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  • SATA or RAID 0 a few questions

    Hi All,

    Unsure which setup to go for, I am looking for about 120gig space in total and my main objective is to boot to windows and have a "workable" machine in as little time as possible, a secondary objective is to have a FAST transfer rate and seek time as i'm aiming to copy mp3's into a ramdrive for the ultimate in HD protection

    Can a PC boot from either of these or does it have to boot from the IDE bus?

    Can anyone advise and explain which of the 2 options or maybe even another option, will help with my objectives.

    Appreciated
    if you can't find time to do it right, when are you gonna find time to do it over.

  • #2
    Raid stripes won't help your boot time. Its just more drives and controllers to scan/detect at boot.

    Your bios should have an option to boot off SCSI or RAID if it an onboard controllers. If not, the controller's bios will probably have a setting to make it the boot device.

    Ultimate HD protection? You may never need it. If you're worried you may lose important data, make regular backups.

    The solid state ram disk is a neat idea, but unless you can power down the drive after transfering everything over to the ram disk, you've gained no protection.
    -TJ
    Smart Playlists Plugin for RoadRunner
    CarPC - 05 Acura TL Navi (pics soon)
    Retired CarPC - 03 Infiniti Qx4

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    • #3
      The average data rate of a 128kbps while it's being played is 128 kilobytes per second. The average hard drive these days (ATA-100) manages a real world performance of about 70 megabytes per second. No need for anything faster if you're playing movies or mp3s IDE can handle it just fine and you'll never notice a damn thing.

      Seek times tend to be around 9 to 12 nanosecond's on the average hard drive. Again, no need for anything faster for a computer that plays mp3's and movies. Defragment monthly to keep your system in tiptop shape.

      I honestly don't know what a ramdrive is. The only things I can think of that qualify are those PCI cards with 4 gigs of DDR attached to them. Those cost around 700 dollars and cannot be booted from. They're for massive, massive, servers, and loose all their data as soon as you shut the power off.

      RAID 0 is striping. It uses 2 disks and spreads the reading and writing between the two. While it will increase transfer rates (provided each drive is on its own dedicated IDE channel), It will slow down boot time and increase your points of failure. Not a good thing in if you're concerned about a head crash. RAID cards will also add several seconds onto your POST time as they contain their own bios and it has to load itself. You can boot from a RAID array.

      SATA works the same way as IDE, only faster. All of the differences between SATA and IDE are technical, and are transparent to the user. SATA is faster then IDE, but you can only hook up one drive per SATA bus and they're much more expensive for performance gains you won't really see in a car computer. No idea if SATA will speed or slow boot times. Reasoning would say it would speed it up, but probably not all that much.
      More on serial ATA here.
      http://www.serialata.org/

      I hope this is helpful.
      A digital mind lost in an analog world.

      Learn to ask smart questions!
      http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

      My car PC: The Lost Cause!

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      • #4
        I played with RAM drives in the past.

        You use some software (part of the OS?) that allows you dedicate a portion of your RAM and mount it as drive your OS can access like any regular HD but much faster and no moving parts. When you lose power, you lose the data.

        I believe thats what he's referring to.
        -TJ
        Smart Playlists Plugin for RoadRunner
        CarPC - 05 Acura TL Navi (pics soon)
        Retired CarPC - 03 Infiniti Qx4

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by fluffy2097
          ...SATA works the same way as IDE, only faster. All of the differences between SATA and IDE are technical, and are transparent to the user. SATA is faster then IDE, but you can only hook up one drive per SATA bus and they're much more expensive for performance gains you won't really see in a car computer. No idea if SATA will speed or slow boot times. Reasoning would say it would speed it up, but probably not all that much.
          More on serial ATA here.
          http://www.serialata.org/

          I hope this is helpful.
          A small correction, if I may:

          SATA's data BUS is faster, but the drives themselves are no faster than their IDE counterparts. They are still just as limited, unless you configure them in a burst RAID, meaning each drive is hit no more than about a half second, when the transfer is at its fastest.
          Other than that, the only way to get faster than IDE on SATA is to pick up one of Western Digital's Raptor SATA drives, which are nothing more than SCSI drives with a converted interface. Same limitations there: speed is the same as SCSI standard, and size is limited to 35gb at present.

          This is all based off tests and results we've seen here in our store, and with information from Western Digital and Seagate.

          I agree with the above. RAID 0 will enhance your performance ONCE IT'S BOOTED, but it will add 5-10 seconds to your boot time, as well as introduce another level of fragility to data structure stability.

          *stops before eyes glaze over any more*
          The ALEXIS Project
          MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
          Color Coding :
          DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

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          • #6
            Cheers,

            It was my intended scenario to boot the carPC remotely from my desktop machine in the house (hence the quick boot time requirement) and then transfer a selected number of songs to be placed into the ramdrive (hence the quick transfer rate).

            With regards to HD protection, I see I should have been more clear, I was not concerned about the data integrity as the carPC will be a near perfect mirror of my house computer which will be kept synchronised using WiFi. I was more concerned about the physical damage that could occur to HD when its spinning and I was driving.

            I have investigated the use of hard drive anti vibration cases and still think there is potential room for damage, so I thought that if I copied everything to a ramdrive before I left the driveway I could have windows power down the hard drive after 5 mins and absolutley do everything I could to prevent damage.

            I say potential because reading these threads most people say that their system has been going for X number of months and "no problems yet" as though they are expecting them, i'd really like not to have any.
            if you can't find time to do it right, when are you gonna find time to do it over.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sygad
              Cheers,

              It was my intended scenario to boot the carPC remotely from my desktop machine in the house (hence the quick boot time requirement) and then transfer a selected number of songs to be placed into the ramdrive (hence the quick transfer rate).

              With regards to HD protection, I see I should have been more clear, I was not concerned about the data integrity as the carPC will be a near perfect mirror of my house computer which will be kept synchronised using WiFi. I was more concerned about the physical damage that could occur to HD when its spinning and I was driving.

              I have investigated the use of hard drive anti vibration cases and still think there is potential room for damage, so I thought that if I copied everything to a ramdrive before I left the driveway I could have windows power down the hard drive after 5 mins and absolutley do everything I could to prevent damage.

              I say potential because reading these threads most people say that their system has been going for X number of months and "no problems yet" as though they are expecting them, i'd really like not to have any.
              As would we all! There are a few drives that have been tested by us over the years, but remember that more capacity usually = more hardware. More hardware means more capacity for failure. In most cases (as long as you have an intact suspension) you shouldn't have to worry too much about the hard drive's safety, unless you intend to go bouncing around the outback with your tunes. Most drives today are capable of withstanding shocks much greater than what they will ever experience on the road. Back in the day, they were much more fragile, but today's drives are more than up for the job. In fact, I would suspect that many of the drive failures mentioned on this forum would have happened whether they had been in the car or not!

              I see drive failure issues in our store all the time. Usually they are Maxtor or original IBM DeskStar drives (as opposed to their new manufacturer Hitachi). Personally, I feel it might be asking for issues by mounting a high capacity drive (200gb+) in the car, as they generally have more internal hardware packed into that little box. I haven't heard any horror stories yet, but as it stands with me, if I were to NEED 200gb+ in a car, I could stand to lose a LOT of stuff if that drive went down, unless I sprung for another one for the home backup.

              RAID of any sort just seems a little wasted in the carPC environment. It doesn't help out with much in the car, unless of course you're attempting to edit music and videos in the car as well...
              The ALEXIS Project
              MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
              Color Coding :
              DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi cheers for that, I have also been looking at hard drives that have built in protection as well and came across this one

                http://www.seagate.com/cda/products/...81,564,00.html

                does anyone have any experience of seagate drives? as, at the 'mo I have only maxtor drives in my home PC, which I have to say have been faultless to date... and counting
                if you can't find time to do it right, when are you gonna find time to do it over.

                Comment


                • #9
                  That drive has fluid bearings. It wouldn't work well in cold weather.

                  Seagate generaly has a higher failure rate then most other manufacturers, but really reliability depends on the model you get, not the brand. Personaly I swear by Western digital drives in all my desktop machines.

                  Honestly, Don't worry about a head crash. Hard drive's are very cheap these days, and you aren't going to break one anyways unless you hit a tree, run off a cliff, or hit a pothole big enough to tear an entire wheel off your car.

                  Not one person here has had a head crash without causing signifigant damage to the car the drive was in (I believe that someone here knows a person who rolled their car, causing the head crash).

                  Get a cheapo 60 GB hard drive and if it dies, replace it. You'll save more money doing it that way then going nuts on protecting something that can easily be replaced.
                  A digital mind lost in an analog world.

                  Learn to ask smart questions!
                  http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

                  My car PC: The Lost Cause!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've alreeady done it, and i'm very pleased with my SATA Raid0 computers. Every PC i build now uses 2 of the 10k rpm 37 gig HD's. I'm now doing two other projects. SATA on my xbox, and another SATA Raid0 in a Aplle G3 case.

                    My SATA "super computer" for my car
                    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...=supercomputer

                    My review of SATA on Raid0 using the 2 10k rpm drives. There's also a link to Tom's review
                    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ight=sata+raid

                    edit:
                    Also If you use a mobo with onboard SATA Raid0 then it will increase your boot time, not cut it. I'm not very fond of using pci raid controllers, cuz they' can dramatically decrease boot time
                    Falcon cr53 w/ via epia m10000. Nokia 3650 blutooth phone.
                    Better than winamp. Click here for qcd player.

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