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SSD in RAID 1 or not?

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November 26, 2013 2:18:39 PM

I've looked through lots of great information on details but I have some basic questions I can't seem to find an answer to.

I'm updating an older computer that currently has 2 320 GB WD HDD in RAID 1. I need to go a little bigger, probably 500 GB range, and I want to go quiet and fast. That means SSD, ideally, but 2 500 GB SSD's is pretty expensive.

Do I need RAID 1 with SSD's? Even HDD's are far more reliable than they used to be.

Should the OS be on a separate SSD? I could put data on an HDD (though my old HDD's are SATA 2 so I'd buy a new one).

The speed and quiet of SSD's trump having to setting up regular backups or initial cost of 2. I keep my machines for a long time and that spreads out cost.

Anything else I should be concerned about moving the OS to SSD or will it be relatively transparent? I've seen some things about TRIM and so on and will read up as needed.

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a c 798 G Storage
November 26, 2013 2:22:21 PM

1 drive for OS and applications, other stuff on other drives. No RAID needed or suggested.

SATA 2 is fine for HDD's.

Ideally, a fresh OS install on the new SSD is indicated.
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November 26, 2013 2:36:57 PM

Thanks.

No speed advantage going to SATA 3 on the HDD? Or putting data on an SDD (other than quiet)?

I'm installing Win7 fresh. New MoBo, CPU as well. It's been a while and time for a fresh start.

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a c 878 G Storage
November 26, 2013 3:06:08 PM

The only speed advantage a newer HDD would have over yours is a slight improvement of transfers to/from the hdd cache and possible improvemnts in drive technology such as going from a 5400 rpm drive to a 7200 rpm drive or (something like) going from 320gb platters to 1tb platters on the new drive. Even these new 1tb 7200rpm drives cannot outperform a sata2 bus and can barely outperform sata1.

As for the raid1 question - its not needed and you seem to have the wrong impression of its job. Raid, except for raid0, is for keeping your system running in the event of a drive failure. It does not replace the critical need for making backup copies of important files. Never trust your important files to just 1 drive/device and a raid array is just 1 device no matter how many drives are in it.
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November 26, 2013 3:25:17 PM

Thanks popatim. Great, so I can just use my old drives for data. They're 7200 rpm and quiet so I'm pleased with that.

But to be sure, is there any point in an SSD for the data? 99% are below a few MB so it just seems like I'd gain very little most of the time.

I'll abandon the RAID, as USAFRet suggested as well. Drives used to crash regularly in ancient times but that's not an issue anymore. I think I'll just use one HDD to back up the other nightly and use the external drive weekly.
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a c 798 G Storage
November 26, 2013 3:29:29 PM

msimm said:
Thanks popatim. Great, so I can just use my old drives for data. They're 7200 rpm and quiet so I'm pleased with that.

But to be sure, is there any point in an SSD for the data? 99% are below a few MB so it just seems like I'd gain very little most of the time.

I'll abandon the RAID, as USAFRet suggested as well. Drives used to crash regularly in ancient times but that's not an issue anymore. I think I'll just use one HDD to back up the other nightly and use the external drive weekly.


I have an SSD for the OS+applications, and another SSD for working documents. Not needed, but they were both inexpensive at the time. Works very, very well.
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a b G Storage
November 26, 2013 4:01:14 PM

as above, i was just about to say use a single small fast HDD* for OS (or SSD for OS if you really want to), and if you have a spare SSD kicking around use it for storing your most frequently used documents - resume, spreadsheets, porn, etc. and keep the other drives for the rest of bulk storage.

(in my case, i'm using a 2.5" WD Black 750G for OS partition + working partition, and once my SSD comes back from RMA will likely dedicate that to frequently used files, like movies i wanna watch this week or music i'm futzing around with)
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November 26, 2013 8:09:26 PM

giantbucket said:
as above, i was just about to say use a single small fast HDD* for OS (or SSD for OS if you really want to), and if you have a spare SSD kicking around use it for storing your most frequently used documents - resume, spreadsheets, porn, etc. and keep the other drives for the rest of bulk storage.

(in my case, i'm using a 2.5" WD Black 750G for OS partition + working partition, and once my SSD comes back from RMA will likely dedicate that to frequently used files, like movies i wanna watch this week or music i'm futzing around with)


Oh, good idea! I don't have any SSD's now but I'm going to get one for the OS and applications. But I have one big directory most of the files I use daily are on so I'll put those on another smaller and cheaper SSD and use the existing HDD's for other files.

Thanks all!
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