RAID 1 VS. RAID 5: Overall Performance Discrepancies

Have you ever wonder about RAID 1 vs RAID 5, which is better in terms of speed, storage, read and write performance? Let's find out!

RAID 1 and RAID 5 may sound similar, but these two are different RAID levels. While their processes may differ, the two configurations (RAID 5, RAID 1) are geared towards the same purpose – fault tolerance. This article will discuss the differences between these two RAID levels and how you can utilize them in boosting the performance of your storage devices.

  • RAID 1 is a process of duplicating data on storage drives. It usually uses two drives but can be more if required. This process of data mirroring ensures that you can still access your data in the event of disks or drives failure.
  • RAID 5, on the other hand, is also a configuration that is aimed at ensuring fault tolerance. However, this configuration does not mirror or duplicate data. Instead, it makes use of striping, distributed parity, and checksum. This means that in this array, data is similarly striped across numerous drives to that of RAID.

However, unlike RAID 0, it stores parity data. And unlike RAID 4 that uses a single drive to store parity information, the parity information in RAID 5 is distributed across the drives. This makes it easier to recover data after a disk failure, as the parity information will have to be pieced together from the different drives storing them.

Now that we have examined the definitions and processes between RAID 1 and RAID 5 let’s proceed to discuss the difference in the performance of these two levels.

Read and write operation speed comparison

Read and write operation speed comparison RAID 1 VS RAID 5 | TTR Data Recovery

The first performance comparison that will be discussed is the speed of the read and write operation of the drives used in these processes.

Both of the arrays have fast read operations. The reason for the fast read performance is the parallel readability of the data in both processes. However, RAID 1 has a quicker read operation than RAID 5. this is because when a read request is sent to the drives in a RAID 1 configuration, the fastest disk sends the data back to the RAID controller.

The write performance speed, on the other hand, is another ball game entirely. Both of the RAID processes have a slow write performance, which isn’t far fetched. The processes involved in both configuration causes this drag in the write operation. However, the write performance in RAID 1 is much slower than that of RAID 5.

This is because once a written request is sent to drives in a RAID 1 array, data will have to be written to all the disks in the array. Hence the write operation will be as slow as the slowest drive in the array. The cause of the drag in the write operation of RAID 5 is the overhead parity calculations that have to be carried out before the operation’s complete execution.

If you’re having a problem with your RAID Recovery, our expert engineers at TTR Data Recovery are always here to help!

What are the advantages of RAID 5 over RAID 1?

What Are The Advantages Of Raid 5 Over Raid 1 Raid 1 Vs Raid 5 Ttr Data Recovery

The RAID 5 array has some advantageous edge over the RAID 1 array. Some of these beneficial edges are discussed below:

Efficiency in storage capacity

RAID 5 helps to optimize the storage capacity of the drives in an array. This is because it strips data and stores parity information across the drives in the array. The total space wastage is 33%, a percentage that could be reduced to 25% if four drives instead of three are used.

This means that RAID 5 is more cost-effective with regards to storage than RAID 1.

Faster write operation

As explained above, the RAID 5 array has a faster write operation than that of RAID 1.

Accessing data during a failed drive rebuild

You can access data from disks in your RAID 5 array even when a failed disk is trying to rebuild. Although this process may be slow, it is an advantage over RAID 1, which requires a shut down of the RAID array during a rebuilding process.

Final Verdict: RAID 1 vs. RAID 5; Which one is better overall?

Which One Is Better Overall Raid1 Vs Raid 5 Ttr Data Recovery

Between these two categories of RAID level (RAID 1, RAID 5), choosing the better process overall will require some considerations. Part of the considerations includes the number of drives that you need to use.

While RAID 5 uses at least three disks and RAID 1 uses at least two disks, it should be remembered that you can achieve more space efficiency with RAID 5 than with RAID 1.


In summary, a better overall process between the two categories of RAID levels (RAID 1, RAID 5) will depend on your resources and your requirements with regards to storage spaces and read/write operations.


Why is RAID 5 bad?

RAID 5 is bad because it only protects your data against one disk failure. This protection doesn’t involve multiple disks failures.

How reliable is RAID 1?
Of all the RAID configurations (including RAID 0, RAID 5, RAID 4, and the rest), RAID 1 has the most reliable method of protecting data due to the mirroring process.
What is the advantage of RAID 5 over RAID 1?

The RAID 5 array has some advantageous edge over the RAID 1 array, including efficient storage space, accessibility to data during disk rebuild, and much more.

Is RAID 5 faster than a single drive?

No, it is not faster than a single drive. It might even be slower.

Is RAID 5 the best?
Selecting the best array will depend on a lot of factors, including resources, preferences, and user requirements. You should consider all of these variables before deciding which array is best for you.

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.

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