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 Post subject: Help deciding to RAID SSD or not
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:25 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 12:22 pm
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Currently I have a 128GB Crucial C300 SSD that I installed my WIN 7 OS and programs/games to. It is getting full and contemplating either purchasing another 128GB or 256GB SSD and doing RAID 0 to combine them just for increased capacity. I have a 1TB regular hard drive that i store all my music/pics/videos/backups/miscellaneous on already. My motherboard is an ASUS P8Z68-V.

My question is, will i have to re-install my OS and everything if i did buy another SSD and RAID it? Also do I need to purchase any additional hardware such as a RAID Controller or will my mobo handle all of that? Thank you for the help.


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 Post subject: Re: Help deciding to RAID SSD or not
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:06 am 
Clawhammer
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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Chances are you will need reformat since the hard drives need to know how to write its files. And rather than try to save the current state of the file system, it'd just be easier to format and start from scratch (it could probably be done... but it's probably a big headache).

Motherboards these days can also do RAID 0, 1, or 5. You may get better performance out of a dedicated RAID controller, but it'll depend on how much you're willing to spend.


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 Post subject: Re: Help deciding to RAID SSD or not
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:11 am 
Million Club - 2 Plus
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Just another option if you did not know was using your SSD as a cache for your HDD. Since you have a Z68 board, you can run Intel SRT which does this. Here are some instructions on how to set-up SRT.

You can only use up to 64gigs of your SSD as a cache but the rest of the space is still usable. You can use this to install a few choice games.


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 Post subject: Re: Help deciding to RAID SSD or not
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:32 pm 
Clawhammer
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As a caveat to caching however, it won't show it's performance until you've done something for a while, as Windows has no effin' clue what it should be caching.


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 Post subject: Re: Help deciding to RAID SSD or not
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:04 pm 
Boy in Black
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RAID can also hurt some parts of having an SSD. When you use onboard RAID, it's software RAID and must BOOT that during the POST (or vise versa?). Even having a spendy/dedicated RAID card in there still has a BOOT sequence and can lower times a lot. What you get out of it in the end is huge throughput speeds, or about 1/3 faster when RAID'ing SSD's. Is faster throughput than a single SSD really the goal here and damn any negatives of RAID bringing to the party?

It's seldom that the negatives of RAID get brought up as it's such an ancient Sword in the Stone level of performance that we've had to just deal with them and just whip that sucker out. The down falls then weren't that big of a deal. But when a single drive standard can one-up any spindle array in any arena, then I have to ask why someone would do this to such a winning drive. There's just very few cases that would lead me to stating "yeah, RAID them SSD's". Here, it ain't going to be JBOD or R-Zero.

Not with these prices. You should easily be more able to purchase a 256GB current SSD than it is to Hardware RAID0 a couple 120G drives (Software RAID, not an option). What to do with this other 120G drive that's full? Put them in any other machine you can think of. Will this 256G SSD grow small in time? Yup. Just like the RAID-5 74G Raptors of 10+years ago.

We as MPC have been through this fire before. Speed, capacity? They matter not to the monetary funds of the enthusiast.


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 Post subject: Re: Help deciding to RAID SSD or not
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:19 pm 
Team Member Top 500
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For most people, software RAID (motherboard based) is fine, and matches or beats some add-in cards in regards to performance.

Why RAID SSD's... in my case I hate waiting for programs to open. 14-18 seconds for Photoshop / Premier Pro to open on a single SATA III HDD, wtf... Using motherboard based RAID-0 & a pair of SATA III 120GB SSD's Photoshop & Premiere Pro now opens in about 2 seconds. BTW, I've seen results for $500 - $600 add-in hardware based RAID controllers on these same SSD's, the extra 2 - 4% read/write speed increase, not worth the cost IMO. Of course, different motherboards may show different levels of performance based on BIOS, RAID controller, & drivers.

Boot times are also noticeably faster on my system under RAID-0 on those SSD's, 12-14 seconds faster in Win 7 Pro, 22-26 seconds faster in Win 8 consumer preview (not current "Release Preview"), that's after adding the delay from the RAID controller having to initiallize before Windows can start up.

If you can swing it. you might consider a 256GB OCZ Vertex 4 SSD (currently $210 at newegg before M.I.R.), for your primary drive. Then use your current SSD, as Airheadq suggested, to create a hybrid drive with your HDD for improved throughput there, & enjoy the best of both worlds... BTW & FYI, a single Vertex 4 256GB SSD has better read/write performance (in AS-SSD & Crystal Disk Mark) than my RAID-0 SSD's (2x Mushkin Chronos 120GB SATA III) by about 10% - 15% :|


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