2 SSDs + Secondary (non-SSD) HD?

Is it possible to configure dual SSDs on Raid 0 with a secondary HD (non-SSD, for file storage etc)?

I currently have 1 SSD with the secondary HD but want to Raid 0 an additional SSD. How can I do this?
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  1. it is possible just check your motherboard manual if you have Raid 0,
    if you do just connect 2 SSD's go bios enable raid, set it up (read manual how)
    when you start windows installation you would see drive of combined 2 SSD's just install windows on it.
    when all done connect your regular hard drive for storage
  2. Basically any controller (also onboard) supports Raid 0.

    The common way to create one is:

    - Install both SSDs (plug them in)
    - Enter BIOS
    - There should be an option called "Configure SATA as" or similar
    - Select RAID (other options might be AHCI or IDE)
    - Save & exit BIOS
    - After booting you should now have the option to create a raid (before launching windows).

    Warning: Your SSDs will be reformattet when creating the raid in the raid utility (not BIOS), so you will also have to reinstall Windows. Also, when configuring your HDDs as Raid, you won't be able to boot Windows (unless setting it back to your previous setting in BIOS) since it didn't install the matching drivers in first place.

  3. Ok, so I'll have a total of three physical drives (SSDx2 + normal HD), but Windows will Raid 0 the SSDs and use the HD as a secondary, correct? How do I configure the secondary HD in the BIOS?
  4. there is no configuring after you done installing on 2 SSD's simply connect normal HD make sure sata port (corresponding to the number you plugged it in) is enabled
    once you go windows it HD will show up
  5. Don't listen to WyomingKnott. RAID0 is awesome, I can confirm I am doing it, and the performance gains are real, especially loading anything under the sun.
  6. ALL of my computers (prior to SSD) were set up in Raid0 configuration - loved it.
    However, with SSDs and used solely for OS + programs I do Not recommend raid0. ONLY exception is if you had bought a SMALL SSD and are buying a 2nd SMALL SSD to increase smace.

    I have 3 systems all with dual SSDs and are set up as SSD #1 as OS +Program and the 2nd SSD set up as a work/scratch disk.

    1) great increase in Sequencial reads/writes. No real gain in acess time, small improvement in random 4 K read/writes. Sequencial performance is the LEAST important matrix for Loading OS and loading programs. Sequencial performance is IMORTANT if you are placing large file structures like 1 gig .VOBs for encoding/editing, Large spreadsheets, work with a Lot of large JPEG photo files (that are stored on SSD). and how many are going to place a 30 Gig Blu-ray file on the SSD for encoding/editing.
    For OS + Programs, performance is tied mostly to small file random access performance.
    2) You loss Windows 7 Trim support and must rely on SSD Carbage Collection (CG). For the marvel based, or Samsung 830 Sata III controllers CG works only when the computer is idle. I don't recommend SF22xx based SSDs which do have a better CG in that it works in the background and you do not have to leave the system idle for extended period of time if it gets bogged down.
    3) a Single larger SSD is preferable to 2 small SSDs in Raid0. A 256 gig SD has higher performance than a 128 gig SSD. Going with the larger SSD reduces the gain of two smaller SSD.

    4) if working with file that take advantage of High Sequencial read/writes then raid0 makes since, Just not as a OS + Program disk.

    And yes, INSTALLing programs may be faster, but for loading/Using a given program - very little gain. Ie What can you do in 0.5 Sec which is the time difference between loading a program!!

    I'm with WyomingKnott on this.
  7. I don't think you guys are fully understanding my question here (unless I'm just blind). Here is what I'd like to do, more specifically --

    "C" Drive = SSD#1 + SSD#2 (Raid 0, 200GB)
    "D" Drive = HDD (500GB)

    I'd like to install my OS and games on "C" and all the other crap on "D". Is this possible? How can I do this? Apologies if this is answered in a previous reply above, but I'm a hardware noob and I may be glancing over details.
  8. You:
    1) set the controller in bios to raid
    2) connect rhe two ssds to ports 0 and 1, Leave HDD disconnected
    3) Follow steps to create the array in the Bios - It's simple, just follow the MB. It's pretty basic in following the setps, select drives (Only have 2 choices), How large - ALL, strip size - take default - 128 K.
    4). Install windows 7 (may need to use F6 to preinstall driver (down load from MB web site and stick on USB stick (formated fat32)
    5) after win 7 installed connect up HDD boot to windows, use windows disk manager to initialize/partition/formate your drive.

    So simple a caveman ............
  9. Thanks, and sorry for the dense questions... I'm very novice when it comes to hardware. I currently have my OS on one of my SSDs, if I am to Raid 0 the additional SSD, I'm assuming I'll have to wipe the drive out first, perform the Raid 0, then reinstall the OS and everything along with it.

    How should I go about wiping out the SSD to ensure a "true"" wipe?
    Should I upgrade the firmware on the SSDs before installing the OS?
  10. Looked back, did not see which SSDs you have, and when purchased.
    Most manuf website forums have instructions on how to "wipe" the drive and how to update the firmware.

    For OCZ SSDs the best way to update the firmware is to down load a bootable linux ISO. Boot to the CD and update the firmware. BUT the drive will need to be configured in ahci mode in BIOS, NOT Raid. After update you can return BIOS to Raid. In the past you could update the firmware from the OCZ tool box, not sure if you still can.

    OCZ has a toolbox which includes a wipe tool. But the drive must be again configured in ahci mode, NO operating system and no partitions on the SSD. ie for my Agility III's I connected to a 2nd computer that I had installed OCZs toolbox on. I used that to wipe the SSD.
  11. Unfortunately I didn't get OCZ drives. One is a Corsair Force 3 (the SSD with the OS on it) and the other a Corsair Force GT3 (the new, fresh SSD). I'm assuming Corsair provides similar facilities?
  12. Visit their forum and ALL your questions shall be answered.
  13. After some additional thought... what if instead of performing Raid 0 on my current SSD + the new SSD, I add the new SSD as another drive? I could keep the OS on my old SSD without reinstalling everything and put all my performance critical programs on the new SSD.

    Is this approach worth doing?
    Are there any performance implications as opposed to Raid 0?
    Any other pros/cons?
  14. As I stated In my first post that is what I recommended and is what I've done on all of my systems w/2SSDs.

    I5-2500k - 2 128 gig Agility III, one for OS + programs, 2nd for Frequently used Data files
    I5-2410 SB Notebook (Samsung RF711-SO1) - 2 128 gig Curcial M4's Again one for OS =Programs and one with my data files (use eternal 1 TB and a 750 Gig HDD for LARGE files + have 32 gig and 64 gig USB thumb drives)
    My I5-750, 2 Sata II SSDs - same setup as above.
  15. I see that in each of your setups you placed your OS/programs on the same drive. If I add this new SSD as a second drive without Raid 0, I would be placing my programs on it and leave my OS on the old SSD where it is currently, slightly different from your approach. Is this problematic? Is it detrimental to performance?
  16. No, not a proplem. I'm not a gamer so do not have "hugh" programs.
    For example, I'm currently on the older I5-70. My OS + program drive - 38 gigs used (Windows 7 Plus programs) and still have 75 gigs free.

    Depending on the size of 1st SSD I'd put my windows on it and most commonly used programs - Do NOT fill more than 85% of drive. Leaser used programs and/or overflow then goes to the 2nd SSD.
  17. Sweet, should just be a matter of plug and play then... will report back with results on how things perform.
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