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What would you do with two ssds and a hdd?

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August 24, 2011 4:42:17 AM

I have 2 SSDs here with a HDD on its way.

Vertex2 60gb
Vertex 3 120gb
WD Caviar Black 1TB (64mb cache version)

Currently I just have the Vertex3 installed by itself running Win7 Enterprise x64. AHCI Enabled. It is a clean install so I wouldn't mind re-doing it all over again.

Don't ask why but I just received a Vertex 2 60gb SSD..sadly the 25nm version.
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In a couple of days a Caviar Black 1TB should be here as well.

How would you utilize these to the fullest? Selling/Donating is not an option LOL. I don't want to just leave one in its box.

Originally I planned for the common : SSD Boot Drive/Programs and HDD Storage. Now with the extra SSD I don't know what is best.

Yes I only have a motherboard that supports SATA2. No worries. Upgrade is around the corner. Just not a priority yet. So in the meantime I have to find a way to use these the best I can.

Appreciate any feedback. Suggestions. Thanks

**In case it matters**
Q6600 @ 3.00ghz
8gb DDR2 PC2-6400 @ 667mhz (different pair different timings)
GA-P35C-DS3R rev 1.x
GTX 285

More about : ssds hdd

a c 539 G Storage
August 24, 2011 5:38:17 AM

I would RAID-0 the 2 Vertex SSDs and use the Caviar Black as a backup drive.

Prior to creating the RAID I would also:

1.) Update motherboard BIOS to version F12
2.) Update Vertex 2 firmware to version 1.33
3.) Update Vertex 3 firmware to version 2.11
4.) Secure Erase both SSDs
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August 24, 2011 5:45:56 AM

Dereck47 said:
I would RAID-0 the 2 Vertex SSDs and use the Caviar Black as a backup drive.

Prior to creating the RAID I would also:

1.) Update motherboard BIOS to version F12
2.) Update Vertex 2 firmware to version 1.33
3.) Update Vertex 3 firmware to version 2.11
4.) Secure Erase both SSDs



Cool. If I had known that two different(model and size) drives could be in RAID I wouldn't be in this situation. WOW. So its really possible huh? Thanks man. I will try this later on and see. Yeah my vertex 3 is already on 2.11. Just gotta check the mobo and vertex2.

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a c 539 G Storage
August 24, 2011 6:02:24 AM

Yeah, for best performance you want the drives to be the same model and size, but those 2 will work together.
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August 24, 2011 1:52:12 PM

Dereck47 said:
Yeah, for best performance you want the drives to be the same model and size, but those 2 will work together.


Done.
Updated Motherboard Bios to F12.
Updated Vertex2 to 1.33. Lucky to have gotten the old 32nm version.

Installed Windows 7 Ent. x64 on RAID 60+120 = 120gb RAID-0

Now just waiting for the HDD.

While trying to get Windows 7 with RAID.. I noticed sometimes, when the computer boots up, the status of my array is "failure". Haven't noticed it after the installation. But something might be wrong. Its always the Vertex2 missing from the array too.
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a b G Storage
August 24, 2011 2:19:29 PM

Dereck47 said:
Yeah, for best performance you want the drives to be the same model and size, but those 2 will work together.

How do you raid a 120 GB SSd and a 60 GB SSD without losing half of the 120 GB storage? I am no expert in RAID but I was under the impression that a raid array (like a GPU array) operates in such a manner to use the lesser standard of the hardware. In other words, a RAIDed pair of 120 & 60 SSDs will give you one virtual drive of 120 GB, this leaving 60 GB on the 120 GB unused. I would appreaciate more info in this area as it is why I have not set up RAIDED arrays with different sized HDDs.
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a c 302 G Storage
August 24, 2011 2:49:38 PM

Chesteracorgi is correct; you will end up with a total of 120 GB. I believe, although I may be wrong, that you would actually get better performance by using the Vertex 3 by itself; the slower 2 will drag it down. In addition, RAID0 significantly increases your chance of failure, and of data loss in a failure. (In fact, it isn't technically RAID, since the R stands for Redundant.)

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Since you asked what I would do with them, not what is best to do with them, I would test the above assertion by building the system on the Vertex 3 only, benchmarking it, rebuilding it on the RAID0, then benchmarking again.

When was through with that, I would build the OS onto the faster Vertex 3 drive partitioned into 60 GB for system and 60 GB for data. Most of My Documents would fit onto that 60 GB. I would then use something like Mirror Folder to mirror that 60 GB of data to the Vertex 2. Presto! I've got something close to RAID1 for my most frequently updated files without any drives spinning. Nice, quiet system.

The 1 TB drive would hold all my large files that are basically read-only: music, video, databases, porn. I don't edit video or music, so 60 GB would probably hold my Email and the contents of My Documents that I work with almost all of the time.

Everything would get backed up externally, but at least a drive failure wouldn't lose the document that I was working on at the time. Yes, it would be slower than just having one copy of the documents, but I'd have this nice warm feeling.

Not a solution that would appeal to many, but you asked.
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August 24, 2011 2:52:14 PM

chesteracorgi said:
How do you raid a 120 GB SSd and a 60 GB SSD without losing half of the 120 GB storage? I am no expert in RAID but I was under the impression that a raid array (like a GPU array) operates in such a manner to use the lesser standard of the hardware. In other words, a RAIDed pair of 120 & 60 SSDs will give you one virtual drive of 120 GB, this leaving 60 GB on the 120 GB unused. I would appreaciate more info in this area as it is why I have not set up RAIDED arrays with different sized HDDs.


You are right. the lowest size x 2. In my case I'm just after the performance gain and it does sound like a good way to use two different ssds and a hdd
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August 24, 2011 3:10:33 PM

I do get some failed boots especially from the powered off state. I reset and it's fine . Thanks for the suggestion. It took me a whole lotta time getting the raid correct but I do like ur idea of just using the vertex3.
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a c 177 G Storage
August 24, 2011 4:16:07 PM

Are we talking raid-0 or raid-1 here?
Regardless, I would not do either. No sense in reducing your capacity either way.
Raid-0 does not improve normal performance, and raid-1 does not solve the complete backup problem.

Just install the drives as simple AHCI drives. Put the os on one, and as much as you want spread out between the two. 180 total gb should hold most of your active files and apps. Use the hard drive for overflow storage and backups.
Also, plan on some sort of external backup regardless.
------------bottom line--------------
Keep it simple.
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Best solution

a c 353 G Storage
August 24, 2011 5:33:33 PM

+100K to No raid0.
(1) Raid0 will only improve sequencial read/writes, the least important factor for a OS + Program disk. Does very little to NO improvement in the Important area of random small file read/writes.
(2) Raid0 you lose Trim (Windows 7)
(3) Vertex3 can be probmatic in itself, and you want to compound that with Raid0.
(4) as already stated, flushed 60 gigs down the lew

My setup on two systems.
I5-750 - 120 Gig SSD (Sata II) for OS and programs, 80 SSD (Intel G2) for scratch/work disk, and 2 HDD for storage.
I5-2500k - 120 Gig Agility 3 for OS and programs, 120 Gig Agility 3 for scratch/work disk, anda 1 TB HDD for storage.
Work/scratch disk = All my docs/spreadsheets and files that I normal work on, both temporary and permanent. Gamer could also install extra games here.
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a b G Storage
August 24, 2011 5:48:57 PM

RAIDing two SSDs gives a very small and dubious performance boost over a single SSD. I doubt that you will realize a 10% performance boost at the sacrifice of 33% of your SSD storage. And the performance boost is further compromised by the fact that you have to transfer from a SATA II bus to a SATA III bus. I'd run the 120 GB SSD as a boot disk and the 60 GB SSD for any games not fitting on the boot disk. That way you will maximize both storage and performance.
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August 24, 2011 9:18:09 PM

RetiredChief said:

I5-2500k - 120 Gig Agility 3 for OS and programs, 120 Gig Agility 3 for scratch/work disk, anda 1 TB HDD for storage.
Work/scratch disk = All my docs/spreadsheets and files that I normal work on, both temporary and permanent. Gamer could also install extra games here.


I guess I just had to try raid to so I will stop thinking about setting it up that way.

Hopefully this will be the last time I have to setup the PC and actually have time to use it. :D 


**Decision**
Vertex3: OS/Applications
Vertex2: Work Disk...So I will move parts of my user profile here (My Documents, Downloads, My Music, My Videos, My Pictures, Desktop and Dropbox
HDD: I might move Downloads here. Torrent space. Just storage drive.

This is ok right? Almost like quoted setup from above
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a c 353 G Storage
August 24, 2011 10:57:55 PM

Go for it and ENJOY
Just to let you know, I used raid0 in All my builds since early nintys (IDE drives), But quit after my first SSDs, no real advantage.
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a c 177 G Storage
August 24, 2011 11:12:41 PM

For what it is worth, I also tried raid-0 on two Intel X25-M 80gb drives. Mainly because I wanted the convenience of a larger 160gb single image.
When I later switched to a single X25-M 160gb drive, performance was the same, if not a bit better.

your plan looks good to me.
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a b G Storage
August 25, 2011 1:39:47 AM

I agree with your decision; it is a much better use of your hardware and you get maximum speed from the SSDs and HDD.
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August 25, 2011 7:43:49 PM

Best answer selected by captainoats.
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August 25, 2011 7:45:51 PM

Thanks for all the help guys. All that is left is for me is to go Sandy Bridge.. But everything seems fast enough still.

Cheers!!
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