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Multiple SSD Drives - RAID0 or Separate

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June 28, 2013 11:23:39 AM

I am going to be building a new system soon and wondering about the best route to take.

I have 3 SSDs, all Samsung 840Pros, 2x128GB and 1x256GB. The last computer I built for a coworker has similar 3 drives, setup separate, 1 for the main OS, 1 for programs (using SymLink so Windows views it as part of the C: drive), and 1 for files (with the Users folder SymLink on it). Works great, very fast, no problems.

My question is, can I squeeze more performance out of it? Is there a better setup? I envision a number possible setups:

I. 3 separate drives, OS/Programs/Files (same as coworkers)
II. 2 Drives in RAID0 with two partitions, one for OS and one for Programs, with a separate drive for Files
III. 2 Drives in RAID0 with one partition for OS and Programs and a separate drive for Files
IV. All 3 drives in RAID0, either all as one partition or separate partitions as above. Downside being I'd loose half the space on the larger drive.

Redundancy isn't a big concern, as I will have a separate HDD that will have automatic backups to it. Primary focus is blazing fast speeds. I will be using this in conjunction with the RAMCache/RAMDisk tutorial I found, if that affects any recommendations. Any input is appreciated, if there is some additional information needed or if I am missing something please let me know!
a c 863 G Storage
June 28, 2013 12:01:44 PM

Option I is by far the best.
SSD's in RAID are no faster than an SSD by itself. And you increase the fail potential.
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June 28, 2013 1:02:48 PM

USAFRet said:
Option I is by far the best.
SSD's in RAID are no faster than an SSD by itself. And you increase the fail potential.


How can you say that SSDs in RAID0 are no faster than the SSD itself? Access time may be slower depending on the RAID controller but past that, transfers speeds increase by a very noticeable margin.
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a c 863 G Storage
June 28, 2013 1:46:17 PM

StrikeMyrmidon said:
USAFRet said:
Option I is by far the best.
SSD's in RAID are no faster than an SSD by itself. And you increase the fail potential.


How can you say that SSDs in RAID0 are no faster than the SSD itself? Access time may be slower depending on the RAID controller but past that, transfers speeds increase by a very noticeable margin.


In synthetic benchmarks, maybe.
Realworld use? If you have some actual numbers, I'm willing to be converted.
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a c 906 G Storage
June 28, 2013 2:25:56 PM

Transfer speeds may be incredible with a raid0 ssd array but to/from what? What do you have that will match those speeds? not your network, internet, hdd's even in raid ... I think you see the point. The only thing that will use those speeds is your transfers to ram or cache (gpu or system) but you've also slowed down the access time by going raid. These transfer speed increases aren't noticeable on a user level in going from SSD to raid0 SSD's except in some standalone situations like games that aren't multiplayer.
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June 29, 2013 10:47:50 AM

Thanks for all your input, very good information and things to think about. You make a good point popatim.

That does bring up the question though - the reason I separated all my files is to gain speed. At one point I read an article that by separating things like that it speeds things up, because you have separate drives working independently (similar to RAID0 i suppose) and because more information is on the outside of the platters you can increase read/write times. I know patters don't apply to SSD, but is there still a speed advantage? Anyone want to tell me their preferred setup in my situation, and why?
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June 30, 2013 9:17:05 PM

Would I be better using the larger drive for my main OS/Programs and using the smaller ones for files and documents? I've read that because the SSD is comprised of many flash chips it is basically a n-raid0 array, so a larger one has more "drives" in the array, thus is faster. Am I still gaining speed by splitting my OS/Program/files between the 3, or do I lose any advantage because it has to search the sym links out? Is there any disadvantage to RAID0, other than potential data loss? Any other suggestions?
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