NVIDIA RAID best practices

Last Update: 2010/08/01

 Choose the right array configuration.

In general, for better throughput of non‐critical data, use RAID 0.  RAID 0 is good for I/O limited applications like non linear editing, Photoshop "scratch disks", etc.  In general RAID will not make your game run faster.  For basic fault tolerance, use RAID1 or RAID 5.  If you would like to use RAID on your boot drive RAID-1 offers good performance and fault tolerance.  RAID5 is more suitable for a file server where high data availability is desired.  We suggest keeping the boot drive and the data array seperate but Boot Arrays are supported.

For better throughput as well as fault tolerance use RAID 0+1.

See “About NVIDIA® MediaShield™ Storage” users guide on page 1 for detailed descriptions of the different types of RAID arrays.


• Backup all important data.

RAID is not a backup solution so do not rely on it as a single disaster protection plan.  It serves as redundancy for failed hard drives only depending on the RAID level. With the introduction of large inexpensive hard drive storage for the desktop it is very easy for one to store large amounts of data.  It is important to at least backup any critical data files on a weekly basis.  If anything happens to the computer be it multiple disk failures, viruses, software or other hardware issues you will be in a position to restore your data and not lose much productivity.

Backup copies of data or complete disk images can be made to a local drives, offline drives, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, Blu-ray 25/50GB. Modern Backup software can even image/clone a whole RAID array.  This is even more important with large arrays Terabyte arrays as one can get a false sense of security and fill the drives with enorumus amounts of data regardless of redundancy of the RAID subsystem.

• Use an Uninturrptable power supply.

NVIDIA RAID only supports data integrity upon a graceful shutdown.  Use an uninterruptible power supply with your PC or  know as a (UPS)  if possible.  A UPS  is a device which maintains a continuous supply of power to connected computer by supplying power from a separate battery source when utility power is not available.  A properly sized UPS will allow you to backup your data and gracefully shutdown your computer in the event of a power outtage.

• Avoid excessive heat and drive vibration.

Desktop hard drives are a non volatile storage device that rotates magnetic platters at up to 10,000 revolutions per minute.  It is important to mount the drives in a vibration free computer case or drive chassis to ensure long life.  Also airflow over high speed 7200 to 10,000 RPM drives is recommened to keep them cool.

• Ensure file integrity.

Schedule runs of a disk utility to check for file system errors.  Such tools are built into the Windows Operating System.  Thereafter, defragment the array to increase disk performance.

• Use the latest RAID BIOS and updated RAID Driver.

The RAID BIOS updates are incorporated into a motherboards System BIOS.  Therefore, to get updates you must contact your motherboard manufacturer.  Before any RAID BIOS or nForce driver updates perform a complete backup of your array.