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Adding SRT to non-boot drive later

Last response: in Storage
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June 3, 2012 2:35:26 PM

Hey all,


Just ordered all the parts for a new build and I have a question about Intel Smart Response.

I opted for the following build:

MB: ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional
CPU: i7-3770K
GPU: GTX 480x2 SLI
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 16GB (4GBx4) 2133Mhz (I'm a little worried about this one because I've heard that the intel chips don't really support higher than 1600, but I think with the 3770K it will overclock to 2133 fine)
OS: Windows 7 Professional

My current plan for storage on the build:

1.) OS + games install to 256GB Vertex 4 SSD
2.) 1TB 7200RPM 6Gb/s Western Digital Caviar black for storage/backup needs

My question is this:

Can I install the Caviar drive now as just a non-OS storage volume as a plan to do, and add another SSD later as a SRT cache for it if I decide to?

If so, will I need to do anything special in the UEFI regarding the SATA Mode before I install windows? Can I keep the Vertex 4 in AHCI since is will be by itself, and set the Caviar to RAID (even though right now it is by itself)?

Or should I keep both drives in AHCI, and change the caviar to RAID mode later if I decide to do SRT with it? Would this require a windows re-install even though the OS isn't installed on the caviar drive?

There isn't alot of information out there about SRT on non-OS drives. Is it even worth doing?

Thanks for the help!

More about : adding srt boot drive

a c 311 G Storage
June 3, 2012 4:14:20 PM

You can use RAID as the bios mode and run your OS on the SSD alone and the other pair in RAID mode -- AHCI is a subset of RAID and the TRIM commands will get passed along since the SSD is not in a raided setup itself.
June 3, 2012 4:17:18 PM

Why then is there even a use for AHCI mode, if AHCI is simply RAID without the array features? Why not just have RAID enabled by default instead of AHCI? Is there an advantage to having the bios mode set to AHCI vs. RAID?

Also, can I set certain SATA ports to RAID and others AHCI? My Mobo manual makes it seem as those they must ALL be set to RAID if any of them are set to RAID, but it's not clear.

Thanks!
a c 311 G Storage
June 3, 2012 5:31:28 PM

AFAIK, the only real disadvantage to RAID mode is that most optical drives will have to be put on another controller that is not in RAID mode unless the RAID controller recognizes the ATAPI command set.

While I think you could use SRT on your storage drives I don't know that is worth it, and there are some questions about how large a cache is useful. Here is an article on size: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4337/z68-ssd-caching-with...
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