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[Solved] Should I upgrade?

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  • Motherboards
  • NAS / RAID
Last response: in Motherboards
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April 4, 2012 4:07:29 PM

Hello Forum,

I recently bought two Samsung 830 SSD's planning to RAID 0 them, but when setting up the RAID the Mobo only has one raid controller for 6Gb/s (Marvell). My results were far from optimal which I found was most likely due to the controller. At this point I would like to upgrade my mobo+cpu combo, but would like some suggestions at what I should be looking at. I'm a little confused as whether to go for a LGA2011 mobo or an 1155. I know the LGA2011 is newer, but with Ivy Bridge coming out would it make more sense to grab a 1155 board+cpu now and just wait for ivy bridge? My thinking is a i5-2500k, but am unsure of what to get in regards of a mobo. Please feel free to give any advice or ask any questions for things I may have left out.

PS: Any deal advice would also be greatly appreciated, I have access to a Microcenter if that helps.

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomsfield 3.06 Ghz LGA1366
ASUS Sabertooth x58 LGA1366 Intel x58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 PSU
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus
G.SKILL PI Series 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
GeForce GTX 480 1.5GB GDDR5 PCI-E 2.0 x 16
2 x Samsung 830 128GB MLC SSD
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
APEX Vortex 3620 SGCC / ABS ATX Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case

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a b V Motherboard
April 4, 2012 4:16:19 PM

Buy a raid controller.

I see no reason to upgrade your pc. i7-950 to a 2500K would be a very minimal difference if any.
April 4, 2012 4:50:41 PM

Thanks for the quick response! I'm looking through the RAID controllers on Newegg, but I'm having trouble finding a quality internal SATA III raid controller. Also, since the RAID controller will be run through PCI-E, is it possible they will bottle neck two SSD's in RAID 0?
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a c 266 V Motherboard
April 4, 2012 5:13:27 PM

What is your objective in raiding two SSD's?

Sequential benchmarks will look wonderful, but in practice, you will not detect any real difference in normal desktop operations.

If you are contemplating a motherboard change, wait a week or two for the Z77 motherboards to launch, and ivy bridge quads by the end of the month.

April 4, 2012 5:26:41 PM

Hi geofelt,

I originally wanted a 256 GB for space, but ended up getting the 128's because they were on sale and felt they would fulfill my space requirement as well as provide higher throughput across the board than a Samsung 256GB SSD. I believe that the RAID0 will improve the 4K read/write speed as well as the sequentials too, sorry if I am mistaken. As for the mobo, thanks for the advice I will take a look into those as I am pretty clueless.
a b V Motherboard
April 4, 2012 5:33:16 PM

I wouldn't bother upgrading to a IB and Z77 from a i7-950, the difference would be very minimal and not worth all that money.

Besides you would probably have to upgrade your memory too (or run it at 1333) because I doubt you have low voltage memory.
April 4, 2012 6:23:27 PM

Geekapproved,

How much of a cost would it actually be? I was under the impression that most SB and IB were vast improvements on bang for your buck because of architecture. For example, the 2600k costs only slightly more than the 950 but has a huge difference in benchmarks. Considering that I could probably sell my CPU+mobo for maybe $300, then an upgrade would only cost me a couple hundred.

Sorry if I'm mistaken on a few things, or everything. This is just what I've come to think after some research.
a b V Motherboard
April 4, 2012 6:41:14 PM

Well the 2600K is more than $300, so it would cost you a couple hundred at least, IF you could get someone to buy your old stuff for $300.

I would wait for the next gen (after IB) to make it worthwhile. Is there something your PC isn't doing for you now? I mean if anything, overclock the cpu and upgrade the video card if it's not doing it for you.
a c 266 V Motherboard
April 4, 2012 7:39:06 PM

Scubasteve1986 said:
Hi geofelt,

I originally wanted a 256 GB for space, but ended up getting the 128's because they were on sale and felt they would fulfill my space requirement as well as provide higher throughput across the board than a Samsung 256GB SSD. I believe that the RAID0 will improve the 4K read/write speed as well as the sequentials too, sorry if I am mistaken. As for the mobo, thanks for the advice I will take a look into those as I am pretty clueless.


You may read about glowing benchmarks for the newest SSD's.
The sequential benchmarks drive the SSD to it's maximum with programs that issue I/O operations
at a much faster rate than an application can, and does so at high queue levels. 6gb sata looks great.
But, a normal desktop user rarely does anything remotely like that.

The second type of benchmark measures maximum IOPS which will be done at high queue levels again. Think >30.
That is also not what we do. The OS does mostly small random I/O, and at smallish queue lengths.
It is the response time that matters most.

It turns out that at low queue lengths, Most SSD's have the same response time, and they are very low.
That is exactly what you want from a SSD, particularly for the OS.

Raid-0 has been over hyped as a performance enhancer.
Sequential benchmarks do look wonderful, but the real world does not seem to deliver the indicated performance benefits for most
desktop users. The reason is, that sequential benchmarks are coded for maximum overlapped I/O rates. It depends on reading a stripe of data simultaneously from each raid-0 member, and that is rarely what we do.
The OS does mostly small random reads and writes, so raid-0 is of little use there.
There are some apps that will benefit. They are characterized by reading large files in a sequential manner.

At one time, I had a Intel X25-M SSD. It worked well, but I needed more space, so I bought a second.
I really wanted a 160gb single image for the "C" drive, so I combined the two in raid-0. I supposed I could have used software jbod raid to accomplish the same, but I was no expert on that.
It worked well, but I could not detect any improvement in my user experience.
Later, I used the 80gb drives in other PC's and replaced them with a single X25-M 160gb drive, and performance was equal, if not better.

The older X25-M drives had their own internal garbage collection, so loss of trim support with raid-0 was not a big deal.
Today, I don't think you want to bypass trim support if you don't have to, particularly as the drive gets filled.

If you have a 6gb sata interface, I do recommend the more modern SSD's like the Samsung 830.

Since you are near a microcenter, they will sell you a 2500K for $180. I think 2500K users will not have a great incentive to change to ivy bridge. But with launch so close, I would wait. It looks like you will get 10% more for your money with ivy bridge, possibly more.
April 4, 2012 8:28:05 PM

Hi geo, it seems from what you're saying that maybe RAID 0 wasn't the right choice for me then. In hindsight, maybe a Samsung 830 256GB was what I really needed.

Geek,

my computer is fine as far as gaming and other applications go. I just felt like I was bottlenecking my SSD's with this mobo and so felt like it might be time to upgrade to an 1155 or 2011 and give myself some room to upgrade again when new CPU's come out in the future since my 1366 socket won't have anything coming soon.
a c 266 V Motherboard
April 4, 2012 8:46:11 PM

Scubasteve1986 said:
Hi geo, it seems from what you're saying that maybe RAID 0 wasn't the right choice for me then. In hindsight, maybe a Samsung 830 256GB was what I really needed.

Geek,

my computer is fine as far as gaming and other applications go. I just felt like I was bottlenecking my SSD's with this mobo and so felt like it might be time to upgrade to an 1155 or 2011 and give myself some room to upgrade again when new CPU's come out in the future since my 1366 socket won't have anything coming soon.


Larger ssd's tend to be a bit faster. They have more nand chips that they can access in parallel. Sort of an internal raid-0 if you will.
If you bought two 120gb drives for less than a single 240gb drive, then you did ok.

I would just put the os and apps on one, and allocate the rest as you will. Keep it simple.

If one will boot properly on the 6gb sata port, then that is the best place to put it. Put the other on a 6gb port too.
Some motherboards had a problem with this, if you do, then the 3gb sata port will not cost you much.

Even without the optimum 6gb sata, you will still be getting a huge boost over a hard drive.

Technology changes constantly. If you are a hobbyist and always want the best, you will change components regularly. I do that more than I can really justify.

From a logic point of view, change only when your current technology can not do the job required of it.
April 4, 2012 10:00:11 PM

Thanks all,

Really good information and good advice. I guess for now I'll stick with what I have and look at upgrading when a bigger change in performance can be realized.

Glad I joined this forum and hope to learn a lot more.

Steven
!