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Windows 7: Upgrading to SSDs in RAID 0

11 May 2011   #1

win 7 pro 64 bit
 
 
Upgrading to SSDs in RAID 0

I'm currently running a homebuilt machine with a pair of 150G Velocirapters in RAID 0. It's a fast array, but I'm looking at nearly doubling the read/write speed with the SSDs. I'm using WIN 7, 64 Pro.

I use Acronis True Image to back up to an external HD daily, so that's covered. Here's the question:

If I was to remove the current RAID HDs and replace them with the new SSD drives, would the system boot up in the RAID 0 configuration, ready for a restore from the external drive, or, would I have to re-configure the new SSDs in BIOS to RAID 0?

If this was a new build I wouldn't be concerned. However, I've been using and adding to this system for almost a year and would hate to lose everything.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 May 2011   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Although I have never tried this setup myself (because I think an SSD Raid is pretty useless in real life), I would think that this should work. You have to make sure that you properly align the SSDs because you restore from an image. SSD Alignment You also have to define a primary, active partition to which you restore the OS. And if you have a 100MB active partition, things get a bit more complicated. You find some guidance here: SSD - Install and Transfer the Operating System

With all that being said, I would recommend to install only one SSD for the OS and leave the user data on the rapters. For the OS, the R/W speeds are pretty irrelevant because the OS deals with small blocks or 4K and 8K. It is the access time that accounts for the superb performance - and that is the same for a single SSD or a Raid. Thus there is nothing to be gained and you only complicate your life.

But if you think that Raid is your life, get a Revo drive ( Newegg.com - ocz revodrive x2 ) - provided you have a PCI-e x4 on your board.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2011   #3

win 7 pro 64 bit
 
 

whs: Thanks for the links and info. That's what I was looking for. You're probably right about the RAID and SSDs, but the Raptors in RAID 0 went from ~100 MBs stand alone to 190 MBs in Raid 0 configuration. That's practically the same as the individual SSDs!

As for Raid being my life, not. I enjoy building and learning about systems, and SSd's in Raid 0 is something I've never tried. Just having fun. Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 May 2011   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

FORGET the R/W speeds when it comes to the OS. Access time rules the OS - and that is 0.1ms for an SSD versus appr. 12 to 15ms for your rapters.

R/W speed buys you something if you shove a lot of data - but the OS does not do that. Keep your rapters for the data and one SSD for the system. It is cheaper and more efficient-
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by snit3 View Post
whs: Thanks for the links and info. That's what I was looking for. You're probably right about the RAID and SSDs, but the Raptors in RAID 0 went from ~100 MBs stand alone to 190 MBs in Raid 0 configuration. That's practically the same as the individual SSDs!
From a read perspective that is correct. However, the value of the SSD is really it's ultra low random access time of 0.1ms across the entire disc that benefits your operating system. For running an OS, there aren't massive files that get read or massive files that get written. Think of it this way, if you have 3 x 5MB files to read....that's a total of 15MB. If you can read 100MB/sec...then you could read these files in .15 seconds. If you could read 300MB/sec, you could read the file in 0.05seconds. And if you could read them at 1,000MB/sec, you could read the file in 0.015seconds. The point is, it's always fractions of seconds....hardly noticeable.

RAID 0's are great for data drive (ONLY WHEN YOU HAVE A BACKUP THOUGH). This is where huge read/write performance benefits are needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2011   #6

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I somewhat lost. When you have a ssd in raid 0 installing a backup to a hard drive that is that much slower than the ssd how can the read/write speed be any faster than the hard drive can except?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2011   #7

win 7 pro 64 bit
 
 

pparks1 - Both you and whs have made this point, and it's a good one. From the standpoint of economy and performance the SSD is the place for the OS, and the Raptors for the big files. (I do a bunch of video editing) The problem is I'd have to do a fresh install of Win 7 to the SSD because (unfortunately) my bu image contains more than the OS.

Layback Bear - You can't, but that's not what I was trying to do. Acronis backup (incremental) takes only 2-3 minutes right now. No need for more speed there.

Again, everybody - I'm fiddling around. Experimenting. I'm retired and started working with computers back in the early 70's, so EVERYTHING seems fast now!!

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2011   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I would check into the Paragon Migration Tool and discuss with them whether they would properly migrate your current setup to a single SSD. Send them a mail, they are very good in answering.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2011   #9

win 7 pro 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for that additional link, whs. BTW: I've attached the spec's for the Velociraptors in RAID 0 Upgrading to SSDs in RAID 0-raptors.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2011   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The access time is a bit faster than I thought. But it is still 67 times slower than an SSD. Here are a couple of my SSDs as an example:


Attached Thumbnails
Upgrading to SSDs in RAID 0-2011-01-21_1119.png   Upgrading to SSDs in RAID 0-vertex2.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Upgrading to SSDs in RAID 0




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