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Which SSD option?

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March 17, 2011 1:00:32 AM

Should I go with 2 OCZ Vertex 2 60GB in RAID 0 or go with a 120 GB OCZ PCIe Revodrive?

They are the same price right now. I am wondering if there are issues regarding PCIe bootable drives or if, hands down, the raid array would outperform the other.

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March 17, 2011 6:07:55 PM

If I had a choice, I'd go with the Revo because you're not putting it in a raid, especially if it's OCZ because a lot of their stuff fails. Well not a lot, but more than you would think.
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March 17, 2011 6:50:35 PM

chumly said:
Should I go with 2 OCZ Vertex 2 60GB in RAID 0 or go with a 120 GB OCZ PCIe Revodrive?

They are the same price right now. I am wondering if there are issues regarding PCIe bootable drives or if, hands down, the raid array would outperform the other.


You also lose TRIM support in RAID, which results in significantly lower performance over time. Further RAID 0 arrays of SSDs barely perform better than single drives in actual day to day activities anyway (if at all).
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a b G Storage
March 17, 2011 7:16:19 PM

Not true at all. Sandforce uses GC first and foremost with very little effect for speed maintenance. These controllers do not work the same as others on the market and do just fine without trim. Raid rules in just about everything you do with the exception of boot times(raid rom adds a bit more time). Multitasking is HUGE and I absolutely dread using single drives(which is VERY rare).

Many of the other non-beleivers I've talked to who have tried it with Sandforce say they cannot go back now. And these are the same ones who made identical remarks to the last poster. If raid wasn't any faster.. no one would be doing it or using Revo drives for thier OS volume. Most that knock it haven't tried it on a well tuned system that is capable of taking advantage of it.

I've got a Vertex 3 240GB drive for beta testing and while it's certianly a nice drive it doesn't even come close to my 6 drive array for even typical multitasking duty.
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March 17, 2011 8:30:20 PM

groberts101 said:
Multitasking is HUGE and I absolutely dread using single drives(which is VERY rare).


You might be amazed to learn that the vast, vast, majority of people don't do much multi-tasking, let alone heavy multitasking. IMO, the most important benchmark is random read performance at QD1, which comprises the bulk of all disk activity in typical work/game type usage and these are not greatly improved (if at all) in RAID 0 on SSDs. You can test it yourself with the hIOmon app. It is very unusual to see QDs>4.
There is an interesting thread on this very subject here: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=260956
As you can see, RAID 0 arrays of SSDs don't really enhance the performance much in what I would consider day to day usage. For you it might well be different, because your system usage patterns are clearly not that of the average everyday user.
The OP did not specify the primary work intended for his system, so I acknowledge my advice might well be wrong.

Did not know about Sandforce's built in GC (vs TRIM). I stand corrected, learn something everyday!
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a b G Storage
March 17, 2011 9:48:39 PM

First off, I'm the debater type and is how I learn and compute things so hopefully we can keep from tripping over our ego's or anything else here. lol That being said, don't take offense to much that I say as it's purely opinion based on simple usage patterns across many different configurations for myself and others close to me(in my little world.. so to speak). Don't think I know it all and certainly don't want to give the impression that I do just because I disagree a bit on occassion. Aww.. who am I kidding.. I disagree quite a bit. lol Just not for the reason most think which is to prove how smart and educated I am by making myself feel superior in some petty way. Is purely to form(or reform) the opinions I have to date or simply share with others.

OK, enough of the "please excuse me for being me" introductions/warnings.

yeah, I saw that thread over there too. The thing I see most are overlooking these days is the sheer increase in volume that even those that consider themslves to be light users are actually doing on the systems these days. The machines capability, the programs, even the internet's streaming media dominance, has affected the amount of stress and bandwidth divy'ing effects that typical users see.

Really boils down to the "what I see" more than the "why it happens" for me. I have a Vertex 3 drive for beta testing purposes and it surely outperforms a regular sata2 SSD. I can just boot to the thing and see the difference without much tasking of the drive. Surely there is more to this than just the que depth of the data streams and we get into the IOPS and pure bandwidth capability of said drive so results are a perception type thing on many occassions. But this I do know, my family's use is considered along the lines of what you say and they see huge gains as well from all the SSD's I have installed into thier systems as well(most of which I realize is latency oriented). This si why you can see such a big difference when moving to a Sandforce controlled drive over many others. Low end grunt with small files/IOPS regardless of the q-depths used.

So while we may not consider the use of internet radio used in conjunction with a MS word doc sitting in the taskbar while one procrastinates from work and instead plays a game,.. heavy multitasking. they can do it in a much snappier manner with a raided volume. I have some of the same exact usage levels at time as they do(it's also a HTPC at times too) and 6 drives is quite noticable even when barely tasking them. It just does everything faster(besides booting).

There are also many on other forums who I've debated with me in similar fashion and many have become raid converts due to seeing others who they respect, move to raids benefit as well. Then they too change thier tunes and recommend raided SSD to others as well once they really get a taste. Sometimes moving to 2 drives isn't enough for some to really see the difference so I'm talking wider arrays here like 3,4, or even more. This is where you really get spoiled very quickly. Diminishing returns due to less scaling but gains nonetheless.

Not trying to change your mind here but simply sharing what my experiences and those around me have been with larger raids using SSD. I absolutely hate booting to my V3 when I've got a 6 drive V2 volume right next to it in the boot menu. Really is quite evident without tasking them much at all. Thanks for the input and hope no offense was taken if i didn't learn as much as you from the info exchange here.

PS not to apologize too much here but my posts are often too long at times. Hope it's not too much as i type pretty fast(talk even faster). :) 
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March 17, 2011 9:57:53 PM

I use my system primarily for video editing, gaming, internet, home theater and sound editing using ableton.
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March 17, 2011 10:18:04 PM

chumly said:
I use my system primarily for video editing, gaming, internet, home theater and sound editing using ableton.


But do you try and do some or all of those AT THE SAME TIME? That's where the RAID 0 option will help. For singly launching applications, or archiving, or virus scanning etc etc, the data provided in the link I posted above is pretty clear: RAID 0 does not improve your performance (indeed it sometimes diminishes it). You can literally use a stopwatch and time these activities - launching say Photoshop or Call of Duty on most RAID 0 SSD systems vs the single drive will not be much better (sometimes you even get increased loading times). However, if you do a lot of simultaneous disk IO or a lot of sequential transfers the extra bandwidth provided by RAID 0 could be beneficial.
This is all from what I have gleaned from numerous forums, actual data posted by users of these systems. I myself have only a single SSD (which is seriously a great upgrade coming from HDD), so can't personally verify these claims.
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a c 175 G Storage
March 17, 2011 10:30:43 PM

chumly said:
Should I go with 2 OCZ Vertex 2 60GB in RAID 0 or go with a 120 GB OCZ PCIe Revodrive?

They are the same price right now. I am wondering if there are issues regarding PCIe bootable drives or if, hands down, the raid array would outperform the other.


Neither, I think.

In general, a single larger drive will do better, partly because it will have more nand chips that can be accessed in parallel if you are doing sequential operations. From that point of view, the revo 120gb drive would be better.

But... I think there are issues with the revo drive that you should research.

With patience, the crucial C400 should be available soon, and I hope the vertex 3 also.

If you must buy now, I suggest the Intel X25-M 120gb drive, which is trouble free, or the crucial C300 128gb.

I have used 2 X25-M 80gb drives in raid=0, and a single X25-160gb drive, and I thought there was little real apparent difference. If anything the 160gb drive felt a bit faster.
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March 17, 2011 10:42:53 PM

Right now I have a system with a c300 for the OS drive and a 2 drive raid 0 array for storage and multimedia projects, I ONLY use the OS drive for read and not write, I use a symlink for all of my user and temp files. I love it, but I've found a buyer for more money than I actually put into the system. So naturally I want to rebuild and go bigger. I plan on doing a lot more with my audio work on it, I love the fast access I have already. I was also planning on having a sans digital 4 disk array connected to my computer that I would use to serve multimedia to my other 3 roommates in the house. So I guess I'm wanting to use my PC as a gaming/multimedia beast while not noticing any degradation in performance while everyone has access to all my data.
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a b G Storage
March 17, 2011 10:49:52 PM

When I open PS with a single V2 it takes about 5 seconds to open with all the filters and brush packs installed. When I use the V3 it takes about 4 seconds. When I open it with my 6 drive V2 array.. it takes less than 3. Some app timers even call it less than 1 but you know how that stuff goes. Change the app and you change the result.

All this would be fresh to desktop with no additional load(besides the basic W7 junk). Whether this is all doen at q-depth of 1 I couldn't say(don't think Adobe CS4 supports multithreading yet? may be though).

Also worth a mention that with raid array of 6 drives wide, everything loads and installs quicker as well. Maybe not everyone see's this result(and I've seen others post results that show that as well), but for me it is quite obvious with no stop watch required.

The other thing to consider here is the use of the Sandforce controller. With 6 x Indilinx 30GB Vertex on the same chip I did in fact see the typical cumulative effect of all the drives combined latency being added together and was right on mark with what your saying here. BUT... with these controllers the latency of all 6 of these drives is actaully LESS than 1 single Indilinx drive. That alone says a lot about Sandforce. Here's a couple marks for your perusal. Both are 6 drive arrays with the Sandforce array having 30 gigs of unallocated space(overprovisioning).

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March 17, 2011 10:56:51 PM

chumly said:
Right now I have a system with a c300 for the OS drive and a 2 drive raid 0 array for storage and multimedia projects, I ONLY use the OS drive for read and not write, I use a symlink for all of my user and temp files.


Why not use the SSD for write activities? It's all so much better on SSD! You do realize it would take at least dozens of years to wear out the MLC in your SSD, even with heavy usage? I think it was Anand (from Anandtech), who said it would take him 170 years to genuinely wear out his SSD, writing 8GB/day to it, 365 days a year. Other components in the drive will wear out long before the flash.
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a b G Storage
March 17, 2011 11:03:27 PM

Hey geofelt, been a while and I remember a similar "single vs raid" conversation from last year as well. Man did I get some SSD schooling since then, eh? Even became a beta tester. lol

All I can say without doubt guys, is that you don't need benchmarks or even a stopwatch to tell the difference when you get into wider arrays. It really is quite noticable in all that you do with massive difference in heavier usage as expected.

In fact I would STILL take 2 Vertex 2's over the 1 Vertex 3 drive I have. When we really boil things right down with SSD, it's about channels used(with nand density as a distant consideration) and 2 beats 1 every time. I'm guessing Geofelt would agree that's why the Intel is so strong since it has 10 channels compared to many other controllers using only 8.

Anywho.. nice chattin' with you guys and I'll be checking back in later to see what new theory we can dig up.
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a b G Storage
March 17, 2011 11:08:56 PM

nitrium said:
Why not use the SSD for write activities? It's all so much better on SSD! You do realize it would take at least dozens of years to wear out the MLC in your SSD, even with heavy usage? I think it was Anand (from Anandtech), who said it would take him 170 years to genuinely wear out his SSD, writing 8GB/day to it, 365 days a year. Other components in the drive will wear out long before the flash.



I agree completely. After all. Do you really think you'll want an old small capacity drive that requires all sorts of firmware trickery and free space to maintain itself? 3 years is an eternity with these things. I've almost been kicked off the OCZ forums a few times due to my extreme usage views and avoidance of Sandforce's built in throttling algorithms. I say use the P**S outta' them and move on to bigger and faster ones later on. Even though the nand dies are shrinking and the PE/c is dropping as a result, the capacity will be such that it will still be tough to burn all the nand on a 500GB drive later on.
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March 17, 2011 11:15:33 PM

]http://img845.imageshack.us/img845/3613/indilinxtosandforcecomp.jpg[/quotemsg]

Yeah, see I get better QD1 4Kb random read performance on my single drive. Like I said, random QD1 performance is the only metric that counts for typical non power users like myself. Launching Thunderbird, Firefox, booting Win7, games: that's what most people use the disks in their PCs for. RAID 0 arrays of SSDs doesn't tangibly increase that performance. Four seconds you say to launch PS on a single Vertex 3 or a 6-drive RAID array that does it in 3. How is that worth the additional cost of getting multiple separate drives? Do you seriously miss that second? Well, everyone is different I s'pose.
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a b G Storage
March 17, 2011 11:23:01 PM

wasn't really about the quantity of time saved versus/$$$ spent so much as just trying to say there is improvement to be had. Some think that those who spend a G just for a Intel 980X are crazy due to the limited gain in overall performance. I say if they have the money to burn like that.. more power to em'.

When you boil it right down here, we are literally buying time with SSD. The more you want to save.. the more you must spend. I don't knock people who don't mind driving 150 horsepower 4 cylinders and they shouldn't knock me for wanting to drive my 563 Horsepower V8. To each his own.. as you already said there. Later guys
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March 17, 2011 11:42:19 PM

We're getting a little off topic. I really just want to know, for my intended usages, which drive(s) would be a better option.
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a c 175 G Storage
March 18, 2011 2:18:18 AM

There are issues with pci-e bootable drives. You need to check the ocz forums and be certain that your motherboard is OK, and that you can install suitable drivers. For my part, I think that is more trouble than it is worth.

For the most part, the sequential data transfer rates of SSD's is a metric that can be measured, but it is largely irrelevant to what we mostly do with an OS, namely small random reads and writes(90%?). Any SSD does that very quickly, because of the minimal access times, so you will get good performance, regardless.

The problem with raid-0 for a SSD is that you lose "trim" capability, and the subsequent performance hit on write speed and longevity.

That is my reasoning suggesting a single 120gb drive of whatever kind.
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Best solution

March 18, 2011 2:38:24 AM

chumly said:
We're getting a little off topic. I really just want to know, for my intended usages, which drive(s) would be a better option.


Ha ha, yeah true that. Me, I'd definitely go with the 120 GB OCZ PCIe Revodrive myself. A single 120GB Vertex 3 drive on a SATA 6 Gbs wouldn't be a bad bet either. Or like another poster said, wait just a bit longer to see how the Crucial C400 drives stack up. All IMHO of course!
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March 18, 2011 11:32:02 AM

Best answer selected by chumly.
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March 18, 2011 11:32:57 AM

I did the research on the motherboard I want, the PCIe is def bootable.
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a b G Storage
March 20, 2011 6:54:52 AM

just be aware that some have issue running the Revo with raided drives due to rom limitations. If you don't need to run raids at the same time then a Revo should make you happy, though I would still waut for the next gens to get here. Vertex 3 release also means stronger Revos on thier way too.

With the strength of my 240GB V3 in OS usage, I could easily see wanting another for R0. Very nice controller and the reductions in throttling with this new controller are worth the wait alone. Current Revo drives will throttle much moreso than the ones on the way shortly. Many people complained.. and they finally listened.
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