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Best two 128GB SSD's for RAID0?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thought I'd treat myself to some new SSD's for obtaining my first of many IT certifications (CompTIA A+, 844/900 hardware 900/900 software) by picking up some new SSD's since they've come down in price. Well, since I bought mine they have anyway.

I'll most likely be putting Steam (~200GB) and Win7 64, so two 128GB's for a total of 256GB will probably be fine. I've got a ~$600 budget, of course best price/performance is preferred but if it's speedy I don't have a problem with springin. I'm thinking two of these Corsair's will do me fine, opinions?
    
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post #2 of 16
The Sandforce controllers take a pretty big performance hit when their capacity is below 240GB, you may consider just buying one bigger drive. Aside from that, although the review isn't up yet, Anand has posted a preview of the 120 Maxiops Vertex 3 saying that most likely this is the best 120GB SATA3 Sandforce SSD - the reason being is uses older 34nm flash - being older and bigger node it needs double the dies to form the 120GB, which in this case is a good thing; 25nm 120GB drives fill up all channels but with only one die per channel, not the optimum of two. This Corsair drive, as all others except for the Maxiops V3 use 25nm flash, thus it's slower. LINK1 LINK2

The Corsair F3 120GB is a very fast drive no doubt about it and if you don't mind getting you hands dirty with software RAID arrays than it's ok, but bare in mind that 240GB drives have more than just half the performance of a RAID 120GB. Also if the V3 maxiops is available it could be a nice alternative.

/edit: dam I managed to write quite a long post, hope you find it useful
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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Long posts are my favorite, don't worry about it.

I'll look into 240GB's.
    
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post #4 of 16
I would avoid anything with a Sandforce controller actually. Go with 2 C300 for 34nm NAND or M4/Intel 510. Been reading too many horror stories about the Sandforce 2000 and the Sandforce 1000 has had some strange sporadic failures as well.
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post #5 of 16
I didn't look to see if this was added yet, but I believe if you put two SSDs in raid they lose their TRIM support. Not having this really creates a big performance hit over time. With that said, and like others said above I would avoid the Sandforce controller... I personally am waiting for a fix or a newer model before I purchase as I don't want to go to a previous gen SSD as my fix for the problem. If you really want two SSDs then I would get a small one 64GB to put just the OS on, then proceed in getting a larger one just for important applications/games... that would most likely be your best performance option than getting one big SSD as mentioned above.
Edited by Doogiehouser - 6/21/11 at 1:49am
post #6 of 16
"Not having this really creates a big performance hit over time."

Not always: TRIM is way overrated on drives which support GC. The Micron and newer Intel drives have very good GCs which work very well without TRIM. I am not sure how good the Sandforce are in this respect. I have an OCZ one on my macbook and it had horrible degradation until I enabled TRIM so I assume that it did not have GC. There is conflicting info all over the net about whether the Sandforce drives have GC or not.
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post #7 of 16
All drives had GC at the beginning when TRIM didn't exist or when Win 7 wasn't widespread. Now NO drive has GC, because TRIM should handle performance degradation. GC, if used on top of TRIM, wastes flash cycles by doing some rearranging of data that is redundant with TRIM. In RAID we have no TRIM, but unfortunately also we have no way of enabling GC.

SSD/RAID users seem to dismantle the array and secure erase drives every few months to restore performance. If one can be bothered to learn to use some imaging software (like the free easeus disk copy) one can do the backup/secure erase/restore in less than an hour.
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post #8 of 16
did anyone actually READ the OP?

A. the OP never said anything about getting a Sandforce drive, the drive he links to is a Corsair Performance series drive, not a Force series, the drive he is considering uses the same Marvell controller used in the Intel 510 and Crucial M4 that someone recommended

B. to the guy who said something ignorant about how modern drives don't have garbage collection, not only is this completely false (all SSDs have some level of garbage collection), the newegg page specifically advertises "Robust Background Garbage Collection for consistent performance" in the details section, so I'd assume these would be some of the better drives for RAID0.
Edited by bojinglebells - 6/22/11 at 2:19am
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post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragosmp View Post
All drives had GC at the beginning when TRIM didn't exist or when Win 7 wasn't widespread. Now NO drive has GC, because TRIM should handle performance degradation. GC, if used on top of TRIM, wastes flash cycles by doing some rearranging of data that is redundant with TRIM. In RAID we have no TRIM, but unfortunately also we have no way of enabling GC.

SSD/RAID users seem to dismantle the array and secure erase drives every few months to restore performance. If one can be bothered to learn to use some imaging software (like the free easeus disk copy) one can do the backup/secure erase/restore in less than an hour.
Completely false regarding the garbage collection.

As for the option of using a back/restore option I would never recommend an SSD user to do so since it completely messes up the SSD's alignment which can result in a performance loss of 50% or more!
    
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post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well I've done my homework, and it looks like RAID0 has no real practical advantages with SSD's, so I've decided to go with a single 256GB SSD for OS and Steam.

It's down to another Corsair Performance 3 or a Crucial M4.
    
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