If I can get two eighties cheaper than the one 160...and I set them up so one is for my OS and the other is for Gaming...will I notice any speed deficiencies by using the 2 80's that way instead of just the one 160?
What if you're not using them in Raid though. I mean, for the purposes of an OS and Game performance, will raid really make that much of a difference anyways. I mean, isn't instant open without raid just as fast as instant open with raid?
Personally am not that adventurous to invest in a RAID 0 setup with two so very expensive drives unless and until i use a hardware raid card.. But in case the price difference is not that huge, i'd go with a single drive.. BTW either option, you won't notice any speed deficiency..
If you use two independent drives without RAID then you won't get the same performance boost because it won't be possible to balance the I/O load between the two drives as well as a RAID controller would by alternating every other group of sectors between the two drives (RAID 0).
SSDs primarily speed up booting and application load times. For the most part they're not as beneficial for copying large files because for most people their expensive cost per byte means that hard drives are a better place to store large files.
For games, SSDs will speed up the loading of the game, but once gameplay starts they won't really make much difference unless the game itself spends time doing disk I/O while running. For the most part games don't do that, but I understand that some games may do disk I/O at certain points (changing scenes, for example), and SSDs could speed that up.
In what ways would one notice the speed difference between raid and non-raid. I've read that in single drive situations people already see instant open performance with apps and stuff so how would a raid situation make instant faster?
RAID-0 may not be able to improve access times, but it can improve the transfer rate over that of a single SSD.
The huge bulk of the speedup you get with SSDs is due to their much faster access times (about 100X faster than a hard drive). But transfer rates can help too, particularly when the access times have gotten so short that they don't account for as big a percentage of the read times any more.
Applications open much faster when installed on an SSD, but they're still not all instantaneous. For example it takes my 160GB Intel X-25M about 3 seconds to open Photoshop CS4. That's much, much faster than a hard drive, but there's still some room for improvement.
Personally I'm very happy with the 3 seconds and I certainly don't feel it's worth the bother of RAID to improve it further.
I have used two X24-M gen1 80gb drives in raid-0 and it worked OK. Synthetic benchmarks showed great speed in sequential reads, but that is not what we do most. I used raid-0 primarily to get the 160gb single image.
I then changed to the single X250M 160gb gen2 drive, and it feels snappier to me. The reason, I think is that Intel is really doing a raid like operation to the nand chips under the covers. With 160gb , they get to do twice as many concurrent I/o operations.
I think you are better off using one large drive vs. two, even at a bit of a price premium.
I'm thinking about buying 4*40GB Intel X25-V actually, to replace my current 30GB JMicron-based cache device on my ZFS array. Though JMicron's are horrible at writing, any SSD can do random reads just fine, and that's what i'm using this for.
4*40GB in RAID0 should be close to 800MB/s sequential read. However, i'm primarily interested in IOps performance - the SSD would be like a big RAM filecache. Of the total 160GB capacity, i probably will use a 120GB partition, to give ~10GB of free capacity per drive. This should give me the maximum read performance for the price of four 40GB Intel X25-V SSDs.
Not sure when i get this going, once i have it running i'll open a topic with some nice benches to drool at.