Can I mix SSD and SATA HDD in a JBOD and get the best of both?


I'm building a new computer and my existing computer's boot drive is currently taking up 270Gb of disk space (Windows 7 Pro – 30Gb, program files – 50Gb, steam – 130Gb, and user data – 60Gb, and these rounded values are after deleting temp data). This means that to speed up my computer with an SSD, I would have to buy a pretty large SSD (I figure at least 500Gb to give myself room to grow). I've looked into the possibility of moving my existing program files and/or users directory to a new drive and have run into all sorts of warnings and issues that people have had (the biggest ones are that moving these in an existing installation is “hard” and that it will probably hinder applying many Windows 7 updates). Steam is the only directory that could be moved fairly easily.

So, I had the thought that maybe I could buy a relatively small SSD (enough to store the OS files, 64Gb or 128Gb) and link it with a 500Gb or 750Gb SATA HDD using JBOD mode on my motherboard’s RAID controller. Then I would format the entire thing as one partition and drive and use Perfect Disk 10 to move all boot files and all of the executable files to the front of the drive (which would be the SSD). Then I would get a disk that is large enough to store my entire existing boot partition (and then some) and I would get the speed benefit of having the boot information stored on super fast SSD, without having to spend a thousand dollars.

Obviously this would not be for data security (since JBOD has no redundancy) but I have a 3Tb RAID5 attached for backups so that's not my question.

I figured before I spend any money on an SSD and tried it I would ask this community. Thoughts?
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  1. So, you are hoping to extend the boot partition from the SSD to the SATA HDD?

    Or do I misunderstand?

    JBOD does not do any "linking", it's "Just a Bunch Of Disks" that are accessed independently.
  2. Yes, I essentially want a drive that is larger than I can get with a reasonably priced, high-quality SSD.

    I'm not sure what you mean by: JBOD does not do any "linking"

    JBOD certainly does link multiple physical drives together into one logical drive and, unlike most RAID schemes, does not require the drives to be of the same size or capabilities. It is also "below" the operating system layer so hopefully will not have the same limitations as some of the other schemes I've seen for trying to shave the Windows 7 boot drive image (hard-linking using junctures to move some of the directories to other drives, for example).

    All that being said, I still don't actually know if my RAID controller (or any RAID controller) will do JBOD between SS drives and hard drives (but, then again, why not?), and unfortunately the experiment to find out is relatively expensive. And, even if it will, can I get Windows 7 to boot from that logical drive? And if I can, will Windows 7 be happy there (will the severe difference in capabilities between the two drives cause unforeseen issues).
  3. So, an update. It turns out my new motherboard doesn't support JBOD anyway, so that's out.

    I also found a couple of products that do something similar to what I wanted to do here. They are:

    Seagate Momentus XT - Review
    RevoDrive Hybrid - Review
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