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SSD + RAID1 Storage Question

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February 7, 2011 3:13:38 PM

Alright so I just bought an OCZ Vertex 2 60GB SSD off newegg, I've been reading on SSDs for about a week now and I've decided to take the first step and buy one.

Now I'm wondering; I have 2 1TB 7200RPM Caviar Green HDD right now and I'm wondering if it's possible to enable AHCI mode for my SSD and create a RAID1 array with my 2 drives for storage purposes.

My motherboard is an ASUS P5Q Premium LGA755 Board. Since I need to enable RAID mode in the bios in order to have a RAID HDD pair to run, is this even possible ?

Thank you very much !
a c 289 G Storage
February 7, 2011 3:36:49 PM

Possible, but not a good idea. First, using it in a RAID array will disable the TRIM command (you are using Windows 7, yes?). Without a functioning TRIM command, the SSD will degrade.

Second, someone else tried this recently and posted his benchmark results. Worse than the HDD alone, for writes. Hang on and let me look for it...

Edit: Here it is http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...
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February 7, 2011 3:45:41 PM

Thanks for the quick answer!

I don't know if I made myself clear tough, I don't want to use my SSD in the RAID array;

I'll have my 60GB SSD as a boot drive (AHCI mode /w trim support as I am using W7)
And I'd have my RAID1 array comprised of my 2 7200RPM HDD for storage purposes.

I'm just wondering if it's possible to enable both AHCI and RAID in the bios for different SATA ports.

I do understand that using my SSD in an array with a non-SSD drive would jeopardize both it's lifespan and it's performance.
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a c 289 G Storage
February 7, 2011 4:09:52 PM

My mistake! Although I have not tried this myself, I have read (here) that setting the chipset's mode to RAID also allows the TRIM command to be passed to SSDs that are not in a RAID set.

In addition, some mobos allow you to set that mode in general and then override it for a specific port. Mine doesn't, but you could either check the manual or try the experiment. What I've seen discussed is setting the general setting to AHCI and a single port to IDE for a CD drive, but you can try it.

I'm feeling lazy, so why don't you go over to the product page, download the manual, and look at the BIOS instructions? If you can mix modes like that, you should see it in one of the sample screens.

Have fun.
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February 7, 2011 4:14:00 PM

Well thank you very much!

I did read the Storage Portion of my mobo's manual prior to posting and they don't give any specifics about someone would go and overide a specific SATA port setting. I guess I'll have to play around and check, if it's not possible I'll be doing my drive mirroring manually :D 
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February 7, 2011 4:14:30 PM

Best answer selected by NuQQ.
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a c 289 G Storage
February 7, 2011 5:09:45 PM

nuqq said:
Well thank you very much!

I did read the Storage Portion of my mobo's manual prior to posting and they don't give any specifics about someone would go and overide a specific SATA port setting. I guess I'll have to play around and check, if it's not possible I'll be doing my drive mirroring manually :D 

Yeah, the manual (I got un-lazy) shows setting IDE/AHCI/RAID on an all-at-once basis. There are per-port settings to avoid the CD problem if it occurs.
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March 24, 2011 10:53:05 PM

Yes you can - I have a similar M/B and have been running RAID 5 and an SSD for a year now. One of the HDDs failed, so I've switched to RAID 1 - smaller array :(  . Since RAID 5 was a bit of a pain I'll stick with RAID 1 in future and have two biggish HDDs arriving soon to recover the lost capacity.

Just specify port 0 (with your SSD) as non-RAID and you're away.

Tip: if you use Intel Rapid Storage Technology (previously Matrix Storage Manager) you can set up a small RAID 0 array on the same pair of disks and use it as a TEMP directory and for your Windows paging file. This saves SSD writes and, with decent HDDs, you won't notice the performance hit.
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