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Good SSD to reduce save time of large document.

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July 30, 2009 2:09:32 AM

Hello. I have a large 3ds max file I'm working on and it takes about 1 min 30 secs to save the file on 2 of the original Raptors (36 GB) in RAID 0. I need to do regular saves since max crashes often and I was wondering:

1) what is the best SSD to use in RAID 0 to reduce this time?
2) Is it OK to use these SSDs with motherboard's RAID or will there be a bottleneck. Is a separate RAID card a better choice?
3) If motherboard's RAID capability will create a bottleneck, what is the best SSD in this case without RAID?

My motherboard the ASUS P5E
- X38 / ICH9R

Thank you for your help!
a b V Motherboard
July 30, 2009 2:33:25 AM

1) either intel's or ocz vertex
2) you want a good raid card (adaptec), so not the motherboards
3) same as 1
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a b V Motherboard
a c 127 G Storage
July 30, 2009 1:11:20 PM

The best would really be what you already have. Intel ICH9R, enable write caching and this should scale better than Areca hardware RAID, assuming you stick to RAID0 / RAID1. Do make sure you have a network-based backup solution of some kind, as write caching can be dangerous if your OS (not a program) crashes or you have power issues, etc.

However i'm puzzled a bit, since two raptors would be like 150MB/s write performance? Could you show us a screenshot of a HDTune benchmark (and "Files" benchmark) of your current RAID?
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a b V Motherboard
a c 415 G Storage
July 30, 2009 5:34:41 PM

Donald McRonald said:
Hello. I have a large 3ds max file I'm working on and it takes about 1 min 30 secs to save the file on 2 of the original Raptors (36 GB) in RAID 0.
How large is this file? It may be that the disks themselves aren't the bottleneck, and if so a faster drive isn't going to help you that much.
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July 31, 2009 6:18:15 AM

sminlal said:
How large is this file? It may be that the disks themselves aren't the bottleneck, and if so a faster drive isn't going to help you that much.


The file is 61.4 MB and has 21804 objects (it's a whole environment) and 265500 faces (polygons).
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a b V Motherboard
a c 415 G Storage
July 31, 2009 9:57:34 AM

Donald McRonald said:
The file is 61.4 MB and has 21804 objects (it's a whole environment) and 265500 faces (polygons).
Well even a slow drive can write 60+MB in just a few seconds. I'm guessing that your software must be issuing separate IOs for each object and perhaps even flushing the file after each one. In that case the lower latencies of a SSD would probably help, but putting them into a RAID set probably wouldn't get you anything extra (RAID doesn't decrease latencies, it's just capable of simltaneous I/Os).

But this is one of those cases where the drive probably isn't the REAL problem, it's more likely that the WAY that the software is writing the file is the issue. There may be something you can do in the software configuration to speed things up. You might try checking in a forum of users of your software to see if other people are experiencing long save times and see if there are any configuration options to improve it.

What's the name and version of the software, and what OS are you using?
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a b V Motherboard
a b G Storage
July 31, 2009 2:50:31 PM

Intel SSD's are second to none - look no further for performance

on the other hand correct - may not be a HDD bottlekneck as even my 2x250 Seagate HDD's in raid 0 can clear 100mb/s easily
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a b V Motherboard
a b G Storage
July 31, 2009 2:51:47 PM

mindless728 said:
1) either intel's or ocz vertex
2) you want a good raid card (adaptec), so not the motherboards
3) same as 1


Good raid cards only pay off mostly in arrays like RAID5/50/6 etc where parity calculations are performed, not simple arrays like raid 0/1/10/1+0/0+1 etc
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Best solution

a c 238 V Motherboard
a c 167 G Storage
July 31, 2009 3:19:36 PM

MLC SSD's have very good read times, but may suffer with writes. The underlying flash chips are relatively slow, and bog down when hit with lots of writes. Be careful there.

The Intel X25-E will do very well, and there would be no problem using raid-0. They are expensive, though. The motherboard raid will not be a problem with only two sdd's.

siminal has a good point. Look at software application options. Also, since you have raid-0, the source and the target files are on the same logical drive. That will cause the access arms to madly dash between them when copying data. I would suggest that you try using your two drives without raid-0. Put the source on one drive, and the target on the other. Now, when you copy one to the other, it can be done with minimal arm stealing. What you give up in simultaneous transfer will be more than made up in less arm positioning interference.

Your 34gb raptors are not very fast drives for data transfer, but are good in seek and latency. If you replaced them with the 300gb velociraptor, you should see about 75% better performance. Go to www.storagereview.com and access their performance database. Look for the benchmarks that seem applicable to you. This might be the maximum data transfer one. You can then see how much faster the 300gb velociraptor is than the original 34gb raptor. I suggest the 300gb version instead of the 150gb version because larger drives are denser, and have better data transfer speeds in the outer cylinders of the drive.

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