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Cost effective raid 0 ssd vs hdd

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February 15, 2012 3:43:54 PM

So I currently have x2 128 m4 crucials in raid 0 for windows/gaming and a hdd for everything else. I keep seeing more and more articles that talk about how raid 0 for ssd may not be the best choice. I understand the read/write speed on the hardware itself but I get lost in the raid controllers. So I was considering for my next build to do x1 ssd for windows, x4 7200 hdd raid 0 for everything else, x1 hdd for back up. I am also not sure how much benefit I would get from using a pci raid controller but, if I go with this set up it will be likely. The main question is if I will see better load times in gaming with this setup vs what I currently use. Opinions welcome
a c 289 G Storage
February 15, 2012 4:02:54 PM

If you put the games on the x4 RAID0, you will see slower loading than you do now, since you will be loading off HDDs instead of SSDs.

May I suggest: If you are buying new SSDs, buy one big enough to hold your OS and games. If you are recycling the SSDs, install Win7 on one of them and, when installing large games and apps, specify an installation directory on the other one. Some installation packages are polite enough to ask if you want to change the default installation directory, others can be persuaded with a registry change.

Is this a reasonable answer to your question?

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Unasked-for opinion: The 2x HDD that you have for backup should be external or otherwise removable drives. External because if your backup is inside your machine, and you have a global disaster like an exploding power supply, malware attack, water, or a cat knocking your system off the table, you lose the backup.

Two drives because you need at least two backup sets. If you experience said global failure while backing up, the backup drive will be lost. If you have two, and were backing up to the older set, your most recent set is still good.

Yes, I am a little paranoid. Some people make copies of their backups and store them at friends' houses. It's a question of what level of risk you are willing to assume.

Backup the RAID0 data frequently. They are more likely to fail than single drives, and much harder to recover data from than single drives.

Not sure what you mean by being puzzled about RAID controllers. In my opinion (not due to vast experience), it's not relevant for RAID 0, 1, or 0+1. The higher numbers use calculated parity checks and a high-end controller will calculate these on-board, while a low-end one, or your motherboard, will pass these calculations to the CPU.
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a c 119 G Storage
February 15, 2012 4:08:52 PM

I have been using various SSD configurations since they came out from the first very expensive SLC SSD'S from Intel to the outrageous speeds of the OCZ RevoDrives. I have even done the two SSD's in raid for the boot drive. The one thing that is the same throughout all of the setups is the fast load times of the game maps and I'm pretty much the first one in there.
The best setup that I found that I like to use is the current one , a Corsair Force GT 180gb as the boot drive and an OCZ RevoDrive 3 x2 240gb as the second drive with all the games and apps loaded on that. I know the drive for the boot drive is a little too big and I certianly can put a lot on there but the sale price and rebate combination was too good to pass up. In case you don't know anything about the RevoDrive , it is a pcb with four small SSD's (55gb) and four sandforce controllers in a raid 0 that plugs into the pci-e slot and therefore bypasses the sata ports. The RevoDrive has read speeds of up to 1500 mb/s and write speeds up to 1225 mb/s and it is bootable but when I had it as my boot drive it was a little problematic so I just use it for a second drive storage option.
If you go with the SSD as the boot drive and your raid of 4 hdd's for the storage you will be doing essentually the same thing , the only difference is the raid card is going to be connected as a sata3 option instead of the direct pci-e connection that the Revo offers but you should have some good speed nontheless.
As far as load times for gaming that is only afected by haveing the SSD as the boot drive and by going from a raid of two SSD's to a single SSD you will still have good map load times and every game is different so some games will load quicker than others.
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February 15, 2012 6:37:03 PM

Well recycling the ssd's I have and using 1 for boot and 1 for games might be the best option for me based on what I just read. Both of you have given me helpful information. What I meant by raid controllers giving me problems us aparently that is the cause of my speed not increasing as much as I expected. My mobo uses Marvell controllers.
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February 15, 2012 7:19:00 PM

Best answer selected by mephistois.
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a c 119 G Storage
February 15, 2012 9:54:30 PM

If you have a motherboard with two sata3 ports that are on the Intel controller you would be better off using that. The motherboards that have four sata3 ports usually do that.
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February 15, 2012 10:43:10 PM

Ahh that's why those ports are different. I'll try that when I get home. I should be getting 900 or so read speed right?
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