Performance: Using SSD’s for VM Drives in Home Hyper-V Server on GA-Z77X-UD5H

By: John Stutsman


In the paper Performance Comparison of Windows Server 2012 Essentials on the HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer and the HP ProLiant N54L MicroServer I described my Client Workstation that NASPT (NAS Performance Toolkit) would operate from as a Hyper-V Client operating on a VM Drive that was on my Hyper-V Server. This VM (Virtual Machine) Drive was a Crucial M4 256GB SSD. The Crucial M4 256GB SSD provided fast read’s and write’s for my VM Clients. The Crucial drives had only been the latest in a long evolution of VM Drives starting with the ST3000DM001 I described in the paper Installing Server 2012 RC on the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H. In between I’ve used VB0250EAVER’s, WD Green’s (Including EADS’s), WD Black’s, and even a WD Red but nothing with any real performance until I used the Crucial. The only VelociRaptor I had I was using in my Desktop machine as a VM Drive for Hyper-V on my Desktop.



Figure 1 — Performance of Single Crucial M4 256GB SSD used as VM Drive


When I had completed the recent series of studies I began to wonder what performance improvement I would see for my VM Drives if I used Disk Manager in Windows Server 2012 to create a software RAID0 of two Crucial M4 256GB SSD’s. Earlier I had measured the performance of two Crucial M4 256GB SSD’s in RAID0 on a Rocket RAID 2720 – see Figures 17, 18, & 19 in HP ProLiant N54L G7 MicroServer First Look – I wasn’t disappointed.



Figure 2 — Performance of two Crucial M4 256GB SSD’s in RAID0 used as VM Drive


During Memorial Weekend I purchased two Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s. I mounted the two Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s in a Bytecc Internal 2.5” HDD/SSD Mounting Kit to convert a 3.5” drive bay to 2×2.5” drive bays. I moved my OS SSD (Corsair GT 240GB SSD) in my Hyper-V Server (a GA-Z77X-UD5H) to one of the GSATA III ports and attached the two Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s to the Intel SATA III Ports 0 & 1 for the maximum performance. (The two Crucial M4 256GB SSD’s that had been my VM Drive earlier were removed from the Hyper-V Server temporarily for use elsewhere.)



Figure 3 — Two Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s mounted in Bytecc Internal 2.5′ HDD/SDD Mounting Kit


The performance of the individual Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s is as follows:



Figure 4 — Performance of Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD attached to Intel SATA III Port 0 on Z77X-UD5H



Figure 5 — Performance of Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD attached to Intel SATA III Port 1 on Z77X-UD5H


I then combined the two Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s into a RAID0 using Server 2012 Disk Manager like I had done with the Crucial M4’s before. The performance I found was excellent as shown in Figure 6 below.



Figure 6 — Performance of Two Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s in RAID0 to be used as a VM Drive on a Z77X-UD5H


In fact excellent doesn’t begin to fairly describe the performance of the new VM Drive – this is the best performance I have ever seen in any machine I had built (or purchased). To say I am very pleased (or elated) is quite an understatement.



Two Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s in RAID0 created with Disk Manager on Server 2012 make for an excellent VM Drive that I will use for many of my Hyper-V clients in the future.



GA-Z77X-UD5H Blog Postings

A Server Build with a GA-Z77X-UD5H in a Lian-Li PC-K9WX

A Server Build with a GA-Z77X-UD5H in a Lian-Li PC-K9WX–Part 2

Updating a Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H and i7-3770 in a PC-KW9X with a Zalman CPU Cooler

Installing Server 2012 Release Candidate on the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H

The Icy Dock 5.25” Hot Swap Drive Caddy for a 2.5” and a 3.5” SATA Drive – DuoSwap MB971SP-B

Intel 82579V NIC on GA-Z77X-UD5H and other Motherboards with Server OS’s

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H

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4 Responses

  1. pcdoc says:

    I now have performance envy. Very nice. Will have to give this a try in the future.

  2. John Stutsman says:

    Thanks Mike! It has actually made more of a difference than I had expected.

  3. Jack Brennan says:

    I just picked up a single Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSD for this same purpose. Use on Server 2012 with Hyper-V as a test lab. After seeing your results I'm even more eager for the mail man to arrive :).

    Obviously a snappy VM is nice, but when I'm working on 4 or 5 machines at the same time my old RAID array with HDD just grinds to a halt.

    I'll still use my old RAID for servers which just sit and serve data, but this SSD will really save me time with experiments.

    Thank for the performance pictures, the RAID 0 performance is fantastic!

  4. John Stutsman says:

    Thanks Jack. When you get a chance join us in the forums at and tell us about your test setup — and post some performance pics of that new 840 Pro 🙂
    Best Regards!