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Two SATA III ports: Best to use them with HDD or SSD?

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September 17, 2011 2:20:15 PM

I have an Asus P8Z68-V Pro motherboard which has two SATA III ports off of the Z68 controller, and four SATA II ports off of the Z68 controller. It also has two more SATA III ports off of the Marvel controller. I will be using Windows 7, 64 bit, and have 16Gb of memory on the MB.

The problem is that I wish to use the two HDDs in a RAID 1 array and the SSD as a Smart Response Technology drive. However, only the Z68 controller supports either so that means I only have two SATA III 6Gb ports available.

So, the question is, would I get better performance by putting the two HDDs on the 3 Gb port and the SSD on the 6 Gb ports, or by putting the two HDDs on the 6Gb ports and the SSD on the 3Gb port??? The info on the drives is below.

Thanks in advance for your help!

-Tom

(2) TSD-2000H : Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 0F12115 2TB Serial ATA Hard Drive - 2TB, 7200 RPM, 64MB, SATA-6
(1) O261-8200 : OCZ AGT3-25SAT3-60G Agility 3 Series Solid State Drive - 60GB, 2.5" SATA 6

More about : sata iii ports hdd ssd

a c 415 G Storage
September 17, 2011 6:21:29 PM

Hard drives won't benefit from the higher transfer rate of the 6Gbit/sec port since they only have a maximum transfer rate of about 1/4 of that. I'm not familiar with your SSD and whether it will benefit from a port faster than 3Gbit/sec, but there's a lot better chance it will rather than the hard drives.
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September 17, 2011 6:28:30 PM

USE IT FOR THE SSD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's a sata iii ssd and will take full bandwith of the SATA III port. Just make sure you have a sata III cable.
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a c 119 G Storage
September 17, 2011 7:15:49 PM

The fact tha that you are using the two hdd's in a raid gives you a perfomance boost already , ideally it would be great to use sata3 ports but if you want the smart response then you have to put the two SSD'S in the sata3 ports and use one for the cache and one for the OS.
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September 17, 2011 7:46:29 PM

Inzone: It's two Hard Drives and one SSD, all SATA III...

Thanks,
Tom
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a c 119 G Storage
September 17, 2011 8:08:02 PM

Sorry I guess I didn't realize the amount I must have thought you were just listing them. If it were my computer I would be using the SSD in the sata3 marvell controller and putting the OS on it and the rest on the two HDD in raid on the z68 controlled sata3 ports. I don't think the smart response is worth all the trouble using it , after reading up on it there seems to be some risk involved with data loss if the power is interrupted in the caching process.
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a c 415 G Storage
September 17, 2011 8:34:22 PM

inzone said:
The fact tha that you are using the two hdd's in a raid gives you a perfomance boost already , ideally it would be great to use sata3 ports...
Just to be clear, with motherboard RAID you don't need to use high-speed SATA ports for your hard drives because each drive has its own port. For example, let's say that you have four drives that can transfer data at 100MByte/sec (that's 1Gbit/sec over SATA using 10/8 encoding). If you plug them into four separate 3Gbit/sec SATA ports and use them to create a four-volume RAID-0 array, that array should (under ideal conditions) be able to sustain a 400MByte/sec transfer rate (4Gbit/sec in SATA terms). That's because each drive is able to transfer 1Gbit/sec over it's own individual SATA connection and the four of them running in parallel add up to 4Gbit/sec (400MByte/sec). In fact the drives would still run just as fast even if they used 1.5Gbit/sec SATA-I ports.

The only time that SATA bandwidth becomes an issue with RAID is if:

1) You're using some packaged RAID product that plugs into a SATA port so that the bandwidth of the entire RAID set has to go through one connection, or

2) The SATA controller that the RAID drives are plugged into has a bottleneck in it's connection to the PCIe bus and it can't handle the full bandwidth of data coming from the individual ports. Even in this case it's the PCIe connection where the bottleneck is, not the SATA connections.
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September 18, 2011 12:08:16 AM

Is that also true in the case of a RAID 1 (mirroring) array, which is what I would be running with the two HDDs? My entire computer system is on a UPS so I am not worried about losing data with SRT on the SSD.

It would seem that the consensus here is to use the Z68 SATA II ports for the two HDDs in RAID 1 and the Z68 SATA III port for the one SSD with SRT... Is that correct?
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a c 415 G Storage
September 18, 2011 5:14:41 AM

Yes, for motherboard RAID of any organization, including RAID 1, it really doesn't matter what speed SATA ports you use for hard drives, since the drives themselves can't deliver data off their platters fast enough to saturate a SATA link. (Some of the fastest hard drives are pushing it on a 1.5Gbit/sec SATA port, but a 3Gbit/sec connection isn't a bottleneck for any existing hard drive).
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September 18, 2011 2:39:19 PM

Thanks guys, I appreciate all the help!

Tom
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