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Intlel Sata 3 or Marvell Sata 3???

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February 5, 2012 3:36:36 PM

Hello,
Im building a new Z68 system and Im confused wether to connect my drives to the Marvel or Intel controllers...
I have a WD caviar black 2tb HDD and 3 corsair force GT ssds (60Gb). I want to use one of the SSDs for the smart responce technology and I want to use the other two as my boot drives in RAID 0. My Motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-Z68x-ud4 B3. I know in order to use the smart responce technology I have to plug the HDD and one of the SSDs to the Intel controller (Sata3), but I dont know if the marvell controller on the motherboard supports RAID 0???? I also wanted to know if the intel Sata 3 is any faser than the Marvell one????

a b å Intel
a c 283 G Storage
February 5, 2012 4:59:12 PM

An onboard Intel controller is the preferred choice. In theory the Intel controller is a little bit faster than the Marvel controller but in all probability you will not notice a difference during real world use. You would have to run synthetic benchmarks to be able to measure ther slight difference.

Did you check your motherboard manual and the Gigabyte motherboard product page on the web? They both clearly indicate the Intel and Marvel controllers both support RAID0.

It's been a while since someone has asked about Intel Smart Response technology. It is pretty much a dead issue. Here is my standard answer:

Intel's SRT caching technology was designed for buyers who could not justify or afford the cost of a larger capacity solid-state drive. According to Intel, the original idea was that for about $100.00 a user could purchase a small capacity ssd of about 10 to 20GB and use it as a cache to improve hard disk drive performance. The Operating system and programs were actually stored on a hard disk drive. The actual improvement could not compare to a stand alone ssd. Intel also looked at different capacities all the way up to 512GB and concluded 64GB was the point of diminishing return. It made more sense to use a 64GB ssd as a boot drive that also contained software programs. Intel was hoping that if business clients saw an increase in performance, then they would be induced to purchase larger capacity ssd's that promised an even greater boost in performance.

A lot has changed sinced then, especially prices. For $100.00 you can definitely purchase an ssd that is much larger than 20GB. Might as well take full advantage of ssd performance.
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February 5, 2012 6:57:56 PM

thanks a lot for your helpful reply.....
well I'm definitely going to use two of the ssds in RAID0 configuration for my boot drive but then I will be left with an extra SSD and a 2tb hard drive...... I'm only going to use the hard drive for pictures, videos, files and etc....... so is there anyway that I can set up three SSDs in RAID0 because my dad says that is not possible however I'm not sure about it...... Because the SRT isn't really going to affect my HDD performance because Im only using it to store my files.....
I mean can I use the three SSDs in RAID0 for my boot drive.

SATA Connectors:

Intel Z68: 2x SATA 3.0
4x SATA 2.0
Marvell: 2x SATA 3.0
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Related resources
June 3, 2012 1:57:59 AM

I know it's been a while since you posted. But for completeness in case others, like myself, find this thread looking for similar info.

Raid 0 uses a minimum of 2 drives. Same with Raid 1. Reference the wiki whenever you forget or are unsure on what Raid level to use. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_RAID_levels

I came across this thread during my search regarding using my boot SSD on my Z77 Intel Sata 3 or the Marvel Sata 3 port.

Seems the general consensus so far is that it doesn't matter, both are very fast. Though some claim the Intel one is better. I have chosen the Intel one because it's part of the Intel Z77 chipset directly. And the Marvel is an external chipset of it's own that uses a PCIE X1 bus from the Z77. Not that is a bad thing. But that and comments by others showing preference with the Intel Sata 3 ports.

Also, I have read that installing Windows 7 using the Marvel controller will require you download the boot time drives and have them loaded during the install. And that the Z77 controller is already included in the Windows installer. As I have only installed Windows on the Intel Z77 Sata 3 controller, I can only confirm that Windows installed fine without manually supplying drivers during install.

Update: I edited, as I obviously didn't translate the info correctly from the wiki link I supplied. Sorry about that.

I would also like to point out that while you can do many drives for RAID 0 and 1, if they are not the same size, it will treat them all as the size of the smallest drive. Also, you obviously need a controller that can handle your number of drives. Just because the RAID 0 and 1 standards allow it, does not mean your controller does. I am curious how many motherboards can handle more than 2 drives in RAID 0 or 1. Maybe it's most of them? I have no idea.
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a b å Intel
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June 3, 2012 4:53:27 AM

xenon2000 said:
Raid 0 can only use exactly 2 drives.


Sorry, that is incorrect. RAID-0 requires a minimum of 2 drives. There are many benchmarks on the web with RAID-0 arrays of more than 2 drives.


Same with Raid 1. said:
Same with Raid 1.


RAID-1 also requires a minimum of 2 drives. Most people use only 2 drives because adding more drives only increases redundancy, not capacity. So if you create a RAID-1 array with 3 drives, drives 2 and 3 will be a copy of drive 1.

Here's a Wiki link that shows the minimum drive requirement of standard RAID levels.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID
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