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Any RAID controller overhead on XPS420 with single disk

Hi,

 

I have an XPS 420 with single Hitachi 500Gb Hard Drive.

 

As shipped, the built-in SATA controller in the BIOS is defaulted at RAID ON.

 

I was planning to improve system performance by installing a couple of SATA drives in RAID 0 but i've seen many mentions of RAID problems with the XPS 420 so it looks like a single drive is a safer alternative and i'm thinking of installing a Seagate 1TB drive which should have better performance that the Hitachi (according the the benchmarks i've seen).

 

So.... when using a single drive, is there any difference in performance between the two BIOS options (SATA/IDE auto detect and RAID ON).

 

 

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Re: Any RAID controller overhead on XPS420 with single disk

I can't speak on performance, but RAID was set on to enable the use of the eSATA port...If RAID is turened off, the eSATA will not work...

XPS 420 with Vista Ultimate 64-bit - Q6700 - 8 GB 800 MHZ Mushkin RAM - 2 500 GB Samsung - 425 Watt PSU

Nvidia 8800gt - 24" Gateway LCD

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Re: Any RAID controller overhead on XPS420 with single disk


@packerFan07 wrote:
I can't speak on performance, but RAID was set on to enable the use of the eSATA port...If RAID is turened off, the eSATA will not work...

 

Thanks for the heads up.

 

I was planning on moving the current 500Gb drive to an eSATA enclosure as a backup drive. I will leave it set to RAID ON.

 

 

 

 

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Re: Any RAID controller overhead on XPS420 with single disk


@CustomPC wrote:

@packerFan07 wrote:
I can't speak on performance, but RAID was set on to enable the use of the eSATA port...If RAID is turened off, the eSATA will not work...

 

Thanks for the heads up.

 

I was planning on moving the current 500Gb drive to an eSATA enclosure as a backup drive. I will leave it set to RAID ON.


 

Hello CustomPC, Since the XPS420 does have Raid0 issues, it is hard to measure the performance using Raid0.

 

I have reverted to a single drive and the performance increase over the Raid0 is substantial.

 

This is another indication that the Intel Raid chipset and/or Dell drivers have issues.

 

You can add another hard drive to the XPS420 as your primary drive and use the original drive as a backup and leave it installed in the case.

 

I have a total of three drives installed. I still have the Raid0 array installed and it still works, although not correctly.

 

I just use the boot option to boot from the single disk. I can quickly return to the Raid array by changing the boot order and see the differnce in performace degraded immediately.

 

Hope this helps.

 

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Re: Any RAID controller overhead on XPS420 with single disk

Hi Hanspuppa,

 

Can you tell me what make/model/size drives you have in your Raid Array and the same for the single disk?

 

Almost every thread that i've seen seems to relate to Samsung drives failing in the RAID array and I can't recall seeing any mention of other brands failing, although there may well be and i've missed it.

 

 

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Re: Any RAID controller overhead on XPS420 with single disk


CustomPC wrote: Hi Hanspuppa,

Can you tell me what make/model/size drives you have in your Raid Array and the same for the single disk?


 

Hello CustomPC, The drives in my system are all the same make, model, speed, cache.

 

I prefer not to mention the Brand name since this issue is not a fault of the drives, but a fault of the XPS420 Intel chipset or the Dell drivers for it, or a combination of both.

 

They are not Samsung drives.

 

They are all new and only the date of manufacture is a little different on the drive that came with the system.

 

I have tried the Raid0 array with every different configuration of drives and have had OS corroption on every Raid0 array I have created on three different systems.

 

I am not the only one to have experienced this. Most users do not use Raid of any flavor, so Dell is not going to do anything about it.

 

Hope this helps.

 

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Re: Any RAID controller overhead on XPS420 with single disk

Hanspuppa,

 

first of all, my Raid 0 works fine now! Smiley Happy

There are a few things you have to take care of if you reinstall your system and use Raid.

The drivers you need for that are basicly from Intel and not from Dell.

Like the chipset driver for the X38 Chipset.

Many drivers from dell are customized but I am pretty sure that the Intel based Drivers like chipset and Raidcontroller more original as customized.

 

If you read the Install instructions for your System you will find maybe the answer for your issues....

 

cu

dschieses

 

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Re: Any RAID controller overhead on XPS420 with single disk


@dschieses wrote:

Hanspuppa,

 

first of all, my Raid 0 works fine now! Smiley Happy

There are a few things you have to take care of if you reinstall your system and use Raid.

The drivers you need for that are basicly from Intel and not from Dell.

Like the chipset driver for the X38 Chipset.

Many drivers from dell are customized but I am pretty sure that the Intel based Drivers like chipset and Raidcontroller more original as customized.

 

If you read the Install instructions for your System you will find maybe the answer for your issues....

 

cu

dschieses


Hello dschieses, Thanks for the information. This is not the first Raid0 system I have worked with.

 

I have built Raid0 systems for about 12 years now without any issues at all, so I know how to set up Raid0 arrays.

 

I have worked with computers for 28 years, so I have a very good idea when a system does not perform as it should.

 

I tried both the Dell and Intel drivers with the same results.

 

I tried the Raid0 array on different hard drive configurations without success on 3 different systems.

 

I am not the only person with these issues.

 

Google shows this to be a major issue that Dell refuses to acknowledge.

 

If yours is working fine, that is great. Mine will not.

 

Thanks again for the information.

 

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Re: Any RAID controller overhead on XPS420 with single disk

Hey Hanspuppa,

 

just try to suggest to look behind the things like drivers and manufactures.......

But with 12 years of expreince in raid arrays you sure know what to do. 🙂

 

Hope it will worke out for you anyway.

 

cu

dschieses

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Re: Any RAID controller overhead on XPS420 with single disk

I've done a bit of Googling and it appears that there is some link between Apple iTunes/Quicktime and RAID problems.

 

Initially it was a combination of Intel RAID, Microsoft and iTunes but there are also reports of iTunes corrupting Nvidia and 3rd party RAID arrays so it's probably an Apple/Microsoft issue.

 

Do either of you use iTunes and/or Quicktime?

 

 

Message Edited by CustomPC on 10-08-2008 05:31 PM
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Re: Any RAID controller overhead on XPS420 with single disk

Hello dschieses, Thanks for the input. I have already made the decision to purchase an addon Raid controller card.

 

This card will be a hardware controller as opposed to the Dell-Intel software driven card which is vastly more inferior.

 

All I need to do is a little more research to find the card that will work as I need it to.

 

The prices of these cards vary from around $100.00 to upwards of $1,000.00.

 

My only issue is that the Dell advertised XPS420 will not work as advertised and Dell refuses to address this.

 

Other than the Raid0 array issue, I have no problem with the XPS420 system. It performs very well when on a single drive. I couldn't ask for better performance for the money.

 

But my requirements are such that since the XPS420 is limited to 3 hard drives, I have to have a Raid0 array to do what I have to do.

 

I could go into more detail but that would not be productive.

 

I have another system on my desk that I have been using to do the things that I need to do.

 

It is not a Dell, but a personnally built system that outperforms the Dell system hands down.

 

I needed another system immediately so I purchased the Dell and have had problems with it for 8 months now.

 

I received a call from Dell Corporate today and advised they would do nothing to correct my issues.

 

The Corporate person advised that Dell did not have this issue with the XPS 420.

 

If you "Google" this you will see otherwise.

 

Hope this helps to give an idea of what has been going on here.

 

Edit: I have experienced this issue with nothing installed but the OS at least 10 times with all the various configurations.

 

 

 

 

Message Edited by Hanspuppa on 10-08-2008 05:40 PM
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Re: Any RAID controller overhead on XPS420 with single disk

I use it on my Mac Book pro but not on the XPS well known that many issues are related to itunes on MS OS´s especially on Vista 😞

 

 

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Re: Any RAID controller overhead on XPS420 with single disk

Hey Hans again 🙂

I have my Sytem since January i alredy done a lots of research related to most of the issues i read here.

Like the XFi Gamer card, the bluetooth card reader, raid, xcellerator etc etc etc.

 

Most of the time i find out that most of the users don´t follow the install instructions of the driver installation.

Yes its just that simple 😞

With your experiance you know how important it is to follow theses instructions.

 

Did you have connectet a external esata hdd? just woundering cause this could be a issue as well.

In my case as example the Freeagent runs perfect for some reason i don´t know and understand the WD Mybook pro needs a complete System restart to work propper.

 

Just a few suggest again 🙂

 

I read ya 🙂

dschieses

Message Edited by dschieses on 10-08-2008 06:12 PM
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Re: Any RAID controller overhead on XPS420 with single disk

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Re: Any RAID controller overhead on XPS420 with single disk

Hello dschieses, I have onboard audio (Sigmatel). I created the Raid0 array but pressing ctrl+I to enter the Intel Raid setup.

 

I followed the instructions on the screen to create the Raid0 array. Rebooted and with the DVD in the optical drive, the Vista install proceeded.

 

A few screens later, I was asked which drive to install the OS on and I chose the Raid0 array.

 

The install process continued and with the normal reboots, finished in about 25 minutes. I then installed the Dell and/or Intel chipset drivers, rebooted and then installed the Nvidia drivers, rebooted and then the other drivers.

 

The system worked very well. Fast, responsive, boot times between 1 -1.5 minutes. All was good. Then after a few days use, the system boot times slowed to about 5 minutes, the programs that open instantly took 10-30 seconds to open.

 

Then the lockups, system hangs for up to one minute. All this with nothing but the OS. I then reinstalled the OS and installed the anti-virus, went to Microsoft for all the updates and all worked well for a few days and the same thing all over again. 

 

I have downloaded and tried every driver for this system I could find in an effort to get it to work.

 

If I were the only one with this issue, I would take a hard look at what I was doing or not doing.

 

But I am not the only one with this issue.

 

Thanks for your input in an effort to help me with this system.