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Good RAID Card for RAID 0 SSDs

Last response: in Storage
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December 8, 2012 7:48:07 PM

Hi all !

First of all, here is my configuration :

Asus Technologies Motherboard: Asus P8P67 WS Revolution / Intel P67 Express Chipset + nVIDIA NForce 200 Chipset / Workstation Series Motherboard

Intel Core i7 Central Processing Unit : 2700K / Intel's LGA1155 Flagship CPU / 4 Cores, 8 Threads / 3.50 GHz Stock Core Clock / 3.9 GHz Turbo Frequency / 8 MB L3 Cache / LGA1155 Socket / 32nm Transistor Architecture / 4.50 GHz Overclocked

Noctua Technologies CPU Cooler : NH-D14 / 2 x Noctua NF-P14 Fans / Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminum (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating materials / SSO-Bearing / Weight : 1290g / 110,3 m³/h x2 airflow @ 19.6 dBA

Kingston Technologies RAM: Genesis Edition / KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX / PC3-12800 / 16384 MB / Dual-Channel Enabled / 1600 MHz RAM Clock / Timings 9-9-9-27 @ 1.65v / Windows' Page File Disabled

Seagate Hard-Disk Drive: Barracuda Series / 2000 GB / 64 MB Cache / 7200 RPM / RAID 1 Configuration With P67 On-Board RAID Controller

Western Digital Hard-Disk Drive: Caviar Blue Series / 500 GB / 16 MB Cache / 7200 RPM / 120 MB/s Sustained Data Rate / RAID 1 Configuration With P67 On-Board RAID Controller

Crucial Technologies SSD : M4 C400 / 2.5" / 128 GB Samsung MLC Memory / 520 MB/s Read / 450 MB/s Write / 0.01 ms Response Time / RAID 0 Configuration With P67 On-Board RAID Controller

Fractal Design Enclosure : Define XL / 1 Front Noctua NF-P12 Fan / 2 x 140 MM Front Noctua NF-P14 FLX Fan / 1 Rear Noctua NF-P14 FLX / 1 Top Fractal Design Silent Series 180 MM Fan / Pre-fitted with noise absorbing material / Configurable thermal chamber design / Up to 10x HDD slots

Seasonic Technologies Power Supply : X-850 / 70A Single 12v Rail / 80+ Gold Certified Electrical Efficiency

Asus Technologies GPU : GeFrce GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP

Asus Technologies : Xonar Essence STX

Microsoft Operating System: Windows 7 / Professional Edition / Service Pack 1 / 64-bit / English

Linux Platform : Linux Fedora 17 Electronic Lab and Linux Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Virtualization Platform : VMWare Workstation 9


So, as you can see, I have three RAID arrays connected to the Intel P67 PCH.

Another point to take in consideration is that all my virtual machines are stored on my SSD array for best performance.

Before getting my second Crucial M4 SSD to create my RAID 0, I've read a lot that maybe the PCH would not be able to "follow" the SSD speed. But I decided to get the second SSD anyway to make the experience.

I am now wondering if a good RAID card would not give me better performance for my setup. I have also two other RAID 1 arrays on my PCH, and the first array of Seagate is built with brand new HDDs running barely at 200 MB/s while reading. I think that's a lot for a single PCH to handle.

So, if price is not a real matter (below 550 $ would be correct considering the setup I have), would a RAID card give me better performance ? I was looking for a PCI-Express x8 Gen 3 (even if my system is not Gen3 since I have a Sandy bridge CPU, I would buy a Gen 3 to be future proof) with on-board memory. Would the on-board memory be better for a setup of SSD in RAID 0?

I know I lose TRIM while RAIDing SSDs and bla bla bla ;)  I'm a power user. I know how to use my PC and my RAID 0 of SSD. I'm just asking if a RAID controller would give me better overall performance or a significative performance gain in I/O and speed (with on-board memory).

Is there compatibility issues to look for before buying a RAID card ?

Any brand recommended ? Intel, LSI, Areca ... ?

Thank you very much for your advices !
a c 311 G Storage
December 8, 2012 8:39:58 PM

I really like the Adaptec 6x05 cards. I have several 6805 on ASUS P8 (P67 and Z68) boards and they work well despite the caution about UEFI with the cards. I would look at the 6405 in the kit form with the .5 meter mini8087 to 4 SATA port adapter (part 2271100-R): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The performance is excellent, it does require a PCIe x8 slot, and you could throw a couple other drives on the other two ports with another array in RAID 1 or 0 with excellent performance also.
December 8, 2012 10:18:44 PM

Thanks for your answer.

I've read that LSI are a lot better than Adaptec performance-wise, and even more when talking about SSDs...

True ?
a c 311 G Storage
December 9, 2012 1:01:54 PM

That is true for the 9265-8i, it blows everything away with SSDs in terms of IOPS. If it is in your budget, for SSD use it makes sense, not sure about the I/O advantage with the 9271-4i, but I would expect that it is more optimized for SSDs also and is close in price to the 6405.

I cannot speak to the compatibility of the LSI models though.
!