Currently running the following storage setup:
1x 150GB WD Raptor - OS + General programs (AV, office programs, and such)
2x 500GB WD Caviar in RAID 0 managed by motherboard's ICH9R chipset - Games, Maya, 3DSMax, and general storage
I quite like the improved speeds of accessing data stored on the RAID, but I'm planning a complete system overhaul once i9 is released, and am very tentitively eyeing up SSDs. Let me just say I'm not considering this for the gaming side of things, however faster loading times is always a bonus. I'm more looking for the storage and access time benefits for rendering.
Basically, I'm caught between 3 options, and I'd rather stay away from RAID 0 as this would be a fairly long-term option;
- A PCI-E 2.0 RAID card and 4 ~250GB SSDs for RAID 5
- 4 SSDs in RAID 5 managed by the chipset on whichever X58 motherboard I pick up
- 4 SSDs in RAID 5 managed by Windows 7
I can't really find anything conclusive as to how the OS-managed RAID arrays compare to add-in cards or on-board chipsets managing the array, nor do I know if there are any improvements in the Windows 7 management over Windows Vista. I have other questions and theories for my future system, and since I'm waiting for i9 it won't be built anytime soon, these questions can wait to be dumped into their appropriate forums closer to the time. I just wanted to get the storage matter solved quickly.
Budget isn't an issue (but still, be reasonable, I don't want to spend several thousand euros on top-end server equipment in a desktop environment). Thanks in advance.
RAID 5 and SSDs are a poor combination because the Achilles heel for both of them is writing. SSDs have their poorest performance for writing, and so does RAID 5. RAID 5 requires a read and two writes to the physical drives for every write operation to the RAID volume, and the reads and writes have to occur one after the other.
If you're really, REALLY worried about SSD reliability (which probably isn't necessary) then I'd put the 4 SSDs into RAID 0+1 and see what you can do about choosing the least active files to move onto an HDD to make up for the reduction in capacity.