11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 7, 2011 10:47 AM by D.Tate

    Intel Matrix RAID vs "Regular" RAID?

    D.Tate Level 1

      Hello yall,

      Can someone explain the difference between Intel Matrix RAID technology (see http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets/matrixstorage_sb.htm) and "regular" RAID?

      The Matrix RAID chart (http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets/pix/matrix-RAID_4drives_2005.jpg) has RAID 5 and RAID 0 on the same set of hard drives. Seems kinda cool i guess. Is that what some people call RAID50?


      I just need some clarification if someone can spare the time.


      For the record, i have 4 new 500gb 7200rpm hard drives, and 1 old 500gb 7200 hard drive. I could just follow Harm's recommended 5-disk setup (see chart here: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/662972?tstart=0 ) which would mean that I could put the OS\programs on the old 500gb and do a (software) RAID 5 on the 4 drives. But perhaps there is some kind of Matrix RAID setup that i should do? (If I can get RAID 5 (reduncancy+some performance) and RAID 0 (performance) with Matrix RAID then it seems like a no-brainer that I would do that instead of a RAID 5 only setup). Btw, i only have 3 gb of DDR2 RAM right now. i definitely want to upgrade to at least 8gb, but should i upgrade to 16gb? (Is 16gb worth the money, or should i stick with 8gb?)

      Then again, maybe the only Raid I should worry about having is the "bugspray" RAID...(I have had many a bug-war living down here in my mom's basement..)

        • 1. Re: Intel Matrix RAID vs "Regular" RAID?
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          For background information on raids, read Adobe Forums: To RAID or not to RAID, that is the...


          If your current system only contains 3 GB DDR2 memory, it must be pretty dated. It would be a waste of money to buy additional memory that can't be ported to a new system. The consequence is also that your CPU must be pretty dated as well and software raid5 entails extra overhead for the CPU, which isn't very fast to start with, so it will be slowed down further by such a software raid.


          In your case using either separate disks or (R)aid0 may be better for performance, while you continue saving for a new system.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Intel Matrix RAID vs "Regular" RAID?
            D.Tate Level 1

            Hey Harm, thanks a lot for the help. Yeah 3gb is not a lot, but thankfully memory is cheap. I will, however, take into consideration that DDR2 will eventually be the way of the dinosaur. I might not bother with trying to get 16gb though.

            On another note, here are the specs of my system:

            *775 mobo (p45 chipset)

            *Q6600 Core 2 Quad Processor (2.4 GHz)

            *old 256 mb video card


            not too stellar, but i've heard people have had some success with overclocking Q6600. And i just got one of the old popular Gigabyte GA-EP45-UDP3 boards, and people says those are good (i.e. good with overclocking, etc.). I have revision 1.1 of the board. As you can see, however, my system is basically like 3 years old...but she is an oldie but goodie, and I still love you my little compy wompy...er..ahem. excuse me.


            I don't know if any of that system spec info will impact your response at all, but as you can see i certainly am (and was) "on a budget"! I am a dollar-movie kinda guy when it comes to technology--i'm willing to wait a while to get things cheaper. but i'm also broke at the moment. otherwise, I'd be willing to invest more money since i really do like multimedia production.


            However, I am still wondering as to the difference between "Intel Matrix RAID" and "Regular" RAID. If you or anyone could fill me in on that I would certainly appreciate it.

            • 3. Re: Intel Matrix RAID vs "Regular" RAID?
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              I have no idea what is meant with 'regular' raid in contrast to Intel Matrix raid. The latter is a software raid, but 'regular' could mean a lot of things.

              • 4. Re: Intel Matrix RAID vs "Regular" RAID?
                Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                What is your "regular RAID"?  If you are referring to Microsoft software RAID forget it.  Also you might want to look at the Premiere Pro BenchMark (PPBM5) to see what kind of performance to expect with your potentially overclocked Q6600.

                • 5. Re: Intel Matrix RAID vs "Regular" RAID?
                  D.Tate Level 1

                  Hey Bill. Thanks for link. I check out some of the Q6600 listings on http://ppbm5.com/Benchmark5.html and it looked interesting. I might have a "relatively" decent machine (in the mid-range orange area) if i overclock it to 3.4GHz like that one guy, but leaving it at 2.4GHz is not going to get me too far it seems. Then again, i don't need the best machine right now--i'm just looking for an optimal setup using what i have now (though i will most likely buy some memory either way).


                  The following is a message back to you and Harm:

                  Clearly my ignorance is showing with the whole "regular" RAID term that i keep throwing out there. What I mean by "regular" is the RAID that people refer to when they say "RAID". Then again, maybe there is nothing special about Intel Matrix RAID, and it can be considered "regular" in that sense. I just rememeber seeing that chart on Intel's site (http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets/pix/matrix-RAID_4drives_2005.jpg) that said I could have a RAID 0 and RAID 5 at the same time using the same hard drives. And i thought that was cool. But am I missing something? Is that feature un-desirable or non-unique to Intel Matrix-style RAID?

                  • 6. Re: Intel Matrix RAID vs "Regular" RAID?
                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                    Basically there are two kinds of raids:


                    1. Software raid, like Intel Matrix, Windows and all raid cards without a dedicated IOP.


                    2. Hardware raid, like Areca, with a dedicated IOP.


                    Both types can support multiple raid configurations, but generally software raids are limited to 0, 1, 5 and 10 while hardware raids can support much more raid configurations, like 0, 1, 3, 5, 6, 10, 30, 50 and 60. Hardware raids are much faster and carry less CPU overhead because of the dedicated IOP, that does all the parity calculations.

                    • 7. Re: Intel Matrix RAID vs "Regular" RAID?
                      Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                      Actually I would expand Harm's two types slightly.  I would say that his Type 1 should have two subtypes.


                      1a:  Pure software inside Microsoft Windows (really lousy performance).

                      1b.  Intel Matrix which can be used with moderate success on very small arrays.


                      Most people on our PPBM Results that have maybe two drives in RAID 0 without specifying a controller are what I might classify as "regular" or onboard controllers.  If you typically see more than three or four drives in an array with very good Disk I/O test results you will generally find have a seperate card, and many times it is listed in the comments.  Recently we are now asking the question about what model RAID controller is being used.


                      Sot the results by Disk I/O and see the results.  I can only positively identify one result in the top 20 that truely is using the on-board controller for the project disk and that one is using a pair of (expensive and of course much smaller capacity) SSD's in RAID 0.

                      • 8. Re: Intel Matrix RAID vs "Regular" RAID?
                        D.Tate Level 1

                        [duplicate posting removed]

                        • 9. Re: Intel Matrix RAID vs "Regular" RAID?
                          D.Tate Level 1

                          Hey guys,

                          Sorry it's taken me a while to respond. Needless to  say, i've been messing around with the hard drives some..! Both of you  guys have certainly helped in answering my initial question, and I thank  you for that. If you are willing, however, i would appreciate your  advice for my current situation. (keep reading). But i will certainly  not be offended if i recieve no further response b/c each of you have  already answered my question (i will mark "Answered" soon).


                          I have been messing around with Intel Matrix RAID  (e.g. benchmark tests). And I have attached 3 pictures (3 is the max i  could attach). The pictures with "OS" in the name means that I ran the  disk benchmark while that drive was the system drive. You will see near  identical used space in the "OS" pictures b/c I cloned the raid 5 disk  array to the raid 0 disk array not too long after I ran the raid 5 test  (..but i'm assuming i must have download/installed 2gb of something in  that timeframe though).

                          This was my setup:

                          * 4 of: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive



                          The benchmarking program is called Crystal DiskMark (the 64-bit  version). I also used an old Windows version of AJA System Test, which  seemed to give RELATIVELY similar results, though i honestly am not very  adept at understanding the benchmarks in the first place...


                          ...so that's where you come in . Actually, i don't want to burden you guys so let me cut to the chase:

                          1.  It seems RAID 5 did not SEEM to speed up my OS tasks too much (i.e.  opening Photoshop or Word still took the same amount of time..i think)

                          2. RAID 0 didn't SEEM to speed up my OS that much either despite what the benchmarking tests.

                          3.  Perhaps I haven't done enough testing, or maybe i just need more RAM or  something in order to see the true benefits of RAID for my OS system  drive.

                          4. The raid0_disk.png seems blazing fast. but I haven't  really done anything other than benchmark test on it. But it is  essentially the drive I will probably use as dedicated media/video  storage.


                          my MAIN question at this point: Should I really even care about doing a RAID setup for my OS??

                          If the answer to the previous question is "maybe" or "yes", here is another important question:  Will having 2 RAID arrays (maybe 2 RAID 0's--1 for the OS and 1 for  media and Premiere stuff [Media, Projects, Media Cache, Previews,  Exports]) on the same set of 4 harddrives be beneficial? Or will having 2 RAID arrays (using intel Matrix RAID) actually work against my performance. Performance is my main concern. It seems to me that having the RAID  array for my OS may slow down the performance b/c I imagine that, say,  Premiere (or any program for that matter) would make my 4 harddrive's  heads "jump back and forth" between reading/writing OS stuff RAID array  stuff and the dedicated video RAID array stuff. (i hope i understand what i'm trying to communicate)


                          By the way, i sort of want to ditch (software) RAID 5  because, ironically, it seems to not be supported very well by image  cloning software. I did, however, manage to clone it using UBCD w/ Drive  Image XML. But i feel like I might as well just go RAID 0 and use some  imaging software frequently to ensure I never lose my data even if a  drive fails. (any recommendations on image cloning?)


                          I  am anticipating that you guys will tell me to just put my OS system  drive on a 5th non-RAID drive, and run the 4 drives in 1 RAID 0 array.  This seems to be similar to what Harm might recommend, except that he  would perhaps say to use a RAID 3 or 5 instead of RAID0.

                          For the  record, i looked at the following "Video Guys" link:  http://www.videoguys.com/Guide/E/Videoguys+System+recommendations+for+Video+Editing/0x4aeb b06ba071d2b6a2cd784ce243a6c6.aspx  ...and towards the middle of the page it shows that they only list 1  hard drive for the "system drive". So maybe having a RAID setup for the  OS is just not all that advantageous for video editing. (Also, they seem  to say that "having one big RAID 0 is bad", but i'm not sure if that  includes having 2 RAID 0 arrays striped across the same set of 4 hard drives..)


                          As an aside, I'm into music production and 3D modeling  as well, so if you can offer suggestions in light of that that would be  helpful too. (for the record, i like to use "Image-Line FL Studio" for  music, and "Maya" for 3D modeling)


                          I have 2 more  pictures that I could attach--1 of the raid 5 disk when it wasn't used  as the system drive, and another one of my old 7200.10 Seagate Barricuda  (which I may use as a 5th drive for the OS)


                          Have a good day, and God bless you.

                          • 10. Re: Intel Matrix RAID vs "Regular" RAID?
                            Harm Millaard Level 7

                            Generally it is not advised to raid the OS disk. It does not give any discernible performance gain while editing and it is either costly with a parity raid or dangerous with a striped array. It is more of a headache than a gain to raid the boot disk.


                            Simply: Don't raid your boot disk.


                            Your other 4 disks would IMO better be used in two raid0 arrays of two disks each.You still have the same chance of one disk failing, but the advantage is that you only lose half your data, not all, or more accurately one array, not both.

                            • 11. Re: Intel Matrix RAID vs "Regular" RAID?
                              D.Tate Level 1

                              Thanks so much for the info Harm. I think i'm leaning toward a non-RAID OS setup b/c I think the main benefits i'm wanting will come from having a dedicated RAID array for video--not necessarily one for the OS system drive. For the record, however, i think that one reason why my programs seemed to be loading with the same speed whether it was RAID 0 or RAID 5 is because the shortcuts on my desktop that I was clicking were shortcuts to the RAID 5 array..Doh!

                              Regardless, i still think that i'm going non-RAID for the OS, but I wanted to give an update on that so people wouldn't be misled.


                              Doing 2 RAID 0s might be a good thing to do. But I'll probably just keep it simple for now and do one RAID 0 array since i'm not even sure yet how much space i would want for my one RAID 0 array, much less two. But i may very well migrate to the double 2-drive RAID 0 setup in the future when i figure out what i'm doing . i've already spent like a week messing around with this stuff, so it's time to just settle on something and move ahead..! Sheesh at the rate technology progresses I don't even think it's worth all my time anyway. They will have 100000000 rpm drives out before we know it. AND they will be eco-friendly--you can guarantee it.