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SSDs, RAID 0, RST drivers, Trim....

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January 23, 2011 1:01:28 AM

Greetings,

I am new to computer building and wanted to ask for advice regarding my storage set-up.

I am thinking about using 2x Crucial c300 64Gb SSDs on a raid0 array at 6Gb/s for my OS and program files and using a larger capacity HDD for data storage. Will be building on an Intel P67 Motherboard and using the computer for gaming.

Questions:

1.) I know that TRIM is not enabled while operating SSDs in Raid 0. Can you enable TRIM on a raid 0 array by downloading the Intel RST drivers?

2.) Is garbage collection an effective alternative to TRIM, and will it keep the drives from eventually degrading?

3.) Am I better off using 1x 128GB SSD for my boot drive and forgetting about a RAID 0 configuration?

a b G Storage
January 23, 2011 7:41:53 PM

Here is my two cents:

1) I believe TRIM is built into the Operating System, not the drivers. The drivers just pass the commands from the OS along to the drive (the Intel RST drivers do this faster than the MS drivers).

2) If you can't have TRIM, you definitely want Garbage Collection. GC is handled strictly inside the drive without need for OS support so it should work in RAID setups, but I am not certain.

3)For a boot drive, I would want the reliability of a single drive over the speed and uncertainty of a RAID 0 setup. RAID 0 is best for high-speed temporary storage (such as video editing).
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a b G Storage
January 23, 2011 8:35:42 PM

> Can you enable TRIM on a raid 0 array by downloading the Intel RST drivers?

No.

http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-031491...

Intel® Rapid Storage Technology 9.6 supports TRIM in AHCI mode and in RAID mode for drives that are not part of a RAID volume.

A defect was filed to correct the information in the Help file that states that TRIM is supported on RAID volumes.

[end quote]


p.s. With AHCI enabled, it may be possible to enable a software RAID 0,
using the software RAID support in Windows; however, you cannot boot
from such an OS software RAID:

http://www.webune.com/forums/20100306cbcb.html


See also the FAQ and Help files at Corsair's website:

http://www.corsair.com/support/faq/solid-state-drives

http://www.corsair.com/blog/configuring-raid-0-arrays-w...


MRFS
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a b G Storage
January 23, 2011 8:55:24 PM

1) Already answered by someone else: no

2)Answer here, GC is not as good, but better than noting (these are synthetic simulations so things might not become that bad for normal usage).

3) If you get a 128GB model, write speed will nearly double, you will get TRIM back, but read speed will stay the same. That could be a compromise, do you really need ~580MB/s read speed :p ?
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a b G Storage
January 23, 2011 9:26:50 PM

p.s. For a long time, Intel has wisely recommended that their
ICH controllers (I/O controller hub) be initialized to RAID mode
in the BIOS, before a fresh install of Windows,
EVEN IF all storage devices will be JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks).

This is a good recommendation, because it greatly eases
subsequent migrations from JBOD (non-RAID) mode to RAID mode.

It's also important to realize that RAID mode is a
superset of AHCI, thus a JBOD (non-RAID) drive will
still have AHCI support e.g. NCQ, as long as RAID mode
is enabled in the BIOS and the required device drivers
are installed.

Thus, if you want TRIM to work with your SSDs,
enable RAID mode in the BIOS and load the correct
device drivers during Windows Setup; then,
configure each SSD as a JBOD device (non-RAID).

If you can get by withOUT TRIM, Corsair's website
has a very clear set of instructions here:

http://www.corsair.com/blog/configuring-raid-0-arrays-w...


Hope this helps.


MRFS
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a b G Storage
January 24, 2011 4:48:55 PM

I have 2 128GB C300 SSDs in RAID-0 on a 3gbps controller. I'm averaging 570mb/s sequential reads. It would hit over 700mb/s on a 6gbps controller because the drives are faster than SATA2 can handle.

Do you need that sort of speed? I can tell you that it is wicked fast and really nice to have. After the BIOS and RAID controller boot up, it takes 11s for me to get to a working desktop in Windows 7. Keep in mind that is with having to type in a login password. Without a password it would be faster. Everything I do thereafter happens in a blink of an eye. My recommendation would be to go RAID-0. Someday they will enable TRIM support in a SSD RAID array, and we all will be thanking our lucky stars :) 
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a b G Storage
January 24, 2011 5:05:17 PM

leo2kp said:
After the BIOS and RAID controller boot up, it takes 11s for me to get to a working desktop in Windows 7.
For me it takes 20-25 seconds and I only have a 80$ OCZ Vertex 2 without RAID ... going SSD is already a huge improvement sometimes the extra might not even be noticeable.
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a b G Storage
January 25, 2011 12:15:00 AM

I still say using RAID 0 for a boot drive is not wise. You are basically doubling your chances of getting a drive failure. If either one of the drives fail, all data on the RAID is lost.
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a b G Storage
January 25, 2011 12:54:13 AM

Actually, I think it might be the safest place to use RAID 0 since, if you keep your data elsewhere, you only risk of loosing your OS. Me it's just that I think RAIDing SSD is overkill and a big risk for the loss of performance due to lack of TRIM.
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January 25, 2011 7:51:45 AM

With SSDs, I think that it is definitely better to not worry about getting 2 for now, instead just go with the 128GB drive.
That way when you have used it for a bit you will be in a better position to judge whether you still want another one for RAID0 6 months down the track.
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a c 353 G Storage
January 25, 2011 1:48:57 PM

The C300 has a relatively poor GC without trim from what I've read. For this reason I would not recommend them for a Raid0 set up - go bigger and not go raid 0.

Qote
The C300 does perform background garbage collection. I’ve never particularly been a fan of idle GC simply because it fixes a problem after it’s created rather than avoiding the problem altogether. If you don’t have TRIM however (running RAID, Mac OS X, any Windows OS other than 7), idle GC is all you can rely on.

How well does it work? I subjected my 128GB C300 to almost the same torture test I mentioned above. I filled the drive to 80% of its total capacity and then threw random writes all over the drive for 20 minutes straight. Performance was predictably bad:
End quote.
source: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3812/the-ssd-diaries-cruc...

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March 31, 2012 2:36:31 AM

MRFS said:
>

p.s. With AHCI enabled, it may be possible to enable a software RAID 0,
using the software RAID support in Windows; however, you cannot boot
from such an OS software RAID:

http://www.webune.com/forums/20100306cbcb.html


See also the FAQ and Help files at Corsair's website:

http://www.corsair.com/support/faq/solid-state-drives

http://www.corsair.com/blog/configuring-raid-0-arrays-w...


MRFS


Does the software RAID0 support Trim? While waiting for Intel's new RST driver, can the windows 7 software RAID0 be used as interim?
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