1. RAID help. Not so much what is it but compatability of a SSD with two HDD's in a RAID5 or 10 setup. Assuming different size and manufacturer. I'm not sure that SSD's will be dirt cheap near game time but I think the price of larger SSD's will be around what they are for the smaller ones now. What would you recommend as far as RAID setups go? Do you have one currently? What type of drives are you using?
I wouldn’t mix and match SSDs and HDDs in raid 5, it defeats the performance advantage of the SSD and the size doesn't match. Raid 5(stripe+parity) requires minimum of 3 disks, raid 10(mirror+stripe) requires 4 disks. I wouldn't use raid 5 or 10 in a gaming system unless you really have a lot of cash to blow and you have to make sure your motherboard supports it. Raid setup really depends on cost, space and if you care if you lose data. There is nothing stopping you from going crazy and using 4 SSDs in raid 01(stripe+mirror), however that can get very expensive.
HDDs are slow, two HDDs in raid 0(stripe) are slower than a single SSD. Before SSDs were available 2 HDD VelociRaptors in raid 0(stripe) was my setup. Intel’s SSDs have very fast reads and slow writes, OCZs SSDs are more balanced reads and writes. Now I have two 60 GB OCZ Vertex SSDs in my desktop in raid 0(stripe) and two Intel 80 GB Intel X25-M G2 SSDs in my notebook not in raid because notebook doesn’t support it. When I first tried to use an SSD I started with a 60 GB one; I had to manage my disk space; I usually dump media files to my old computers with HDDs. Typical setup for using an SSD is one SSD and one HDD without raid to solve the storage issue at a great value. One SSD on its own is awesome; two in raid 0(stripe) is even faster, but at a greater risk of data loss because if one drive fails all data is lost. You can use raid 1(mirror), but disk space cost will be doubled and your reads and writes will be not be faster.
The following is some example setups without raid and with raid, I used intel’s SSDs in my example because I prefer them since I care really about very fast reads and they are a very good price currently. New SSDs are a little faster, but more expensive. I would watch them because I’m sure price will drop quickly over time. Budget, I just want to play and btw I can torrent:
1 HDD (for everything) no raid: Slow reads and slow writes and lots of disk storage. If drive fails data is lost you replace and reinstall.
Example: 1x TB Seagate Barracuda HDD $80. 1 TB Budget, I want fast load times and who cares about disk space:
1 SSD (for everything) no raid: Fast reads and slow writes. You will have to manage disk space with a small SSD. If SSD fails data is lost you replace and reinstall
Example: 1x 80 GB Intel X25-M G2 SSD $218. 80 GB, Note: 2x 40GB Intel Value SSD in raid 0 would be faster at about same price.
Example: 1x160 GB Intel X25-M G2 SSD $415. 160 GB, Note: 2x 80GB in raid 0 would be faster at about same price. Budget, I want fast load times and I still want to torrent:
1 SSD (OS and favorite games) no raid and 1 HDD (Apps and media) no raid: Fast reads and slow writes on SSD lots of disk storage for apps and media on HDD. SSD fails data is lost you replace and reinstall OS and game; if HDD fails data is lost you replace and reinstall apps.
Example: 1x 80 GB Intel X25-M G2 SSD $218 USD and 1x TB Seagate Barracuda HDD $80, total $298. 80 GB + 1 TB I want very fast load times and who cares about disk space:
2 SSDs in raid 0 (striped): Very fast reads and fast writes. If one drive fails all data is lost you replace failed SSD and reinstall.
Example: Budget 2x 40 GB Intel X25-V SSD $115, total $230. 80 GB
Example: 2x 80 GB Intel X25-M G2 SSD $218, total $436. 160 GB I want fast load times, my data is important, and who cares about disk space:
2 SSDs in raid 1 (mirror): Fast reads and slow writes. If one drive fails data is safe, you replace failed SSD and rebuild mirror.
Example: 2x 80 GB Intel X25-M G2 SSD $218, total $436. 80 GB
Example: 2x 160 GB Intel X25-M G2 SSD $415, total $830. 160 GB I want very fast load times and I still want to torrent:
2 SSD (OS and favorite games) in raid 0(stripe) and 1 HDD (Apps and media) no raid: Very fast reads and fast writes on SSDs; lots of disk storage for apps and media on HDD. SSD fails data is lost you replace failed SSD and reinstall OS and game; if HDD fails data is lost you replace and reinstall apps.
Example: 2x 80 GB Intel X25-M G2 SSD $218 USD and 1x TB Seagate Barracuda HDD $80, total $516. 160 GB + 1 TB
Edit: I downed raid 1(mirror) to only fast, in theory it should be able to read from both drives. Looks like you do have to use raid 10 if you want very fast reads with data mirrored.
Ref: RAID Performance on Intel Chipsets
Edit: Two value Intel 40 GB SSD in raid 0 is faster then one 80 GB Intel SSD
Ref: Intel X25-V in RAID-0: Faster than X25-M G2 for $250
Edit: Intel Chipset Driver Brings TRIM Support to RAID Setups
*** Correction: It should be noted that Intel’s announcement about TRIM support only applies to single SSD’s that are present in a system with a RAID array, and not to a RAID array of SSD’s. ***
I installed new chipset driver and that work great... Then I went to update firmware on my OCZ Vertex SSDs and that went horribly wrong. I was able to get the firmware applied a different method, but I lost all data and had to reinstall.
Edit: Since I blew away my data yesterday, I decided take that 60 GB OCZ SSD from my old computer and create an array of 3x disks raid 0. I use OCZ's Sanitary Erase tool to restore max performance to the drives since raid arrays have a lack of Trim. I'm pleased with the results, Windows 7 Pro 64 bit from where windows logo starts to form to login screen takes about 8 seconds. It's so fast now that the logo animation doesn't complete. I ran ATTO Disk Benchmark, writes are maxing out at 400 MB/s and reads are maxing out at 640 MB/s.
Benchmark Results: http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/982/3xoczvertex60gbraid0.jpg Edited, Apr 30th 2010 10:56pm by Pseudopsia