, while a second, possibly slower HDD will be used for the all imporant backups. This is where I messed up before (something with practice what you preach), so I want to get it right this time. The second drive will be used for incremental backups or a mirror, that is yet to be decided. I will back the data up once a week or something similar, to give me a fighting change to catch data corruption before it reaches my backups too.
My OS and all programs are on my 128 GB SSD, so there will need to be some room for those one the backup drive too. Finally, I will play games and such from the daily drive since my SSD is a bit too small for a lot of those and the performance difference is negligible in most types of games. I do not think I like a WD Green for this, as my current experience with those learned me that the spin up gets very annoying in time. For backups that will be fine (and actually preferable) though; between backups I do not want to deal with the secondary drive.

So, in short:

- A 128 GB Samsung 830 SSD for the OS and applications that is already present. Spent too much on it to be upgrading already :lol:
- A relatively fast drive for daily storage use (files) and for games. Some silence is sacrificed for performance, though there are some limits to that. Size will be 2 or 3 TB, depending on what is affordable. This drive is to be expected to run whenever the PC is in use.
- A possibly slower drive for backup storage. This one should never contain data that can not be found anywhere else. Due to the period nature of the use (probably just once a week for a backup) noise is not a major concern, although silence is of course never a problem. It will need to be 3 TB, to provide some room for incremental overhead and backups of the SSD.

If I would have to buy now, I would probably go for a 2 TB WD Caviar Black (WD2002FEAX) for the performance and a 3 TB WD Caviar Green (WD30EZRX), but that is mostly based on past experiences and very preliminary research. The Black might be a bit too noisy for my liking, as I have previously only used it in a system that was amazingly loud. I have a bit of a hard time to find some decent information on what drives are suitable, so any and all substantiated suggestions are welcome. One big advantage is that the OS is not on the performing drive, so as long as idle sounds are reasonable I should be good.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:12 pm 
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There's a little rule:

Never ever put your backup drives into the system keeping the data. Use externel drives (ESATA, USB or NAS) for backup purpose, because a virus could delete all of your files on all drives or a PSU running wild kills all your HDDs or something like that. Or if someone decides to steal your PC, he steals your backups too.

And furthermore, if you put all necessary files onto the SSD, i see no need for a 5400 HDD to store stuff and a 7200 HDD to store stuff faster. Google around for benchmarks and you'll probably see the difference between 5400 and 7200 is neglectable compared to any SSD. It's just a matter of knowing what to keep where.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:40 am 
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I agree with Pappnaas, in that its not a great idea to have the drives containing backup data in the same PC.

For my own setup i have a 64Gb SSD for the OS and a few games. an internal HDD for keeping must have data on, things like documents FF favorites, etc and anything else i don't want to lose if things go bad on the next reboot.
And finally a external drive that i attach via E-SATA once a week for more permanent stuff.

If i had the money i would have bought a bigger SSD and a NAS for both HDD.

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:51 am 
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Spoon Boy wrote:
If i had the money i would have bought a bigger SSD and a NAS for both HDD.


For most cases I would agree that a a NAS is a better solution, if performance is desired then a NAS isn't going to cut it. Even in a good NAS, the speed of a fast drive (WD Black or equivalent) is going to outpace the network connection. 1 Gb ethernet is 125 MB/sec in theory, in reality less and the faster single drives can exceed that now. Worse, many NASes can't even get close to full gigabit speeds so they slow down even green drives. If Camacha can't fit everything he needs fast access to on a SSD like games then a NAS will be much slower.

NAS is good for backups and media files but can't compete with the speed of a fast local drive. At least until 10 Gb ethernet becomes affordable and commonplace.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:09 am 
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washu wrote:
NAS is good for backups and media files but can't compete with the speed of a fast local drive. At least until 10 Gb ethernet becomes affordable and commonplace.


That might be true for the cheapo home class NAS, but how do you explain people running multiple VMs from iSCSI-Drives off a NAS while only using GBit-Ethernet?


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:03 am 
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Pappnaas wrote:
That might be true for the cheapo home class NAS, but how do you explain people running multiple VMs from iSCSI-Drives off a NAS while only using GBit-Ethernet?

Running VMs doesn't necessarily require much throughput. 100M Ethernet might be fine. Beware of generalizations.

You can build a cheap and pretty good NAS but historically many devices sold to consumers have been very slow. That's all.
But even a pretty good NAS will introduce overhead and bottlenecks. It's not all about throughput.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:09 am 
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on topic now:

Camacha wrote:
The second drive will be used for incremental backups or a mirror, that is yet to be decided.

In case you didn't know you can have both, even on Windows using only free software.
There's potentially an efficiency issue but I've done it in the past and it can be pretty convenient.

Camacha wrote:
I do not think I like a WD Green for this, as my current experience with those learned me that the spin up gets very annoying in time.

You can prevent them from spinning down if need be.
If WD Greens have a peculiarity in this respect, it's most likely not shared by all low-power drives.

Camacha wrote:
- A possibly slower drive for backup storage. This one should never contain data that can not be found anywhere else.

As mentionned above, best use an external drive. eSATA is best.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:48 am 
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Pappnaas wrote:
That might be true for the cheapo home class NAS, but how do you explain people running multiple VMs from iSCSI-Drives off a NAS while only using GBit-Ethernet?

I work with VMs extensively and if performance is required iSCSI over 1GB ethernet sucks. It's great when performance requirements are low, or shared storage on the cheap is needed. However, it cannot even come close to the throughput of local disks.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:30 am 
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washu wrote:
I work with VMs extensively and if performance is required iSCSI over 1GB ethernet sucks. It's great when performance requirements are low, or shared storage on the cheap is needed. However, it cannot even come close to the throughput of local disks.


I agree, HFat isn't wrong either.

But NAS aren't as useless as described in the post i was referring to.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:48 pm 
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Pappnaas wrote:

I agree, HFat isn't wrong either.

But NAS aren't as useless as described in the post i was referring to.

I didn't say that NASes are useless, just that they are slower than local storage assuming the same drives. For many use cases this performance disparity is completely acceptable or a non issue. For other cases it is not acceptable, or at least annoyingly slow. The specific case mentioned was loading games, which would be noticeably slower from a NAS on any decent size game.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:35 pm 
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I am very aware that internal backup - for various reasons - is far from perfect. For that very reason I have a WD20EARS in an external USB3 casing. I chose USB over eSATA because of backwards compatibility, interchangeability and portability. Speed wise it makes no difference compared to eSATA - benchmarks show that the Caviar green is just as fast over USB3 as it is directly attached via SATA and thus eSATA too. I have considered a NAS, but decided it was too expensive, too slow and not very useful in a situation where there is only one computer to begin with. Unfortunately the WD20EARS is the disk that has gone awry. While trying to fix that disk and/or replacing it I will need another form of backup and since my current back-up scheme is not perfect I think it would be wise to add another disk for redundancy. Like I said before, not everything fits on the SSD (games) so I will need some performance in the HDD too, not just bulk data. When I get the disk fixed or replaced I will have double backups and possibly use one of the greens as off site backup.

I have gone back and forth on the subject for a bit now. I noticed that the recent Greens and Blacks are not known to be very reliable. A quick check on Newegg revealed that other disks are, unfortunately, equally or even more unreliable. Another reason to go for the double setup. Asymmetry might also help a bit, since any hidden flaw in a certain type of disk or batch will only affect one of the pair. Currently I am a bit torn between these options:

- Caviar Black 2 TB WD2002FEAX (135 euro)
- Caviar Green 2 TB WD20EZRX (+90 euro = 225)
Pro: performance where it counts, added warranty
Con: seek noises 'like a Fukushima geiger counter", 2 TB

- Caviar Green 2 TB WD20EZRX without head park via wdidle (90 euro)
- Caviar Green 2 TB WD20EZRX (+90 euro = 180)
Pro: a bit more quiet, bang for the buck
Con: about 10% (sequential read) to 30% (random read) slower, only a 2 year warranty, 2 TB

- Caviar Green WD30EZRX without head park via wdidle (112 euro)
- Cavair Green WD30EZRX (+112 euro = 224)
Pro: lots of space, quiet
Con: slower, 2 year warranty

One question is how much the performance will affect real life usage. Due to the nature of bulk storage (and game files) most reads will be sequential - in which the Green has less of a disadvantage. Sequential also probably means less seek noises for the Black, so that works for both disks.

I am kind of considering ordering the first option (Black + Green 2TB). Due to local law I have the right to try any equipment for 7 days. When I return everything before the 7 days run out it will cost me nothing - except the cost of return. I do not intend to abuse this legislation, but it is nice to know that I am not stuck with a noisy drive it the Black turns out to be a disaster. I am not sure yet though and due to work related obligations I do not have time for testing the coming days anyway.


HFat wrote:
You can prevent them from spinning down if need be.
If WD Greens have a peculiarity in this respect, it's most likely not shared by all low-power drives.

At first I thought you meant the hack where you access the disks every few minutes, but you probably mean the wdidle3 method, right? Can you tell me whether this is still viable on recent Cavair Greens? These things have been known to change without notice.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:07 am 
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Have you considered the WD Red? It's like a green but with no head park feature and longer warranty. I wouldn't get a noisy WD Black unless you really need that extra performance (and even then I would consider a second or larger SSD instead of a spinning drive, depending on how much storage you need).

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:54 pm 
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Vicotnik wrote:
Have you considered the WD Red? It's like a green but with no head park feature and longer warranty. I wouldn't get a noisy WD Black unless you really need that extra performance (and even then I would consider a second or larger SSD instead of a spinning drive, depending on how much storage you need).

Actually, I have been looking at them. However, due to all the marketing mumbo jumbo I had a hard time discerning what these drives actually are and what I can expect from them in terms of head parking and stuff like that. Others seemed to think they are Caviar Blues with some optimization for NAS work.

Buying a bigger or extra SSD is an option too. However, I feel that the one within budget (250 GB) is a bit on the small side when I want to put all the games on there. Even when I run it alongside the current 128 GB Samsung 830 I think it would fill up quite fast - with games currently doing anywhere between 10 and 30 GB. I would really hate to have to put any games on the HDD's anyway bacause I ran out of space. Besides, that is really stretching my budget for quite a trivial pursuit. Since I am perfectly happy with my 830 I think it would make more sense to take care of business now, and perhaps upgrade to a bigger SSD when 512 GB is affordable (to me :p). Seeing that the current 250-256 GB SSD's are already a lot cheaper than my 128 GB was back then that should not take years.

So many options to consider :)


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:52 am 
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Camacha wrote:
Actually, I have been looking at them. However, due to all the marketing mumbo jumbo I had a hard time discerning what these drives actually are and what I can expect from them in terms of head parking and stuff like that. Others seemed to think they are Caviar Blues with some optimization for NAS work.

You've been told it's like a Green because it's like a Green (only better for your purpose). Blues run hotter and make more noise (ceteris paribus, YMMV and so on). If you want a WD and can afford a Red, by all means get a Red.
Just check SPCR's review if you want the gory details instead of bothering about what "others" say. Most people are clueless.
Head parking isn't a real issue. Worst case, you can hack your way around the issue as you mentionned. Downside: you spend a few minutes setting it up, most likely less than you've already wasted worrying about this stuff.

Camacha wrote:
So many options to consider :)

Here's what you must do NOW instead of considering options: get the data you care about on at least two drives (ideally three), at least one (ideally two) of which is switched off most of the time.
When you've done that, you may consider this business about SSDs, games and whatnot.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:58 am 
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Never looked into them my self, but have you considered a SSD hybrid drive ? Not sure how they handle loading games what with them caching frequently access data.

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:22 am 
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Spoon Boy wrote:
Never looked into them my self, but have you considered a SSD hybrid drive ? Not sure how they handle loading games what with them caching frequently access data.


I think those will be unsuitable for my purposes. They cache the most used files, but when requesting large and/or ever changing files the cache is always filled with stuff you do not want and thus performance will be on par with a normal HDD. Due to smart caching they might still be faster with most played games and files, but in general this should be true.

Of course, I haven't seen much of these disks used in such a fashion so the truth might be a little bit different, but this is my understanding how these disks work and what that means in practice. They were designed for OS use, where you have a bunch of critical files that get used over and over.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:18 pm 
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I'll just join the choir and suggest WD red's. Especially 2x 3TB's - I'll think they will cover your need for speed and relative silence, hopefully at a decent price point. 2x 2TB if you want more silence, I think most drives are less noisy with less platters (?). Later you'll know that you have a nice pair of similiar HDDs you can do fun stuff with them ;) .

And yeh, in 6 months maybe 500GB SSD's are as affordable as 250GB today ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:45 pm 
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I didn't see anyone else mention this, but you suggested the idea in your first post that you might want to do some kind of mirroring - DONT.

Mirroring is only of any real use for mission critical servers, what you want is either an image of your boot drive and a reliable bit of backup software, or some reliable incremental imaging software.

I am using some Acronis software for incremental imaging (automatically every Sunday) and I am using trust old "Karen's Replicator" for a daily incremental "as-is" backup. NOTE: I am using W7, and I moved the default locations of Music, Pictures Movies etc to be inside Documents (like XP used to do it) which means that you only need one backup jobg in Replicator. The reasons why I use Karen's Replicator: The built-in W7 backup software does a perfectly decent job of backing up your data and restoring files if you accidentally delete them, however it uses hundreds of .zip files to store your data, and is done in such a way that you could have serious problems restoring your data if your PC needs a clean install (been there done that, got pissed off and refused to ever use it again). Replicator does not use any compression and it keeps the file structure "as is", it also does not use encryption so recovering individual files, or your entire back is very easy and totally problem free.

FYI, I wouldn't worry too much about a virus destroying your data, those types of viruses are amazingly rare. If however your PSU dies or there is a spike or brownout any component in your PC is susceptible to destruction if the PSU does not handle the problem correctly, again this is not a major issue if you have a surge strip and a good quality PSU. This is not to say that backup drives inside your PC are perfect, they are clearly not, but they are by far the cheapest and fastest way to do your backups, so like most things in life there is a compromise to be made between security, speed, price and availability. Even if your PC doesnt have USB-3 you should look at a USB-3 HDD for backups as they dont cost much more than a USB-2 drive and when you next upgrade your motherboard it will have USB-3 which will dramatically speed up your backups.

A Hybrid drive wouldn't match your usage very well, and cost a lot more for the amount of storage, so skip that idea altogether.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:06 pm 
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I have been looking into these Red drives and I must say that they look attractive. They outperform the Greens pretty much with everything, while they are quiet as anything. So it looks like the second drive will be a Red; I will just have to configure Windows to spin it up only during backup sessions. The question what to do with the 'fast' drive remains unanswered; it is nice to have something that fills the gap between the noisy Black and the slow Green. They tend to be (understandably) closer to the Greens than the Black though; they typically perform about 80% of the WD2002FEAX Black. The biggest weakness appears to be the access times, but since they are not OS drives I think the effects will be relatively minor.

The Reds seem to be quite affordable locally, costing about 96 euro for 2 TB and 125 euro for 3 TB. This changes the viable options to:

- Caviar Black 2 TB WD2002FEAX (135 euro)
- Red 2 TB WD20EFRX (+96 euro = 231)
Pro: performance where it counts, added warranty
Con: seek noises 'like a Fukushima geiger counter", 2 TB

- Red 2 TB WD20EFRX (96 euro)
- Red 2 TB WD20EFRX (+96 euro = 192)
Pro: quiet, not as slow as Greens
Con: 2 TB, not as quick as a Black

- Red 3 TB WD30EFRX (125 euro)
- Red 3 TB WD30EFRX (+125 euro = 250)
Pro: lots of space, quiet
Con: most expensive option, not as fast as a Black

HFat wrote:
Here's what you must do NOW instead of considering options: get the data you care about on at least two drives (ideally three), at least one (ideally two) of which is switched off most of the time.
When you've done that, you may consider this business about SSDs, games and whatnot.

I agree, but I should also make sure I will not regret my purchase, as my budget has bounds. The faulty disk is sitting idle, so there should be less chance of further degradation. I am also using my time to come up with an approach to handle the problem carefully and effectively; step one will be making a 1:1 image of the disk. After that I can experiment a little more freely with possible solutions.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:21 pm 
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andyb wrote:
I didn't see anyone else mention this, but you suggested the idea in your first post that you might want to do some kind of mirroring - DONT.

Mirroring is only of any real use for mission critical servers, what you want is either an image of your boot drive and a reliable bit of backup software, or some reliable incremental imaging software.

Maybe I used the wrong term, but I meant to have a copy of the primary SSD + data disk made something like once a week. A pure mirror (like RAID) is useful for increasing uptime, but for data security it is not really ideal because corruption will spread immediately. So I will either have a copy (I would call that a mirror) of my data disk made once a week, or have incremental backups of the same disk.

Quote:
FYI, I wouldn't worry too much about a virus destroying your data, those types of viruses are amazingly rare. If however your PSU dies or there is a spike or brownout any component in your PC is susceptible to destruction if the PSU does not handle the problem correctly, again this is not a major issue if you have a surge strip and a good quality PSU.

I would be most worried about ransomware that encrypts your files unnoticed, which seems to be a more and more popular strategy these days. I have decently potent hardware, so something like that may go unnoticed until it is too late. A surge strip is something I have been looking into, but which got shelved along the way. Thanks for reminding me, as it is a good precaution. I do have a proper A-brand PSU, so it should have a small(er) chance of a catastrophic failure.

Quote:
This is not to say that backup drives inside your PC are perfect, they are clearly not, but they are by far the cheapest and fastest way to do your backups, so like most things in life there is a compromise to be made between security, speed, price and availability. Even if your PC doesnt have USB-3 you should look at a USB-3 HDD for backups as they dont cost much more than a USB-2 drive and when you next upgrade your motherboard it will have USB-3 which will dramatically speed up your backups.

Like I said before, I have an external USB3 drive for proper backups. It is currently acting up, but when fixed or replaced these will be the external backups that are best. I will also look into periodic off site backups in case of fire, theft et cetera, but at the moment getting the normal backups into place is most important and urgent. In case backups are not ideal, but needed at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:24 am 
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Camacha wrote:
I agree, but I should also make sure I will not regret my purchase, as my budget has bounds.

I like to get hardware that I know will be useful later on, even when the stuff is a bit out-dated. I care less about budget. An SSD as the fast drive might not be the cheapest solution, but a few years down the road that SSD might still be useful as someones OS drive. A WD Black will be a hot, noisy storage drive.

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:33 am 
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Camacha wrote:
andyb wrote:
Mirroring is only of any real use for mission critical servers

Maybe I used the wrong term

No, you're not the one who used the term wrong.
Of course backups are more important than RAID (as you clearly understand) but RAID/DRBD/whatever isn't only for "mission critical" servers. Like, obviously. Some people...


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:32 pm 
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Vicotnik wrote:
Camacha wrote:
I agree, but I should also make sure I will not regret my purchase, as my budget has bounds.

I like to get hardware that I know will be useful later on, even when the stuff is a bit out-dated. I care less about budget. An SSD as the fast drive might not be the cheapest solution, but a few years down the road that SSD might still be useful as someones OS drive. A WD Black will be a hot, noisy storage drive.

I do agree, except for the budget part. My current build could hardly be called cheap - I like to use the right components when I do something and spend the money to do so - but that does not mean I am not budget conscious. With quite a limited amount of money to spend, a decision at one point will influence the next at another point.

What I am currently able and willing to spend on the SSD front (Samsung 840 250 GB or something similar) will probably not do in the long run. I feel like I overpaid for my current Samsung 830 128 GB - within four months the prices halved (while I did check out pricing history and news about expected changes - I always to that). Spending the money on another one will probably have the same effect; though the drive performs excellent and I am very happy with it, not everything will fit on it. I would rather wait for 500+ GB drives becoming affordable (<200 euro), since that will most likely cover my application needs for a while to come. I am curious what the next generation Samsungs will do come next October (the 830 and 840 were both released in consecutive Octobers). Also, I would hate to retire my Samsung 830 already, especially since it outperforms the 840 in some - to me relevant - respects. Besides, it would be good to remember that while fixing my faulty disk I would not have proper backups if I go for the SSD option. With the current plan I will have double backups in the end, which is also a bit lush, but if the choice is either one, the second would probably be best. I could always go for an off site backup or even two.

Currently I am leaning towards two WD Red 3 TB disks. This will provide a bit more performance than the Caviar Green, is a quiet solution and provides me with more storage space than I can imagine using in years to come. It will allow me expanding my SSD in the future when the market is at a point I like without being stuck with noisy or pointless drives. The only thing that worries me is that performance might be disappointing. However, when that is the case, I am not too sure performance would not be disappointing with a 20% faster Caviar Black. The one thing suffering would be gaming performance, which is of course somewhat trivial to begin with. I am quite sure that file loading performance will not be an issue either way.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:48 pm 
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Location: The Netherlands
HFat wrote:
andyb wrote:
Mirroring is only of any real use for mission critical servers

RAID/DRBD/whatever isn't only for "mission critical" servers. Like, obviously. Some people...

I agree. Seeing other people struggle with their RAID setups (rebuilding and things like that) and the advantages - for reasons expained - being limited I never bothered with it. My current motherbord does support several RAID levels, so the option is always open. I think when I ever need to build a strictly workstation oriented build (my current one is mixed) I will consider it, as being able to work through problems in the face of deadlines might be valuable.

I am currently investigating using ReFS under Windows 8 Pro. With some tricks it should be usable and might provide the extra security I am looking for.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:40 pm 
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Camacha wrote:
Seeing other people struggle with their RAID setups (rebuilding and things like that) ... My current motherbord does support several RAID levels, so the option is always open

If you stick with software RAID1 and provided your OS comes with a decent implementation (it should), there's very little downside.
Any of the drives in a RAID1 array should work fine on its own, with no added risk compared to using the same drive in a non-RAID configuration (unlike running a degraded RAID5 array). And refraining from using your motherboard's RAID features will keep you away from all sorts of trouble.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:11 am 
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HFat wrote:
Camacha wrote:
Seeing other people struggle with their RAID setups (rebuilding and things like that) ... My current motherbord does support several RAID levels, so the option is always open

And refraining from using your motherboard's RAID features will keep you away from all sorts of trouble.

Would you care to elaborate on this? I am not quite sure what you mean.

Also, not using RAID(1) has some advantages. Of course, you do stand the chance of losing some work, but the delay in backing up your work also means you have some time to discover malfunction before it spreads to your backups. An interval of a week would give you some fair chance and warning.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:21 am 
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Camacha wrote:
Would you care to elaborate on this? I am not quite sure what you mean.

People have had trouble with hardware RAID in general and the poor substitute for hardware RAID that most motherboards pack in particular.
If you need good hardware RAID to provide something software RAID can not, fine. But there's no cause to use crappy (pseudo-)hardware RAID when software can handle it in a way that's cheap while being robust with regard to hardware failures, incompatibilities, hardware/firmware bugs and so on.
Which is not to say that even widely-used software RAID can't have minor issues that remain unfixed for years of course. Shit is complicated.

Camacha wrote:
Also, not using RAID(1) has some advantages. Of course, you do stand the chance of losing some work, but the delay in backing up your work also means you have some time to discover malfunction before it spreads to your backups. An interval of a week would give you some fair chance and warning.

As discussed above, RAID is never a substitute for backups. RAID1 can be a convenient imaging tool of sorts but RAID's main use is *in addition to* backups to limit data loss, downtime, unecessary work and stress. It's so convenient not to have to scramble to restore when a drive fails!
The main downsides are that capacity costs you more upfront and over time. You also get more heat and typically more noise as well. Low-performance capacity costs have dropped so low however that none of this is necessarily a real issue (especially for servers). As usual, it depends on several factors.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:39 am 
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Camacha wrote:
Currently I am leaning towards two WD Red 3 TB disks. This will provide a bit more performance than the Caviar Green, is a quiet solution and provides me with more storage space than I can imagine using in years to come. It will allow me expanding my SSD in the future when the market is at a point I like without being stuck with noisy or pointless drives. The only thing that worries me is that performance might be disappointing. However, when that is the case, I am not too sure performance would not be disappointing with a 20% faster Caviar Black. The one thing suffering would be gaming performance, which is of course somewhat trivial to begin with. I am quite sure that file loading performance will not be an issue either way.

Two Reds 3TB would be my choice also, in your situation. Loading times will suffer a bit. :) The SSD I had in mind was something like a Kingston 120GB, fast and cheap but might not allow all your games to fit. Live cramped for a while or install some games on the HDD perhaps? Only until 256GB or larger SSDs becomes affordable, then the small 120GB can become system disk in some other system.

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for an (asymetric) set of HDD's
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:57 pm 
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Vicotnik wrote:
The SSD I had in mind was something like a Kingston 120GB, fast and cheap but might not allow all your games to fit. Live cramped for a while or install some games on the HDD perhaps? Only until 256GB or larger SSDs becomes affordable, then the small 120GB can become system disk in some other system.

You are aware that I already own a Samsung 830 128 GB as a boot disk? The games will go on the secondary disks, that was pretty much the dilemma. But seeing that I only loose something in the neighborhood of 5 seconds when loading a level and I gain a lot of space and silence I think I made up my mind. HDD's will be comparatively slow, Green, Red or Black. The upside is that I do not have to pick and choose anymore; I get to install pretty much any game I own. The Greens are a little too slow for my liking (up to 40% slower than the Black), but the Red is a nice upgrade and compromise.

HFat wrote:
It's so convenient not to have to scramble to restore when a drive fails!

Of course it is good practice to replace any drive that fails as soon as it happens, as it is statistically likely that another will fail soon afterwards. I am not sure what the mechanics are there, but it is good to keep that in mind if you have only one copy left.


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