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SSD vs HHD vs RAID0 HDD

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March 1, 2013 7:47:15 PM

Hi, I'm looking for some help on upgrading the storage on my PC. So with that in mind I'll fill you all in on what my PC is at the moment:

i7 Quad Core 2.3Ghz
6GB DDR2 RAM
2GB ATI Radeon HD6950
RAID 0 2 x Western Digital Blue Caviar 7200RPM
Basic DELL Motherboard, most important points: 1-PCI x16 Port, 4 SATA 2 Ports, RAID0 Supported (But no TRIM with RAID0 SSD)
Currently 2 of the SATA 2 ports are used with a Blu-Ray Re-Writer and CD Re-Writer
Windows 8
So here is my question.

I am looking to upgrade the storage on my PC as my hard drives are getting old and I am constantly being told of the amazing feats avalabe with an SSD. SO I was thinking of a few different set-ups.

1) 250GB SSD (probably Samsung 840) as boot with hybrid Seagate 500GB hard drive as storage. [This is probably my most likely choice atm]
2) 250GB SSD (probably Samsung 840) as boot with 2 HDD in RAID0 (probably replace my current ones although not sure) [Don't particularly want to loose the extra CD drive]
3) 2x 120GB SSD (Not sure what type, maybe Crucial M4 or Samsung 840) as boot with hybrid Seagate 500GB hard drive [No TRIM, no CD drive]
4) 1x 120GB SSD (Same as above) as boot with ether RAID0 HHD or hybrid Seagate [No CD if using RAID0 HDD]

So basically I am wondering which one will be best for my PC set up. I'm a big gamer but don't do much in the way of Photoshop and high end technical stuff that will involve using massive files. Think of me as a big gamer who likes more than one screen sometimes, gets bored waiting for Shogun 2 to load and will maybe be looking to use the SSD in a new rig in the future with a RAID0 TRIM enabled motherboard (which will also let me crossfire my video card!)

Thanks in advance.

More about : ssd hhd raid0 hdd

a b G Storage
March 1, 2013 7:53:19 PM

Option 1 or 2 sound the best to me. The bigger SSD you have the better.
a c 283 G Storage
March 1, 2013 8:48:52 PM

One general rule of thumb is to purchase the largest capacity you can afford at the best possible price. Since you're thinking of a 256GB ssd you are good to go on that point.

With a 256GB ssd you could install the operating system, software applications, utilities, and quite a few of your favorite games. Additional games can be stored on a hard disk drive. When you get tired of playing your favorite games you can swap them for other games on your hard drive. It's easy to swap them back and forth. No need for a RAID array or a hybrid drive. No muss! No fuss! No bother!
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a c 167 G Storage
March 1, 2013 10:23:34 PM

I agree with a SSD for the boot and app drive. You will be very pleased with it.

Samsung 840 is good. Intel is good too if it is priced lower.

The larger ssd's perform a bit better, they have more nand chips that can be accessed in parallel.
Also, a ssd will lose some performance as it approaches 80-90% full, so larger is better.

I would not use raid-0 with either a ssd or a hard drive except for benchmarking or a particular raid-0 friendly app.

So long as the ssd is not a participant in the raid-0 array, it will be passed the trim command, so no worries there.

You can always add in another pci or pcie card to get added sata ports for more drives.

You might well point to a rebuild with a haswell mobo/cpu in June. There will be 6 6gb sata ports that will speed up your sequential; ssd performance by 50%

And... A single stronger graphics card would be my preferred graphics upgrade, not dual cards.

March 2, 2013 11:00:30 AM

Ah right well the consensus seems to be the larger SSD, which was my original intention. So I will probably go for one of them in the near future when I see one I like, although Amazon's price for the Samsung 250GB one seems good at £123.00

So now to my other question. Do I go RAID0 with 2 7200RPM hard drive as my storage, or go for a 500GB hybrid drive by Seagate. I have seen an Amazon seller who is selling the HHD at £60 so tempted by that. But I ask now, what would give me better performance for storage, and in fact do I even need RAID0 or a hybrid drive as my storage? Or will just a standard 1TB 7200RPM HDD do?
a c 167 G Storage
March 2, 2013 7:28:36 PM

arkangel101 said:
Ah right well the consensus seems to be the larger SSD, which was my original intention. So I will probably go for one of them in the near future when I see one I like, although Amazon's price for the Samsung 250GB one seems good at £123.00

So now to my other question. Do I go RAID0 with 2 7200RPM hard drive as my storage, or go for a 500GB hybrid drive by Seagate. I have seen an Amazon seller who is selling the HHD at £60 so tempted by that. But I ask now, what would give me better performance for storage, and in fact do I even need RAID0 or a hybrid drive as my storage? Or will just a standard 1TB 7200RPM HDD do?


I do not think there is any value in raid-0 for a storage drive.

5400rpm laptop drives are slower than 7200 drives for laptops but the benefit is that they consume less battery power.
If performance is your objective buy a single larger 7200rpm drive. Larger drives perform a bit better because they have denser platters and can transfer more data per rotation.
March 2, 2013 8:02:29 PM

geofelt said:
I do not think there is any value in raid-0 for a storage drive.


+1

There is no point to Raid-0 along with a higher capacity SSD. Pictures/Videos/music don't benefit from the speed bump of a striped array.
a b G Storage
March 2, 2013 8:05:33 PM

arkangel101 said:
Basic DELL Motherboard, most important points: 1-PCI x16 Port, 4 SATA 2 Ports, RAID0 Supported (But no TRIM with RAID0 SSD)
Currently 2 of the SATA 2 ports are used with a Blu-Ray Re-Writer and CD Re-Writer
Windows 8

2) 250GB SSD (probably Samsung 840) as boot with 2 HDD in RAID0 (probably replace my current ones although not sure) [Don't particularly want to loose the extra CD drive]

If you plug a newer SSD like the 840 or 840 pro into a SATA-2 port, you'll be losing out on about 33%-50% of the speed. I would consider replacing the motherboard and getting an SSD, while keeping your current HDDs (option 2). Most newer motherboards have 6 ports -- 2 SATA-3, 4 SATA-2. Having 6 ports means you can keep the extra CD drive.

Unfortunately, Dell has a nasty habit of using non-standard motherboards (screw holes are in different places than ATX) and power supplies (pin arrangement is different). So upgrading your motherboard could also mean replacing your case and power supply.

Another option would be to add a SATA card. If you have a spare PCI-E slot, you could get a SATA-3 card. If not, you could just get a cheap SATA-2 card or even older SATA-1 (they're usually PCI) and plug the CD drive into that.

geofelt said:
I do not think there is any value in raid-0 for a storage drive.

Unless you have very particular storage needs, RAID-0 with HDDs is almost always a bad idea. Most of the speed gain is on big sequential read/writes. Smaller random read/writes usually end up slower. The drive's seek times overshadow any speed advantage, and there's some overhead for piecing the data together from two drives. In practice, RAID-0 could get you about 25%-50% faster throughput on sequential read/writes, with that advantage rapidly disappearing with smaller read/writes.
http://tweakers.net/reviews/515/raid-0-hype-or-blessing...

RAID-0 on SSDs is a different story since they have almost zero seek times. They're able to provide the data instantly, so the only overhead is time to piece the data together. In fact, internally SSDs are just like 8-16 SD flash cards linked together in a giant RAID-0.

However, most modern SSDs can hit 400-500 MB/s all by themselves. Its very rare for someone to need something faster. The most common reason for using RAID-0 on SSDs is because you want 1+ TB of storage and there aren't 1+ TB SSDs for sale at a reasonable price.

If performance is your objective buy a single larger 7200rpm drive. Larger drives perform a bit better because they have denser platters and can transfer more data per rotation. said:
If performance is your objective buy a single larger 7200rpm drive. Larger drives perform a bit better because they have denser platters and can transfer more data per rotation.

This can be a bit tricky though. A old 1 TB 7200 rpm drive using 3 platters will have slower sequential read/writes than a newer 1 TB 5400 rpm drive using 2 platters. Even though the 7200 rpm drive spins 33% faster, the storage density on the 5400 rpm drive is 50% higher. So more bits/sec are passing under the active read/write head of the 5400 rpm drive.

When people buy 7200 rpm drives, they frequently go for the cheapest. Unfortunately the cheaper ones tend to be older, which means they have more platters and lower data density, and thus are often the same speed or slower than a newer 5400 RPM drive.

That said, the 7200 rpm drive will have lower seek times. But I don't think that really matters on a non-boot storage drive.
a c 167 G Storage
March 2, 2013 8:21:11 PM

The real value of a ssd is the very fast random access times; about 50x faster than a hard drive. Even faster compared to 5400rpm laptop drives. 90% of what the os does is short random reads and writes. It makes everything you do feel much quicker.

On the remaining sequential side, you will get 2x the performance of a hard drive with sata2 which is still great.
I would not worry about not having the faster sata 3.
a b G Storage
March 2, 2013 8:54:40 PM

You could always use the second drive from your old array to back up the ssd image and important files.
!