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Crucial SSD's, RAID 0, TRIM support

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  • SSD
  • NAS / RAID
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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April 28, 2011 6:52:31 PM

Hey guys,

I am only a novice when it comes to knowledge of computer hardware. I have purchased several components for a system I am building and I have a question about SSD's in RAID 0. There is a ton of information out there on this very topic, but all the information I could find was quite dated. (2009 was the most recent I could find).

I understand that back in 2009, TRIM command was unavailable to SSD's in RAID 0 and so putting the drives in that configuration was discouraged.

I have purchased 2 Crucial 128gb C300 SSD's that I plan to install into a Gigabyte.Assassin motherboard. I also will be putting in a 1TB WD Caviar black drive for storage.

I plan on putting my SSD's in a RAID 0 configuration. I plan on using the built in RAID controller of the motherboard as the reviews for the controller was quite good so I figured I didn't need to spend the extra money on a separate controller card.

Anyways, back to my question, I couldn't find any recent information to determine if putting SSD's in RAID 0 on modern motherboards with Windows 7 64bit professional now support the TRIM command? If it doesn't support TRIM, is the Garbage Collection functions better these days?

I am not concerned about drive failure or losing all the data on both drives, as I will be keeping my important stuff on my storage drive. So if something goes awry with one of the SSD's I dont mind wiping them and starting over.

So, overall, I am looking for information about the TRIM command, and ultimately, is it recommended to put SSD's in RAID 0 configuration these days, or should I just keep them as seperate drives?

Thanks in advance, and I do apologize if this topic has been addressed recently, but I couldn't find it.



Dave

More about : crucial ssd raid trim support

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a c 314 G Storage
April 28, 2011 7:09:50 PM

The general rule of thumb is solid state drives in a Raid array do not support the Windows TRIM function. Instead, the drives rely on what is commonly referred to as "garbage collection". Garbage collection works very well.

There is one exception that I am aware of but it is more of a workaround. Intel has been working on the problem and might have a solution. There are rumors that TRIM support for Intel ssd's in Raid arrays will be included in the new models that will be introduced later this year. No confirmation yet.
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a c 415 G Storage
April 28, 2011 7:09:58 PM

If you're planning to use a motherboard chipset RAID implementation based on the Intel ICHxxR chipsets, the answer is no, TRIM is not supported for SSDs are are part of a RAID set. TRIM is supported if the motherboard chipset is in "RAID" mode, but only for drives configured as single, non-RAID volumes. The intent is to enable TRIM for a single, non-RAID OS SSD while also allowing RAID for data volumes.

The information is on this page on the Intel driver website. Click the "Is there TRIM support for RAID configurations" link.
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April 28, 2011 7:16:09 PM

Fair enough, but I planned on using the North Bridge instead of the Intel South bridge. I wanted to avoid the ICH chipset and the motherboard has the Marvell set for 6gb/s. Does that make a difference?
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a c 314 G Storage
April 28, 2011 8:22:38 PM

The Crucial C300 ssd is equipped with a Marvel controller. The Intel chipset is preferred for ssd's with Marvel controllers. There is a performance increase when the Intel chipset is used.
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a c 353 G Storage
April 28, 2011 8:36:12 PM

And C300 has a terrible CG from what I've heard.
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a c 415 G Storage
April 28, 2011 9:01:39 PM

Alminar said:
Fair enough, but I planned on using the North Bridge instead of the Intel South bridge. I wanted to avoid the ICH chipset and the motherboard has the Marvell set for 6gb/s. Does that make a difference?
You'll have to scrounge around for information on the Marvell chipset drivers, I guess - but I've never heard any inkling that they support TRIM for RAID mode either...
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a c 353 G Storage
April 28, 2011 9:17:46 PM

Johnny, was not refering to the "Bug".
If you read down a little further, this is what I was getting at.
Quote: Not exactly a drastic improvement. The idle GC just isn’t very aggressive. Compared to what Indilinx and SandForce have done, Crucial’s implementation just doesn’t cut it. For Windows 7 users running a single drive this shouldn't matter since you have TRIM. But if you're running RAID or another OS, the C300 isn't as desirable.
End quote.

Bolds are my touch.
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a c 314 G Storage
April 28, 2011 10:04:07 PM

OK! Got it!

C300 Rev. 0006 Firmware Update : Release Date: 12/9/2010

Change Log:

•Improved power management
•Improved power-up behavior after uncontrolled power-down
•Improved full drive and corner-case performance
•Improved TRIM behavior

Comments indicate TRIM and garbage collection were improved.

Crucial is now up to firmware 0007.

This reminds me of the constant video card updates. There's always something
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April 28, 2011 10:21:22 PM

Haha nice! Thanks guys.

So you confused me on something. You are suggesting that I install the SSD's into the Intel slots instead of the Marvel? Even though the Intel slots on this motherboard I believe are only the SATA II 3gb/s whereas the Marvel are the SATA III 6gb/s?

As I said, Im a bit of a novice, so bare with me if I am on a different tangent here. :D 

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April 28, 2011 10:23:40 PM

So here is the info from the motherboard manual:

Storage Interface
South Bridge:ŠŠ
- 6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2_0~SATA2_5) supporting up to 6 SATA 3Gb/s devices
- Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10

Marvell 88SE9182:ŠŠ
- 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3_6, GSATA3_7) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
- Support for SATA RAID 0 and RAID 1


Wouldn't I want to use the Marvel? Thanks again.
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a c 314 G Storage
April 28, 2011 10:47:39 PM

Oi! I missed that part. Yes, you would want to use the Marvel chipset for SATA III (6 Gb/s). It should be okay.

It just dawned on me the motherboard configuration appears to be for an AMD based motherboard. It is different than Intel based motherboards.
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April 28, 2011 10:50:59 PM

Best answer selected by Alminar.
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April 28, 2011 10:55:21 PM

As said before the actual chipset AND chipset drivers need to support TRIM in RAID mode, and according to everything i've read, nothing supports this yet.

That being said, TRIM is not the most important thing in the world like many make it out to be. I have two first gen 32GB SSD's that have been running in RAID 0 for over a year now, with no noticeable slowdown. I turned off the pagefile, but that's it, no other mods to settings have been made and it still boots to the desktop lightning fast and I can still open every program on my desktop at once and they pop up like popcorn.

Now if/when they do start to slow down, I simply backup my drive to an image on an external hard drive, turn off raid, and wipe both drives with zero's using a live cd, re-enable the RAID and then restore the image. So you see trim really isn't needed at all as long as you can dedicate a few hours a year to manual cleaning.
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April 29, 2011 10:16:31 AM

JohnnyLucky said:
The general rule of thumb is solid state drives in a Raid array do not support the Windows TRIM function. Instead, the drives rely on what is commonly referred to as "garbage collection". Garbage collection works very well.

There is one exception that I am aware of but it is more of a workaround. Intel has been working on the problem and might have a solution. There are rumors that TRIM support for Intel ssd's in Raid arrays will be included in the new models that will be introduced later this year. No confirmation yet.


I just (heh just 6 months ago) got an ocz vertex2 120gb and my intel x58 based mobo supposedly supports trim in a raid according to the readme file that came with the driver I was installing (forget the name of the program that they released though off the top of my head). So yes if you have an intel chipset mobo you can raid your SSDs and still have trim support. IIRC it sends commands directly from the chipset to the drive instead of through the controller on the drive or something to that effect. I dont remember exactly how they got it to work but thats the jist of it. They bypass something that would normally prevent the disk from doing trim and the mobo controls it directly.
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a c 353 G Storage
April 29, 2011 12:44:31 PM

^ Latest skinny on intel web site
Quote
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.

Would be interested if you could provide a link. (Note there was a lot of miss info about the time that intel "F6" driver (ver 9.6)came out.
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a b G Storage
April 29, 2011 1:52:16 PM

RetiredChief is correct and Intel corrected the terminolgy that raised everyones skirts for a few weeks there after that driver was released. Still no trim on any raid member drives.
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