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Windows 7: To raid or not to raid

24 Jan 2011   #11
society misfit

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

pparks1: I agree with your theory, but you can apply the same with every piece of hardware. How much of a real world difference did you notice after OCíing your CPU?

I actually donít see what the fuss is over RAID. Having your data on 2 RAID0 drives is just the same amount of risk as having it on 1 single drive. You lose 1 drive you lose it ALL! And I think we can all agree that SSD drives are much less susceptible to failure than mechanical! Perform routine backups as you would with any configuration and you will be good as gold!

I run 2 Corsair Force 120 SSDís in RAID0 and the performance is phenomenal!! Surpassing the claimed manufactures speeds on a SATAIII port! Iíve attached a ATTO benchmark, the SSDís in RAID0 is on the right (a 1TB WD green drive is on the left!)




Attached Thumbnails
To raid or not to raid-hd-benchmark.jpg  
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24 Jan 2011   #12
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by society misfit View Post
pparks1: I agree with your theory, but you can apply the same with every piece of hardware. How much of a real world difference did you notice after OC’ing your CPU?
Yes you can and you should. If nothing but benchmarks really show improvement, why bother in the first place? My overclock did very, very little performance wise. I notice a bit of a difference...about 10% when I am re-encoding DVD's or using Sony Vegas Movie HD to convert my AVCHD 1080p digital camcorder files into smaller digital movie files....with everything else, there is no noticeable difference whatsover. But since I primarily use my machine for video file editing, the 10% gain and 1 degree increase in associated temp was worth it to me.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by society misfit View Post
I actually don’t see what the fuss is over RAID. Having your data on 2 RAID0 drives is just the same amount of risk as having it on 1 single drive. You lose 1 drive you lose it ALL!
Yes, but since you have 2 physical discs which "could" potentially fail...you have increased the possibility of failure.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by society misfit View Post
I run 2 Corsair Force 120 SSD’s in RAID0 and the performance is phenomenal!!
Did you check performance with a single Corsair F120 SSD installed? I bet performance is still phenomenal.
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24 Jan 2011   #13
Wishmaster

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I have 2 SSDs, but do not Raid them. Just run them as single discs.

The main one I installed Win7 and all apps on.
I have 1 spinner for Music,Videos, Pictures Etc and another spinner for Games.

The second SSD I use for the main PF, & certain Games.
Mostly the ones that hit the HD often, or a new game Im playing.

Some Games I can not tell any difference being on the SSD, others it helps alot.
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24 Jan 2011   #14
Cr00zng

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX El Capitan, Windows 10 (VMware)
 
 

Not all RAID controllers created equal, some maybe able to support the increased bandwidth of two SSD drives in RAID 0 while others may not. As such, the RAID 0 performance may or may not be near linear when compared to a single drive.

While a single SSD drive makes any machine faster, two would make it even faster, it is still the slowest subsystem of the PC. Building RAID x with SSDs makes sense as long as the technology catches up with the SSD RAID. Intel's Sandy Bridge isn't it for motherboard based RAID since its throughput maxis out at 6Gbs or 750MBs. With 150MBs used up by the protocol overhead, it leaves maximum of 600 MBs actual data transfer. Put two C300 SSD drives, each with 350MBs read speed, in to RAID 0 and these drives won't perform at their max. Then there's the "coming soon" Vertex 3 Pro SSD capable to do 550MBs read speed, it would be a waste to put them into a RAID 0 using the motherboard RAID controller.

The available bandwidth is one of the reasons why OCZ moving the SSD into a PCIe x4 slot with the OCZ RevoDrive PCI-Express SSD; the 20Gbs transfer rate of PCIe x4 ought to be enough for awhile at least. Most of the add on SSD RAID cards also require a PCIe x4 slot as well to support the required bandwidth.

The PCI x4 lane can be made available for RAID on the motherboard, but that isn't going to happen anytime soon. Until the technology catches up with the SSD drives, pparks1 is right; in real life, placing two SSD drives in to RAID 0 isn't going to give you much improvement. Here's a link that recently tested SSD RAID 0:

Corsair Force Series F90 Solid State Drive RAID Report - Benchmarks - PCMark Vantage Hard Disk Tests :: TweakTown USA Edition

In benchmark tests yes, two drives are faster; throw in PCMark Vantage benchmarks and the RAID 0 looses its edge.
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24 Jan 2011   #15
WolfSoul

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Retail
 
 

Well anyway I have a P7P55D-E Evo
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24 Jan 2011   #16
Maguscreed

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
The biggest advantage to an SSD is it's incredibly low access time to any file on the drive....this doesn't improve in a RAID configuration.

Personally, I don't have 2 SSD's in the same box...heck I don't have 2 SSD's period.

If it were me, I would run one SSD for my OS only and run a second SSD with my games on it. This should increase your performance a small bit, without the complexities of RAID and the issues when 1 drive fails. Plus, this easily allows you to image each of the drives separately for backup purposes with something like Macrium, Paragon, Acronis, etc.
I fully support this post. This is the way I am currently configured on my primary box, only it's standard drives. the thinking is the same. I actually keep the pagefile on yet a third drive. The performance over a straight forward config is noticeable even with standard drives.
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24 Jan 2011   #17
WolfSoul

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Retail
 
 

After checking that link.. when I look at gaming seems a single SSD beats out RAID 0 in that test
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24 Jan 2011   #18
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by society misfit View Post
I actually don’t see what the fuss is over RAID. Having your data on 2 RAID0 drives is just the same amount of risk as having it on 1 single drive. You lose 1 drive you lose it ALL!
Hi,

I'm afraid that is not correct. Since the RAID has two disks in it, you have doubled the chance of failure (doubled your risk). Basic probability theory.

Whilst a RAID0 across SSD yields better performance from a benchmarking perspective, in real-world scenarios its not a good idea. In my experience RAID0's real advantage lies in sustained (several hours and days) WRITE, not as much READ.

Since we all know that SSD's live longer by minimising WRITE activity to them, it seems logical not to use them in high level WRITE environment (e.g. several extremely large Gigabyte size data files written too constantly over several days or a few weeks), unless you have an extremely large budget.

My opinion is :

Single SSD - for OS and program files
Multiple HDD (in RAID or not) - for data files/storage/backup

Regards,
Golden
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24 Jan 2011   #19
WolfSoul

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Retail
 
 

Im guessing a second for games is a bad idea then
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24 Jan 2011   #20
society misfit

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by society misfit View Post
pparks1: I agree with your theory, but you can apply the same with every piece of hardware. How much of a real world difference did you notice after OC’ing your CPU?
Yes you can and you should. If nothing but benchmarks really show improvement, why bother in the first place? My overclock did very, very little performance wise. I notice a bit of a difference...about 10% when I am re-encoding DVD's or using Sony Vegas Movie HD to convert my AVCHD 1080p digital camcorder files into smaller digital movie files....with everything else, there is no noticeable difference whatsover. But since I primarily use my machine for video file editing, the 10% gain and 1 degree increase in associated temp was worth it to me.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by society misfit View Post
I actually don’t see what the fuss is over RAID. Having your data on 2 RAID0 drives is just the same amount of risk as having it on 1 single drive. You lose 1 drive you lose it ALL!
Yes, but since you have 2 physical discs which "could" potentially fail...you have increased the possibility of failure.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by society misfit View Post
I run 2 Corsair Force 120 SSD’s in RAID0 and the performance is phenomenal!!
Did you check performance with a single Corsair F120 SSD installed? I bet performance is still phenomenal.

Very true, but we cannot safe guard ourselves for every possible failure or incident. Approximately 15 years ago my home was broken into and approximately 400 CD’s were stolen. All the insurance in the world could not replace the time and effort I put into that collection. Sorry for the dark comparison!

I originally purchased only 1 SSD on sale and was so blown away by its performance I grabbed another before the sale ended (2 x120GB of SSD drives was cheaper than most single 160GB SSD drives!!!). Set up the RAID0 out of curiosity. Unfortunately I did not record any real life performance between the 2 setups. Fully agree that benchmarks do not reflect real life performance and should be taken with a grain of salt. But a benchmarked 270MB/s for a single SSD vs 460MB/s RAID reads must speak for something… even if it is only a small increase in real world performance.

The bottom line is we all strive for a faster machine!
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 To raid or not to raid




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