||[Dec. 16th, 2004|12:52 pm]
The Veritable TechNinja
More new computer build nerdiness. Sorry, non-tech folks. Anyway, I got the RAM for some reason. I checked crucial's site, and lo and behold, it let me start the order process for the 512MB DDR2-533 ECC DIMMs. I called to confirm they were in stock, they are. I'm beginning to lose faith in Crucial. Still swear by Micron parts, but Crucial is obviously scatterbrained when it comes to direct sales. They were $4 more per stick than the non-ECC DIMMs, so the extra protection against address failures is worth the nominal cost.
After an extremely informative conversation with c0nsumer last night, I rethought my hard disk configuration. Unfortunately, the ICH6R southbridge doesn't support RAID0+1 directly, so I don't know for sure if it might be worth going with a 4-drive 7200RPM configuration instead of the Matrix RAID Raptors. It is, however, cheaper to get 4 80GB, 7200RPM Seagates that support SATA NCQ (or cheaper still to get 4 80GB Western Digitals if NCQ and a marginal increase in average access latency wouldn't be worth it), so if I'd still end up with a faster volume than a single Raptor. I've been reading a lot of conflicting reports about the real-world speed increases in going with Raptors over standard home-use drives, and the worth of striping in desktop systems. I'd like the fastest system I can reasonably build, but I'd also like to avoid wasting $200 on a 2% speed increase and end up with a less reliable volume. Anyone play with RAID for the desktop or WD Raptors yet?
EDIT: Here's how the Matrix RAID layout would go. Western Digital Raptors are 2-platter, 72GB, server-class U320 SCSI disks that had their U320 interface replaced with a SATA header. I'd have each on their own channel, on the same controller. Matrix RAID is essentially partition RAID, which allows you to create "partitions" on the disk on which you can create RAID arrays. I would first create a 16GB stripe across both disks, then JBOD (just plain glomb together) the rest of the two drives. That way, I would have just the fastest part of both disks in a stripe, making that volume as fast as possible. That's where I'd install my OS, apps, and swap file. Not entirely sure if it'd be worth creating another 4GB stripe just for the swap file. The rest would be ~100GB of space for data.