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[SSD]Single MLC vs. multi MLC RAID 0

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November 4, 2011 6:49:57 PM

Dear all,

Hi I am thinking about upgrading my desktop. Currently the idea is to get 2 MLC SSD's and make them a RAID 0 (80 x 2 maybe ) and make my 1T mechanical drive retire. I currently have an Intel X25-E 32G as the system. And those two more MLC SSD's will serve as storage so the new system will have 32G as system and hopefully 160G as the storage. I have several questions. Here are the specs and questions.

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Intel i7 920
AsRock X58 Extreme (with SATA II controllers )
4GB RAM
ATI HD 5850
...
...
...
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Question 1.

Under the same total spaces. What should I choose between 1 MLC SSD and 2 MLC SSDs RAID 0, or multiple SSDs RAID 0? I usually use this desktop for gaming purposes.

Question 2.

Any suggestions about which drive I should buy? Currently I have about $300-$400 budget.

Question 3.

Since the motherboard does not support SATA 6Gb/s. Would that be a bottle-neck for the new system?


Thank you.
a b G Storage
November 4, 2011 8:37:50 PM

I cant really see the sense in that configuration. Storage requires capacity. Think video files for one thing. Putting two SSD's in RAID 0 doubles your chances for data loss due to drive failure and will not provide any real world performance increases. Then you are left with a paltry 160 GB for actual storage. You would be far better off with the TB drive for storage and putting your money into a larger SSD for your system drive IMHO.
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November 4, 2011 8:51:09 PM

Hi Wamphryi,

Thank you for your reply. I only need the storage for my games. And 160G is enough. Currently I have already had a SLC SSD for system. I have been using it for almost 2 years, and it worked extremely well. And I really do not need TB HDD, which is what I had at first (Increasing capacity from 160G to 1T will not really increase my utility. I put more weight on the performance).

By thew way, what do you mean by "will not provide any real world performance increases"?

Thank you for the reply.
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a b G Storage
November 5, 2011 2:01:01 AM

RAID 0 does not provide a significant increase in performance in the real world. The real world being a difference that would make you sit up and take notice. If you were say copying a large amount of data from one RAID 0 to another then you would see a difference worth paying for. If you were copying from a single disk to a RAID 0 array your performance would be limited to capability of the single drive. The same applies for optical media and USB flash drives.

A SSD gets its extra kick from its very low latency. It achieves this as it is is not limited by mechanical heads and disk platters which have a much higher latency. Tw velicoraptors in RAID 0 still fail to match one SSD as RAID 0 does nothing to lower latency.

As you needs are very specific as you describe you would be much better off with a single SSD that is large enough to suit all your needs. Many RAID Controllers onboard or otherwise are not suited to SSD use. TRIM does not work in RAID.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRIM

TRIM is an essential feature to keep SSD performance at an optimum.

I have found the Crucial M4 series to be an excellent SSD. However always make sure the Firmware is up to date as SSD technology sometimes comes with issues as it is still young in the scheme of things.



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a c 119 G Storage
November 5, 2011 3:02:12 AM

Since you have not purchased the two SSD's as of yet then you would be better off getting one SSD either a 180gb or a 240 gb as the storage drive for your games. I have found Corsair SSD's to be very fast and very good , I currently have a corsair 180gb as my system drive and an OCZ RevoDrive as my games / apps /backup drive.

Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F240GBGT-BK 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $419.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F180GBGT-BK 2.5" 180GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $309.99 and a $35 rebate.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can keep the Intel drive as your system drive but I would not do a raid for your storage when the SSD's are fast enough already , If you had two conventional hdd's then a raid might be more benificial.
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November 7, 2011 1:03:02 AM

Hi Wamphryi,

Thanks. What do you think about Intel 320? Since you mentioned TRIM. I thought TRIM is supported already for X58 motherboard, is that true? I am using X58+ICH10R.

Wamphryi said:
RAID 0 does not provide a significant increase in performance in the real world. The real world being a difference that would make you sit up and take notice. If you were say copying a large amount of data from one RAID 0 to another then you would see a difference worth paying for. If you were copying from a single disk to a RAID 0 array your performance would be limited to capability of the single drive. The same applies for optical media and USB flash drives.

A SSD gets its extra kick from its very low latency. It achieves this as it is is not limited by mechanical heads and disk platters which have a much higher latency. Tw velicoraptors in RAID 0 still fail to match one SSD as RAID 0 does nothing to lower latency.

As you needs are very specific as you describe you would be much better off with a single SSD that is large enough to suit all your needs. Many RAID Controllers onboard or otherwise are not suited to SSD use. TRIM does not work in RAID.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRIM

TRIM is an essential feature to keep SSD performance at an optimum.

I have found the Crucial M4 series to be an excellent SSD. However always make sure the Firmware is up to date as SSD technology sometimes comes with issues as it is still young in the scheme of things.

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November 7, 2011 1:05:06 AM

Thank you! I will surely check that. BTW will SATA II be a bottle-neck of the performance?

inzone said:
Since you have not purchased the two SSD's as of yet then you would be better off getting one SSD either a 180gb or a 240 gb as the storage drive for your games. I have found Corsair SSD's to be very fast and very good , I currently have a corsair 180gb as my system drive and an OCZ RevoDrive as my games / apps /backup drive.

Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F240GBGT-BK 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $419.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F180GBGT-BK 2.5" 180GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $309.99 and a $35 rebate.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can keep the Intel drive as your system drive but I would not do a raid for your storage when the SSD's are fast enough already , If you had two conventional hdd's then a raid might be more benificial.

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a b G Storage
November 7, 2011 1:34:06 AM

You should be fine with SATA 2 especially with a single SSD. Naturally buy a SATA 3 capable SSD if you can for future proofing (with SATA 2 backwards compatibility) but you should be fine with SATA 2. I stuck a Crucial M4 in my GF's SATA 2 laptop and it still howls. The main area of difference between SSD and HDD is latency. It would be rare circumstances indeed where you would be able to saturate a SATA 2 connection.
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November 16, 2011 11:13:47 PM

Best answer selected by crichris.
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