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SSD vs. 10K SATA 6GB

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April 20, 2010 12:39:27 PM

Hello All! I'm looking for feedback...


Building a new PC that will be used mostly for online gaming and some graphic/video work.

New system info to date:
ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366
I7 930
XFX 5870
Corsair 6GB dominator ram
Windows 7 Pro 64 bit


Questions:

1) Thinking of the Intel X25-M 80GB SSD is this enough capacity for the boot drive and apps that demand to be installed on the C drive ( I know most apps install location can be changed during install)? Is the 160GB a better option?

2) Haven't done Raid 0 before - if I raid 0 two of the Intel X25-M 80GB SSD's will I see a justified performance increase. I am aware of the current Raid 0 TRIM issue and the workaround using CCleaner.

3) Suggestions for normal C drive functions to move off to a non SSD drive? Someone advised me to move the windows 7 cache to a standard SATA drive?? (not sure how to do that or if its a + or not).

4) Any thoughts on the intel X25-M 80GB as the C: boot drive and the WD SATA 6GB, 10K, 600GB Velocipator as a D: drive?

5) Other suggestions for hard drive configurations ?

Thanks in advance to all that offer constructive advice.

More about : ssd 10k sata 6gb

a b G Storage
April 20, 2010 1:07:20 PM

1) 80 GB should be enough for an average setup.
2) RAID0 would increase performance, but there are drawbacks as you know.
3) You can move the paging file to another hard drive.
4) If money is no object, that's fine.
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a c 127 G Storage
April 20, 2010 2:51:17 PM

If you RAID0 SSDs, you better do this with software based RAID. Hardware RAID is often limited in IOps; the raid chip (IOP) cannot keep up with the fast rate of processing from the SSDs. So either onboard RAID using windows-only drivers or true software RAID is advised, using the motherboard supplied SATA ports.
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April 20, 2010 4:21:36 PM

sub mesa said:
If you RAID0 SSDs, you better do this with software based RAID. Hardware RAID is often limited in IOps; the raid chip (IOP) cannot keep up with the fast rate of processing from the SSDs. So either onboard RAID using windows-only drivers or true software RAID is advised, using the motherboard supplied SATA ports.



Thanks for the responses everyone!!

sub mesa, do you have a recommendation for a reliable software based raid? Any expereince with setting up SSD RAID 0 using a software based solution?

Also you mentioned "onboard RAID using windows-only drivers " are you referencing using a RAID PCI card or the motherboard controller and using the windows 7 native raid driver versus the motherboard OEM raid drivers?

Sine I am a RAID newbie how is the performance gained using RAID 0? Does it stripe the data across the two drives and therefore its somehow faster?

Thanks again!!
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a c 127 G Storage
April 20, 2010 4:38:31 PM

Ive done benchmarks on FreeBSD showing significant sequential and random I/O benefits when using RAID0 properly. But some of these gains may not be seen on Windows. Generally the quality of software RAID is lower on the Windows platform.

FreeBSD is a server platform though, you would want Windows for gaming and such. So you'll have to stick with motherboard onboard RAID drivers, which may already be integrated in Windows 7; still this is different than Software RAID provided by the Operating System; you still rely on third-party proprietary drivers. When setting up the RAID-array, a stripe-size of 128KiB is advised. Larger may be beneficial according to my testings, but unsupported on many Windows-based RAID engines.

I recommend not using PCI for anything anymore, as PCI-express alternatives are better and its a waste to buy something PCI at this point. Also the chipset powered SATA ports are prefered over anything else, as they have a direct path to the chipset.

Also remember you won't have TRIM support for your SSDs when you run them in RAID0; so you would have to use only part of the SSD by making a smaller partition than the full capacity. 10GB reserved per drive as a minimum. The higher, the better the protection against performance degradation over time.

Some of my tests, article is still unfinished:
http://submesa.com/data/raid/geom_stripe
http://submesa.com/data/raid/geom_stripe/page2
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April 27, 2010 12:30:43 AM

Thanks to all for the help I appreciate it very much!
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April 27, 2010 12:32:03 AM

Best answer selected by kjmi64.
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