Raid 0 setup or 2nd Sata III SSD??
I'm looking at getting a 2nd SSD but because of price I am considering a Raid setup. The drive would hold applications game installs and other commonly used files. I don't know much about raid but am I that much better off with another SSD? What speeds can be expected in a raid 0 setup? Also if anyone has experience with both sata II and III is there really that noticeable of a difference?
SATA 6.0gb/s is much faster than SATA 3.0gb/s for SSDs. There is no difference for HDDs, but there is definitely a difference for SSDs. In fact, often SATA 6.0gb/s SSDs are faster than SATA 3.0gb/s even on a SATA 3.0gb/s port. This is because SATA 6.0gb/s drives saturate SATA 3.0gb/s ports but SATA 3.0gb/s drives cannot.
If you have two 60GB drives and you put them in RAID0 they will run slightly under twice as fast as a single 60GB drive. However SSDs generally have different speeds depending on their size and depending on how full they are. Smaller drives are generally slower than larger drives. This effect varies from brand to brand, but 120GB drives are around 30% faster than 60GB drives. Also, as you fill an SSD the drive gets slower. I have a 60GB OCZ Agility 3 and when I first installed windows I had a WEI hard drive score of 7.9. I now have about 10GB free and I have a WEI hard drive score of 7.5.
That all being said - I can't really imagine a single SSD being uncomfortably slow. A RAID0 will benchmark faster (about twice as fast) as a single SSD, but in day to day activities both setups are going to be so fast that I would be surprised if you could tell the difference except in large sequential reads/writes. If you have a problem with your speed it's likely a problem with tweaking and Windows optimization. If your situation is that you currently have an SSD and you'd like to double your size by buying an identical SSD to put in RAID0 instead of spending twice as much for a new SSD of twice the size, then that will work.
There are two disadvantages to that. First, you will have to re-install Windows fresh. Second - and this is the big one - if you lose either of the drives in the RAID0 you will lose all of your data. If you can live with those two things then you'll be fine.
For OS+programs I do not recommend raid0.
.. Raid0 is great for a HDD Data drive when working with large files such as 1 gig DVD files (upto 40 gigs for a single Blu-ray file), large spreadsheets, CAD/Cam drawings, and large jpeg photos.
.. Raid0 only improves Sequencial read /writes, the least important metric for a OS+program - Great for advertisement. Does nothing for access time and Very little for small file 4K random read/writes - these are what is important. For SSD you loss trim when in raid0 config and this is more important.
.. Bottom line, use as seperate AHCI drives. Set Windows + some programs to "C" then direct other programs to Install to "D"
Thanks guys, yea I already have a 120GB OWC extreme 6G SSD and I've had my rig built for almost 2 weeks and I only have 20GB left on it. I'm looking at getting a cheaper 120GB unless I find two 60GB for cheaper. I was thinking about a spin drive raid setup so I could have a larger volume drive. SSD in raid isn't worth the money, it's just awesome with the crazy speeds.