I am currently using the Asus P6T Deluxe MB (Version 1, with the SAS controller) with a Core i7 920.
I have a questions about my Boot Drive.
Currently, I have 2 Velociraptors, the newest ones, in a Raid 0.
I am not all the impressed by my stats coming off the Raid drive. I am starting to think after research the the biggest bottle-neck I am having is using the on-board SATA Raid.
I was thinking of possibly investing in a PCIe SATA Raid controller to see if that that makes a difference, but I was looking at other options as well.
For the price of a controller, I am wondering if I am better off getting a SSD drive instead for my boot up drive. The Storage one be that great though and I have A LOT of software. (Besides major gaming, I am a flash developer and such... so you can imagine all the software I have installed).
I was looking to see what experience other people have had with These drives, with and without the on board SATA controller... and how that would compare to SSD, or even SAS?
(I know myself, and even if I got a SSD drive... I'd be itching to buy 2 of them for a Raid 0 and then I would be questioning the controller again anyway. LOL)
First of all, be aware that there are two major metrics of disk performance: sequential throughput and random I/O. People tend to pick and choose which measurement to use based on which way they want to argue. Hard drives in a RAID array can outperform an SSD in terms of sequential throughput, particularly for writing. But IMHO the more important metric for general desktop performance is random I/O and no hard drive, even using RAID, can hold a candle to an SSD for that.
So if performance is your concern then my recommendation is to skip over the RAID option and go straight for an SSD.
Right-click on the "Program Files" and "Windows" folders of your C drive, select "Properties" and have a look at how much stuff you have in those two directories - that will give you a pretty good idea of how large an SSD you'll need to put the OS on. Pretty much everything else is much less critical in terms of performance and can be moved to a hard drive.
I am also interested in the best possible boot drive performance.
I have a Asus P6T deluxe original also, and am using two X25-m(gen1) 80gb drives in raid-0. The 8820 firmware has been applied. I used a 64k stripe size, mainly because I could not fins any good info on what to pick. Performance seems quite good now, but I wonder if I can't do better. Using HDTUNE, I get 210-340mb/sec, with the average at 270mb/sec. I initially used one 80gb drive, but I needed more capacity, so I added another in raid-0 to get a larger single image. I may yet add a third in time. To that end, I was considering the merits of a discrete raid card.
I have a pci-e X 4 slot available, and am using only the first pci-e X16 slot for graphics leaving a X16 available.
I understand that X4 should be sufficient.
If there is a problem with MLC flash SSD's it is with the throughput using lots of writes. I think this problem can be mitigated with a decent cache on the raid card, perhaps 128mb or better. Add in battery backup to the card, and caching writes should also help performance.
Something like the Intel RS2BL040 MRFS mentioned sounds wonderful and somewhat future proof with 6gb capability. How much does it cost, and where can they be bought in the US? From what I can find, they seem to be pricey.
Are there some other candidate cards that meet these requirements. Today, the 6gb capability does not seem necessary. Which manufacturers are preferred, and are there some to be avoided?