Understanding the Use of RAID 0 for Gaming PCs

Some of the most demanding games of today require more than just a capable PC. For you to get a decent framerate playing heavy titles, you need a capable processor, enough RAM and a good GPU. It doesn’t stop there either. A set of fast hard drives or SSDs are needed to prevent bottlenecks and create a fluid, speedy gaming experience.

When it comes to getting the most speed from hard drives, the right RAID configuration can make a huge difference. There are some interesting options to choose from, but the one that provides the most speed improvement is RAID 0.

What is RAID 0?

RAID 0 combines multiple hard drives into a set of strips. The storage space of each hard drive is added to the mix, so combining two 1TB hard drives in RAID 0 allows you to get 2TB of pooled storage space to use.

What makes RAID 0 special is the way it handles writing files to hard drives. Instead of writing multiple copies of the same file the way RAID 1 does, RAID 0 takes one file and splits it into multiple parts. Each part gets written to a different drive in a round-robin cycle.

The result is a faster writing speed; a much faster writing speed to be exact. Depending on the other hardware in use, RAID 0 can present speed improvements of up to 180% compared to a single hard drive setup.

RAID 0 with SSDs

Modern SSDs are already very fast, but that doesn’t mean you can’t configure them in RAID 0 to push their speeds even further. Two SSDs with an average read and write speed of around 500 megabytes per second will result in a setup that can utilize almost all of the theoretical SATA III speed. The setup can eliminate any bottleneck completely.

RAID 0 with SSDs is also considered safer, since SSDs don’t really have moving parts. The rate of failure in SSDs is much lower than that of hard drives, making the whole RAID 0 setup more reliable in the long run.

Speaking of reliability….

RAID 0 Reliability and Security

If you do want to utilize RAID 0 to speed up your computer, there are a few things you need to know. First, always configure RAID 0 with a set of reliable hard drives. Some hard drives, including newer ones designed for RAID use, have a lower failure rate and are the better options for RAID configurations.

SSDs are definitely better. Instead of buying one 500GB SSD, you can opt for two 250GB SSDs and enjoy the speed boost at the same time. Similar to hard drives, always stick to SSDs with a proven performance and reliability history for maximum security.

There is one additional safety net you can count on: data recovery. Today, RAID failure doesn’t always end with complete data loss. Some of the best RAID failure recovery solutions are more than capable of restoring failed RAID arrays, including RAID 0 arrays with one or multiple failing hard drives. This makes the use of RAID 0 even more recommended for gaming.