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Fastest full speed SATA 3 RAID card for X58 system

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hello all.

I've had my X58 system for 4 years now and I'm looking to speed up my data. I love my 980x: it's still a beast today. Only thing I feel like I'm missing on this system is a proper SATA 3 to run SSDs at full speed.

Is there a 2-4 port RAID card that I can hook up a pair of 840 Pro in RAID 0 and get full performance? I have a free full pcie2.0x16 lane open and I'm running Win7x64.

I currently reformat and reinstall everything fresh every 9 months - 1 year. I don't know that this is often enough not to see significant drop off on speed without TRIM or GC in place. Does this RAID card pass through GC or TRIM commands?

I don't shutdown my computer unless it starts to act funny or hang up. Otherwise it sleeps when not in use. If this card adds substantial time to bootup, but is blazing fast once going, that is entirely acceptable. I'd like the card to be bootable, but that isn't a hard requirement. My ultimate goal is to get all my programs and used data on the SSD array and then use the array to shuttle data on and off my RAM disks in a speedy manner. Everything will be backed up to the HDD array.

I'd like to leave my WD Blacks on the onboard in a mirror. If the card interferes with onboard RAID, then I'd like the card to support 2 separate arrays and I will just move the Blacks onto the card with the SSDs (will this choke bandwidth and speeds?).

I know some similiar questions have been asked recently; however, most of those posts had severely limited budgets. I am willing to spend much more on this setup given it provides the speed and performance I'd like to achieve. I don't have a budget but will start to reconsider if we push much beyond $400 for the card alone. That said, tell me what you think would work best and I will decide how deep my pockets can go.

Does this sound reasonable? Is there another path I should consider instead to get fast data transfer on and off of RAM disks? Thanks in advance
Edited by esp42089 - 3/2/14 at 9:43am
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post #2 of 21
One problem you will have is the less expensive (non-enterprise level) Raid cards don't support TRIM yet... like the Highpoints Rocket Raids... and so after a little use, the SSD's will slow down a good bit due to a lack of TRIM.

There are some cards that do support TRIM... but they are expensive. LSI and Adaptec (Gen3) both make some that are fully trim compatible.

The Intel RAID chipset on newer motherboards can also do TRIM... with the latest RST drivers.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6477/trim-raid0-ssd-arrays-work-with-intel-6series-motherboards-too

I did find an adaptec 7805 for a screaming deal on newegg (open Box) - Tempted to grab one for me! lol

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?gclid=CPD8zJTA9LwCFY0-MgodCWYAqw&Item=N82E16816103255R&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwords&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-_-pla-_-Controllers+%2f+RAID+Cards-_-N82E16816103255R&ef_id=UqqMsAAAADhphBDR:20140302184050:s

The 7805 is the one I had decided to buy, if I bought one. You would need a SAS to SATA adapter...


Keep in mind, that there may be some new products out that I am not aware of... that are doing TRIM now. It has been about 6 months or so since I researched RAID cards.
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post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
That is a really great deal on that 7805!

I also read that this SUPERMICRO is just a rebranded LSI (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816101334) but it is a bit older...

I'm torn. I feel like my 980x is an incredibly solid system and that upgrading to a 4390k is just wasting resources to get a full speed SATA3 controller. Plus I'm not terribly impressed with X79 apart from the quad-channel memory (big plus for the RAM disks I like to use). I do think that the next enthusiast chipset (X99?) would be a better upgrade point with DDR4.

It does look like a proper RAID card and 2-256gb Pros is going to run me 1 grand. Will it be faster than the intel chipset running the same stripe array?

In my dreams I would get an LSI Megaraid with Fastpath and up my SSD count to 4 or 6; but that is a considerable outlay of money.

Am I right in assuming that shuttling data on and off a RAM disk is a largely sequential transfer and that raid will give me large gains in performance?
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post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by esp42089 View Post

That is a really great deal on that 7805!

I also read that this SUPERMICRO is just a rebranded LSI (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816101334) but it is a bit older...

I'm torn. I feel like my 980x is an incredibly solid system and that upgrading to a 4390k is just wasting resources to get a full speed SATA3 controller. Plus I'm not terribly impressed with X79 apart from the quad-channel memory (big plus for the RAM disks I like to use). I do think that the next enthusiast chipset (X99?) would be a better upgrade point with DDR4.

It does look like a proper RAID card and 2-256gb Pros is going to run me 1 grand. Will it be faster than the intel chipset running the same stripe array?

In my dreams I would get an LSI Megaraid with Fastpath and up my SSD count to 4 or 6; but that is a considerable outlay of money.

Am I right in assuming that shuttling data on and off a RAM disk is a largely sequential transfer and that raid will give me large gains in performance?

Toys are never cheap, are they? (At least, not the good ones!, lol!)

I run four Samsung 840 pros in a Raid 0 on a Asus WS-Z87 MB... using the intel Sata ports. Here is a screenshot from Crystal diskmark:



I consider 1.6 GB Read and 1.1 GB Write to be decent... makes a difference in everyday use... and game load times.

I have seriously considered buying a good raid card... but since I want my Gaming PC to also have 3 or 4 GPU's... that doesn't leave much room for a raid card...lol! I am currently turning the WS-Z87 box into a server... and building a new gamer . I might stick a raid card in the WS-Z87 down the road.
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post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
It's funny cgipson1, I just noticed you are in Arvada. I'm in Superior, so we are practically neighbors.

It looks like a good raid card will in fact be faster than intel, but you definitely pay to play. I may start with an 840 pro on my native SATA2 and see how I like the speeds and then consider the RAID card or upgrade to ivy bridge e.
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post #6 of 21
If you're planning on buying a Raid card and a bunch of SSDs, why not just buy a PCIe SSD and be done with it? Everything's in a nice small package and ready to go.
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post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by esp42089 View Post

It's funny cgipson1, I just noticed you are in Arvada. I'm in Superior, so we are practically neighbors.

It looks like a good raid card will in fact be faster than intel, but you definitely pay to play. I may start with an 840 pro on my native SATA2 and see how I like the speeds and then consider the RAID card or upgrade to ivy bridge e.

Hey neighbor! lol! yes.. there are several Denver / Arvada / Golden / Superior area people on here... think I even saw a Ft. Collins type.

Yea.. full hardware raid is nice for speed... may do it yet.
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post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firehawk View Post

If you're planning on buying a Raid card and a bunch of SSDs, why not just buy a PCIe SSD and be done with it? Everything's in a nice small package and ready to go.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firehawk View Post

If you're planning on buying a Raid card and a bunch of SSDs, why not just buy a PCIe SSD and be done with it? Everything's in a nice small package and ready to go.

These look interesting... might be worth waiting for:

http://www.myce.com/news/intel-to-launch-august-ridge-750-series-pcie-ssds-in-q4-70636/
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post #9 of 21
The only RAID controller that I know of that passes thru TRIM command is Intel Z68, Z77, Z87.

I am running 2x Intel 520 120GB of my ICH10R X58 rig in RAID0. If I were you, I'd only go with Intel 520/530/730 series as they are very reliable & robust with their inbuilt GC. If you stick with your X58 rig, either use your ICH10R or grab an IBM M1015 (its a rebadged LSI 9240-8i) - M1015 is perfect for simple RAID0 - it'll fly! smile.gif
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiro_uspsss View Post

The only RAID controller that I know of that passes thru TRIM command is Intel Z68, Z77, Z87.

I am running 2x Intel 520 120GB of my ICH10R X58 rig in RAID0. If I were you, I'd only go with Intel 520/530/730 series as they are very reliable & robust with their inbuilt GC. If you stick with your X58 rig, either use your ICH10R or grab an IBM M1015 (its a rebadged LSI 9240-8i) - M1015 is perfect for simple RAID0 - it'll fly! smile.gif

Those are chipset based Raid Controllers... which all use the CPU for Parity calculations, and drive control... and are usually not considered as fast or reliable as hardware RAID.

A hardware based board like the Adaptec Gen 3 series has it's own built in dedicated processors, especially designed for nothing but RAID. This allows for a huge number of drives to be attached (the 7805 will support 16 drives), the controllers have their own built-in cache, many more levels of RAID are avialable ( 0, 1, 1E, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60, as well of some of the Hybrid RAID specs like 0+1, 1+0). The drawbacks are cost, that they need a PCI-e slot, and they sometimes generate a bit of extra heat. More complex to setup also. Some also have flash backup capability... so even is you lose multiple drives.. or even the controller... your data is safe.

There are cheap hardware RAID controllers available, but they have their own issues also (usually poor or no documenation, drivers that conflict with Mobo drivers (Marvel), and sometimes you have other hardware conflicts. But they are still usually faster than Chipset RAID.

TRIM is something that is slowly being implemented by all hardware RAID manufacturers, since is it needed to prevent degradation of SSD RAID performance... Adaptec and LSI were early adopters.

Hope that helps...
Edited by cgipson1 - 3/4/14 at 8:42am
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