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I am wanting to setup a computer(actually multiple with the same setup) to build and compile programs. Security of the data is not important, and space for the most part is not important. (as in, 40G is plenty)

I have 2 40G IDE harddrives(UDMA) of different types (One is Western Digital, the other Seagate)

Which level of RAID would be the best for this setup? I will be using softraid(4) which offers RAID levels 0,1,4, and 5.

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Two 40GB IDE harddrives? Where did you find those? That's gotta be at least 7 or 8 years old. – davr Mar 16 '10 at 4:14
Yup, I collect random junk. lol course, I keep my valuable stuff on my computer that is only like 2 years old.. but yea – Earlz Mar 16 '10 at 4:20
I'm curious to see how Raid 4 & 5 would run on 2 drives ;) – Jakub Mar 16 '10 at 4:23
Well.. erhm... yea.. I have a third drive.. but meh.. – Earlz Mar 16 '10 at 4:24
up vote 3 down vote accepted

RAID0 is best for this application, since even though you will be doubling the chance of failure, you said security is not important. Compilation is very I/O-intensive (much more so than CPU-intensive), and the extra speed gain from use of RAID0 would make a big difference in your compile times. I would go with a fairly small or middle-of-the-road stripe size from the options your RAID hardware (or software) offers you.

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and you'll need any extra speed you can get out of those crusty old drives – emgee Mar 16 '10 at 5:31

Raid 0 is for speed at the expense of doubling the likelihood of a HDD failure. Raid 1 is for security - hopefully one drive dies, the other is still good. Raid 4 no one uses currently. Raid 5 - you can't do since you need 3 drives minimum.

You could also use two drives - set autobackups or possibly a subversion repository to the second drive - which is probably best.

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