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HD storage overrides SSD raid0 in bios

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April 24, 2011 7:30:17 PM

Sorry if this has been asked before, been trying to search around and I can not find this particular situation.

I am a professional 3D artist/compositor, and wanted to set up a SSD raid 0 as I am reading/writing many large files, and working with lots of video image sequences in compositing software such as nuke and after effects. I am currently using 2 corsair f120 SSDs, and got everything set up and working great. I have read/write speeds over 500mb on big files on the benchmark, and averaging around 275mb read speeds just monitoring it.

The problem I ran into was after I installed windows to the raid. I installed a 1.5tb drive for my storage, and now the mobo will only try and boot from this drive. In the boot priority section of bios it is also the only drive selectable, where as previously I simply selected my raid0 drive to boot from. If I disconnect the 1.5tb drive for the boot up, and then plug it back in while windows is loaded, it is fine. :pt1cable: 

I am using windows 7. The mobo is a asus p6t Deluxe v2, and the raid is using the intel Controller. I set my storage configuration in my bios to Raid, and configured the raid using the Ctrl-i raid set up.

I am relatively new to setting up the raids, this is my first one and have just been following tutorials on the internet, and doing a lot of research. I may have missed something :sol: 

Thank you for any help!
April 26, 2011 3:51:15 AM

Update: I purchased 2 WD Caviar black 2tb drives to put in a raid 1. The 1.5tb drive was getting somewhat old, and was a seagate baracuda which i have been reading tend to fail early. The hope is that having two raids will get rid of the problem :) 
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a c 300 G Storage
April 26, 2011 6:20:06 PM

What I have seen on Asus mobos is that only one hard drive is available in the boot menu. Go to the Hard Drive menu on the same page (?) and put the drive you want to boot from ahead of the array that you don't want to boot from.

Whether this works or not (I hope it does), let us know how the SSDs help with major rendering work. I haven't seen anyone else using them this way yet. Leave the machine on but idle sometimes, so that Garbage Collection will be able to identify free space on the SSDs.
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April 26, 2011 8:05:23 PM

WyomingKnott said:
What I have seen on Asus mobos is that only one hard drive is available in the boot menu. Go to the Hard Drive menu on the same page (?) and put the drive you want to boot from ahead of the array that you don't want to boot from.

Whether this works or not (I hope it does), let us know how the SSDs help with major rendering work. I haven't seen anyone else using them this way yet. Leave the machine on but idle sometimes, so that Garbage Collection will be able to identify free space on the SSDs.


Ah thanks, yea that may be the issue...I will try that when I get home today.

Here's some info on how the SSD Raid has affected the rendering and compositing:

-I use Maya rendering with Mental Ray and Vray for the 3D work, and there is very little performance gain on the actual rendering which is to be expected as its almost all CPU based. Writing the image to the drive after it finished is faster I am sure, but its not really noticeable with renders that are longer than 10 seconds.

-On large files, there can be a long waiting time where a temporary file is saved before a batch render of an image sequence... saving and opening files is much faster, which can be a major time saver when your file takes a few minutes to save on a normal drive.

-An area that I have not tested yet but expect a nice performance gain is dealing with cached data, weather it be particle or fluid information. A lot of renderers like vray or mental ray can use proxys for complex objects and call cached geometry from your harddrive at render time as well.

-Compositing is a gigantic performance increase. For those that aren't familiar...when rendering 3D, the artist kicks out a lot of image sequences for different parts of the image, and then reassemble them in software like Nuke or After effects for control of the final result. This usually amounts to 1-5gigs of data per shot depending on length and complexity. Sometimes we end up with a whole lot of passes and the shots can end up being 20-30gb worth of image sequences.

I have only had them installed for a few days, but so far I am a huge fan! For now I have a lot of space on the SSDs, but later down the road I am just going to copy whatever I am working on back and forth from the storage to the SSDs. I do play some games too, and its nice to have the loading times reduced.

I keep reading a lot about how the Corsair Force drives tend to be a little unstable, and also you lose TRIM if you raid them. Does not having TRIM reduce the life of the drive? Or you just have to upkeep it on your own better?
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a c 300 G Storage
April 27, 2011 1:42:50 PM

vayne001 said:
I keep reading a lot about how the Corsair Force drives tend to be a little unstable, and also you lose TRIM if you raid them. Does not having TRIM reduce the life of the drive? Or you just have to upkeep it on your own better?

Thank you for the info. I just forwarded a link to this thread to a colleague of mine who does a lot of video processing.

Lack of the TRIM command tends to reduce performance. This is because an SSD always looks for a free and already erased cell to write to, even if you think that you are changing a sector of a file. So the list of free space is critically important; if it is not maintained, the drive can spend a lot of time looking for a place to write your next block.

The TRIM command tells the drive that a file has been deleted or blocks otherwise freed; they are then added to the free list and may even be erased in advance (I think that erasing takes more time than writing; I may be wrong). In the absence of the TRIM command, there is a process called Garbage Collection that runs on some SSDs (I haven't checked your model) and finds unused blocks, adds them to the list, and may erase them.

Garbage Collection only runs when the drives are idle, so some people leave their machines on, but idle, overnight. Of course, "idle" is in the eye of the beholder, with indexing and virus scans and malware running all of the time.

So the short answer is: Write performance will degrade over time in the absence of the TRIM command, unless the drive implements Garbage Collection and is given idle time in which to run GC.
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April 27, 2011 6:52:24 PM

Well as I mentioned, I picked up the western digital drives. Just to test it out, I checked bios before setting up the raid and Bios had no problem showing me all the drives and selecting which to boot from. I do not know what was goign on with the seagate but its not a huge loss letting it go as it was getting old.

The western digital drives set up easy, setting up the raid1 went smooth.

I found this info on the Corsair Force drives and Garbage Colleciton in raid0 as well:

SF-1200 Client SSD Processor Specification
DuraClass Technology: DuraWrite™ extends the endurance of SSDs
Intelligent Block Management & Wear Leveling
Intelligent Read Management
Intelligent “Recycling” for advanced free space management (Garbage Collection)
RAISE™ (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements)
Best-in-Class ECC protection for longest data retention and drive life
Power/Performance Balancing

as per the corsair support forums: http://forum.corsair.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90058

Thanks for all the help!
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April 27, 2011 6:52:40 PM

Best answer selected by vayne001.
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