I'm building a new system and have some questions about what sort of disk configuration to put together. Probably about 90% of my source will be AVCHD (more details in my earlier post). The articles on this forum are great and have been very helpful but I'm still confused. The Generic Guideline for Disk Setup talks about distributing access across as many disks as possible but then shows all configurations with more than 4 disks as placing everything except the OS, programs, and pagefile on the same RAID. A file is distributed across multiple disks in a RAID but it's one logical drive so there must be head contention if more than one file is needed at the same time from that RAID. Wouldn't a setup like this work better?
C: [1 Drive] OS, Programs
D: [RAID 3] Media, Projects
E: [RAID 0] Pagefile, Media Cache
F: [1 Drive] Previews, Exports
Would there be any problems having multiple RAIDs? In the above example, the RAID 3 would require a hardware controller and the RAID 0 could run off the ICH10R on the motherboard. Can ICH10R support multiple RAIDS (more than one RAID 0) and can a hardware controller (say, an Areca) support more than one RAID? If so, would it be better to run both the RAID 3 and RAID 0 in this example off the Areca?
To RAID or not to RAID has been helpful but I'm still not clear on everything. What are the differences between an inexpensive controller like the Areca ARC-1210 and the more expensive models which can cost 4 times as much? Obviously the more expensive controllers have faster processors and more cache but do you get 4 times the performance? I'm sure a high-end controller would be helpful if you're editing 4K files or uncompressed HD but I suspect it's not worth the expense for a mostly-AVCHD environment.
What about using RAID 0 for source media? I understand the likelihood of problems increases with the number of disks but what does that mean in the real world? I've been using my current drives (Seagate SCSIs) for about 7 years and have never had a problem. In fact I've owned computers with hard drives since the early 80s and don't believe I've ever had a disk fail on me. Of course everything needs to be backed up but how often might I be rebuilding a RAID 0 due to disk failure? Maybe I've been very lucky or maybe "they don't build 'em like they used to".
I've been using (parallel)SCSI for over 10 years but no longer believe it's cost effective. It seems like adding more SATA drives to a RAID would be cheaper than expensive 15K RPM SAS drives. Does everyone agree with that? Also, SAS drives are only available in much smaller capacities than SATA drives.
A hardware controller is required for RAID 3 and strongly recommended for RAID 5 but do they offer an advantage for RAID 0? What about for RAID 10? One advantage would be providing extra ports since most motherboards only provide 6 SATA ports. Does one motherboard offer any better SATA and RAID performance than any other or are they all about the same in that regard?
Is there any advantage to external RAIDS other than convenience in moving data from one computer to another? It seems like a controller directly on the bus would be faster than one connected externally.
Is there any disadvantage to running SATA 3 drives on a SATA 2 controller? A possible advantage might be the larger cache that some SATA 3 drives have. Would a 64MB cache help much over a 32MB cache? I've also heard SATA 3 can increase burst speeds. If I have two SATA 3 ports, and I'm using one on an SSD for the OS, would it help to use the other port for another drive or might that take away bandwidth from the SSD?
I've run across some things (don't have links handy) that indicate there may be problems with drives larger than 2 TB. Is this just for single drives larger than 2 TB, RAIDs larger than 2 TB, or am I confused and this is not an an issue?
What about specific drives that are quiet and perform well? Quietness is important to me and I worry about building a box, with as many as 10 drives, sounding like an airport runway. I've heard the Caviar Blues are quieter than the Black but I don't think they perform as well. I've heard Samsung F3 are both quiet and fast and that's what I'm leaning towards at the moment. What's with the F4? Samsung's site says it's “Independently tested as the fastest 3.5” HDD available” yet it also refers to it as an “Eco-Green HDD”, which usually means slow.
Should I use different drives in RAIDs than standalone? I've heard “enterprise” models are better for RAIDs because of differences in their firmware error recovery. These sources say “consumer” models are more likely to time-out in a RAID because they have more aggressive error recovery. Is this true and should be a concern?