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Windows 7: Is Intel Smart Response worth it?

13 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 64bit Pro
Is Intel Smart Response worth it?

I recently got a new system and the tech that was commissioned to do the build, mistakenly installed the OS on the SSD rather than the Raid. So as it sits I am unable to utilize the benefits of Intel's Smart Response, which is why I purchased a z68 chipset and MB, along with the SSD. Now my question is, if I were to install the OS on the Raid, after disabling the SSD, so that I can do a fresh install, would it wipe out the contents of the drive, like older versions of Windows used to do? Or is it even worth it, and forego the benefit of the Smart Response technology?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP


We see nothing but problems here with RAID. Why do you want it? The only reason I can think of is working with large video files that need to span multiple HD's.

Most of the time it isn't even redundant so you lose both HD's if you lose one. Much better to save a backup image the modern way to the other HD or external.

SSD's are very popular and do in fact boost performance measurably.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2011   #3

Windows 7 64bit Pro

Well the initial idea was to go with 2 Western Digital VelociRaptor 600gb drives, but was informed that a raid 0 setup would net the same results for speed along with the SSD. I use the system primarily for gaming, though I plan to use it for cad and some minor video editing. I do want to know if I try to install on the raid if it will wipe out the existing data?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Dec 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP


Why would you install to RAID when you have an SSD?

If WIn7 will install to the RAID (a big if) you will be given the choice of which partition you want to install upon during the Custom install, as shown in these illustrated steps: Clean Install Windows 7.

Or you can choose to delete any or all partitions and repartition as you desire using the Drive Options (advanced) choice also detailed in above tutorial.

As long as you don't touch the partition where you have your data, it should not be affected. You can label the Partition earlier in Disk Mgmt, or judge by size which it is during install.

But this is not a recommended method as one should always have the data backed up externally to be safest.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

You want the OS on the SSD drive without question. A RAID setup is a good way to get faster sequential read/write rates out of standard mechanical drives...but you will never approach the ultra low random access times that you get with an SSD (0.1ms). That's the real beauty of an SSD is the ability to get to any file any where on the hard drive in 0.1ms.

RAID0 arrays are fine when read/write speed is the only thing you care about. However, with a RAID0 stripe, if either drive fails, you lose all of your data on both drives. And since you have 2 drives instead of 1, your chances of a failure increase with a RAID setup.

I'd highly recommend against using a RAID.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2011   #6

Windows 7 64bit Pro

So the desired benefit of the Intel Smart Response, is a moot point then? And the current setup of OS on the SSD, and everything else on the raid is preferred, though not having the raid in the first place is better?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64

I would use the SSD for the OS, and raid the velociraptors for everything else... I personally love my raid 0's, so much faster, and as long as you have good backups there is no worry about a drive failing and taking all the data with it.

I personally think people over hype the risks of raid 0. It's well worth the so called risk for the performance it gives in my opinion. Just have a good backup solution and you're set...

I wouldn't use the smart response setup, just go for the SSD as a system drive... The only time smart response would be better is if you have a very small SSD and it's not large enough to use as a system drive. You'll get much better performance out of just using the SSD as is...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2011   #8

Windows 10 Pro X64

For anyone else, like me, who did not know what Intel Smart Response is, here is a good article explaining it and how to set it up: Intel Smart Response Technology Explained | Hardware Secrets
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Is Intel Smart Response worth it?

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