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Help with RAID

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a b V Motherboard
March 2, 2012 4:30:15 PM

Ok so i'm about to setup RAID 0 with x2 SSD's for the first time and I was wondering which chipset controller I should use.My motherboard offers the standard Z68 chipset and the Marvell SE9128.In the motherboard manual it lists the Marvell chipset as only supporting RAID 0/1 which leads me to believe it shoudl be used for RAID.I'm just curious as to what the difference is and which I should use.

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a c 180 V Motherboard
a c 119 G Storage
March 2, 2012 4:48:14 PM

On a lot of motherbaords you have two options , one is with the Marvell chip and the other is with the Intel chipset. If you have four sata3 ports then two are with the Intel chip and two are with the Marvell chip. In this case the Intel chipset is preferred. If you only have two sata3 ports then they are on the Marvell chip and you have no choice but to use it.
What are the SSD's that you intend to use and what is the motherboard?
The Marvell chip is only there for the sata3 ports but there has been some conflicts with certian SSD's , most noteable the Corsair Force GT.
You can even go so far as to add a seperate raid card but that can be expensive.
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a b V Motherboard
March 2, 2012 5:01:36 PM

That's weird cause on my Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 board the Marvell chip was dedicated to the eSATA ports on the back.The whole reason I am curious about it is because in the manual it lists the Marvell chip as only supporting RAID so I thought that it must be a high performance thing or something.

Motherboard:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm planning on using a OCZ Vertex II and a Patriot Torqx 2.I realize that I will loose some space on the Patriot SSD but that's fine.4GB is a small price to pay for the added speed of RAID 0.

OCZ Vertex II

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Patriot Torqx 2

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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Best solution

a c 180 V Motherboard
a c 119 G Storage
March 2, 2012 5:08:38 PM

So with two of the sata3 ports being controlled by the Z-68 chipset those are the ones you want to use for your raid setup , You can use the other two if you want but your best bet is the two controlled by the Intel chipset.
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a b G Storage
March 2, 2012 5:09:44 PM

^ what he said, it really is a no-brainer
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a b V Motherboard
March 2, 2012 5:45:40 PM

Alright then.Thanks for the help.
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a b V Motherboard
March 2, 2012 5:45:48 PM

Best answer selected by purple stank.
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a b G Storage
March 2, 2012 6:11:29 PM

yes its preferable to do so, make sure you check every now and then for that update that enables TRIM in raid mode (version 11.5)

http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?Produc...

also a quick note, mobo manufacturers usually don't keep the drivers up to date on their site; your best bet is to go directly to chip maker's site for pretty much everything, from cpu and gpu to lan and sata drivers (msi has 10.5 drivers listed, when 10.8 is the latest version)
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a b G Storage
March 2, 2012 6:33:01 PM

forgot to mention, use 16kB stripe size for ssd's for the best performance and if you wanna do the whole thing the easy way without having to deal with the crude dos-like raid utility interface of your mobo, just hook up the ssd's to the intel's sata3 ports, boot your existing windows w/ RST installed and create your raid0 array with RST

after you're done with that reinstall windows, and make sure you delete any existing partition that might have been created on ssd, cause it might be misaligned

windows setup aligns it properly
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a b V Motherboard
March 2, 2012 6:39:58 PM

Is the stripe size something I can change later without having to re-install? I believe it defaults to 128kb doesn't it?

Also both my SSD's are SATA II.Will their be any difference if I plug them into the SATA III ports?
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a b G Storage
March 2, 2012 6:46:05 PM

oh rite, slipped off my mind that you've got sata2 drives, it doesn't matter then which ports you plug 'em into

and 128kb is really for media storage on hdd's (the lowest size of a file that will actually be split among the drives is 128kb, and you wan't pretty much every byte to split if possible since ssd's have next to no seek time compared to hdds)

i'm not sure about changing the stripe size, it's not possible within windows with RST drivers, i'll reboot and check

getting back with an answer in a minute
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a b V Motherboard
March 2, 2012 6:52:22 PM

Alright so let me just go through this whole process since i'm kinda noob to the whole RAID thing and you can correct me as you see fit.

Don't format the SSD's at all.
Download the RST drivers onto the existing HDD.
Setup the RAID from within the existing OS on the HDD
Change the stripe type to 16kb.
Re-install OS onto the RAID 0 SSD's.

Is that how you do it?
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a b G Storage
March 2, 2012 6:55:42 PM

as i suspected, it's not possible to change stripe size on an existing array: http://i.imgur.com/5cBHv.jpg

so to recap:

1) plug both ssds to intel's sata channels
2) create raid0 with stripe size of 16kb
3) during fresh install of windows make sure you make new partition within windows setup to avoid misalignment of your partition which degrades performance usually
pics included to clarify what i meant:
http://i.imgur.com/0w1OZ.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/yP82T.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/vt3AR.jpg
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a b V Motherboard
March 2, 2012 6:57:24 PM

Why again the 16kb stripe size? Is that just overall better for a SSD? I noticed that yours is 64kb.
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a b G Storage
March 2, 2012 7:00:32 PM

my raid consists of hard drives tho :p  it would actually degrade performance since the seek time of hdds would add up to significant amount; ssds have 100-fold lower seek times (~10-15ms for hdd, 0,1ms for ssd)

so yes, you should definitely go for 16kb on ssd based raid0
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a b G Storage
March 2, 2012 7:09:26 PM

to further explain the stripe size, let's just say OS consists of alot of small files and you want to split as many of them as you can between the 2 ssds

128kb stripe size is more suited for say video editing where you have huge files, so you aren't sacrificing performance because there are no files that would end up writing on a single drive
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a b G Storage
March 2, 2012 7:19:36 PM

oh one more thing, unplug your hdd that contains windows before you proceed with fresh install to avoid boot manager being written on your current hdd and select 1st boot device to be the raid array in bios before installation

just a precaution to avoid messy boot issues incase you format your hdd or something and wipe the system partition with boot manager on
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a b V Motherboard
March 2, 2012 7:45:17 PM

Okay then.I'll give it a try and let you know how it goes.
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a c 180 V Motherboard
a c 119 G Storage
March 2, 2012 7:51:59 PM

I had never set up a raid untill last month when I decided to raid two SSD's and the raid bios was very easy to use and the raid drivers were on the motherboard cd. The whole process was rather easy and straight forward and it works great , no issues
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a b V Motherboard
March 3, 2012 12:55:34 AM

Well everything seems to be working great so far.I'm getting 450mb/s read and 160mb/s write.The read score doubled from my previous single SSD so everything must be working as it should.
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a b G Storage
March 3, 2012 1:06:20 AM

glad to hear it
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a c 180 V Motherboard
a c 119 G Storage
March 3, 2012 1:22:18 AM

Great to hear of your success.
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!