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Most reliable Hard drives and PSU for 24/7 use? Which RAID?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by n-ster, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. n-ster

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    Question 1: Best RAID array for me?
    I'm trying to stay at 5 drives or below, preferably 3-4. I can go 5, but only if there are enough benefits. Could the system work with any one drive down? 2.5~4TB

    Question 2: Most reliable HDDs for the aforementioned RAID array (24/7 use)?
    Speed is unimportant as long as Read speeds are 60 MB/s +. 200~300$ max budget unless there is a benefit for going over. No more than 375$. 4K sectors is an obvious requirement. 2.5~4TB total

    Question 3: Most reliable PSU for the system mentioned below (24/7)?
    600W is bare minimum, 650W is perfect 750W is max. Budget 85~150$ max, more if there is a good reason. If server PSUs are much better, I may consider changing my case and, if need be, go as low as 500~550W PSU.

    I will be using some components I have in my current PC and some spare parts:
    Some more info:

    I am building my Uncle's grocery store a computer for it's CCTV DVR system (camera recording). The DVR program only supports Windows XP 32-bit, so my plan is to have the unused RAM as a RAM Disk for pagefile only. This will be running 24/7
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  2. John Doe Guest

    No need for that big of a PSU, HDD's don't pull much power; about 10W each. No GPU so the chip itself wouldn't pull more than 100-150W either. So yeah, 500W is sufficient. This one is the best of it's class

    KINGWIN Lazer Platinum Series LZP-550 550W ATX 12V...
     
  3. n-ster

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    That's a 650W 80+ Gold that can do Platinum @ 550W rating :roll:

    Nice PSU. Though idk much about KINGWIN... I'll go check the jonnyguru review
     
  4. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    1. you want raid 5. i think it requires 4 drives. you speed, storage space, and redundancy for any one of the drives failing.

    2. anything enterprise class, probably require SAS instead of sata. there are sata enterprise drives out there, but if you're going proper raid you'd want a card anyway... so choose SAS if possible.

    3. corsair all the way baby!



    if you're making this for a store, for fucks sake do not even THINK of screwing around with ramdrives and overclocking. you're just asking for trouble. get it stable at stock speeds and undervolt it where possible to keep the heat down, because it WILL get dusty, it will overheat, and it will not end up being maintained like an end users PC.
     
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  5. John Doe Guest

  6. IlluminAce

    IlluminAce New Member

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    I like to keep RAID simple, or avoid it altogether. Unless you're going to buy an expensive hardware RAID card, which I don't think you are, then you're talking about software RAID, which takes a toll on the CPU.

    Raid10 is the obvious for your requirements - 4x2TB striped and mirrored, so you have 4TB usable with redundancy. Depending on whether the RAID10 you get is RAID0+1 or RAID1+0, you can lose any 1 drive, and maybe 2 under specific circumstances. 2TB drives because they're a lot cheaper than 3TB. RAID 10 will use a decent bit of CPU though.

    If you can get away with just 3TB of usable storage, I'd be very tempted to get 2x3TB and just mirror it. Nice and simple. Not so much to go wrong.

    You can go down the whole RAID5 kind of route with parity, essentially having 2x2TB and 1x 1TB parity - I personally wouldn't bother. Just stick to mirror, and only stripe them too if necessary. Keep It Simple S...you know the rest.

    What can still go wrong, even with all this mirrored redundancy, is that the machine itself is tampered with/damaged/stolen/etc. I'd be tempted to make sure all this doesn't go to waste by setting up an online stream to an offsite box, where you store the data again. Hopefully, the CCTV software has this kind of facility already.

    As for the drives themselves, if you go for the expensive 3TBs you haven't much choice, there are about 3 options. Hitachi seems to state more start/stop cycles than WD, and they're faster, but they cost more. WD's 5.4k drives are pretty energy efficient and cheaper. Maybe go for those? - you don't need additional speed I don't think. All 3tb are AF (4k).

    For 2TB, I'd personally go for Samsung as 1st pref, with Hitachi or WD following. As stated earlier, WD's 5.4k range may do you well. But... everybody will give you differing recommendations here, it's down to personal preference at the end of the day.

    As for a PSU, again, this is personal preference. The site HardwareSecrets does fantastic PSU reviews; you'd be well advised to check any candidate PSUs there before purchasing. Generally speaking, Seasonic PSUs are considered "cream of the crop", with ranges such as Corsair's HX series slightly cheaper but pretty much as good. [Note: both are slightly unnecessary for this system, but I always advise spending more on an excellent PSU rather than regretting it later]. Consider a HX750W perhaps? I mean, this is all overkill for that system, you are not going to pull anywhere close to 750 watts. Also consider and decent PSUs like that only reach peak efficiency at around ~ 40% load, up to say 75% load (all the profiles differ mind, and this is top of my head stats - in other words, bull____). If you're only going to pull 200-250 watts, then are you going to hit peak efficiency with a 750W PSU? Just a thought. I would have thought a high quality PSU with 500-600W would be a sweet spot - miles of headroom for expansion, but just about hitting its peak working efficiency.

    If you're not prepared to spend that kind of money on a PSU, Corsair's CX range is damn cheap but pretty good too. There are many more to recommend, but these I have some experience with. I'll let others with recommend the rest :)
     
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  7. n-ster

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    You are right, I'll do only mild OCing though, as I can't stand 2.667 Ghz and I'll be working with this PC sometimes xD 3.0~3.15Ghz should be fine. Also T1 should not be a problem for my D9JNMs (I'm tempted to do 1430~1500 cl9 xD Theses were ROCK stable at 1600 cl8 T1 or cl7 T2). Cooling is not a problem, it will have a Hyper 212+ + extra fan (check system specs) and 3x 140mm and 1x 120mm case fans.

    Both you and the one suggesting RAID 10 or 1 are right I think. RAID 5 has it's advantages and so does RAID 10 and 1. I'll have to compare them side by side.

    The PSU... That KingWin seems awesome, albeit pricey. Does High-quality also mean long lasting life? Also, are server PSUs an alternative?

    Your arguments for RAID are very good, thank you! I didn't see that perspective of keeping it simple. But aren't 3TB HDDs much more likely to fail?

    I don't think HDDs are only personal preference, I'll have to check enterprise HDDs. I've had bad experience with Hitachi... Have they gotten better? There are probably more reliable HDDs than others. Same for PSUs. Corsair HX is, frankly, the LOWEST END I am willing to go. I want something truly fantastic PSU wise.

    Special thanks for your post though ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  8. John Doe Guest

    Most PSU's today function for years actually, PSU life is kinda a moot point. The Golden Green platform used on that unit is solid, but if you want a cheap yet reliable unit, then most PSU's would do. Here is a server PSU made by Topower.

    Athena Power AP-P4ATX85FE SLI Ready Active PFC Sup...
     
  9. HTC

    HTC

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    RAID 10 is a viable option, as mentioned.

    Here's what my RAID 10 does, in regard to speeds: http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2393573&postcount=33.

    With RAID 10, you "lose" half of the HDDs size due to the mirroring and you need 4 HDDs minimum: it has good read and write speeds.

    With RAID 5, one of the HDDs will be used for parity and you'll need 3 HDDs minimum: it has good read speeds but bad write ones.

    Check this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuwjadbtUCY for better info.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
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  10. n-ster

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    But is a server PSU BETTER for 24/7? Or will the KingWin pwn them? :roll:

    I'm looking for 10 years of 24/7 use possibly, at least 6~8 years.

    I don't need fast Write speeds though... I'll check the video
     
  11. CrAsHnBuRnXp

    CrAsHnBuRnXp

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    Check my link in sig for RAID info.
     
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  12. John Doe Guest

    Tough question... no review includes long-term testing, but my Tagan 400W (which is a similar Topower) has been going on since 03. With that said, the Kingwin has Nippon Chemi-Con (Japanese) caps and better performance against Topower's cheaper Chinese Asia-X. Then again the Kingwin does not kick in it's fan till 60-70C while the Topower has 80mm push-pull.
     
  13. HTC

    HTC

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    Please note: like the dude in the video, i'm using a dedicated RAID card.

    Also, i split my 4 HDDs into 2 RAID types: 500 GBs with RAID 0 and the rest with RAID 10. There's a performance hit because of it.
     
  14. jmcslob

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  15. IlluminAce

    IlluminAce New Member

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    Not that I'm aware of. I haven't seen any such difference in manufacturer's MTBF stats, and wouldn't expect one either. It's like, if you bought a 500GB drive and a 1TB drive, you wouldn't necessarily expect the 1TB to fail before the 500GB. Many people like to think of HDD failure rates as somewhat related to number of platters, which is one of the reasons why Samsung's drives are popular - that and their speed, and the fact they don't have the poor reliability history of Seagate, and to some extent, Hitachi.

    Most modern HDDs tend to last ages, across all manufacturers - and especially when they're left running 24x7, with the settings set not to spin them down on inactivity. Unless they're subjected to a sharp shock whilst in use, drives tend to die on spinning up/down - stepper motor issues are the most common. I've owned more drives than I'd dare count. I've had two failures. The first was a Seagate failure after not too many years of standard use. The second was a drive, I think WD, after ~4-5 years of use, which died on spindown.

    I still wouldn't buy a Seagate to save my life, but in the back of my mind I sort of know what, were I to buy one, chances are, it would last as long as any other drive I've got. Basic HDD technology is so old now that the main manfucaturers have it down to a T, and whilst there are really cool innovations coming, the best ones are still a year or so off of consumer mainstream drives. Sure, there are still innovations, mostly related to bit density, but and most manufacturers do play it safe rather than risking their reputations by regularly ruining people's data.

    There are a few stats we get - avg error rate, normally 1 in 10^14 or 10^15, number of start/stop cycles, and MTBF (and kind of warranty period too). Across manufacturers, these are normally pretty similar. But I highlighted a couple of differences between the 3TB WD 5.4krpm and 3tb Hitachi 7.2krpm drives - that's an interesting comparison.

    So whilst I advise Samsung/Hitachi/WD (depending on what you want to prioritise), other people may advise others... I would argue it's mostly a matter of personal preference, although I do take your point :)

    Hmm, I don't know what it is you want - I'd suggest you'd be throwing your money away. Seriously. I can't see any point :wtf: All you need is a good PSU and an expensive surge protector. Read a few of the reviews on HardwareSecrets - try the HX850W, then try some of the Seasonic reviews. They step you through the different power stages of each quite nicely. There's also a decent guide on TPU somewhere about the different PSU stages, which can help your understanding.

    Then, with that base, try and work out what "more" you could want from a PSU... aside from a gold plated exterior, I must be missing something ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
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  16. John Doe Guest

    The HX850 is in fact made by CWT, it is a hotter working design. No proper heatsinks. Besides, it costs much/overkill.

    [​IMG]

    But yep, SeaSonics are solid.

    PC Power and Cooling Silencer 760W High Performanc...
     
  17. n-ster

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    Thanks will read it after this post. RAID 6 seems cool

    I wonder if there is a way to make the fan work all the time?

    I'll look at it... Any reason why?

    1TB HDDs are usually as safe as 500 GB theses days. I was under the impression that 2TB were less safe when the came out because they were still pretty new etc. and I saw lots of so-so review, and assumed the same for 3TB. This might not be true anymore though.

    I have the HX 850W (check my specs). It is a great PSU, but idk about the longevity. I was under the impression that the higher the quality of the PSU, the longer it will live no problem. This is why the KingWin seems so impressive to me. IDK if there are similar server PSUs that might be better for my use? Standard ATX size is a bonus.

    I want this PC to be able to function with an inch of dust everywhere
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  18. John Doe Guest

  19. n-ster

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    Hmmm, RAID 1+0, RAID 0+1, RAID 5+1 Raid 5+0... SO MANY HYBRIDS... gaah now I gotta wiki.

    I would love if the is a way to connect the Fan of the PSU to the mobo so that it runs 100% all the time LOL Ideally, 50% all the time.

    Any Recommendations for RAID cards? I'm getting interested.
     
  20. John Doe Guest

    lol yeah, PSU fans use a propriatery 2-pin connector IIRC. Anyway, you may want to ecshew the 120mm fan design. Overheaded fans push hot air on top of the topology; 80mm is the way to go as long as you do not care about noise. It creates a vacuum chamber to push hot air out of the back. The Silencer does this but... Silencer my ass. :D

    Actually, you will not be loading it much to push the fan.
     
  21. n-ster

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    That's the thing, the fan will never be on. I want it to be on, albeit at a normal speed.
     
  22. jmcslob

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    The WD RE editions are made with long term no touch reliability in mind..and they are made for RAID.(TLER)

    I have a couple older REs (250gb)that I use with a dock for backups and when I say old I mean like over 5 years old and still problem free...They simply outlived their usefulness....

    Date stamped on em WD RE16 manufacture date 30,july 2006 h
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
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  23. HTC

    HTC

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    Doesn't the board have a power fan connector? Isn't it possible to hook it up to that?
     
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  24. John Doe Guest

    The PSU doesn't use a 3-pin for it's fan, it is seperated from case fans. Connected to the controller board on the PSU.

    http://www.frozencpu.com/products/1...odular_Power_Supply_-_80Plus_GoldLZG-550.html
     
  25. n-ster

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    The reviews aren't the greatest though. And the drive is helluva expensive.

    The platinum is better than the Gold by enough for me to prefer that over the fan lol

    idk :p

    So RAID 10 is obviously better than RAID 01 for me. Now to investigate RAID 50 and 51.... Too high minimum disks so RAID 10 it is! No RAID card then :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011

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