I am building a new system, and I just installed Windows 7 on a new SSD (128Gb). My mother board is a Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5, which supports 6 SATA2 on the P55 chipset. It also supports 2 SATA2 on a "Gigabyte SATA2" controller, which I am pretty sure runs off the JMB362 chip.

My SSD has my OS and core programs that I run. I would like to create a RAID array for my mass storage (photos, documents, cache files, index files, etc.). I am planning to use 2 HDDs in RAID 1. Both the P55 and the JMB362 support RAID 1. As far as I can tell from looking at the forums and other sites, the Windows 7 Trim support will not work on any SSD being run by a RAID controller, even if the SSD is not part of an array. So, I will want to run my SSD and the RAID array on separate controllers.

So the question is this: Which chip should I run the SSD on and which should I run the RAID array on? Does anyone foresee any problems with either approach?

Things to consider: It seems a waste to not run the RAID array on the P55 because I would be able to add more HDDs in the future. But does it make sense to put my boot drive (the SSD) on the JMB362, which I assume connects via PCIe? Thanks in advance.
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  1. Never use those JMicron fakeRAID drivers; worse quality ive ever seen. Its fine to use as normal SATA controller or even software RAID though; but stay away from the drivers.

    Your SSDs should be on the SATA provided by your chipset, not some cheap chip.

    Your solution probably lies in not using RAID1; since its not useful for home users anyway (a backup costs as much space but has more value for home users). Go for a backup instead, or software RAID if you really want RAID1; but i recommend against it.
  2. @sub mesa - Yeah, the quality of the JMicron driver was one of my concerns. Probably why Gigabyte re-branded it as "Gigabyte SATA2." I know JMicron was a bad word about a six months ago for their SSD controllers, but I hadn't heard anything bad specifically about the RAID controller.

    I do want to use RAID 1 though. It is an effortless 'always on' safety net. I tend to use a lot of storage with photography. I had a very bad experience losing a year of my photography before switching my old computer to RAID 1 when my backup option failed. RAID will give me a second layer of protection.

    Another thought at a possible solution: Is there any way to schedule the trim function through the Windows scheduler or another utility? AFAIK, the problem with SSDs and RAID only lies in the automatic application of TRIM by Windows 7, not in the actual ability of the SSD to carry out the instruction. I know Intel offers this function in a utility called SSD Optimizer for Intel SSDs, but unfortunately, I have a Kingston SSD that uses the new Toshiba contoller.
  3. From what I understand, the TRIM commands can only be passed though to the SSD with the default Windows AHCI driver. On my board, I attached the Intel SSD to the "Gigabyte SATA 2" port using only the Windows AHCI driver. I have 2 more drives in raid 0 on the the sata ports connected to the main chipset (in my case an AMD 870), and for these I use the AMD RAID drivers. Works fine and tests confirm that the trim command is working.
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