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SSD or Shortstroking a Velociraptor?

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April 10, 2012 2:26:31 PM

Sata WD 10k Velociraptors are getting really cheap on the used market as it appears that everybody's going SSD. But I wonder if shortstroking a Velo can get close to the performance of a cheap SSD (say a small one that's only costing about $60 new).
a b G Storage
April 10, 2012 5:46:03 PM

Not really. WD Velo's are fast HDDs for sure, and at the right price they can be a nice asset. But to the point of your question, at the best of times Velo's will not come close to your average SSD - shortstroked or not.
I'm not a fan of 2nd hand HDDs (or SSDs). But if you know your source or are willing to take a gamble for that price, then so be it. That is quite cheap for a Velo.
But if you're wanting "fast", you can't beat an SSD. It's sheer physics (moving parts vs ICs).
Note: My statements are based on IOPS and general random performance (e.g., an OS drive). This is because you're talking about short stroking, therefore I'm sure you're not trying to do high throughput (such as video editing, etc).
a b G Storage
April 10, 2012 7:32:22 PM

Yeah not even close I went from a 5 disk raid 0 to a sata 2 SSD and even this low end SSD blows the raid out of the water its all about the access times.

Thent
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April 10, 2012 7:54:22 PM

> therefore I'm sure you're not trying to do high throughput (such as video editing, etc).

Correct.

> Yeah not even close I went from a 5 disk raid 0 to a sata 2 SSD and even this low end SSD blows the raid out of the water its all about the access times.

Wow.

Does running 2 SSD's in Raid 0 improve their performance even further? Rarely do I hear of anyone doing that.
a c 98 G Storage
April 10, 2012 8:21:33 PM

Quote:
Does running 2 SSD's in Raid 0 improve their performance even further? Rarely do I hear of anyone doing that.


YES! RAIDing 2xSSD doubles the read/write rate, but not access time (well, almost, but very very close). SSD scale very nicely, HDD don't (only 25-50% rate increase). See my signature. Someone will surely flame about not running RAID 0, due to risk of failure. I have not had any problems in 2-3 years in RAIDing SSDs.

To your OP, I once read an article about short stroking 4 HDDs in RAID 0 and beating an SSD. But that was SATA II, and (most) SSD are now SATA III. Let me see if I can find the article...

Here's one from THG. Here's another about HHD, but he only got 400MBps, and a single SATA III SSD will beat that! Still looking for the original article I am thinking of....
April 10, 2012 8:57:57 PM

Interesting points you bring up. Now I wonder (and this may seem absurd) if anyone shortstrokes and uses Raid 0? Or was that what you referred to with "4HDDs beat an SSD"? Why else would someone use 4 HD's if they weren't in Raid 0?
a c 98 G Storage
April 10, 2012 9:01:57 PM

Sorry, I edited my reply.
a b G Storage
April 11, 2012 11:15:27 AM

Quote:
Now I wonder (and this may seem absurd) if anyone shortstrokes and uses Raid 0?


A few organizations will shortstroke for SQL DBs and other IO intensive operations. In those environments, if they do something besides a RAID5/6 it's a RAID 10 or 50/60.
But it's typically cheaper and less headache to just throw more spindles at the problem.

Home users; I have never shortstroked, couldn't be bothered. But I've RAID0'd for years - even currently. Today it's typically 2x SSDs for my personal builds, ironically i do it to increase capacity and the performance increase is a really bonus. :)  But I nightly backup my C: to a large spindle just in case one falls down.
So yes, there are some of us who still RAID0. :)  But most don't do it to SSD for cost purposes (I happen to work for a company where I get "samples" for my use)

As to foscooter's comments, to echo them further; a couple years ago I benched a 8x HDD 15k Seagate SAS6Gbit drives vs 2x Intel E-series SSDs (separate RAID0s) in a Infotrend box: SSDs were not 2, 4x faster... they were ~100x faster in IOPS! Throughput was slightly in favor of the HDDs, but only slightly (<30-50MB/s?). I'll see if I can find my testing reports and post somewhere...
a b G Storage
April 11, 2012 11:33:03 AM

i find one ssd plenty fast

raiding ssds loses your trim
a b G Storage
April 11, 2012 11:51:29 AM

^True but with decent SSDs, the RAID benefit outweighs the TRIM loss.
a b G Storage
April 11, 2012 11:54:29 AM

why did u underline decent? are you saying my ssd isnt decent?! what are you saying man?! lol, i kid
a b G Storage
April 11, 2012 11:59:57 AM

Sorry Neon, no I did not mean to imply anything about your SSD. Franky, I didn't even read your sig until now. :o  But I will candidly say your SSD does fall into what I think are decent SSDs category.
I only underlined it because I hate poorly engineered SSD controllers that have crap garbage collection. (I deal with them in my work, therefore I have a personal dislike towards crap. :)  )

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a b G Storage
April 11, 2012 12:45:48 PM
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Agree about there being a difference in performance in favor of a SSD. Yes, RAID config with solid states can improve performance depending on the configuration. If you have the ports available and the cash, RAID5+1 gives you the redundancy, a hot spare and killer performance. Sadly, there aren't a lot of motherboards out there with 6 SATA ports of 1 variety (My ASUS 990FX has 6 SATAIII - waiting for the day I can afford 6 on my drives). Easiest way to get serious performance with a RAID config would be RAID 0 - you won't get any redundancy so if a disk fails you're fracked but you'll get killer read/write speeds because it's using 2 SSDs as a team to find/write data.

If price is a concern, it's important to determine exactly how much space you need for your program files and OS. For me, 120GB was more than enough. Then select a SSD you are interested in purchasing and either price shop between major vendors (Newegg, Amazon, Microcenter, etc.) and pick the cheaper of the group or just wait for a good sale.

If you have SATAIII ports on your motherboard, you definitely want to splurage for one. I am using a 120 GB Intel 520 series and it's phenomenal. I'll never go back to a HDD as my primary - I have it paired with a 1.5 TB HDD for all my documents and media. Best of both words.
April 18, 2012 1:24:55 PM

Best answer selected by tom2u.
April 18, 2012 1:25:35 PM

Great input people. Definitely one of the best computer forums on the net. Many thanks.
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