Western Digital 8 Meg Cache HD

slinga

Established Member
Hey everyone,

I've heard great things about the WD 8 Meg Cache drives. I was all set to buy a couple (set up software raid 5 *drool*), but I don't know what cable I need.

Here's the hard disk...

I need a IDE cable that preferrably allows 3 devices to be connected (IE 4 connecters). Also does the motherboard need anything special? Thanks in advance.
 

ExCyber

Staff member
I need a IDE cable that preferrably allows 3 devices to be connected (IE 4 connecters).

If such a thing existed, it wouldn't work. ATA only allows for two disk devices on a channel (one master and one slave).

edit: oh yeah, this belongs in Tech Help...
 

slinga

Established Member
I see, I only have 2 ide slots on my motherboard, looks like I'll need one of those expansion things that give you another IDE slot...

Back to my question though, does my motherboard need anything special?

And damn that's the second post today I had moved :ph34r:
 

racketboy

Established Member
you can have 4 IDE devices total -- but that includes your optical drives too.

You should have 2 channels -- each with up to 2 devices.

otherwise you would need a PCI card controller for more
 

slinga

Established Member
Thanks Racketboy, I think I got it now...

bah I'll order in the morning...stupid mold affecting brain...
 

Alexvrb

Established Member
Man, you've got some strange ideas. Expansion thingies? You mean a PCI IDE card? OK, why exactly do you want to use RAID 5, is data redundancy that important? Why not use RAID 10 at that point, 4 drives and its simpler. Also, how does one use SOFTWARE RAID 5?? With Two drives? RAID 5 requires I believe a minimum of 3 drives, and its very complex and would (if possible to run in software at all) seriously slow down your system. Maybe you meant software RAID 0, which *also* affects your overall system performance. To do it right, get a RAID card that supports the RAID mode you want, or a mainboard that supports it. As ExCyber said, there's a max of 2 drives per channel. BUT, for a RAID solution its a bad idea to use more than one drive on the same channel for a 2-3 drive RAID setup. They have to share the channel, master and slave that is (SATA has done away with this, one channel, one drive). For example, you could partly negate the speed advantage of a 2-drive RAID 0 array by putting both drives on the same channel.

So if you're bent on RAID 5, you'd prefereably want a card with 4 IDE connectors (i dont think they have 3-connector models), with RAID 0 a decent 2-connector raid card would be perfect.
 

slinga

Established Member
I didn't know what those expansion cards were called... <_<

Forgive me, I spent the last ten weeks implementing SCSI raids :cool:

Windows 2k Server has software raid, but I believe it only has Raid 0, 0+1, and 5.

Will it slow down my machine, I have no idea, but I highly doubt it (at worst a learning experience). My plan is this, buy 4 Western Digital hard drives with 8 meg cache. 1 40 gig to boot off, and 3 120 gig to be raided, and used only as storage. As far as I know, raid 5 is always atleast 3 disks. Since I'm finallly going off to college, and I know for a fact running servers is not an issue, I'm going to use this as my own server in school. Is redudancy important? Somewhat. I don't want to lose all my data of course (the stuff I can't burn to cd to backup).

P.S. - the mold is affecting me
 

racketboy

Established Member
redundancy is very good for preventing data loss.

if one drive dies, you still have the data on another.
 

Scared0o0Rabbit

Established Member
I'd suggest just getting a raid card.... they aren't THAT expensive (especially with how much you are talking about spending on hard drives)... and I can foresee horrible issues with software raid lol. If you are lucky all it will do is slow down your pc. It might also be to the point where if you ever need to format your c drive then those discs are useless until they are formatted too. I don't claim to know anything about software raid... but it just sounds like a REALLY bad idea to me.
 

Alexvrb

Established Member
Software RAID with win2k is junk. You can't install windows on the array, you would HAVE to use that 40GB as your C drive. That is kind of lame in itself. If you plan on using it as a server, do you really need the added speed (which actually isn't tremendous) of RAID 5? Why not just use RAID 1? Either way, it'd be much better if you just bought a RAID card, especially with such an expensive investment. Your CPU is going to end up doing what a RAID card does. IDE HDDs use up enough CPU cycles as it is, let alone with soft RAID 5.
 

slinga

Established Member
@$@$#@$@#

I bought the wrong cables (the mold made me), I'll probably just have to use regular cables instead.

!#@!#!@#!@#!

Other then that everything else seems good. I'm formatting the main drive,

I'll keep you guys posted on how my machine is performance-wise once it's built. I have a feeling it'll be great (not that it was bad before).
 

Alexvrb

Established Member
If you're just using that RAID 5 array as a storage dump you shouldn't see problems. But to me, the whole point of RAID is to increase the performance of my main drive (whether using redundancy or not, depends on number of drives), the one that I boot off, the one I have Windows and all my programs on. Being forced to boot off a seperate drive because you're using software RAID strikes me as silly. But if it saves you a whopping 40-50 bucks, sure. Why not.
 

slinga

Established Member
Progress report #1:

1) Installed the drives, set the 80 gig drive as boot.

- Primary IDE

- 80 gig

- new burner I got

- Secondary

- 120 gig

- IDE PCI Card

- Primary

- 120 gig

- Secondary

- 120 gig

2) Installed Win 2k Server.

- Install seemed marginally faster.

3) Raided through software

4) Gasped in horror as my CPU went to 90% usuage when I started formatting the drives and it started "regenerating"

Progress report #2:

1) Swapped the position of the drives, set the 80 gig drive as boot.

- Primary IDE

- 80 gig

- new burner I got

- Secondary

- empty (I'll probably move the burner here)

- IDE PCI Card

- Primary

- 120 gig

- Secondary

- 120 gig

- 120 gig

2) Watched CPU usage go up to a reasonable 30% during regeneration.

It's only 10% through the regeneration process, I'll let you know how it is in the end.

I am worried about heat though, any advice? The drives are physically hot to touch, never seen that in a hard drive before. I'm guessing I should throw another fan in there?
 

slinga

Established Member
There pretty close together, I'm not sure how to mount them securely and have leave breathing room. I guess I could buy another drive mount.
 

Alexvrb

Established Member
Another drive mount would work. Otherwise just have enough airflow in your case. I mean, they are going to run somewhat hot regardless, and are designed to do so, you just have to keep them from frying each other. Also, your RAID array would probably run better if each drive had its own channel, but that would require another channel, so I guess that won't happen. You'll defintely want to put the burner on the secondary IDE on your mainboard, having it on the same channel as your C drive can cause performance issues.
 

Alexvrb

Established Member
I think that's probably overkill. Sandwiching alone isn't so bad, but suspending the drive as well? Heh...
 
Top