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Can you setup an SSD to Cache a second drive

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  • SSD
  • Cache
  • Gigabyte
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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August 5, 2011 6:28:44 AM

I have ordered a new system with a 64 GB SSD and two 2TB drives on a Gigabyte Z68X-UD7 motherboard. All the info I can find on SSD Caching and Smart Response Technology from Gigabyte only show setting up on the main drive.
Can I allocate the 32 GB to each or is it only for the main drive. The first drive is for operating system and programs. My second drive is predominantly for all my music storage.

More about : setup ssd cache drive

August 5, 2011 7:00:32 AM

As far as I know, you can only set up one SSD caching array on a system.

SSD caching only boosts read performance anyway ... why would you want it on a music-storage drive?
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August 5, 2011 7:47:14 AM

I think this MIGHT solve your problem?

You can set up the SSD and 2TB HDD in a RAID 0 array and use SSD caching.

Then install the second 2TB HDD and just use it as a stand alone drive to store all your music ect. Basically this means you have a 2TB running on its own, and then the 2TB HDD and the SSD running together in RAID0? The stand alone 2TB HDD would effectively be acting as an external HDD.

^im not sure if this works in practice, but im guessing that's what you'd like to do?
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August 5, 2011 7:49:16 AM

Thanks, I wasn't sure. I currently get a bit of lag from Itunes because of the bigger Library, so I thought it would prevent that.
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August 5, 2011 7:54:29 AM

Negative. A RAID-0 array takes the smallest drive and doubles that capacity. The platter drive would only have 64GB used and the rest would be wasted. Also, the SSD cannot not be used as both a cache drive and a part of the RAID array at the same time.

And yes, SSD caching would probably help with that lag, if you used iTunes often enough for it to become part of the cached data.
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August 5, 2011 7:55:00 AM

Just had a quick look on google about RAID0 set ups, and apparently the maximum size for a bootable partition is 2TB.

The 60GB SSD + 2TB HDD will total 2.06TB so im not sure how that will work out.

Your best option is to probably not even bother with SSD caching and just use that 60GB SSD as a boot drive and shove a few desktop apps on there (browser ect) and then just set up a huge 4GB RAID 0 for everything else.

Not sure if other people would agree, but that seems the best option performance wise.
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August 5, 2011 7:55:17 AM

Thanks Adrian, that's exactly how i am going to set it up. The smart responce technology software allows you to either use the whole SSD or just a portion of it. that's why I thought I might be able to use the other portion for the other drive. I've ordered all the components so still waiting another week.
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August 5, 2011 7:57:57 AM

Your lucky you got a Gigabyte board, their EZ SRT feature makes it very very easy to set up SSD caching should you choose to use it.

Im in all kinds of confusion about adding an SSD to my system (ASUS board). Ive had to make registry changes just to allow my PC to boot as RAID on my current 1TB HDD.
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August 5, 2011 8:25:45 AM

AdrianPerry said:
Just had a quick look on google about RAID0 set ups, and apparently the maximum size for a bootable partition is 2TB.

The 60GB SSD + 2TB HDD will total 2.06TB so im not sure how that will work out.

Your best option is to probably not even bother with SSD caching and just use that 60GB SSD as a boot drive and shove a few desktop apps on there (browser ect) and then just set up a huge 4GB RAID 0 for everything else.

Not sure if other people would agree, but that seems the best option performance wise.


I think using the SSD as boot is smart.

I think using RAID 0 on the two 2TB drives is NOT.

RAID 0 is a very bad idea on any volume used for long-term storage. It guarantees that any drive failure will mean losing every file on the drive. Drives fail. Be prepared for it. Have backups! And don't turn a single drive failure into catastrophe by using RAID 0!

Why on earth would you need RAID 0 on music storage, anyway? Even a single 5400rpm drive is plenty fast enough for music.

The only time you should be considering RAID 0 is when you need extreme performance, and you already have complete backups of the data (or the data can be readily re-generated).

For example, you might want a really fast disk volume for doing some heavy duty non-linear video editing. You might have two medium-size drives (a pair of Velociraptors, for example) in RAID 0. Stage the video from your main video storage (perhaps on a RAID 5 or RAID 6 NAS) to the RAID 0, do your editing, then copy the finished video to the NAS. That makes sense.

I think the OP can use the SSD alone as boot, or as cache to one 2TB drive. Use the other by itself for music storage.
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August 5, 2011 8:40:45 AM

If I'm only able to have a maximum of 2TB then probably just the SSD boot drive is the way to go for me. No point losing some space for a little bit of speed gain, and like you said Even a single 5400rpm drive is plenty fast enough for music although the one i'm getting is 5900. Thank you all very much.
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August 5, 2011 9:34:25 AM

Best answer selected by control.
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August 5, 2011 10:52:17 AM

@CompulsiveBuilder

- Just to clarify, is RAID-0 LESS reliable than a single Drive?

If reliability is of concern you could make a nice RAID1 set up with those two 2TB HDD's :) 

Although this means 4TB of overall space, actually only gives you 2TB usable since the other 2TB is a direct mirror of the first. So it depends how much your concerned with a backup, or how much overall space you actually need.
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August 5, 2011 2:17:50 PM

Yes Raid 0 is less reliable because if 1 disc fails they both fail. with the gigabyte software using the SSD as cache it uses the same data for both the ssd and the 2 gb drive. I'd like to keep the free space and fully utilize both drives.
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