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Data & Media Drive: HDD+SSD cache or 2xHDD in RAID 0?

  • NAS / RAID
  • Cache
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
a c 100 G Storage
February 9, 2012 3:38:32 PM

A unique question. I know it really doesn’t matter, I’d just like to know.

Would it be faster/better to set up my Data & Media drive with a 60-64GB SSD as a cache drive (Z68 chipset with iRST), or set it up with another identical HDD in RAID 0 array?

I don’t have benchmark for either, but aren’t benchmarks for the cache option falsely reported low anyway?

Either way, I have to buy the “extra” drive. SSDs are cheaper than HDDs right now. But the HDD option would double my storage space (but I’m only using 1TB of 2TB right now, back ups won’t be an issue).

I once (for 6 months) had an SSD as a cache drive for my Data & Media, but now don’t have that set-up. I sold the drive(s) to get the Vertex 3’s (a whole other story).

I just want “snappier” application loads when utilizing the data drive. The programs are on the SSD, but the data files are on the HDD (i.e. iTunes, MSOffice, Quicken). I have noticed a slow down or lag on launch since the cache drives removal.

I have a Asus P8Z68-V Pro motherboard, which has 6 native SATA ports:

2- SATA III 6G ports: 2xOCZ Vertex 3 60GB SSD in RAID 0 as Boot/OS drive (Win7Ult)

4-SATA II 3G ports: 1-Samsung F4 2TB as Data & Media drive (My Docs, Music, Pics, etc.)
1-Samsung F4 2TB as Back Up Drive (Windows & Norton BackUps)
1-LG BH10LS30 10X CD/DVD/Blu-Ray Drive & Burner
1-not currently used

The other 2 SATA III 6G ports I won’t use! I don’t like Marvell or JMicron controllers. They are slow! I do have benchmarks to prove this!

Finally, I know that the HDD+SSD cache option is really for “single” drive users, using one large drive for all files/data/boot/OS, and a SSD to boost launch/access times.

In conclusion, I’ll probably get another OCZ Vertex 3 60GB SSD, as Vertex 2 had problems, and the 3 is the same price. I won’t get the new OCZ Synapse drive, as they are designed for software based cache, and I have hardware based cache with the Z68 chipset, and pricey.

** Edit**
Well I guess that the Z68 chipset is run through the iRST, which could be software cache also. Afterall, I have to set up the cache drive in the iRST software program, but then my motherboard sees the cached drive in the RAID BIOS post.

More about : data media drive hdd ssd cache 2xhdd raid

Best solution

a c 100 G Storage
February 12, 2012 3:24:45 AM

Well, no answers??!

I went with the "cache" option:

- SSD are cheaper than HDD right now, and mine are no longer made, and not sold locally. I could've got an external drive, and removed the drive from the enclosure, and used my other drive in RAID. TO much to do for something "stupid."
- I really don't want 4TB of RAID0 HDD. I'm only using 1TB of 2TB now, and going to clean that up to an external hard drive.

BTW: the external hard drive mentioned are cheaper than OEM drives!

a b G Storage
February 12, 2012 3:37:50 AM

Best answer selected by Pyree.
a b G Storage
February 12, 2012 3:37:53 AM

This topic has been closed by Pyree