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Anyone use a SATA III PCI-E Controller to run an SSD?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey all, long time lurker, first time poster! I've Googled high and low couldn't find anything that relates to me so I'm asking the OC geniuses! Sorry it's so wordy, trying to give all the details. tongue.gif


I have an i7-930 running on an LGA 1366 ASRock X58 Extreme Intel X58 [[URL="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157163"]link[/URL]]. It obviously only supports SATA II.

Currently I have 2x640gb Caviar Blacks running in a RAID 0 (on-board "Matrix" RAID) for the OS drive. (I know the loss risk of RAID0, btw). This means the disk mode is currently set to "RAID" in the BIOS.

However I just ordered a brand new Intel 510 120gb. Problem is that SATA II is too slow to fully utilize its power and I'm not sure if AHCI mode is on when disk type is "RAID".

So here's my questions:

If I plug the Intel SSD right in like any ordinary drive, will it work like it should with TRIM support enabled? (I know TRIM is a command, but will it get passed to the drive correctly)

If I get a PCI-E SATA III card, will it support TRIM and give me full SATA III speeds on my Intel SSD? And will it be bootable?

Also, do I need to backup my RAID array and 'break' the array to get it working right? I heard that a lot of SATA III controller cards will disable on-board RAID.




Thanks for the help guys, I appreciate the help! smile.gif
post #2 of 11
RAID mode is a superset of AHCI so TRIM is support with non-member SSDs (as long as you use Intel storage drivers).

Most SATA 6Gb/s addin cards do not support TRIM.

The native storage controllers have less latency so often provide slighly better random performance.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your quick reply! If I could rep you, I would! :-D

The sequential read speeds are "Up to 400 MB/s" (on SATA III) vs. "Up to 265 MB/s" (on SATA II). The difference is pretty huge on read!

But, what you are saying is I should just use my current SATA II with the Intel 510? I'll probably just do that and use SATA II and wait for my rig upgrade down the line and get a mobo/processor that supports SATA III natively.

Just a few quick questions:
Are there any PCI-E addin cards that will support TRIM that you know of? (That are cheap, <~$100).

Also, are there any programs you would recommend to 100% confirm that TRIM is both enabled in the OS (Windows 7 x64 Home Premium) and also working as planned? Because I've read in Google that sometimes the Intel SSD Toolbox [[URL="http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=18455"]link[/URL]] will say "TRIM enabled" but it's just reading that it supports it, but it's not actually ON.
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by erishun;14257672 
Thanks for your quick reply! If I could rep you, I would! :-D

The sequential read speeds are "Up to 400 MB/s" (on SATA III) vs. "Up to 265 MB/s" (on SATA II). The difference is pretty huge on read!

But, what you are saying is I should just use my current SATA II with the Intel 510? I'll probably just do that and use SATA II and wait for my rig upgrade down the line and get a mobo/processor that supports SATA III natively.

Just a few quick questions:
Are there any PCI-E addin cards that will support TRIM that you know of? (That are cheap, <~$100).

Also, are there any programs you would recommend to 100% confirm that TRIM is both enabled in the OS (Windows 7 x64 Home Premium) and also working as planned? Because I've read in Google that sometimes the Intel SSD Toolbox [[URL="http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=18455"]link[/URL]] will say "TRIM enabled" but it's just reading that it supports it, but it's not actually ON.

Those are sequential reads though..... If you are using it for an OS/app drive, large sequential reads will make up less than 3% of the disk access (if that).

I have not been following up on PCIe storage controller drivers, so I'm not 100% sure. I know some enterprise ($300+) do explicitly support SSDs.

Just assume TRIM works if you have Intel drivers on W7 and SSD is not in an array. TRIM is not an On/Off feature. The SSD will always accept TRIM, the command just needs to reach the SSD (through OS and driver).
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
OK, last question before I can declare this thread SOLVED:

You are saying that an Intel 510 running through SATA II vs. SATA III would not be a very dramatic difference?

Because the Intel site lists "IOPS: Random 4KB Reads: up to 20K. Random 4KB Writes: up to 8K" and does not specify whether that's SATA II vs SATA III speed. (But it DOES specify the READ/WRITE difference in terms of II vs. III) Can I assume then that the IOPS listing is for both II and III?

If so, then who cares about SATA III? I thought that SATA III SSD's were supposed to be OMG LIGHTNING!! biggrin.gif What gives?
Edited by erishun - 7/18/11 at 9:56am
post #6 of 11
erishun, I think what DuckieHo is saying is that do not put too much emphasis on sequential read and the article in this link says the same thing.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2738/25

Anyway . . .sIII on sIII controller will put out sIII speeds and

sIII on sII controller will putout sII speeds.

With regard to an add-on card controller, here is one if you can't wait to upgrade your rig and based on one user works for ssd with an os . . http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815158207
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
You say that:
"sIII on sIII controller will put out sIII speeds and sIII on sII controller will putout sII speeds."

I understand that, but are the SIII speeds much faster than SII speeds? Would it even be worth to get a controller for the speed boost? Writes are dead even, and even reads are non-sequential reads appear to be similar.

The random reads/writes are here: (and they're pretty "meh" for the Intel 510 in general)
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4202/the-intel-ssd-510-review/4

On the graphs, it shows "Intel SSD 510 250 GB (6Gbps)" and "Intel SSD 510 250GB". If I'm left to assume that the first one is running at SIII speeds and the second is running at SII speeds, then the difference is pretty much negligible...
post #8 of 11
I would not recommend buying a card to be used for a mobo of older technology unless firmware updates takes that into consideration (using sIII card adapters). It would be ideal to have all hardware of the same caliber – if you know what I mean. Unless specifically designed by manufacturers such as the case of AM3/AM2+/AM2 boards with firmware update can use the newer AMD CPUs in the market.
SSD’s are relatively new technology and I believe we “owners” are considered sort of beta testers who future users can learn from.
Like you, I researched the net for information about ssd’s before I bought my first and the one information that I took to heart is to not bench them too much. Mine may not be the fastest but is definitely faster than any hdd.
Since I do not own a sIII here is a link that might be able to provide the information you are looking for and you make your own conclusion.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/358?vs=127

You can reset and compare other ssds.

See you around . . . have to go to school now.
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post #9 of 11
Your best bet is probably an IBM M1015 flashed to LSI 9211 IT mode firmware. AFAIK it's the only reasonably priced option that equals or exceeds intel ich performance. They're around $100~150 on ebay these days.

That said, if sata3 is your only reason for buying an add-in card, I wouldn't bother with it.
post #10 of 11
If it helps, I just (two weeks ago) went from an old c2d (e6300, the bad one, 1.8ghz) on an asus p5w with an ocz vertex 2 (sata2 drive) to an agility 3 (sata3 drive). I realize they are meant to be slightly different performance wise (agility vs vertex) but the numbers suggest the a3 is twice as fast as the v2. I set up the old rig for my mom, ran them side by side for a week to be sure it was all playing nice, and I believe the real world experience will be near enough identical you won't notice. But you might notice the decreased airflow and decreased cash in pocket if you add a card.
Edited by gotcha640 - 7/18/11 at 7:09pm
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