RAID0 or NOT ....that's the question

Hey guys ! Today I have a simple and at same time complicated by several factors question. RAID0 or not my OCZ Vertex 2 60GB hard drives as boot drives. I had them from beginning as RAID0 then people start talking about lack of Trim and updates of firmware and pointless or RAID0 because of seek is same regardless. Well my friends I bring this question to your attention.

1. RAID0 vs just single SSD as boot/windows drive performance ... big diffirence ?
2. Lack of Trim in RAID0 will result in degradation of performance ? (how fast cause I reformat windows every 6 months)
3. Firmware updates with RAID0 .... current OCZ Toolbox still does not support RAID0 ?
4. And finally what are the NEGATIVE having RAID0 with SSDs as boot drive ...something may be I did not mention ?

Thank you very much guys .
10 answers Last reply
More about raid0 that question
  1. Just a boot drive? Nothing else?
  2. Well. Boot that include Windows drivers, all system and start up utilities (AV?) and programs and all start up things that Windows need to operate. Programs like Office and games will be on my triple RAID0 WD Black array
  3. Based on your response there is no need or requirement for a RAID array. You would not notice any difference, especially since you intend to keep software applications and games on a hard drive disk. It would be different if you were doing something special such as compilation of several really huge databases or some sort of professional work.

    Have you considered using a solid state drive for Windows, software applications, and a few games you play the most? Data files, photos, movies, and other stuff can be kept on a hard disk drive. It is a very popular configuration.
  4. Well I have 2 64gb drives and when they are separated there is not much you can install on it game wise because they are huge this days. I also when formatting keep 20% not formatted at all so space is even less. Now with RAID0 I'll be able to put WOW on it and may be Starcraft 2 .... 2 most played games .... then again is it worth it at all ?
  5. SSD will run themselves into the ground eventually (about a year) anyway so while it wont make a huge difference in performance there aren't any real negatives to doing it. So just go with the techy motto, we do it because we can.
  6. I have never understood the attraction of RAID in the enthusiast community. For gaming and typical uses, it's a flop. Yes, of course it does help in storage constrained specific applications such as video editing, 3D Rendering, huge database manipulation and the like but the anticipated advantages are frankly just not realized for the majority of those taking this route.

    Even the SSD while it looks great in benchies has failed to impress in real word usage. Adding a Vertex 3 to Son No.3's system (can boot of HD or SSD) results in something that looks good on paper but really fails to impress subjectively. He dropped from a 21.2 second boot time on the HD to 15.6 on the SSD.

    Sure it's impressive sitting w/ a stopwatch .... a 26% reduction in time seems significant on the surface of it ..... but is droping 5.6 seconds a "life changing" experience ?

    Over 3 years, that's 1.7 hours so you're paying a pretty hefty hourly rate for that saved time. My son's routine upon coming home from school is to hit his room, drop his backpack, flip on the PC and then hit the fridge for a snack. Either way (HD or SSD boot) by the time he gets back, he's at his desktop.
  7. ^5 +1 what Jack said.

    If you have a game installed on a solid state drive, the game will load faster. If you need to call up a charts or maps, they will load faster if you are lucky. Having a game installed on a ssd will not improve FPS or game playability.
  8. Okay guys. I think we forgetting about a lot of things right here .... Let's forget about Boot for a second and games altogether. How about overall performance. I mean everything is flying on SSD on windows. I mean you loading a program or surfing web or doin anything. Background processes are no longer take time. I mean put it this way no matter what you do you'll not wait for your stuff to load .... ever ( well not some fail web pages or some big things) But you hear what I am saying in general SSD are really really nice all I am trying to figure out is RAID0 with SSD is it make any scence of doing it at all ....
  9. If you already have two 64gb ssds you might as well raid them. Sandforce drives scale nicely in raid.

    You know the drawbacks to a RAID 0.

    As far as raw speed is concerned I don't think I'd raid just for that. It might help but Jack said above the ssd over the hdd saved 5 seconds. How much is the raided ssd setup going to save over that? Half a second? And that translates across the board. More or less overall.

    The second best option is to use one for boot and one for a scratch disk/game/favourite program disk. The nice thing about this is that you have a clean file system on the scratch disk and not a win7 mess. The drawback is you have to manage where files are and where they are going more than with the raided c drive.

    Tough call. I'm leaning to the 'we can, its cool, and I want it... so RAID it is' And that's why enthusiasts raid.
  10. For any gen 1 Sandforce drive capacity is the best defense against degradation and throttling. 60 gigs is simply too small unless you constantly idle for GC to keep things nice and fast.

    And most forget or simply don't know that trim just marks the blocks for the SF drive to lazily make use of later on at low activity/powered on states(logoff idle is best). Only time that an older gen SF drive makes use of trim immediately is when the fresh block reserves is completely spent. But then it's often too late and the drive goes into heavier throttled states.

    IOW?.. TRIM is HIGHLY over rated for the first gen SF drives. Could take a long migraine induced read here if you really want to learn about these drives workings.

    And for the record?.. those smaller drives get bogged down quite easily with even typical incompressible data streams(think streaming media that we all use these days) and even reads will suffer when the drive is busy writing. You don't have to be ripping blurays or doing heavy workstation like tasks to see the results of adding more drives.

    Remember that a few seconds here and there all add up to a cumulative bit of time saved over time. If we just booted our systems?.. sure we could just talk about boot times. But since we actually use it for multiple tasks more than ever before these days?.. raid helps quite a bit in this regard and gives additional headroom(you won't notice slight speed losses as quickly), reduced throttling tendencies, and overall just makes for a nicer experience without as many hassles if a prudent backup strategy is used. I backup my R0's with as many R0's as my board and raidcard will allow and never lose raids. I repeat.. never lose raids. Of course it can happen but the rewards and potential time saved are well worth it in the long run.

    Generally speaking.. the one's who don't see much benefit either don't need it for their lighter usage patterns, have plenty of time to waste while their systems "think" and process or R/W data, or simply haven't ever experienced a faster wider array(think 4 drives or wider). From what I've seen it's mostly the latter of that bunch.

    There are guys using 2 x Vertex 3/240GB drives in R0 these days that have become believers for sure. Virus scans in seconds compared to minutes(and this is comparing to a faster single SSD). backup image restore times cut by almost 75%. More Windows and apps open than their brains can keep up with(myself included) without one iota percievable speed loss.

    So, in a nutshell here?.. to say that the OP doesn't "need" riad with those 2 smaller slower drives would be nearly identical to saying that no one "needs" or could really notice the difference between a faster 120GB drive and a slower 60GB drive. Not true in the slightest unless you just chat or open word documents. With Sandforce especially?.. size DOES matter! LOL
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