RAID 5 off of a motherboard is glacial; I did some tests a long time ago and reported the findings here and it is just too slow. So, if you don't want to invest in a good hardware RAID card, and they are quite pricy, you have two options and both are quite good.
- RAID 0 (3x drives for everything, 4x drives for everything, and two 2x arrays have been used before and with reported good results); you should be doing daily backups anyway, so many find the potential loss of 1 day's worth of work vs. the savings for a good RAID card acceptable
- RAID 10; you would need multiples of 2x drives (i.e. 4, 6, 8) and while this has the downside of being less space efficient (divide space by 2 as with RAID 1 solutions), however it does work well for on-board Intel SATA ports
Thanks so much for the feedback.
I tested the RAID 5 setup, and it is doing about 370mb/s on read, but then around 27mb/s on writes according to CrystalMark. But from what I understand from the tweakers page, export disks can be the slowest disk without too much issue. So I guess the question becomes, how slow is too slow? The read speed I'm happy with, but that write speed make me a little nervous. I haven't done an export yet, but I do have one production video coming up.
The reason I went with RAID 5 (I can certainly be talked out of it and into something else however) is because from what I read I would get a modest performance boost, and then data redundancy in case a drive failed. But that write speed looks like a serious performance cut to me.
And even though I realize I probably need a spankin for this, I'm bad about backing up. Right now I'm using Box.net sync app for my backups, and I've got 50 gigs worth of space on that, which seems to be a decent solution for me for the stuff I'm currently working on. I admit that I mainly use it for having it instantly (relatively speaking) available on my laptop so I can work while I travel. I do have a 1.5 TB external USB hard drive that I could get more serious about.
I guess the question is, without spending more cashola (I've got an upcoming wedding to pay for), how can I get the most bang for the buck out of those three disks given my use case?
Yup, it is time to dump the Raid 5 and reconfigure as a 3x RAID 0 array. Put all your files except media cache and media cache DB on the RAID 0. Put the media cache & cache db on the fasted SSD in your system. And, do regular backups to your 1.5TB external for all files that you would not want to ever loose.
I love "Beyond Compare" for data sync'ing, backups, etc. It is not "backup" software per say, but I like it a whole lot better for backing up my files. It allows for "sessions" to be customized (include these file names, exclude these file names, include these directories, exclude these directories, etc.).
Thanks alot Jim. I'll take a look tonight when I get out of the office. Unless anyone else swoops in and has a compelling reason to do something else...
Or here's another idea. Get another 1tb HDD, throw the four HDD's together in RAID 10, and lose the Samsung 500gb evo? So:
120gb SSD: OS, programs
240gb SSD: cache, scratch
4xTB in RAID 10: source, projects, exports.
Just do not use the Samsung 840 EVo drives for any write operations as they do not work well writing from Premiere.