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Storage 2x SSD C300 Setup

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by saxman, 7 Apr 2011.

  1. saxman

    saxman New Member

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    I just picked up 2x128gb Crucial C300 SSD's on sale to go along with my P67 build in the next few months. I was thinking about setting up a RAID array for these two drives. I am less interested in the speed and more interested in getting the two drives to be seen as one 256gb drive. I have been doing some reading that says that you can get RAID to work with TRIM. I have also read that RAID is possible with the new intel drivers and firmware. Can anyone clear up this confusion I have gotten myself into or suggest an efficient way to install windows and programs on 2 drives without RAID.
     
  2. zia

    zia New Member

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    Been running to 128gb x2 c300 is raid for couple of months now, have to say they are great,not sure where you've heard trim works with raid,to my knowledge it doesn't but c300 do have garbage collection that work well if you leave the computer on idle for 4/5 hrs,have had no noticable slow downs in performance,

    Am only using with sata 2 connections currently as my board doesn't have sata 3,i still get ave reads of 500mb + writes are upto 250-300mb

    make sure they have 002 firmware as 006 can be troublesome.

    regards zia
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2011
  3. sonicgroove

    sonicgroove Radical Atheist

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    Pidgeon English aside......How the hell do you get them speeds from SATA2?
     
  4. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    raid = no trim

    no point in raid if all you want is to see the drive as 256GB as thats nothing more than a visual thing.

    when installing prgrams just choose where you want to install to.

    for instance you could install your games to 1 SSD and windows and programs to the other
     
  5. GregTheRotter

    GregTheRotter New Member

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    I've heard the intel drives get raid with their trim drivers. Is that only with intel??
     
  6. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    That's probably running RAID on HDDs with a single SSD running TRIM. As that's what I need to do...
     
  7. zia

    zia New Member

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    Pardon my poor grammer,i have habit of typing first and reading later :duh:

    They are being used in raid 0 with intel ich10r on x58 asus td board.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    zia
     
  8. sonicgroove

    sonicgroove Radical Atheist

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    might have to add another 64Gb to mine then!! :)
     
  9. saxman

    saxman New Member

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    Impressive Zia, so the GC does close to the same thing as TRIM. What is the difference and why should I prefer one over the other?

    As far as making the drives work as one without RAID is there a way to address Program Files to a different drive than C:?
     
  10. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer New Member

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    Either use RegEdit (backup your registry first with a tool like ERUNT!) to modify HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ProgramFilesDir (which will then affect subsequent program installs - you will need to uninstall/reinstall existing software for such a change to take effect) or a tweak utility - this should be a safer choice but I'm not sure what would be appropriate for Vista/7 (Microsoft's TweakUI allowed you to change common folders in XP but I'm unsure if the nearest equivalent for Vista/7, the Ultimate Windows Tweaker provides similar functionality). Again, you will need to uninstall-reinstall programs to the new folder.

    I have an SSD Raid-0 array also (2x128GB C300's) and see similar speeds (on a Gigabyte UD3R). The only thing to watch out for is that you need to use the Intel controller - running RAID on the SATA3 ports (using the Marvel 9128 chipset) gives significantly worse performance (just 350MB/s read compared to 500MB/s on the ICH-10).

    I also have taken steps to minimise writes to the SSD drives by moving the swap file and Temp folders onto a ramdisk (which offers ~7,500MB/s read and ~8,000MB/s write) but you do need spare memory for that (I'm using VSuite Free which can use PAE to access memory outside of WinXPs 3.25GB limit).

    So far I've seen no measurable performance loss on the SSDs after several months usage, so I'd consider TRIM unnecessary for "typical" use (Bit-Tech's TRIM testing setup was far from typical as it involved 1TB of data written and erased within a few hours!).
     
  11. Baz

    Baz I work for Corsair

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    RAIDing SSDs is pretty pointless in my opinion. You already get crazy fast random speeds, and the sequential benefits rarely apply to anything beyond media manipulation and creation. UNless you're editing HD movies then, not much point.

    Plus you lose TRIM, which maintains the drive's performance over time. With the C300 this is pretty essential, as they don't have great onboard garbage collection in my experience.

    As such - RAID + SSD = BAD is generally a good formula to follow.

    Just to clear things up, there is no way to get TRIM working with RAID; just alongside RAID (so RAIDed HDD and a seperate SSD).
     
  12. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer New Member

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    One reason that RAID came about was that large capacity disks were significantly more expensive per-MB than smaller ones (hence Redundant Array of Inexpensive Devices).

    That no longer applies with physical disks, where the largest ones tend to be the cheapest per-MB (or per-GB/per-TB) but does with SSDs. Two 128GB Crucial C300s will cost less than a 256GB model (2 x £162 versus £328.60 at time of posting) while offering the same capacity and better performance in RAID-0.

    As for TRIM, I've already commented on that.
     
  13. saxman

    saxman New Member

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    @ Astral
    That is most of my objective with buying two drives. I am not really interested in the performance increase just the ease of having them act as my only install drive. Thanks for the information on moving the program files directory. This will all be on a scratch install so I am already reinstalling everything anyway.
     
  14. markbrett64

    markbrett64 thanks to denial I am now immortal

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    FTFY... Inexpensive hardly applies to SSDs...

    All in all... and this is just MHO... using RAID with SSDs is pointless... as Baz points out they are super-fast anyway; plus you are creating an configuration that relies on writes which isn't a strong point for NAND in the long term.
     
  15. IronDoc

    IronDoc New Member

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    There's a small utility here which automatically moves and symlinks folders. Never used it myself but heard about it a short while after I manually moved and symlinked my entire program files.

    Saves you having to move the whole folder if you don't want to.
     
  16. dragontail

    dragontail 5bet Bluffer

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    Historically, RAID stood for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, but is now referred to as Redundant Array of Independent Disks so I believe that both of you are correct - depends on the context being used.
     
  17. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer New Member

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    Thanks for the RAID definition update - shows how long ago it's been since I dealt with them. Of course back then, a "mere" 9GB disk would have set you back around £5,000 or so.

    As for speed - it's a personal choice ultimately. But with current pricing, the "extra" 150MB/s that 2-disk RAID-0 offers essentially costs nothing.
     
  18. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    except TRIM and the longevity of the drive
     
  19. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer New Member

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    No reason for a RAID-0 setup to affect the longevity of SSD (or any other type of drive) compared to a single larger drive since read/write activity will be at the same level, proportionately speaking (in this case, half-size drives getting half of each read/write request). And I've posted above on why TRIM should not be an issue for "typical" usage.
     
  20. Zurechial

    Zurechial Elitist

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    2x 128GB SSDs might be cheaper than 1x 256GB, fair point - But why do they need to be RAIDed, even so?
    It's extra expense, extra hassle, potentially extra overhead and without the advantage of TRIM (whether you think that's useful or not).

    Why not, as adam_bagpuss says, just put the two drives into the system and use them as two separate drives?
    Of all of the circumstances in which RAID is useful or necessary, this is really a fringe case and reeks of RAIDing for the sake of it rather than for any tangible benefit - Aside from reducing the number of disk volumes seen in your OS, which is surely not worth it?
     
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