Although read access on a three-drive array is faster than on a single drive (read access is calculated as n times the number of drives for RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 and 1,0), write performance is abysmal -- 75% that of a single drive! This lack of performance becomes evident as system slowdowns occur during heavy write operations, especially single-threaded ones.
If price is a consideration, a simple RAID 1 (i.e., hardware-mirrored) pair will perform more consistently. In fact, write operations will be 33% greater than a three-drive RAID 5 setup.
Another option is to add one more drive and chose RAID 1,0. If you choose this route, read performance will be 33% greater than three-drive RAID 5, and write performance will be 2.7 times greater.
Rating this tip below will let us know how useful it was to you. And if you have a Windows tip, timesaver or workaround to share, submit it to our
tip contest. You could win a $150 gift certificate.
This was first published in June 2007