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What RAID configuration is most appropriate for a home user?

What RAID configuration is most appropriate for a home user?

I have a computer for general home use and mild gaming (not upgraded the graphics card so still on AGPx8). It is currently configured for striped access over two 80GB disks. Is this the best option? Should I consider upgrading the size of the drives and moving to a mirrored setup or is this only really important if there is no other backup solution available? What are the driving factors behind available RAID configurations for the average home user?

Asked by: Guest | Views: 64
Total answers/comments: 5
Guest [Entry]

"Depends on what you are striving for:

Raw speed: RAID0

Mirroring: RAID1

Integrity + Speed: RAID5 (one disk parity)

Notes on each:
RAID0: If you lose one drive, you lose all data
RAID1: You have to cut your total drive size in half
RAID5: You lose one drive's worth of space, and need at least 3 drives. You will need to wait for the drive to rebuild if you replace a bad drive, and during a rebuild, if you lose a second drive, you will lose your data

You can also combine RAID configs to achieve different setups (RAID10, RAID50)

All being said, if you are looking for speed, but don't care about losing data, go RAID0, if you are looking to have a backup drive incase one goes down, go RAID1. RAID5 is good if you want some speed, and to have a backup incase on drive goes.

One thing to remember: RAID is never a backup solution"
Guest [Entry]

I'd recommend using something with mirroring — probably RAID 1, because I don't feel like there's a great need to get fancy with a home system. Backups are one thing; degraded but uninterrupted service when one of your disks blows up is another, very worthwhile thing.
Guest [Entry]

"Before you decide on which configuration to use, you need to look at the application. Typically with a home PC, the hard drive is asked to read data more often than writing data. For example with a game, you only ever install it once which is a writing operation, but when you play the game, you constantly load levels, reading.

What most people miss with looking at RAID configurations is that RAID0 gives you a 2x reading performance as well as data security, the same reading performance that RAID1 achieves. RAID0 is only inferior to RAID1 in writing operations and storage capacity.

Since most of the time your computer is doing reading operations, i personally would go with RAID0 for it's data security and sacrifice the writing performance of RAID1 as it is not used as much."
Guest [Entry]

For the average home user, RAID should not even be a consideration.
Guest [Entry]

A NAS running RAID1 is a good solution (regardless of what some say) as long as it is not you only backup. Use Raid1 and backup to another large drive weekly.