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 Post subject: Is RAIDing 2 SSDs worth it?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:21 pm 
Coppermine
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This is one in a series of questions as I gear up to build my next computer. With this build I'd like to do the following:
* SLI
* OC
* RAIDing SSDs

My main reason for doing these things is because I want to learn and to say I've done it (I've done RAIDing but not the other two). Of course, the added performance is a plus. The only one I'm hesitant on is the RAIDing of SSDs - with the speed of current generation SSDs, I'm not sure if RAIDing would see an appreciable increase in speed. I'm looking at the following options:
* 2x256GB SSDs in RAID 0
* Single 480GB SSD

So I'm looking for an answer to my thread. Thoughts are appreciated. Also, does anyone have any experience with the Seagate, or Kingston line of SSDs? I originally was going with a Samsung 840 or Corsair Neutron but I'm open to suggestions.

Thanks is advance.

FYI, I anticipate 2 other threads coming shortly.


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 Post subject: Re: Is RAIDing 2 SSDs worth it?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:13 am 
Smithfield
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Here's my take on increasing memory speed. And I don't mean RAM, I mean any kind of memory.

The one thing people seem to not realize is that load times isn't just moving data from secondary memory to primary memory. There's also initializations that you have to do. Because it it were the case that that's all load times is, then you should see a linear decrease in load times for everything. But let's take Windows 7 for instance. As far as I know, the load times for a decently used Windows 7 system is about 45-50 seconds for an HDD (OS in it's own drive), 30 seconds for an SSD, and about 20 seconds for a RAM drive. But then you see that the HDD has about say 100MB/s peak transfer, the SSD has 550MB/s, and the RAM drive has about 8GB/s. If memory speed really improved performance, then how come Windows 7 didn't load instantly? Or better yet, if the SSD has 5 times the transfer rate, why did load times only decrease by 33%?

And my "theory" if you will, is further supported by the fact that Microsoft's fast boot on Windows 8 allows even an HDD based system to go from POST on to login screen within seconds, because fast boot saves driver states and skips their initializations.

So what should you take from this? Like everything else, it depends on if you need that transfer speed or not.


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 Post subject: Re: Is RAIDing 2 SSDs worth it?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:25 am 
Coppermine
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Thanks, LatiosXT.

I'm rethinking the use of RAIDing - mainly because of the potential for a drive failing. I'm not sure if increased speed outweighs the risk of drive failure.

Personally, I'm not so concerned with boot times as I am with large data transfers and game boot times.


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 Post subject: Re: Is RAIDing 2 SSDs worth it?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:55 am 
Thunderbird
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As a primary boot will decrease load times for a lot (to me) of money.

As a speed fix an SSD or RAID 0 SSD it is still at least ten times slower than RAM. So, if you aren't using virtual memory or temp file storage is pretty meaningless.

I guess my point is if what you do occurs in your RAM then what storage drive(s) you have have little effect on speed because you are already operating at your systems fastest and any visits to any drive slow things down forcing the CPU to wait longer. Extra RAM can be used to create a RAM drive to operate temp files (whose default locations for apps can be easily preset in Windows) within. And if enough RAM exists (including a 32-bit's 2Gb limitation in Windows) for any app to run in it makes few visits to any storage drive.

So is it worth it? Not with good planning for which you get optimal speed. On the other hand if you are fortunate enough that money is not an issue and you love being able to WOW! your friends and strangers with envy running artificial benchmarks go for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Is RAIDing 2 SSDs worth it?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:23 pm 
Coppermine
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Quote:
On the other hand if you are fortunate enough that money is not an issue and you love being able to WOW! your friends and strangers with envy running artificial benchmarks go for it.

I appreciate the feedback, FascistNation. And you hit on some great points.

Is money an issue? Yes and no. I don't want to be frivolous, but this is my one "treat" that I get to enjoy every few years. That being said, I am truly surprised at the price of SSDs - they haven't changed at all in the last 12 months; if anything, the prices have ticked up. I really expected SSDs to be cheaper than where they are now.

Do I love being able to WOW friends and family? Sure, who doesn't? I wouldn't go out of my way to brag (especially to friends and family - they would have no clue what I'm talking about), but if I were to describe my rig to another geek, I'm sure I'd "drop" that mine had SSDs running in RAID.

Impressing them (and me) with high artificial benchmarks? Now THAT'S the key. Artificial benchmarks have their place, but in designing a rig I don't want a computer that can "theoretically" hit high numbers in an artificial benchmark. I want a computer where I will see the benefit in everyday usage.

Do I expect 100% improvement? No. At the same time, I don't want to do it to see an incremental 10% increase either.

Since I've done RAIDs before, I'm not as concerned about doing this. I am still wavering on how I want my build to look: go with 1 large SSD to handle OS and games...or...get 2 separate SSDs: one for OS, one for games.

Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Is RAIDing 2 SSDs worth it?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:00 pm 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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Just go with one. Two often comes with a higher price tag and more to worry about.


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 Post subject: Re: Is RAIDing 2 SSDs worth it?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:59 pm 
Coppermine
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I think I'll be going with the Agility 3 480GB. I've had really good experience with my other Agility 3 SSDs (I have one in my desktop holding my games; another I inserted in my laptop) and it's only $300. I know it's not quite as nice as the 500GB 840, but I'm not sure I can justify the $50 increase. Still, it's the other option.

Thanks, LatiosXT and FascistNation - you guys have been a tremendous help and I appreciate you guys letting me bounce some ideas off of you.


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 Post subject: Re: Is RAIDing 2 SSDs worth it?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:38 pm 
8086
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I would advise for at least an Agility 4 due to its increased performance in writing and lack of SandForce controller (though it does lag behind in read benchmarks). Mostly because of the latter, I'm not a fan of the SandForce and its quirks like different speeds depending upon the "compressibility" of data. Though since the Agility is the OCZ "budget" drive and you're treating yourself to some cool tech here I'd say to go with your original plan to grab some "top shelf" ssd(s).

I'd say to go ahead and RAID them for fun. While the increased speed might not make that much of a difference in many areas, transferring files at speeds faster than that of a single SATA III port would allow is fun.


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