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SSD bootable

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October 4, 2011 12:05:44 AM

I know some PCI-Express SSDs are bootable but which are, with which motherboard chipsets, and which operating systems support it? As it is a big waste of many on a 80 - 120 gigabyte hard drive if it turns out to not be able to be the boot drive. Also do you know if the PCI-Express SSDs are able to be put into RAID 0 with another identical PCI-Express SSD while maintaining the ability to be a bootable drive. The only reason for a PCI-Express SSD to be the boot drive is to have the system boot up faster so will having it in RAID decrease or increase the boot time if it is still able to be booted from while in a RAID 0 configuration?

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a c 102 G Storage
October 4, 2011 1:18:39 AM

Don't bother with PCI-Express SSD.

1) Your motherboard must support it to be bootable. Many can't.
2) Some argue a speed advantage if you get a SATA3 SSD (i.e. Vertex 3 max 560MB/second) and have only SATA2 versus a PCI-Express solution (4xPCIe v2 is 2000MB/second).

However, the smaller file transfer speed often drops below SATA2 limits. There are times when it would be faster but the negatives outweigh any possible speed benefit.

3) PCIe slot taken up. May block another card's fan as well.
4) no TRIM support on most.

PCIe SSD should be big in the future however, as SSD speeds start getting far too fast for SATA2 or SATA3 motherboards. For example, a 8x PCIe v2 slot can handle 4000MB/second.

I see increasing scenarios where this will be used. I just don't think we're there yet. Soon though.

Other:
If you buy a PCIe SSD be careful of crippling your graphics bandwidth. It's not likely a big issue yet. However, if you had a high-end graphics card which used about 10x of its 16x slot bandwidth, the slot may drop to 8x speed if it detects a card in the second 8x slot.

Again, many motherboards may support 16x speed if the second graphics card slot is unoccupied but then switch to both supporting only x8 (for 2xSLI or Crossfire).

(You can insert any PCIe card into the larger PCIe "graphics card" slots, even if it's only a x1 card)
a c 119 G Storage
October 4, 2011 3:31:07 AM

I have been using the pci-e ssd's for some time and they are fast. You are most likely refering to the RevoDrive from OCZ. I am currently running a RevoDrive X2. They are not exactly plug and play and you do need to follow thier install directions , once you get the hang of it though it gets better. They are fast and keep getting faster with each new release.They do not interfere with other cards as they are very thin and as far as video perfomance you do not notice if a video card is running at x8 or x16. I would look at the compatability list but the newer MB should support it. You cannot raid these cards as they are already a raid setup to begin with. They are bootable and that is how I have been using mine. You may also be interested in thier newest release; a RevoDrive Hybrid which is a SSD Flash (100gb) and a 1tb hard drive together in a pci-e board. They actually took a 100gb RevoDrive and slapped a 1tb hard drive on it. Check it out;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168....
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a c 102 G Storage
October 4, 2011 5:15:57 AM

If a person has no issues, and the PCIe card is faster and reasonably priced then it makes sense.

There are currently many people who would have issues (such as not being bootable) and need to be aware of these.

I fully intend to get one in the future myself even though I have SATA3 (600MB/second) on the motherboard.

My motherboard has an NF200 solution however which offers a single card x16 performance, but if the second graphics card slot is occupied then both are x8. This means when I buy my next graphics card (a GTX600 series) I can't use the second slot because I know the card I buy will use more than x8.

I should be fine with the x4 slot (2000MB/second). I just need to double-check my motherboard.

It would be nice of motherboard manufacturers DID NOT DROP bandwidth on the primary slot in these scenarios because when GAMING the drive is almost never needed except for loading so there's no conflict anyway.
October 19, 2011 6:49:57 AM

i am looking for a list of bootable PCI-express SSDs and the motherboard/system board which it is supported on not the options of the community on using them. As the Video card of my choice doesn't even take up the electrical link of a x8 slot for a GeForce 560 not in SLI. But with what inzone has said i will be interested in what OS will support a SSD the best also.
on newegg it does not list if they are bootable or not most of the time that is why i came here to ask.
btw you have 96 lines for a motherboard and PCI-e x16 gen. 2.0 takes up 32 of them so if i add a PCI-e x4 gen.2.0 SSD that would be 8 lanes by the same math since the rest are for PCI-e x1 slots for sound, networking and etc. i am covered for the lines so plz dont take about the motherboard bandwidth to me ok
a c 102 G Storage
October 20, 2011 6:24:32 PM

I strongly suggest you just get a normal SSD like this:

120GB OCZ Vertex 3 (or Agility 3); i've seen prices at about $1.25 per Gigabyte

Look for sales at NCIX, Newegg etc.

*At this speed and the fact that it buffers to your System RAM as well you'd be unlikely to notice much difference if you got a more expensive PCIe version. I've got a RAID0 setup getting close to 800MB/second for large file transfer and in normal use I see little difference between this and 300MB/second.

As for games, it's usually best to just install them to a second hard drive to save space. yes, they will boot faster with an SSD but not as fast as most people think. Much of the time to boot a game is spent by the PCU/Graphics card and Memory optimizing the textures etc before the game starts.

(The worst-case scenario I saw in terms of an SSD making a difference was a game that took 120 seconds to start, but it took 2 seconds for the SSD and 118 seconds for the game to optimize. Even if an SSD was 1000x quicker there would still be a limit to how fast a game starts.)
a c 353 G Storage
October 20, 2011 6:56:58 PM

Concur on going with the single sata III drive. Only diff with choice, I'd go with the Curcial M4 (FW 0009). Very close to the Vertex III max IOP and MUCH higher customer satisfaction ratio. As to Agillity III, My pair of M4's run circles around my pair of Agillty 3's while laughing at me for buying the agility 3s

Put the cost differnce between a pci-e based SSD into a larger Sata III SSD. The larger SSds normally perform better than their smaller cousins.

Raid0:
.. Inproves Sequencial read / writes, the LEAST importan matrix for Boot/program loads.
.. As mentioned, you loss TRIM
.. Does NOT improve Access time and little effect on random 4 K read / writes.
.. Great for a pair HDD in Raid0 data drive when working with LARGE data files such as Video, Spreedsheets, cad/cam drawings, and large number of large jpeg Photos.

As to game play, once the game is loaded there is almost no difference in game play and raid0 wil not make that any difference.
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