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Topic: Boost speed using Raid harddrive controller?

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  1. #1

    Boost speed using Raid harddrive controller?

    Scanning the web for new hardware to run G-Studio, the overclockers have been using a Raid type controller card to boost speed, such as \"fasttrack66\" or newer \"100\" for ATA100 drives. By setting up two drives to act as one large singe drive, you can in fact double the sustained data transfer rate, which I believe is the most important spec for improving your system. The new ATA100 drives like the ATA66 or ATA33 before them only state the burst data transfer rate, which on a ATA100 will drop quickly from 100Mb/s down to the sustained data rate. By doubling the sustained data rate with a raid contoller (they run around $100) it seems to me this would be the best way short of adding more fast ram, to improve your system. If anybody is already doing this please share your story. As far as me, it appears that waiting two or three months to buy a new system seems the wisest. The new Athlon \"thunderbird\" chips are just comming out which will soon be followed by new motherboards which will include double instuction ram \"DDR\" (\"DDR\" ram is already on the fastest new video boards) which should be a real improvement at a modest price. These new boards will have AMD 760 or VIA KZ266 chipsets and include ATA100 controllers (you will still need a separate PCI board to run RAID). Lets start a discussion on improving preformance using RAID and fast ram, also I would like to hear from others using Athlon and what kind of low latenecy soundcards are working with it, as Athlon seems to give you the most bang for the buck right now and the \"thunderbird\" Athlons scream past the coppermine PIII\'s at about a hundred bucks less for the same speed rating. Anyways, check out some of the overclocker\'s boards, they always seem to know how to get the best proformance for the least dollars, and what new things are actually working or just hype.

  2. #2

    Re: Boost speed using Raid harddrive controller?

    Well,

    I am not aware of any GS user which claim that he/she had a success with RAID. Dont know why really, but RAID is not very popular here. Maybe because GS needs fast access to data, not high sustained transfer rates. 2MB cache and sub 9ms access time is more important than 50MB/s sustained TR.

    Btw, I suggest new udma66 hard drive: IBM 75GXP.
    8,4 ms access
    37MB/s (more then udma33 allows)
    15MB per platter

    check this out www.storagereview.com

  3. #3

    Re: Boost speed using Raid harddrive controller?

    thanks for the input, still wondering though if there is any downside to using RAID controller this way (other than the added cost of the board) with G-Studio, maybe someone from Nemesys could chime in on this. To add some more fuel to this fire, from what I\'ve read off the web it seems like 7200 speed IDE hardrives are the best compromise for music over 5400 or 10000 speed drives.

  4. #4

    Re: Boost speed using Raid harddrive controller?

    RAID 0 will increase sustained throughput, BUT might increase access time. Access time is the most important one in GS. I have FastTrak66 and I\'m not using it because without fasttrak, I get more polyphony =(

  5. #5

    Re: Boost speed using Raid harddrive controller?

    one other consideration, whether using RAID with G-Studio is benificial or not, I think having a higher sustained data transfer rate for recording of digital audio would not be in question, as many here probally do both G-Studio and digital audio on their rigs. What do you think?

  6. #6

    Re: Boost speed using Raid harddrive controller?

    Fastrack RAID 0 = BAD NEWS!

    I have 2 Promise Fastrack motherboards and have had problems with both. I just had the drive D: partition disappear (the RAID 0 pair) with a significant loss of data and hard work. (Shame on me for not backing up!)

    RAID 0 is inherently risky in that half the data is striped to one drive and half to the other. Data recovery is very unlikely.

    In use, I see no improvement over straight UDMA performance with Giga.

    The new 15G per platter, 7200 RPM drives from Maxtor and IBM leave little to be desired. Compared with 10 Gig /platter designs you get 50% more data density (faster)and 50% less weight (less heat and noise).

    My plan for now is to build a dedicated box for Gigastudio 160 using a Celeron overclocked to 850MHz and a single Maxtor 30Gig drive. Since you can build a dedicated machine these days for only a few hunrded $$, this definitely seems the way to go.

  7. #7

    Re: Boost speed using Raid harddrive controller?

    JP, since you are dedicating a computer to just G-Studio, are you planning on a second computer for sequencer / digital audio? With the cost of good 8 channel sound cards it would be nice if all could be run out of one box, but maybe the hardware isn\'t up to that stage yet. Just wondering if waiting for a 1gig thunderbird Athlon and new motherboard with lots of DDR ram, using the 7200 rpm drives described above would cut it seeing that a decent 8 channel sound card is $800-$900, would hate to buy two soundcards, one for each computer at that cost.

  8. #8

    Re: Boost speed using Raid harddrive controller?

    JPHardy,

    Intersting stuff you wrote. I\'m considering a new PC for Gigastudio and Cubase. Celeron 533A or 566 oveclocked to 800 and 850 MHz respectivly could be good choice. But there is one thing that bothers me. Is there any difference, performance wise, between PIII and Celeron at the same speed. Other audio apps (Reaktor, plugins, etc) have the same results in audio benchmarks on both PIII and Celeron cos audio software almnost always uses only FPU units in CPUs and FPUs are identical in both PIII and Celeron.

    My question is: Whats the case with Gigastudio/Gugasampler regarding the PIII/Celeron saga?
    Do I have to buy PIII?
    Celeron 566@850 seems like high powered chip to me.

    Regarding the hard disks I am thinking of buying new IBM 75GXP 30GB disk cos I think IBM has a bit better access time that Maxtor.

    Celeron 566/850, 256 MB PC133 RAM, IBM 75GXP 30GB, Asus CUBX board. Thats my choice. Feel free to discuss this combo.

  9. #9

    Re: Boost speed using Raid harddrive controller?

    Viktor, found something interesting that may help all here and you in particular. Go to \"overclockers.com\" site, there you will find an article called \"June 2000 CPU Buying/Upgrade Guide\" in three parts. Part two is about Intel Celerons and PIII Coppermines, what to expect out of them, which are the best to overclock and what is happening with the motherboards that go with them. Part three concerns AMD\'s Chips, the Athlon, Duron, and Thunderbird. Part three basically says to wait for a few weeks until the AMD stuff shakes itself out to see if Duron will be better choice than Celeron and whether Thunderbird will be better choice than PIII Coppermine. Anyway, part two and three have alot of info you may be looking for.

  10. #10

    Re: Boost speed using Raid harddrive controller?

    Doc, I am thinking of a dedicated GS box as an alternative to a hardware sampler such as an Emu E4 ultra. In my experience, GS needs all the CPU resources it can get and when trying to run Cakewalk and GS on the same machine, performance starts to suffer. Compared to the hardware samplers, a dedicated GS machine is very cost effective. In my case, I only require two output channels, so I use an SBLive. I have been extremely satisfied with the Live and love the effects the are built in.

    I use a seperate PC (a Compaq 3550) with an Aardvark Direct Pro 24/96 and SEK\'D 2496 as my hard disk recorder, wav editor (Sound Forge) and sequencer (Cake).

    Viktor, your planned system should be top notch. The IBM drives are excellent.

    For GS, the Celeron and PIII performance seems to ba about equal. The AMD chips have some compatibility problems with several audio cards.

    A very good article can be seen at www.prorec.com by Pete Leoni... \"Roll Your Own 2000\".

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