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RAID 0 HDD to single SSD questions. Motherboard and processor change as well.

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August 19, 2013 11:57:51 AM

I am currently wanting to purchase an SSD to upgrade my system. At the same time, I am also hoping to upgrade from an AM3 socket quad core CPU to an AM3+ eight core CPU. Right now, I have 3 500GB Western Digital HDD's in a RAID 0 array on an ASUS M4N98TD EVO using the built in RAID controller on the motherboard. I am looking to upgrade to an ASUS M5A97 R2.0 motherboard.

At some point (before or after hardware upgrades), I would like to image my current RAID array onto my new SSD (256GB Samsung 840 pro) so that I have the OS installations and essential programs on my new SSD. I've read that SSD's work well in AHCI mode, but my current configuration is running in RAID.

The questions I need answered are:
1.) Is it possible to image a RAID 0 array onto an SSD? (previous reading tells me that I can)
2.) Would an image need to contain new drivers if I intended on upgrading my motherboard (Asus m4n98td EVO to Asus m5a97 R2.0)? What drivers would I need to worry about?
3.) Would it be possible or likely to run this new SSD in AHCI mode instead of RAID?
4.) When creating the image, what program would give me my best chances?

If there is any more information that the community requires to help me, I'll gladly give it. I currently do not have an SSD I can do a practice run with, but I do have spare HDD's that I could use as a practice run to see how things would work out.

Thanks in advance!

Current system:
M4N98TD EVO Asus Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Quad-Core Processor
GeForce 470 GTX
GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB
3 500GB WD HDD's in RAID 0
1TB WD backup HDD
Corsair HX850w PSU
Antec 1200 case
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Upgrading Parts:
ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+
AMD FX-8320 Vishera 3.5GHz
SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series 256G SSD
a b G Storage
a b V Motherboard
August 19, 2013 12:04:50 PM

The answer is yes you can if it will fit space wise..... But the real answer is if you are replaceing your motherboard reload from scratch your computer will run so much better if you do this. I have had good and bad luck trying to move drives to another computer so it is hit and miss.

Thent
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August 19, 2013 12:14:23 PM

thently said:
The answer is yes you can if it will fit space wise..... But the real answer is if you are replaceing your motherboard reload from scratch your computer will run so much better if you do this. I have had good and bad luck trying to move drives to another computer so it is hit and miss.

Thent


Is there a reason the SSD runs better if doing a clean install? There are a lot of programs I'd rather not have to re-install if I can help it, and I'm currently uninstalling programs that would be easy to re-install on a separate hard drive after the switch
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a c 177 G Storage
a c 255 V Motherboard
August 19, 2013 12:24:51 PM

1. If the space on your raid array will fit, I think you can clone it.
2. AHCI is a subset of raid, so your image should work. But.... I don't think amd raid drivers will pass through trim commands.
That is ok for a temporary use, but long term, you will lose performance and endurance.
3. It is possible to fiddle with the windows registry to convert to AHCI, but I am not comfortable with that.
4. Samsung has a clone utility that should do the job. But it only works with their products, so you could not practice using your spare drive. It is a modified version of acronis true image. You could buy acronis to try both.

Some thoughts on your plan.
1. Samsung PRO is good, but it's main advantage is endurance, a irrelevant point for a desktop user. I might look for their new 840EVO instead.
2. Once you start looking at changing motherboards, you should consider the value of the newer Intel cpu's The 8 core FX cpu's can be very good if your apps are highly threaded and cpu bound. Otherwise, the faster intel cores will be better at the >$150 budget point. If you are gaming, the 8800GTS is your weak point, and a FX 8 core will not be significantly better than the x4.
See if you can find benchmarks which reflect your current and proposed configurations.
3. A new motherboard usually means a reinstall of the os. Your current os may not be able to boot into windows so you can install the new drivers.
If you need a clean install, any programs that have registry entries(most will) will need to be reinstalled. If your os version is oem, you may have to deal with Microsoft license terms that to not normally allow a motherboard change.
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August 19, 2013 12:34:48 PM

geofelt said:
1. If the space on your raid array will fit, I think you can clone it.
2. AHCI is a subset of raid, so your image should work. But.... I don't think amd raid drivers will pass through trim commands.
That is ok for a temporary use, but long term, you will lose performance and endurance.
3. It is possible to fiddle with the windows registry to convert to AHCI, but I am not comfortable with that.
4. Samsung has a clone utility that should do the job. But it only works with their products, so you could not practice using your spare drive. It is a modified version of acronis true image. You could buy acronis to try both.

Some thoughts on your plan.
1. Samsung PRO is good, but it's main advantage is endurance, a irrelevant point for a desktop user. I might look for their new 840EVO instead.
2. Once you start looking at changing motherboards, you should consider the value of the newer Intel cpu's The 8 core FX cpu's can be very good if your apps are highly threaded and cpu bound. Otherwise, the faster intel cores will be better at the >$150 budget point. If you are gaming, the 8800GTS is your weak point, and a FX 8 core will not be significantly better than the x4.
See if you can find benchmarks which reflect your current and proposed configurations.
3. A new motherboard usually means a reinstall of the os. Your current os may not be able to boot into windows so you can install the new drivers.
If you need a clean install, any programs that have registry entries(most will) will need to be reinstalled. Of your os version is oem, you may have to deal with Microsoft license terms that to not normally allow a motherboard change.


Thanks for the reply.
When looking at benchmarks the Samsung pro seemed like a good fit to me. I'll probably shop around a bit like you suggest.
For clarification, the GTX 470 is my main card that all of my games run on. The 8800 GTS was a card I installed to run two other monitors, mostly for web browsers or movies. Although it is a weak point in my system, it's doing its job and it is indeed the next part I will upgrade. At the moment, I'm simply looking to upgrade to an AM3+ socket processor, since AMD is relatively cheaper when compared to Intel. The 8-core was an added bonus (in my head) since the price wasn't that much more expensive compared to 4-core or 6-core AMD AM3+ socket CPU's

If I do install a new OS onto the SSD, would I be able to easily transfer any important files back over, or be able to leave them on their current separate HDD (non-raided)?
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August 19, 2013 12:45:37 PM

Do not be much swayed by vendor synthetic SSD benchmarks.
They are done with apps that push the SSD to it's maximum using queue lengths of 30 or so.
Most desktop users will do one or two things at a time, so they will see queue lengths of one or two.
What really counts is the response times, particularly for small random I/O. That is what the os does mostly.
For that, the response times of current SSD's are remarkably similar. And quick. They will be 50X faster than a hard drive.
In sequential operations, they will be 2x faster than a hard drive, perhaps 3x if you have a sata3 interface.
Larger SSD's are preferable. They have more nand chips that can be accessed in parallel. Sort of an internal raid-0 if you will.
Also, a SSD will slow down as it approaches full. That is because it will have a harder time finding free nand blocks to do an update without a read/write operation.
Run windows easy transfer to export all your files and settings to a drive, preferably external that will not contain the new os.
After the clean install of the new os, run easy transfer again to import all or part of those files and settings.
You will get a report of which programs will need to be reinstalled.

If your main use is gaming, and you have a limited budget, you might want to read this article on <$200 gaming cpu's.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-processor-fr...
Look for your games in the benchmarks if you only play a few. Otherwise look at the overall comparisons.
Once you get into the $180 range, the best choice will be Intel of some sort. Here
Is tom's latest report on best gaming cpu's for the money:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...
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Best solution

August 19, 2013 1:03:19 PM

1) yes, you can move data from a hdd to a ssd (or raided hdd's to a ssd)
2) yes, you will need the correct drivers for a new motherboard loaded for the system to work properly.
3) SSD'd do not run in a mode called RAID. While you can RAID SSD's they are still using AHCI/(can't recall the acronym) to communicate with the motherboard.
4) none.

the reason I say none for #4 is it is a VERY, VERY BAD IDEA to try to move a boot/os drive between machines as the drivers (#2) and such do not match and windows likes to throw a hissy fit when it sees a new motherboard.

You would be much better off to install a clean copy of windows to the SSD in the new system, get the drivers and AV/etc setup on it, and then copy the files you need from the RAID array from the other system. Or borrow a <2TB external and copy the files you need to keep from the raid array to it before doing anything else (you probably should do this anyways if the files are too important to risk losing). Then either copy the files onto the SSD or try to initalize the RAID array on the new motherboard/windows.
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August 19, 2013 1:04:17 PM

All of the benchmarks I look at come from Tom's hardware. In this case, my CPU choice was swayed by a price tag of $145 for the 8320 CPU, and I somehow failed to notice the Samsung EVO SSD, so I will definitely look into that. Also, my computer is mostly a gaming rig, but I also run Adobe products, and I do an excessive amount of intensive multi-tasking, which (along with only using AMD CPU's up to this point) makes me lean more towards AMD processors, especially considering the information I've read from the links you provided.

However, it does look like my best option is to simply re-install the OS on the SSD and deal with the consequences that follow. I will definitely run the windows easy transfer to make it a smoother re-install.

Thanks for all the info and the fast responses.
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