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Should I use mobo's RAID or hardware RAID for RAID 0 on SSD boot drive

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February 6, 2013 3:42:40 PM

I intend to buy two Samsung 840 Pro SSDs and put them into RAID 0 to use them for my Windows system drive. I have a Rampage IV Extreme motherboard that I will be using for this build. I'm not sure whether I should set up the RAID 0 for the SSDs on the motherboard or on my RAID card.

I have an Areca ARC-1882ix-12 RAID card. Currently I have ten 4TB drives in RAID 6 attached to this RAID card. Since my raid card has 12 ports, I could use the last two ports to put the SSDs in RAID 0.

From my google research, it seems like the speed increase when moving from software RAID to hardware RAID is negligible for simple RAID 0 setups like the one I'm planning.

Additionally, should the RAID card fail, I wouldn't be able to boot into Windows.

For these two reasons I'm leaning towards using my motherboard's RAID setup instead of using my RAID card to manage the SSDs.

Is there anything else I should consider? Does anyone have experience with this type of situation?

Thanks in advance
a b V Motherboard
a b G Storage
February 6, 2013 3:59:22 PM

Don't RAID two SSDs. It's pointless.

You won't get a speed increase that's NOTICEABLE, and you'll be running double the chance of failure.

On top of that, SSDs get faster as their size increases... you're better off getting a 512GB drive and calling it good.
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a b V Motherboard
a b G Storage
February 6, 2013 4:12:51 PM

^ Yup.
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February 6, 2013 4:38:54 PM

The PC will be partially used as a media server. Currently with a Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240gb it takes several minutes to load the different databases I need to access. I hope to reduce this time by using two SSDs in RAID 0 on this build. Drive failure does not concern me since it would be backed up on a regular basis.

I do appreciate your efforts to steer me in the right direction, but I'm hoping for someone to shed some light on mobo RAID 0 performance vs. hardware RAID 0 performance
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a b V Motherboard
a c 523 G Storage
February 6, 2013 5:35:22 PM

You have a very good RAID card with a 800MHz Dual Core RAID-On-Chip processor with 1GB of on-board cache memory.

You are correct that if the RAID card fails that you won't be able to boot into Windows; but since you said that drive failure does not concern you because you have a backup plan then I would connect the drives to the RAID card. If the card fails then just connect the drives to your motherboard's 6Gb/s ports, create a new RAID-0 array, and restore your backup to the new array.

If you decide to create the RAID array via your motherboard then connect the SSDs to your motherboard's Intel 6Gb/s ports, not Marvell's 6Gb/s ports for best performance.
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Best solution

February 6, 2013 6:02:47 PM

Listen, anybody who says it doesn't make a difference clearly has not tried it. I have two Samsung 840 Pro's (256gb) striped and it's freaking insane. It made a huge difference. I moved from a Corsair Force GT to these, and I noticed a big difference.

I'm getting over 1000mb/sec in both reads and writes. It's completely noticeable in everyday use.

As for using the mobo or hardware raid, for striping, the mobo is the better choice because it will support Trim in raid 0 with version 11 drivers. You also have support in Acronis for Intel's raid controller, and the speed difference is negligible. Going hardware you lose the Trim support.

Unfortunately for me, I'm using the X79 chipset, which uses the enterprise version of Intel's raid controller, which does not support Trim in raid 0 yet. In August, Intel said it will be coming RSN, but it's still not here.
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a b V Motherboard
a c 523 G Storage
February 6, 2013 6:14:35 PM

jlorenzi said:
Unfortunately for me, I'm using the X79 chipset, which uses the enterprise version of Intel's raid controller, which does not support Trim in raid 0 yet. In August, Intel said it will be coming RSN, but it's still not here.


The OP uses an ASUS Rampage IV Extreme, which is also an X79 chipset based motherboard, and uses Intel's RST Enterprise RAID drivers.
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a b V Motherboard
a c 812 G Storage
February 6, 2013 11:03:09 PM

I would say throw it on the Areca and avoid the bootup delay caused by yet another raid initialization.

Plus, do you actually have software that can restore to an intel raid? Sure backup is easy, restoring is the hard part. I haven't found any free software that can but then my research has mainly been toward amd chipset raid.
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February 7, 2013 12:04:29 AM

Dereck47 said:
The OP uses an ASUS Rampage IV Extreme, which is also an X79 chipset based motherboard, and uses Intel's RST Enterprise RAID drivers.


Yup, no TRIM in RAID 0 for me.
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February 7, 2013 12:45:27 AM

I got mobo raid going on and the speed is insane. So you should be just fine. Or you can just get the Samsung 830 512 GB SSD and not worry about the raid.
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a b G Storage
February 7, 2013 2:07:10 AM

I would go with a single largest SSD as opposed to RAID0, real world performance will not be noticeably different and you will have TRIM support (although their are TRIM passthrough solutions for some raid controllers) and it will be more reliable. 2 SSDS in RAID0 have twice the chance of failure.
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February 7, 2013 2:14:39 AM

I intend on selling mines in a month or so and grabbing the 840 Pro 512GB version. One less drive to deal with.
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a b G Storage
February 7, 2013 3:13:01 AM

Good move, I think you'll find a single larger SSD performance more than adequately without the complication of RAID. It will in general be more reliable as well.
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February 7, 2013 9:48:09 PM

Best answer selected by nellie7979.
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February 7, 2013 9:55:31 PM

jlorenzi said:
Listen, anybody who says it doesn't make a difference clearly has not tried it. I have two Samsung 840 Pro's (256gb) striped and it's freaking insane. It made a huge difference. I moved from a Corsair Force GT to these, and I noticed a big difference.

I'm getting over 1000mb/sec in both reads and writes. It's completely noticeable in everyday use.

As for using the mobo or hardware raid, for striping, the mobo is the better choice because it will support Trim in raid 0 with version 11 drivers. You also have support in Acronis for Intel's raid controller, and the speed difference is negligible. Going hardware you lose the Trim support.

Unfortunately for me, I'm using the X79 chipset, which uses the enterprise version of Intel's raid controller, which does not support Trim in raid 0 yet. In August, Intel said it will be coming RSN, but it's still not here.


I agree. I had Windows installed on a Revodrive X2 for a matter of weeks (I bought the Revodrive for a song and the profit I could make from selling it on ebay was too big to resist). For the short time I had it, I was astounded by the speed with which I navigated the OS.

I didn't think load speeds could be better than they were with the single SSD I had -- until I tested the Revodrive. This leads me to believe that most people here haven't actually used a system with a pair of SSDs in RAID 0. With the ever-decreasing prices of SSDs, it's becoming much cheaper and more realistic for the average consumer to consider such a setup.
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