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Raid 0(120/128gb) vs Single Drive (240/256gb) upgrade

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November 25, 2011 11:42:20 PM

I've been cruising the forums, and the last review I saw regarding raid-0 performance on SSD's was with old gen 1's, 4x and 2x kingston 30GB's. Since IOPS have increased considerably from small to large(in the recent generation), does incorporating 2x 120/128GB effectively give you significant boost in performance over one 240/256GB SSD? I'm limited to Two Sata III's, so a 4x option is unavailable until I upgrade to LGA 2011 1-2 years down the road (unless something else comes out by then[very likely]). Also to note, my 2 OCZ Vertex 2's are being upgraded for reliability and size, so I would prefer to stick with Mushkin's Chronos, or Samsung 830's.

Computer Specs:
Intel i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06Ghz
Asus Sabertooth LGA 1366
Corsair XMS 12GB DDR3 1600
2x - OCZ Vertex 2 - 90GB SSD's RAID-0
3x - WD Caviar Black - 1TB RAID-5
EVGA Nvidia 260 GTX

Thanks
-Mel
November 26, 2011 5:39:40 AM

Your mother board uses the Marvell 88SE9128 SATA III Controller which quite frankly sucks for anything more than one SSD and dosent work to well in Raid for ANY hard drives. Since that controller uses of only one PCI lane (for both ports) @ 5gb's per sec and the Marvell controller looses some of that along the way so even one fast single SATA III SSD can't reach its top speed.

Most LGA1366 Motherboards (mine included) have this issue since SATA III was still in its infancy when most 1366 MB's were designed. Which is why I opted for 2 Sata II SSD's in raid 0 on the Intel ports. that gave me a much faster read/write than any single Sata III available at the time. A few (2 that I know of) that came much latter, the Rampage III Extreme Black Edition and one Gigabyte board use the newer Marvell 88SE9182 Controller which uses a two lane PCIe bus instead of the one lane PCIe bus that the 9128 uses.

With the LGA 2011 MB's many (maybe all, don't really know) have Intell Sata III controllers which should be much better.

On another note, Intel has just announced that it is developing new drivers that support TRIM for raid on sata II & III ports.

If you Google "download Intel® Rapid Storage Technology 11.5.0.1109 Alpha Version" AKA "Intel RST" and previously known as "Intel Matrix RAID". In the download release notes, Notation #2 states and I quote "This release will not enable the TRIM on RAID0 feature, but it will be added in the next RST 11.5 release."

This is official TRIM/Raid 0 support for all recent Intel ICH#R southbridge chipsets 6 through present (10 at the moment) and it's coming in the very next release.

However I don't know if it will support additional raid formats but since it doesn't say, probably not.

So to sum it up stay away from your Sata III ports for anything greater than 1 sata III SSD. I only use mine for my optical disc drives. :sol: 
November 27, 2011 1:21:55 AM

Would it be more viable to pickup 2 more OCZ 90GB Vertex 2's, to have a quad raid-0 setup on the ICH10R? Especially if Intel is going to support Trim @ raid0 soon? I've seen some benchmarks from when the ICH10R's originally came out, I think you posted over on those forums too, capping out at around 600MB/s. Is this still true, 2 years later, or have firmware updates increased these speeds?

Quote:
ICH10 implements the 10Gbit/s bidirectional DMI interface to the "northbridge" device.
- From wiki

Does this translate to 1280MB/s or half that 640MB/s due to the bidirectional nature? (Of course these would be max values and not 100% attainable)

Thanks
Related resources
a c 119 G Storage
November 27, 2011 1:56:47 AM

I have two Corsair Force GT 180gb sata3 SSD's that I put in Raid on the Gigabyte G1.Assassin board and the sata3 controller was the Marvell 9182 and I had nothing but trouble with the raid setup. Before the raid setup I had both plugged into the sata3 ports and they ran fine , but once I put them in raid there was nothing but trouble. So much that I gave up on the Marvell controller and put the raid on the Intel controller and it was like magic , the raid is running so smooth and trouble free that I don't even care that it is on the sata2 ports. My WEI for the raid is 7.9.
November 27, 2011 2:17:07 AM

inzone said:
I have two Corsair Force GT 180gb sata3 SSD's that I put in Raid on the Gigabyte G1.Assassin board and the sata3 controller was the Marvell 9182 and I had nothing but trouble with the raid setup. Before the raid setup I had both plugged into the sata3 ports and they ran fine , but once I put them in raid there was nothing but trouble. So much that I gave up on the Marvell controller and put the raid on the Intel controller and it was like magic , the raid is running so smooth and trouble free that I don't even care that it is on the sata2 ports. My WEI for the raid is 7.9.


Do you have any benchmarking done on those drives? IE HDTune? I'd like to see what read/writes(MB/s) you're getting.
a b G Storage
November 28, 2011 4:37:17 AM

Here's 6 x 50GB Vertex 2's on the ICH10R.


IMO.. most get too caught up on benchmarks when the proof is in the actual usage. More channels= more low end grunt and noticably better multitasking performance.

Plus.. not many have a raidcard full of HDD's to ever be able to make use of those read/write speeds when working between storage and OS volumes. Once the data is there.. it's fast of course. But those who think going from 200MB/s read speeds to 1GB/s read speeds is going to knock you socks off is sorrily mistaken. When file already opens in 1 second or less.. how much faster do you think it can open with raided SSD's? The writing speeds can be quite good with raided SSD and taken advantage of if you have fast enough storage that can actually read the data fast enough to keep up.

In the end.. I would say if you're not going to upgrade to native 6G mobo's?.. buy a couple more V2's.

If you intend to upgrade in the not so distant future?.. buy 6G SSD and move forward faster. Less throttling and faster garbage collection on the newer SF-2281 drives compared to the SF-1xxx series stuff too.
a b G Storage
November 28, 2011 4:46:57 AM

well.. since the forum won't let me go back and edit messages.. here's the screens that I intended to insert in the last reply.





just to be fair.. I run heavy PCI-E overclocks so these are not typical numbers form the ICH10R. Most are about 100MB/s slower with normal frequency.
November 29, 2011 10:04:05 PM

melharts said:
Would it be more viable to pickup 2 more OCZ 90GB Vertex 2's, to have a quad raid-0 setup on the ICH10R? Especially if Intel is going to support Trim @ raid0 soon? I've seen some benchmarks from when the ICH10R's originally came out, I think you posted over on those forums too, capping out at around 600MB/s. Is this still true, 2 years later, or have firmware updates increased these speeds?

Quote:
ICH10 implements the 10Gbit/s bidirectional DMI interface to the "northbridge" device.
- From wiki

Does this translate to 1280MB/s or half that 640MB/s due to the bidirectional nature? (Of course these would be max values and not 100% attainable)

Thanks


The maximum attainable Read/Write speeds I've seen so far are about 700MB/s read & 640MB/s write where as with 2 Sata II SSD's in raid 0 I have about 550MB/s read & 535MB/s write. So even if you were to add just one more to a Raid 0 array you would only gain about 1/2 of its speed capabilities, so in my opinion it just wouldn't be worth it.

If you really want more speed something like this: OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 Max IOPS PCI-Express SSD would do the trick. Here is the supported motherboard list from OCZ . Your board is listed. I would do a search and see what others have to say first though.

That 240GB RevoDrive boasts: A Read: Up to 1900 MB/s, Write: Up to 1700 MB/s and A Max Random Write 4KB (Aligned): 230,000 IOPS.

Pretty extreme by any standards and about the same price as 3 - Sata II SSD's for Raid 0 that equate to the same size.
November 29, 2011 10:21:16 PM

inzone said:
I have two Corsair Force GT 180gb sata3 SSD's that I put in Raid on the Gigabyte G1.Assassin board and the sata3 controller was the Marvell 9182 and I had nothing but trouble with the raid setup. Before the raid setup I had both plugged into the sata3 ports and they ran fine , but once I put them in raid there was nothing but trouble. So much that I gave up on the Marvell controller and put the raid on the Intel controller and it was like magic , the raid is running so smooth and trouble free that I don't even care that it is on the sata2 ports. My WEI for the raid is 7.9.


Sorry to hear that about the Marvell 9182 controller. I was reading about the issues people were having with the Rampage III Extreme Black Edition on the ROG forums and some stated that they were having better luck with the Gigabyte G1.Assassin due to newer drivers, However they were still working on getting Raid 0 100% stable. I thought maybe the issues were all ironed out.

Ive come to expect very little from Marvell's Sata III controllers. Hopefully the new Intel Sata III controllers will be much better.
November 29, 2011 11:07:46 PM

groberts101 said:
Here's 6 x 50GB Vertex 2's on the ICH10R.


IMO.. most get too caught up on benchmarks when the proof is in the actual usage. More channels= more low end grunt and noticably better multitasking performance.

Plus.. not many have a raidcard full of HDD's to ever be able to make use of those read/write speeds when working between storage and OS volumes. Once the data is there.. it's fast of course. But those who think going from 200MB/s read speeds to 1GB/s read speeds is going to knock you socks off is sorrily mistaken. When file already opens in 1 second or less.. how much faster do you think it can open with raided SSD's? The writing speeds can be quite good with raided SSD and taken advantage of if you have fast enough storage that can actually read the data fast enough to keep up.

In the end.. I would say if you're not going to upgrade to native 6G mobo's?.. buy a couple more V2's.

If you intend to upgrade in the not so distant future?.. buy 6G SSD and move forward faster. Less throttling and faster garbage collection on the newer SF-2281 drives compared to the SF-1xxx series stuff too.


Your point is well taken and everything you said is also very reasonable. However those of us on some-kind of insane quest to be the fastest of the fastest aren't very reasonable and I guess our hobby could be equated with someone that's really into fast cars in that the last little bit of speed is going to cost you a whole lot more than the first 90%.
I guess its all about what your into.

From a sane point of view it really makes very little (real world) difference whether you run your OS on any thing faster than 1 Sata III SSD. From a half-crazed hardcore enthusiast point of view it can make all the difference in the world.

So you need to take a real hard look at whether spending a large amount of money for a very small perceived performance increase is worth it to you. NOT JUDGING, JUST SAYING. :sol: 

P.S. I also have an old Pentium 4 - 3.8Ghz PC that's had a few upgrades along the way and it still runs really well. The difference between that and the PC in my signature is like the difference between getting behind the wheel of a ford F-150 and a lamborghini murcielago. I imagine I would feel 100% satisfied if it felt like a Ferrari Enzo! At least for a blink of an eye until something faster comes along. :D 
!