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SSD Parallel Configurations

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm conceptualizing a new build for the end of the year, and I've got a question about Drive configurations.
Which of the below two configurations would perform better, both in standard usage, and also in heavy high-queue usage & gaming?

SSD Options: Sata III120GB Intel 510/Vertex 3 MAXIOPS/Patriot Wildfire (My preference is Intel 510, but damn SF just has such insane benchmarks - don't know if it's worth the potential headache tho!)

Config 1) 1x SSD Boot Drive + SSD drive running other applications such as games, MS office, AutoCAD, etc.

Config 2) 2x SSD in RAID 0 Holding all of the above.

I guess the effect of Config 1 is to minimize the queue depth of each drive by splitting queue requests for each drive when running them concurrently - it can pull info from both discs in parallel and separately. It additionally avoids losing TRIM support on each drive.

The effect of Config 2 would be to stripe all files to both drives, and get RAID IO speed/bandwidth on all programs (amazing benchmarks to this regard - why buy 1 240GB when you can get 120GB+120GB with >2x performance??), but all from the same logical drive at the same time, stuffing 'more cars onto the same highway.' Additionally, you lose TRIM, but also gain the larger total drive size, and thus the 'side-effect' increased performance that results on SSDs from larger size.

I keep throwing them around in my head, but what are your opinions?
post #2 of 4
My take:
*about which SSD: Vertex 3 MAXIOPS - it's just very fast, for similar price I'd always buy the faster drive
*about SSD size: a 240GB SSD is faster than a 120GB, so 2x120GB aren't twice as fast as 1x240GB. The reason is that memory chips are using a RAID0-like arrangement inside the SSD which scales well up to 8 chips (32GB/chip ==> 256GB (240GB)), and slower up to 16 chips (480GB drives faster still than 240GB SSD).
*about RAID SSDs: you loose TRIM, so fill the RAID array once and without TRIM performance will degrade - after a while in extreme cases the array may be slower than a single drive
*about performance gain from RAID SSD: you'll have more sequential throughput, not more IOPS; it's the same type of gain as if you RAID HDDs - it will help when transferring large files or in benches.
*restoring RAID performance: you need to dismantle periodically the array, secure erase and put it back on. It's not hard to do, all you need to do is to do a full system image on a spare drive, erase, redo the array and write back the information. This way the array stays fast and TRIM isn't necessary at all.
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Centurion
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
* Ya I'm so tempted by Vertex 3 speed, its reliability is just so questionable tho. I'm not building for another mo or so, maybe it will have improved by then.
*My understanding is that RAID 0 mimics this 'side-effect' of increased performance for larger ssd sizes, and in fact, benches on RAID 0 SSDs have shown >200% performance over single drive (as opposed to like 170% with 2 HDDs - SSDs are so awesome).
*Ya I'm bummed about the concept of losing TRIM, but I've been reading about background Garbage Collection (GC) also, and many are saying that with this, TRIM is unnecessary? THoughts?
*I def desire RAID performance
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragosmp View Post
*restoring RAID performance: you need to dismantle periodically the array, secure erase and put it back on. It's not hard to do, all you need to do is to do a full system image on a spare drive, erase, redo the array and write back the information. This way the array stays fast and TRIM isn't necessary at all.
* I'm seeing more of this recommendation around lately with SSDs. How do you go about doing this operation? What kind of program(s) do you use? And do you create a fully bootable drive (copies windows and everything?)
post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfsk8snow.jah View Post
*My understanding is that RAID 0 mimics this 'side-effect' of increased performance for larger ssd sizes, and in fact, benches on RAID 0 SSDs have shown >200% performance over single drive (as opposed to like 170% with 2 HDDs - SSDs are so awesome).
You need to quit looking at HDTech graphs and thinking they're meaningful. Having higher sequential read/writes for average desktop use is about as advantageous as having a lift kit on a Ferrari. Raid will not improve access times nor will it help random read/writes. Most desktop use is accessing small files.
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