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Whats better, 1 x 160gig SSD or 2 x 80gigs in RAID?

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April 6, 2010 8:37:38 PM

I'm debating if I should get one 160gig Intel X25 or 2 80gig X25's. I was reading a anadtech review that said Intel drives lose TRIM support when you put them in Raid 0.

Can anyone else confirm that this is true?

Would the extra performance be worth giving up TRIM?

Also I'm knew in general to RAID so I'm wondering if a hardware raid controller would perform better than the software counterpart in Windows 7.

Btw I'm on the X58 chipset if that helps.


Thanks.

Quick note. The 160gig X25 is on sale for $415 on newegg. So 2 80 gigs at $220 would actually cost more than 1 160gig drive. Just something to consider.
April 6, 2010 9:36:16 PM

I read that other post and that article you link in it. Is that the only source anyone has? So RAID disables TRIM?
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April 7, 2010 1:27:00 AM

I understand from other posts that Intel now has a version of their motherboard RAID drivers that supports TRIM, but I don't personally use it so I'm afraid I don't really have any more info for you...
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April 7, 2010 4:24:01 PM

Ive heard conflicting information. It seems the Intel drivers do not support TRIM when the SSDs are in RAID0 array; only if they are single drives with the SATA mode set to RAID; so the SSDs themselves may not be part of a RAID-array; or TRIM won't work.

If that is true, then you need to create smaller partitions on your SSDs if you intend to use them without TRIM. If you don't do this, it'll slow down over time and the RAID won't correct for that.
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April 9, 2010 6:39:59 AM

I installed two SSD's and they work fine but they don't seem to have the speed that i though that they would have. In hindsight id go for the single big drive.
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April 11, 2010 8:09:16 AM

OK, so I've found what appears to be a fairly official statement on what the TRIM capabilities of the latest Intel RAID drivers are:

http://techreport.com/discussions.x/18653

The gist of it is that the new driver will pass TRIM commands to an SSD, but only if it's not configured as a member of a RAID volume.

The idea is that you can configure the motherboard BIOS to use "RAID" mode, set up a single SSD to hold the OS and a set of hard drives as a RAID volume to hold data. In this scenario, the SSD will benefit from the TRIM commands. But if the SSD is itself part of a multi-drive RAID volume then it won't.

NOTE - in my mind there's still a question about how Windows decides whether to use TRIM or not. If Windows configures itself to use TRIM based on what it detects at installation time, then just installing the new drivers may not help. But if it detects TRIM capability at boot time then a simple reboot is all that would be needed to get those TRIM commands flowing.
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