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Vertex Plus on a PCIe 2.0 x1 card

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February 17, 2012 2:34:19 PM

Hey all,

I picked up my first SSD a couple weeks ago, a 120GB OCZ Vertex Plus, for $120-$30 rebate. I've got an ASRock N7AD-SLI mobo with 6 SATA II slots, but four of them are dedicated to 2TB HDDs as a 6TB. It turns out I can't set up 4 of these for RAID and use one for non-RAID OS drive, but I've got 2 PCIe 2.0 x1 slots that I'm not using for anything else. Two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots are unused, as is one PCI slot. As such, I'm planing on picking up a PCIe x1 card that will supply me a separate SATA II slot to connect my boot SSD to.

While I'm at it, I'd like to add 1-4 USB 3.0 ports. There are several options on NewEgg that would give me one internal SATA II connector and multiple USB 3.0 ports.

Ultimately, I'm concerned about speed restrictions. According to my research, PCIe 2.0 x1 has a max throughput of 500 MB/s. Of that, the Vertex Plus peaks at 250 MB/s, but tends more toward 188 MB/s. USB 3.0 uses 400 MB/s. So, it seems to me that even if I pick up a card with one SATA II slot and one or more USB 3.0 slots, the PCIe x1 is going to bottleneck at 500 MB/s. Of course, this will only happen if I'm pulling data from all 3 (or more), but I don't see it as unreasonable that I will want to transfer/copy data from one USB 3.0 device to another while also using the OS (duh).

I could buy one card that has one SATA II internal slot and one USB 3.0 slot, then also buy a second PCIe x1 card dedicated strictly to USB 3.0, but that would eat both of my PCIe slots. While I don't have any plans for the second one, I'd like to hang onto the flexibility.

There is also the option of just picking up a PCI or PCIe 4x SATA II RAID 5 controller, but then I'd be wasting 4 or 5 of the mobo SATA II slots, and that just seems like a huge waste.

I do realize that this is pretty much an obsolete box. I intend to maintain it as a data server once I get around to building a current machine.

What do you guys think? What would you suggest? Anything I'm failing to consider?

Thanks!

Luke

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a c 317 G Storage
February 17, 2012 2:52:11 PM

I would use the SSD as your OS drive, unless that is already an SSD.

I would get a cheap x1 PCIe card to add the former OS drive on as a data drive.

If you have USB 3 devices and do frequent transfers, it may be worth getting one with USB 3 ports -- yes the x1 lane would be the bottleneck theoretically, but the HDD only hits 100MB/s and the USB 3 70-90MB/s in the real world so even writing from the HDD to the USB 3 would not be an issue. Even the Vertex Plus on the controller reading/writing to a USB 3 on the controller would not make the PCIe x1 a bottleneck though. Only using all the USB ports and an SSD or multiple HDDs on the controller would really become limiting, something that would be an unusual event.
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February 17, 2012 4:29:27 PM

The box doesn't actually have an OS drive right now. I had a 750 GB HDD set up until the previous mobo (Penryn1600dB-SLI) died, which I exchanged on warranty for the N7AD-SLI just before it looked like I was going to deploy to Iraq again. So its been in storage until last month. I just got a deal on the SSD, only afterward learning that the Vertex Plus is hardly worth its salt as an SSD, but hey. I'd had the 750 GB HDD connected to a PCI SATA card, but I don't see the point of employing that card again.

Good to know that the bottleneck won't be as much of a problem as I might've thought. Thanks.
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February 17, 2012 4:43:29 PM

Actually, would it be worth the trouble to just sell this Vertex Plus on eBay while I can and buy something better? Another poster (compton) mentioned that the 120GB OCZ Solid 3 or the Corsair Force 3 could be had for $120, but thinking about it, I think I'd pay $150 for an SSD that'll perform closer to SATA II specs rather than just barely topping out SATA I, ya know?
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February 17, 2012 4:59:39 PM

Best answer selected by julian tempest.
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a c 317 G Storage
February 17, 2012 5:09:39 PM

julian tempest said:
Actually, would it be worth the trouble to just sell this Vertex Plus on eBay while I can and buy something better? Another poster (compton) mentioned that the 120GB OCZ Solid 3 or the Corsair Force 3 could be had for $120, but thinking about it, I think I'd pay $150 for an SSD that'll perform closer to SATA II specs rather than just barely topping out SATA I, ya know?

I would not go through the hassle of selling and buying another.

OCZ Vertex Plus will work well, and you would not notice any significant difference from a SATA III model in my experience -- other than benchmarks.

I run my main rig off a 240gb Vertex 3 IOPS but occasionally also off an old Intel X-25M and really can't tell the difference in performance.
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February 17, 2012 5:22:12 PM

RealBeast said:
I would not go through the hassle of selling and buying another.

OCZ Vertex Plus will work well, and you would not notice any significant difference from a SATA III model in my experience.


Oh. Well, thanks for that input. I'll keep it in mind as I consider what to do.

Luke
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