RAID 5 VS. RAID 6 Which is better?

RAID 5 VS RAID 6 are two widely used levels. RAID 6 uses both striping and parity techniques. It also utilizes two independent parity functions unlike RAID 5.
In this user guide we’re going to discuss and compare RAID 5 or RAID 6.

RAID 6 uses both striping and parity techniques. Unlike RAID 5, RAID 6 utilizes two independent parity functions. These are written in two member disks. Typically, one of these parities is the same as RAID 5 (XOR function). The second one is more complex.

You are probably asking, “why should I use RAID?”

RAID arrays can be useful because they can help prevent data loss when one or more the hard drives fail. Most of the time, there is no downtime during a drive failure if you are using RAID.

There are many RAID levels to choose from. RAID 5 VS RAID 6 are two widely used RAID levels. So, how will you know which RAID level is best suited for your needs?

Let’s dissect each array further.

RAID 5 vs RAID 6: Comparison

Usage: RAID 5 vs RAID 6

Usage RAID 5 VS RAID 6 | TTR Data Recovery

If you are a small- to medium-size company, RAID 5 is a good level to use. RAID 5 is ideal for servers with a limited number of hard drives, from 3 to 17. It is a good all-around storage system. Learn more about What is RAID 5.

RAID 5 is efficient and offers a good compromise of performance and security. It is popular for home-users because they do not require large storage space.

RAID 6 on the other hand, is ideal for servers with larger data storage drives. Like RAID 5, it is a good all-around data storage system. RAID 6 offers a good compromise between performance and security. RAID 6 array is an efficient data storage system and can be useful for enterprise-level storage.

RAID 6 is widely used by large companies that require more storage and high security management.

Which is faster; RAID 5 or RAID 6?

  • Read Speed
    Read speed for both RAID 5 and RAID 6 are roughly the same.
  • Write Speed
    RAID 5 has a faster write speed compared to RAID 6.

Overall, RAID 6 allows for a smoother performance because there are no delays or hang time, unlike RAID 5.

RAID 5 vs RAID 6; which has more capacity?

Because the RAID 6 array uses a higher quantity of larger storage drives, it has a larger capacity compared to RAID 5. However, it also depends on the size and the number of drives you are actually using.

RAID 5 only requires one drive for overhead while RAID 6 requires two.

Safety Features: RAID 5 vs RAID 6

Safety Features Raid 5 V Raid 6 | Ttr Data Recovery

How many drives can I lose in RAID 6? – RAID 6 is more secure than RAID 5 because you can lose up to two drives without losing data. You can only lose one disk with RAID 5. RAID 5 data recovery is challenging when two or more drives fail.


How safe is RAID 6? If we have to compare RAID 5 vs RAID 6, RAID 6 is generally safer and faster compared to RAID 5. Your data is safe despite multiple drive failures.

Data Restoration Time

RAID 5 data recovery takes a day or longer to restore and access data. It depends on the load of the array. The speed of the RAID controllers also affects the time it takes to restore data.

RAID 6 takes a much longer time to restore and recover data from failed drives. This is expected because RAID 6 uses larger drives. This means it has more data in storage.


RAID 5 requires fewer drives, so you can use smaller-sized drives which are less expensive.

The downside is RAID 5 arrays have become rare nowadays. Finding some may be a bit of a challenge. So, if you are using one, you might have a hard time with your RAID 5 data recovery. Check out our RAID data recovery solutions.

On the other hand, RAID 6 requires at least four large storage drives. Building a RAID 6 array is very expensive.

Sometimes, you must look beyond the cost when deciding between RAID 5 vs RAID 6.

Here are more comparisons for RAID 5 vs RAID 6:

How does RAID 6 work | TTR Data Recovery

How does RAID 6 work?

RAID 6 array requires at least four large data drives. It uses two parity drives. This means it divides data across multiple hard drives.


When one or two drives fail, your important data is still intact and accessible.

What are the benefits of RAID 5?

Let’s compare RAID 5 vs RAID 6. RAID 5 stripes data and parity evenly across all drives. There is no data congestion.

For RAID 5 users, this means fast performance.

Is RAID 5 okay for SSD?

RAID 5 can run on SSDs. SSDs don’t have Unrecoverable Read Error or URE, which is common with RAID 5.

This means…

The UREs in RAID 5 are balanced out by the absence of UREs in SSD.

Why is RAID 5 deprecated?

Why Is Raid 5 Deprecated | Ttr Data Recovery

RAID 5 is being deprecated because it is obsolete. The risk is high when using RAID 5. This is because you only have an allowance of one drive failure. After that, you risk losing all the important data.

When deciding between RAID 5 vs RAID 6, remember to always go with an up-to-date option and one that fits your data storage, cost, and security needs.

Why is RAID 5 Bad?

RAID 5 is “bad” because it has many errors and generally does not work anymore, since it is outdated. It has UREs and small storage capacity. The risk of losing important data is high.

The moment you lose a second drive, your data may be lost forever.

Why are RAID 5 arrays becoming more and more rare?

RAID 5 has stopped working since 2009. It has become less popular since then. Businesses have used RAID 5 less and less.

Comparing RAID 5 vs RAID 6, RAID 6 is a much better option compared to RAID 5. Chances are, you will end up with more issues than benefits if you use RAID 5.

RAID 5 is obsolete and should be replaced with better alternatives. Or you can simply opt for RAID 6. Your data is safer and more secure with RAID 6

We recommend RAID 6 for your data storage needs. It may be relatively expensive, but it can be considered an investment. Giving top priority to data security means investing time, money and personnel.

Hopefully our RAID 5 vs RAID 6 comparison will help you with your storage decisions.

Tommy Kh | Ttr Data Recovery

About the Author
Tommy Khamoushi, Data Recovery Expert

Tommy Khamoushi is an IACRB-certified Data Recovery Engineer and a Certified Forensic Computer Investigator. He has more than 20 years of experience in data recovery including providing technical support for the House of Representatives.

Tommy leads a team of data recovery engineers and experts at TTR Data Recovery to recover highly sensitive data for government agencies like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and enterprise businesses using advanced and proprietary techniques and processes.

Connect with Tommy on LinkedIn.