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This is where you can ask questions and get and give help about hardware related issues. This Forum will be moderated by Taw with help from some other experts. So feel free to ask any questions you may have about computers.

Post Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:35 pm


Hey there hardware folks. I'll be going off to college soon, and in the next six months or so I'll be needing to purchase a laptop computer. I've been sorting through some options, and my top candidate at the moment would be a custom model from Alienware, despite the price. I'm still debating if the dual SLI GeForce cards they offer in a laptop is worth the extra $400... probably not.

Anyway, on to my question. RAID. What is it? What does it stand for and how does it work? From context, I gather it is a type or arrangement of hard drives. Do they offer significant advantages over 'standard' drives? What's the difference between RAID 1 and RAID 0?


Post Sun Jul 23, 2006 10:17 pm

This is the compactified definition I nicked...

"RAID is Redundant Array of Inexpensive Devices, a method of using multiple disks to improve performance, reliability or both. Forms of RAID include: RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 2, RAID 3, RAID 4, RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 7, RAID 10, RAID 53 and SLED."

Try looking at ... i=1491&p=2

Basically, RAID 0 is disk striping with no parity - good performance but reduced reliability, while RAID 1 is disk mirroring, where the same data gets written to two drives.

Post Tue Jul 25, 2006 6:23 pm

So is RAID worthwhile enough to add the extra two hundred dollars to have it installed in a laptop? I think I'd be fine with the standard 120 GB drives they offer but never hurts to have too much...

Post Tue Jul 25, 2006 7:03 pm

RAID on a laptop? It wouldn't be worth it, unless you are running something that makes the HDDs a bottleneck. You might pick up a slight speed increase, but considering the fact that laptop HDDs are usually a slow 5400rpm, it probably wouldn't be a good investment.

Post Tue Jul 25, 2006 8:06 pm

Alienware offers 7200 RPM drives in RAID, though I don't need the 200GB + storage that offers, I don't think. Although its for school, I'll want to be able to play some high end games (i.e. Darkstar One). Its either the RAID, or the dual SLI video cards, I don't think I can afford to splurge on both. Though the manufacturer advertises 100% performance increases with SLI, I've not heard too many good things about it here on TLR. What's the consensus on that?

Post Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:20 pm

the consensus is that we don't really like laptops for gaming, Alienware or otherwise, and never have. It's not something they do terribly well, although they're better at it than they were.

As the Chimaera rightly points out, RAID in a laptop? I can see the temptation, but it's not something that imo is even worth attempting. Now, in a decent desktop, a RAID-0 array over a couple of decent SATA2 drives would give you a real boost in performance. That's what I run in Borromir and it really gives the old boy some poke. RAID-1 isn't much use to you. My server, Saruman runs a RAID-5 array over 4x 80gb Seagates, purely so a/ I don't lose any data if I have a disk crash (although Diskeeper pretty much prevents that in the first place0 with b/ a respectable disk access speed over the network, because my server is where all my films and music and installs and anti-virus/spyware mirrors are.

As far as SLi goes, go for it, colleague! Once the Tawakalnistan State treasury recovers from it's reduced state this year, that's what I'm going to do. Borromir is going to get a good nForce4 board, AMD64 and 2x SLi

Post Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:47 pm

Well, I'll have to use it for what gaming I'll be doing in school anyways. No sense in having two computers at this point. Thanks for the advice, Grand Mullah.

Post Mon Aug 07, 2006 12:03 pm

no problem, colleague, always happy to help. that'll be 3 camels and a crate of RPG-7s please.

Post Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:52 pm

How convienient. Since the Yankee Imperialist dogs have cut all the roads, I'll just have the camels pack them in there.

Post Sat Aug 12, 2006 4:28 am

class them as plumbing supplies on the export documentation, that's what we always do.

Post Sun Aug 13, 2006 6:23 pm

Well I suppose its a bit more expediant than using a Roto-Rooter.

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