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2 SSD's and extra HDD on x58

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May 18, 2012 2:53:04 AM

Hello all.

Here's my list. What is the fastest way possible to get my OS and few programs on one SSD and use the other strictly for STEAM and ORIGIN for arma 2, 3 and battlefield 3 and all my other steam games?

My problem is I have an ASUS Rampage iii Formula board, I have 2 sata 6Gb/s slots, controlled by the crappy Marvel controller. I researched that it only has a max rate of 380MB/s speeds, not per port, total, which is extremely disappointing. Also have the native intel 3Gb/s I can utilize and probably make faster in RAID 0. I'm looking for strictly gaming and boot up performance.

i7-950, oc'd to 3.7GHz
Huge RAIDMAX X3 heatsink
Rampage iii Formula
8GB (2x4GB) 1600MHz
EVGA GTX470 superclocked

Now, for which drives to utilize and where to place them?
I have the following drives.

120GB Corsair Force GT SSD
120GB Corsair Force Series 3 SSD
500GB WD caviar blue HDD
500GB 2.5" hitachi out of my macbook pro HDD

I also have a 60GB SSD in my macbook pro, and am thinking about putting the hitachi drive into my optical drive for storage of my HOME files, like downloads, documents, etc.

Should I place my OS on the FORCE GT and place that single SSD in the SATA 6Gb/s marvell drive, as I have read reviews and benchmarks that it just boots up faster in the marvell controller plugs.

Then either use the FORCE SERIES 3 as my STEAM and ORIGIN, in SATA 3Gb/s connection to not bottleneck my crappy marvel controller, or maybe in raid with my WD Caviar Blue? Or just use the SSD separate from the 500GB

More about : ssd extra hdd x58

a b G Storage
May 18, 2012 3:23:23 AM

Storage performance is not a bottle-neck for gaming. There wouldn't be much difference between using a PCIe SSD that can transfer data in excess of 6GB/s and using a 5400RPM hard drive. You would not see ANY difference at all between the two SSDs regardless of which controller you use.

As for boot-up performance, it doesn't change much either. Sure, go ahead and throw the Force GT onto the Marvell controller and the other drives on the 3Gb/s controllers, but it still isn't much of a difference.
May 18, 2012 3:30:08 AM

So doesn't matter? Like the way I posted is just fine?
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a b G Storage
May 18, 2012 3:41:03 AM
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Exactly. SSDs do wonders for loading times and other storage heavy things, but for gaming, they tend to not improve performance, although they can reduce some stutter and fix slowly loading texture problems (such as loading a game and waiting a few seconds for some textures to load on some objects). Boot loading time doesn't improve a whole lot except when you go from a very slow SSD to a very fast one. Just getting an SSD, even one of the slowest, to replace a hard drive as the OS drive improves boot time and such far more than going from an SSD to a marginally faster SSD on a marginally faster SATA controller.
May 18, 2012 3:59:37 AM

blazorthon said:
Exactly. SSDs do wonders for loading times and other storage heavy things, but for gaming, they tend to not improve performance, although they can reduce some stutter and fix slowly loading texture problems (such as loading a game and waiting a few seconds for some textures to load on some objects). Boot loading time doesn't improve a whole lot except when you go from a very slow SSD to a very fast one. Just getting an SSD, even one of the slowest, to replace a hard drive as the OS drive improves boot time and such far more than going from an SSD to a marginally faster SSD on a marginally faster SATA controller.


Ok, Then I'm going to install the OS on the FORCE GT in my marvel 6Gb/s controller as so far it's been on there and is doing just fine., then use the rest in 3Gb/s.

Install all my steam and origin games onto the Force 3. I did see an improvement when I went from HDD to SSD in Arma 2 as it loads a lot of stuff, so I'll install them on the Force 3. And just use the HDD for music and movies and backups of both SSD's, and have an additional backup of everything on my USB 3.0 1TB passport eternal drive. Sounds good?

AHCI on the SSD's right?

Thanks for your help.
a b G Storage
May 18, 2012 4:06:28 PM

Sounds good.

If possible, use AHCI on all of your SATA drives.
May 19, 2012 9:31:52 AM

Ok question, i'm having difficulty setting up my Force GT in the marvell controller as AHCI, i set it up in bios, formatted the drive with diskpart in windows disk, and it went back to IDE after install and reboot. Then I downloaded the marvell drivers and it went to SCSI!!

I just want the fastest possible speeds, and utilize the potential of my drives. I got a 7.7 in windows experience on my hard drive.

Is it better if I just raid 0 all three of my drives in SATA 2 3Gb/s, the Force GT the Force Series 3 and the 500GB HD, I know I would only have 120GB + 120GB + 120GB but that's ok with me!
a b G Storage
May 21, 2012 7:22:56 AM

I'm pretty sure that Raid 0 must be used with drives in powers of two. Two drives, four drives, eight drives, sixteen drives, etc.
May 21, 2012 8:35:00 PM

blazorthon said:
I'm pretty sure that Raid 0 must be used with drives in powers of two. Two drives, four drives, eight drives, sixteen drives, etc.


I understand that, I was just wondering whether to raid 0 the two SSD's and raid 0 the HDD with another HDD i have out of my macbook pro too.
a b G Storage
May 22, 2012 2:43:48 AM

RAID 0 is generally best not done with SSDs because many SSDs lose TRIM support when they are in RAID and the benefits really aren't huge for SSDs because they are already ridiculously fast. RAID zeroing the hard drives would be a good idea, but I'd keep those SSds away from RAID if I were you. If one of them has problems (not an unlikely scenario) within even just a few months from now, then both drives will slow down to a crawl that makes the HDDs look like high performance drives.
May 23, 2012 1:11:27 AM

Best answer selected by taxableabe.
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