RAID with n-Track

Good Idea? Which Type?

Hi there,

Just beginning the process of looking for a new PC and headed straight for my fave supplier Dell. They are currently offering my preferred model with a choice of RAID 0 (2 x 160GB drives used in alternating clusters to give 320GB total capacity with improved performance due to splitting the data between the two drives, but no mirroring involved) or RAID 1 (2 x 160GB drives fully mirrored to give 160GB capacity, no improved performance but full disaster recovery potential.

Is it a good idea to run n-Track (or indeed any multi-track recording software) using RAID? And if so, which is the best option?

My instinct would be that RAID 0 with better and faster disk performance would work better, but I like the idea of having the two mirrored drives in case something untoward occurs.

Anyone use either of these configurations?


I’ve used Raid 0 (Sector Interleaving) with recording -I can’t say that it offered any performance improvement over a single disk. I was recording 8 channels at a time, and playing back up to 25. If I had been recording 20+ channels at a time, I may have seen some benefit - I dunno. I was using a “promise” ATA133 raid card - it was transparent to applications so there were no problems with it.

The downside is that if one drives kicks the proverbial bucket - eveything is lost. If you want to put in new drives it costs twice as much and takes longer to format.

Mirroring would give you peace of mind at least.


unfortunately real world performance shows no real advantage to a RAID 0 setup. In theory it should be much faster, but there are other bottlenecks and it isn’t. Do RAID 1 and get automatic backup.

About half my clients ask for RAID-0. I use a RAID-0 configuration (2 - SATA 80 GB drives) on my DAW (using nTrack) & I get very good performance. I beg to differ with the others - RAID-0 should give you 10 - 20% better performance). Performance is important to me because I do 96/24 work and I have very large audio files.

RAID-1 is great for disaster recovery and usually is only used in server situations, so it’s alittle overkill for home use. Just get an extra drive & backup your material frequently.

You always need an effective backup/recovery strategy regardless of whether you use RAID or not. Don’t get confused by the argument that RAID makes you more vulnerable, etc.

Do you mind me asking what the Dell costs? You can check out my machines at the web site below. I’ll build you whatever you want.

Theres been quite a few threads on this in the past. Generally throughput is much higher, nearly 2x, but unless you’re running a stupid number of long tracks you won’t see much difference. I was running it, but went back to a single large drive that was about 2/3rds as fast as the raid0 I had set up.