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SSD Raid 0 dual 512 gig drives... is this hard to set up?

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June 17, 2014 6:44:25 AM

System OS windows 7 pro 64 bit
Motherboard ASRock Extreme 11
CPU i7 4960 3.6 Ghz Liquid Cooled
32 Gig of Adata XPG v2 ram at 1866 mhz
Adata SX900 512 SSD

I would like to add more storage to my main OS drive . the 512 gig is just not enough, so I bought and another SX900 Adata drive, but now doing research . I"m finding out that I may have to reinstall windows in order to setup them up in Raid 0. I'd like it to read as one drive (as I assumed you can based on research), but I see conflicting information out there on this. does anyone have any insight they could give on this subject?

especially in regards to the raid setup specifically on the ASRock extreme 11. Which i though was supposed to be a very simple, intuitive setup. now I'm getting the impression, it's not going to be as plug and play as I thought and I may have to reformat both drive in order to set this up. any input or advice would be greatly appreciated, Thanks


a b G Storage
June 17, 2014 6:50:31 AM

Yeah, you'll need to backup your files and reformat to use both in a RAID 0. It's simple to setup though. Simply connect them to some SATA connectors and then during boot, your system will show an option to press "I" or something for RAID menu. Once in the RAID menu, just create a RAID set with both drives.

Once that is setup, sometimes you'll find some options in the BIOS to change the boot to RAID, so you can investigate that next. Then just simply load a windows disk and select the drive to install to. You should see a 900GB+ drive.
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a b G Storage
June 17, 2014 6:54:29 AM

Please remember that while RAID 0 allows you to have one large drive at double the speed (depending on the interface), if one drive fails, you lose your data. One drive cannot operate without the other and will lose all file information.

If you're upgrading strictly for more space, i'd analyze the data you're storing on your drive and determine whether you need the speed of an SSD or not. For instance, i have one SSD for Windows, Program installations and Game installations, then a large 3TB regular drive for music, movies, photos, documents, etc. That's because those files do not need SSD speed and can be stored on cheaper external or mechanical storage.

Also keep in mind that the SATA3 interface that you will use to plug in both SSD's in a RAID 0 will already be capped on speed by just one drive. You will only get maybe a 10% increase in speed by adding the second one. To overcome the limitations of the SATA interface and achieve 1000MB Read/Write or more, you'll need to move on to PCI-e 8x or 16x, which would be a new controller card or one of those PCI Drives.
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June 17, 2014 9:23:02 AM

understood about stability. I back up regularly. will the Raid drive effect the data or backup negatively in some way? I have 2, 3 tb hard drives. I use one for Backup and one for storage, but I need to put adobe package and Ableton on my OS drive, so I need the 1 tb for my main drive. I looked into the PCI raid controllers. I could only find ones that were PCI 2.0. My motherboard has 7 PCI slots but they are all PCI 3.0 will PCI 2.0 cards work on a PCI 3.0 slot? also. would this eliminate the need to reformat? I think if there is that much of a speed increase I may just get one of these cards (if I can) for RAID anyway, They seem to be pretty cheap. Is there a high end one you could recommend?
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June 17, 2014 9:25:44 AM

also. can you have a look at the link here for the motherboard. It seeems to suggest that the motherboard comes already with LSI™ SAS 2308 PCIe 3.0 controller. which allows me to have up to 8 hard drive connected via RAID http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/X79%20Extreme11/
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a b G Storage
June 17, 2014 10:40:24 AM

Yeah that board looks fantastic. The controller maxes at 6Gb/s, while the SSD's are measured in MB/s, so 1MB = 8Mb. That's a max throughput of 750MB/s on that controller, which is pretty good. Your drives in RAID 0 could push 1GB/s though, but i doubt you'll miss the other 250MB/s honestly and its probably not worth buying a $400 RocketRAID x16 controller card for the extra speed.

The RAID won't have any negative effect on the data or backup, windows will think it is simply one single large drive. The controller will handle dividing up the data on the drives in the hardware.

Here's one of the Raid cards i was talking about:

http://www.amazon.com/HighPoint-RocketRAID-2740-PCI-Exp...

I actually have this in my server. The connectors simply use SAS to SATA breakout cables which are cheap. The limitation of this card is the X16 PCI-slot which is quite large, so you won't hit any HD caps with it. But again, we're talking pretty massive IOPS already so i doubt this would be necessary, so I think a RAID 0 would work fine for you with your onboard controller, but a single 1TB drive would be just fine too (but 250MB/s slower technically)
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a b G Storage
June 17, 2014 10:41:33 AM

Each drive using that card will support 6Gb/s, using the full x16 bus speed with additional drives. I used one of these with a large RAID 0 of SSD's and benchmarked over 1600MB/s.

In any case, your onboard controller is great and would give you 75% of the potential speed increase of two SSD's in a RAID 0. I would go that route.
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June 17, 2014 10:52:23 AM

yeah. I got the board and spent the extra money on it, so I could upgrade the hell out of this system. It's basically one of the highest end boards you can get for x79 system I don't think I'll need the raid card based on what you've just said. I won't miss that 250. My only hurdle now, is that I have to reinstall windows and do this raid configuration (which I"m not too sure about doing because I"ve never done before) and now having to start from scratch installing all the programs I have on here. but it is what it is. I just hope i dont Fu2k anything up :)  Listen. I seriously, really appreciate your input on this and if you thinkof anything else to aid in the process of putting this drive in. let me know. for now. have a great one and thanks for all your help again
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June 17, 2014 1:18:34 PM

cirdecus said:
Each drive using that card will support 6Gb/s, using the full x16 bus speed with additional drives. I used one of these with a large RAID 0 of SSD's and benchmarked over 1600MB/s.

In any case, your onboard controller is great and would give you 75% of the potential speed increase of two SSD's in a RAID 0. I would go that route.


what strip size should I choose? and what is the difference. Looks like I can choose from 4 k to 128 k.
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