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Need help with RAID 0 or RAID 0+1 SSD Array

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November 28, 2012 4:51:24 PM

I am going to begin a new build on thursday with a P8Z77-V Pro and 2 Intel 330 180GB SSD ideally in a RAID 0 set up. I would like to do this with TRIM enabled, on the SATA3 Intel controller and Mirrored to 1 of 2 Seagate Baracua 2TB HDD's in one of the SATA2 ports on the same Intel controller. I have read that TRIM is available with my chipset and this version of the driver. The RAID 1 Mirroringof the RAID array is of least importance.

I have never done this with SSDs or any RAID in probably 10 years. I downloaded all the drivers from ASUS the Rapid Storage drivers and the Intel Smart Connect Technology Software/Utility, all latest version and verified compatible with my board.

What is confusing me is it says I need to install the intel utility and drivers etc before installing the latest Intel Rapid Storage RAID drivers. How do I achieve this before installing my OS? Maybe I am reading the READ ME incorrectly.

If possible could someone break down a step-by-step instruction list on exactly what needs to be done once the PC is assembled? I was assuming I would finish the build. Boot Windows 7 Pro and when prompted install the RAID drivers via USB drive. I am weary of doing this because of the required Drive utility or whatever it calls for and because I am new to SSDs in general. I would really appreciate the help.

Also, if someone could tell me what else I should install before my first OS boot with the RAID driver etc, I would really appreciate it. Thanks you.

I'm sorry if this has been asked here before. I am not familiar with these boards and had an embarrassingly difficult time navigating around. I was almost unable to start a discussion until I realized I had to come to a sub-forum, not just the support comm area...

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a b å Intel
a c 317 G Storage
November 28, 2012 5:24:57 PM

Most recommend against RAID 0 for SSDs and I generally agree, but if you are set on that course I would do the OS install with only the two SSDs attached and no HDDs.

You have to enable RAID in the bios, then create the RAID volume, and then upon Windows install hit F6 during the initial install to load the Intel drivers.

Here is a step by step for an Intel board, but yours will be similar so look at your manual for any specific differences in the first two parts of the three steps: http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/cs-021701...
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a b G Storage
November 28, 2012 5:30:35 PM

I'd have to ask what the use case is for SSDs in a RAID. They are insanely fast in a single configuration and less chance of complete failure (more drives in a raid 0 the higher the chance of a loss).

Like Real said tho, it can be done! Good luck :) 
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November 28, 2012 5:35:38 PM

I'm using the same Mb as you did and the step to enable the raid is just like Reealbeast said except for the last part which is no need to press F6 . U can install normal windows after u have done creating the raid part. The rest just install the drivers upon completing windows. This step is for windows 7 installation but if u are planning to instal windows XP then u need to press the F6 button. And abit of advice make sure u download all the latest driver MB from Asus website before setup your new pc as the new driver and also the new bios will make your MB much more stable .
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a b G Storage
November 28, 2012 5:48:38 PM

Why would you want to use SSD's in a RAID 0??? I doubt Highly you will see a difference in performance from just a single SSD.

Do you need the space that the RAID 0 will provide as opposed to a single drive with the OS on it?

is it out of necessity or just tinkering...?
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a b G Storage
November 28, 2012 6:00:35 PM

^What he said. SSDs in a raid zero give essentially no performance benefit, make it more likely that you'll lose your data, and hinder functions such as TRIM.

Use the ssds for your OS and commonly played games, and raid the hard drives to store non-essential data.
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November 28, 2012 6:36:17 PM

The reason for the SSD RAID isn't for performance(though I read there is some to gain in sequential read/write which is also these least important). I need the 360GB of storage with the SSD's.

Is there anything special I will need to do when mirroring them onto one of the large dump HDD's?
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a b å Intel
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November 28, 2012 7:15:50 PM

I figured that it was a size issue, and now that IRST supports TRIM in RAID 0 it makes more sense than before.

You really aren't going to mirror the SSDs onto a HDD, that would kill your SSD performance since the slower drive will limit write performance.
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November 28, 2012 7:17:38 PM

I figured mirroring would ruin the performance, thanks for confirming. Can I just make clone images or something with software onto a backup drive once an awhile?
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a b å Intel
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November 28, 2012 7:36:03 PM

I use an IcyDock ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) along with Hotswap 6, which is way better than the built in Windows hot swap capability ( http://mt-naka.com/hotswap/index_enu.htm ) and clone a copy of my SSD to a backup drive periodically using Ghost 15.

Other software for cloning works fine too like EaseUS Todo or Acronis True Image. I eject it after the clone using hotswap and then store the drive in an anti-static bag. Of course you can accomplish the same thing with an external dock, but the IcyDock is nice because it uses your motherboard sata connectors. I don't like the drive left in the computer in case something bad takes down the whole rig.

That said, you cannot rely on a clone from a RAID array to a HDD to be good for anything. I think that you will need to really just use backup software rather than cloning. There was a good thread on this earlier in the year: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/278585-32-back-raid0-...
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November 28, 2012 11:14:17 PM

Thanks a lot Realbeast!
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