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OCZ Vertex 2 60gb Raid 0 Setup (first time)

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October 7, 2010 2:25:39 AM

I just ordered a GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 motherboard and I am planning to setup RAID 0 with 2 Vertex 2 drives. I read an article SSD using all the bandwidth a SATA 3Gb/s can offer, is this true? The motherboard has 2 SATA 6Gb/s ports, will there any performance difference with the Vertex 2 drives?

I will setup raid 0 on Windows 7, is there anything I need to know before installing? I never had any experience with raid setup before. I read about it but never actually tried. What clustersize is best for me?
October 8, 2010 4:37:50 AM

I can't help you much on setting RAID up, but I can tell you that the SATA 6Gb/s ports won't help. The drives are only SATA 3Gb/s. You can leave the SATA 6Gb/s feature off. The drives only go 285MB/s, so they will not quite fully saturate the full 300MB/s max.
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October 13, 2010 3:27:29 AM

Why do you need RAID? I do not recommend you RAID an SSD as you will loose the ability to use TRIM under RAID.

Assuming this is an OS drive, align it to 4K.
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October 13, 2010 2:22:08 PM

I bought the Asus P7P55D board, the gigabyte motherboard died within 1 hr of usage but I was able to setup RAID on the OS.

I setup raid 0 on 2 x 60gb Vertex 2 now, the read/write is about 560Mbs/540Mbs

Yes I know I will lose TRIM feature, it maybe worth it. I don't know.
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October 13, 2010 3:02:26 PM

^ Imo, no it is not worth the loss of TRIM. Sequential read/write performance doesn't matter much in most real world loads. By having TRIM you preserve the performance of the SSD in the long term.
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October 15, 2010 2:47:29 PM

If that's the case, why do people setup raid 0? I am very new to RAID configuration.
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October 15, 2010 5:16:35 PM

(1) Agree with Shadow, not worth it for SSDs

(2) Have used raid0 with HDDs for the last 10 years - loved it, still use it on my backup computer (vista and xp daul boot). Best performance comes with short stroke, where you only use about 20-> 40% of the HDDs capacity. This cuts access time (not a problem with SSDs) and improves the random 4 K slightly. Comes with the Loss of HDD space which increases the cost per Gig.

Generally Raid0 only improves the Sequencial file read/writes and does nothing for the more important access time and small file Random read/writes - these are what is important for boot times and program loads. Sequencial's only improve working with large databases, large graphic files and video files (Blu-ray files can be anywheres from 13 gigs to 35 gigs) - - (does not effect whatching a blu-ray movie).
NOTE - YOU are NOT going to short stroke a SSD, just not cost effective and will have less improvement in overall performance than when used with HDDs.

On trim. Yes you loose it, but with the newer SSDs (SF-1200 controlers) it is not the issue it was with the Generation 2 SSDs. The Sf-1200 has a pretty good garbage collection mechanism (for use with XP and Vista that do NOT have trim cmd). That said, Trim cmd does provide improve retaining that "factory specs" even on the SF-1200 SSds.

Added
Most 120 gig SSds perform sightly better than their 60 gig counterparts, which also reduces the gain of using 2 smaller ones in raid 0.
May be wrong, but the 120 gig SF-1200 uses two 60 gig in raid0 internally.

2nd added:
For non-raid conf, I think you will want to use the Intel RST AHCI driver (for Vertex-2 & Pheonix Pro) and not the default uSoft AHCI driver.
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October 15, 2010 6:12:19 PM

Thanks for the compliment
My old def of expert - "Ex drip under pressure"
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October 15, 2010 10:06:12 PM

Quote:

Most 120 gig SSds perform sightly better than their 60 gig counterparts, which also reduces the gain of using 2 smaller ones in raid 0.
May be wrong, but the 120 gig SF-1200 uses two 60 gig in raid0 internally.

That is exactly right. Most of these large capacity drives have some kind of RAID (0/10) implementation at the drive level.

Quote:

NOTE - YOU are NOT going to short stroke a SSD,

Any one who tries that should be flogged. Seriously. It in NOT worth the increase in cost per GB.

Quote:

On trim. Yes you loose it, but with the newer SSDs (SF-1200 controlers) it is not the issue it was with the Generation 2 SSDs. The Sf-1200 has a pretty good garbage collection mechanism (for use with XP and Vista that do NOT have trim cmd). That said, Trim cmd does provide improve retaining that "factory specs" even on the SF-1200 SSds.

Right, also with the new Intel RST 9.6.x you can use TRIM on RAID (as long as the drive is not part of a RAID volume ).
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October 17, 2010 7:57:14 AM

I am in same boat. So from all this it looks like that RAID0 as Windows 7 Boot drive is a bad idea ? Or again I am missing something ?
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November 16, 2010 5:31:19 PM

I have two120gb Vertex 2 drives running Raid 0. I get great performance. I raided because I needed the space and performance doubled. Yes you loose TRIM but the Vertex 2 has a wear leveling or as some call it garbage collection. It sort of does the same thing as TRIM and if you are willing to leave your machine on and idle a few times a week, TRIM really isn't needed to prevent performance degradation. Mine has been running perfect without TRIM with no degradation whatsoever.

Two things to remember with Raid and any SSD.

1. Any Raid 0, SSD or not run a risk because if one drive fails your hosedand running 2 SSDs doubles the risk of failure. Best to keep good backups or be willing to loose everything if one drive fails which is not a problem for me cause I store all my work data such as documents, etc on a separate HDD. As mentioned earlier in this thread, you can get a 120 for about the same price as 2 60s so I guess the question is take a risk and double your speed or stay on the safe side and still scream faster that a Raid 0 Raptor array. Either way you win and the speed of a single Vertex 2 will definitely make a difference. My choice to run Raid was based on the fact that I already had 2 and needed more space.

2. SSD technology is new so you'll normally get 10 different answers to the same question. As far as Mean Time Before Failure, nobody really knows because this is a new tech and they haven't been out long enough to really tell plus technology in this area is still being developed quickly. Many people worry about wearing the drive out because it is memory vs a platter and others say (Such as manufactures) you have 2 million hours before failure. Truth is that nobody knows for sure, I have read horror stories of nothing but problems to my experience which has been good so far for a year with SSDs. I have 4 installed in different computers. I just think of it this way. I am a test subject and if all goes good my computer rocks due to the fast speed of even a single SSD. I even have one in my netbooks which makes a ton of difference. Just remember though that you could be the test subject of an expensive experiment since SSD in general are still high in price.

For me I would never go back to a mechanical drive as an OS drive but that's just me. If you are limited on budget, price per GB and risk is not cost effective, but if you have the money and willing to take the risk then I would say an SSD should be at the top of an upgrade list!
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