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Windows 7: How to install Win7 to an SSD Raid array?

08 Dec 2011   #31
Mergatroid

Windows 7 Pro 64
 
 

"I don't have to provide proof...I'm not the one going against the grain."

Uh, I provided a benchmark of my results, and boot times. If you want to rebut that you'll have to provide something other than you have.

" I've stated that before, but you've ignored it because it's factual and goes against your "beliefs""

Not true at all. I am the one who stated I am using benchmark software. I also said TWICE that I realize I may not get these same results with everything. It appears you are the one who ignored that even though I stated it twice. Also, if the benchmark is completely invalid then it wouldn't achieve basically the same read results as the drive manufacturers say the drives can achieve when tested individually. How did they achieve those results? They used benchmark software.

" In real world usage, the performance didn't change."

Funny, the measurement of times for loading various software, including boot times, shows you are wrong. It's funny how you say completely silly things like your "fuzzy" comment regarding HD Benchmarks and completely ignore the FACT that software load times and boot times have decreased. Please stop harping on about the benchmark software as I have stated information regarding load times and boot times several times. On top of this, I fail to see why any benchmark software exists at all if its as useless as you claim it is. I know benchmarks are, in effect, an average. Some times you will not be able to achieve those results, and sometimes you will. Overall it's still a performance improvement.

"Now that prices are coming down, and smaller drivers don't have the same price per GB advantage anymore, the reasons for RAIDing them together dissolved"

It was less expensive for me to purchase a 60Gb SATA II SSD and add it together with my current 60GB SATA II SSD and get almost the same performance as a SATA III SSD than it was to purchase a 120GB SATA III SSD.

The simple fact that you keep tiptoeing around is that my performance has improved. You don't want to admit that my boot time has almost halved, something you say can't happen. You don't want to admit that the load times for the software on my RAID have improved as compared to what it was on a single SSD. You keep ranting about the benchmark software, but that is only one of the tests I have performed. As I stated in my last comment, the clock doesn't lie. Performance has improved OUTSIDE THE BENCHMARK SOFTWARE.

I'm sorry, I don't have any further time trying to prove anything to you. I have provided my results. If you don't want to believe them, that's your prerogative. Anyone reading this thread and trying to decide if they should try a RAID or not, all I can say is I have tried it and it works. Other people have tried it, and it worked for them. I don't claim this will work for every drive, and I don't claim everyone will get it to work as well as it's working for me. I only claim that I tried it on two 60GB SATA II SSDs and I'm getting excellent results.

You? You haven't tried it at all, and claim to be the authority on if it will work or not.

Anyone reading this, if you have a nice new main board and it has BIOS level hardware RAID capability, give it a try. What do you have to lose? Theoretically you have backed up your system already. Just be aware you're likely not going to be able to restore an image of your old drive onto a RAID volume. If you are really interested in this, back up everything you need on your C drive. Configure your RAID using the motherboard software. Install Windows to your boot volume. I would recommend not having any other drives connected (outside your RAID drives) while you're doing this to avoid the brilliant Windows 7 software from installing the master boot record on the wrong drive. Install Windows normally. Once you're finished, install the newest Intel RST driver/software. It will show you your RAID. The next version is rumored to support Trim. Currently you will have to rely on the "garbage collection" on the SSDs you use. I would recommend leaving them less than 75% full for decent wear leveling.

Once you have done this, and you have installed all your main board drivers, and any other system drivers you require, you can make an image backup of your boot RAID volume. You are now protected enough to start doing some experiments of your own. First, I would recommend measuring your boot time. It will be amazingly fast. When I went from a single SSD to a SSD RAID0 I almost halved my boot time. If you were using other software such as games on an SSD previously, install one or two depending on how much space you have, on your new RAID0 and measure their start up times. You will be pleasantly surprised.

One last thing I have to say on the subject is this: Don't believe everything you read on the 'net. If someone is offering you advice that seems a little "off", then there's nothing better than trying it yourself and measuring your results. Use various methods of measurement to convince yourself you are getting accurate results. And finally, don't argue with a door knob. No matter how much evidence you give, it will never admit you're right.

If anyone is interested in discussing this further you can reach me as Mergatroid on overclock.net. Send me a private message.

cya


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08 Dec 2011   #32
Corazon

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

Um, Mergatroid...you sure do talk a lot. You like throwing big numbers around too.

What I haven't seen you mention even once is access times. Not maximum transfer rates in MB/sec. I don't think you can show me a harddrive RAID that comes anywhere close to the typical 0.1ms of even a single SSD.

Can you?

See, the point is simply this - being able to read or write 500 or 1000 MB/sec is no good if you're not actually doing something with that speed. You won't be sitting there all day always copying gigantic files back and forth - only occasionally, and IMHO that doesn't really make all the expense and setup worth it.

Otherwise, you're simply boasting with something that is of limited practical use, which is definitely not the case for SSD access times. That's where SSD is king, no if, no but.
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09 Dec 2011   #33
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

That right there, is why striped arrays died out and lost favor in the enthusiast community. They would only show real performance gains in very unique situations. Most of the people who still use them, don't use them for their system volumes...but as scratch disks.

So, that all being said, Mergatroid, the truth is out there, as Fox Mulder used to say. Whether you choose to update your thinking and learn about the "whole" issue around arrays is up to you. Just because you choose not to believe what's been well-known as fact...that's up to you, but it doesn't make the community wrong.
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16 Jan 2012   #34
Mergatroid

Windows 7 Pro 64
 
 

Nice words.

I'll stick with my halved boot time and faster MEASURED loading time for my games.
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17 Jan 2012   #35
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mergatroid View Post
Nice words.

I'll stick with my halved boot time and faster MEASURED loading time for my games.
It's been said many times, but I'll repeat it once again. What you choose to do with your own system is up to you...but when you post on a forum board...one that people come to for help and advice, you need to stick to tried-and-true facts and good computing habits. If you want to bite off a piece of the placebo sandwich, be my guest. Just don't fluff up the hype for others.
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17 Jan 2012   #36
Mergatroid

Windows 7 Pro 64
 
 

Placebos don't work. You have never once provided an explanation for the decreased boot times, nor the faster loading of games on the raid volumes.

The fact is, anyone trying this with slower SATA II SSDs will see the performance improvement for themselves, and I don't think people should dispute it if they haven't tried it.

Try it, make the measurements and then come back and tell me I'm wrong. After all, it only takes a couple of hours to set it up and test it.
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18 Jan 2012   #37
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mergatroid View Post
Try it, make the measurements and then come back and tell me I'm wrong. After all, it only takes a couple of hours to set it up and test it.
It also requires identical drives, which I no longer have due to the uselessness of SSD RAID. Again, you miss the point. I'm the one making the claim on the side of what's accepted and true, and can attest to that with the positive rep I've gotten out of this thread with people agreeing with me....along with several other performance enthusiast forum boards that have all come to the same conclusion. I don't have to prove anything, because SSD RAID has already been debunked by the industry. It's lone and sole purpose was to increase volume size. Thanks to falling costs of SSDs, along with the flooding in Thailand, it is usually cheaper to get one larger drive than two smaller drives, and you don't tie up two SATA ports, nor do you have the inherent risks of data loss with striping. It's a no brainer.

You are the one going against the accepted info, aka making the wild claim. It's already been proven, with spinners and SSDs that striping increases seek times, which a) are a big part of Windows performance, and b) cancelling out the very reason people switch to SSDs. Increased boot times can be caused by many factors, such as BIOS rev, BIOS config, OS config, etc. Anyone who wants to hang their system's performance on it's boot time is severely misguided anyway. That's like measuring a car's performance by how quickly the engine turns over once the key is turned or the ignition button is pressed. That's why I've tried to explain to you that real world performance is the key...and that's where striping dissolves into pure hype and nothing more. I've said this all before, and you choose to ignore it because it doesn't mesh with your believes. Whether or not you choose to accept it makes no difference to me, but once again, you need to remember that others read this board and expect accurate, correct info.
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21 Jan 2012   #38
Mergatroid

Windows 7 Pro 64
 
 

"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence."

Christopher Hitchens
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22 Jan 2012   #39
Logun

Windows 7 home Premium 64bit
 
 

Well I have to thank you both for taking the time to post this up, as I am currently having a helluva time with my RAID0. So now that I am faced with SE my SSDs and starting over I need to reevaluate whether I want to raid them or not.

What is the basic measure I should be looking at? Is it only access time? I agree with the thought process around - read and write speeds are only applicable in specific situations, so I'm looking to test for a more applicable measure.

I wanted to use a raid because of both (perceived) speed and because of convenience of only having to deal with one drive
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23 Jan 2012   #40
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Logun View Post
I wanted to use a raid because of both (perceived) speed and because of convenience of only having to deal with one drive
You would be putting your data at twice the risk of loss, just for a "percieved" speed gain. If you truly only want to deal with one drive, sell both SSDs and get a single, bigger drive. If you check some of the drive's benchmarks, speeds actually increase as the size of the drive increases. This way, you'll only be burning one SATA port, you'll have a simpler setup, and you can still pop in a much larger HDD for data storage.
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 How to install Win7 to an SSD Raid array?




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