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RAID-0 on Windows 10 questions


eagle63
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Hey guys, hoping you can give me some good opinions on my latest tech conundrum.  I've got a PC running windows 10 that is primarily used for gaming.  Ivy bridge (3570K), mini-itx, gtx970 and a 250GB SSD.  I love this rig, but I'm running out of space on that SSD so I bought an another 250GB SSD (on sale @ microcenter!) with the intention of doubling my storage.  I don't want to expose this new SSD as a second drive in Windows - instead I want to have it all exposed as a single drive for convenience. So again, the only real goal here is to increase my storage and have it appear as a single drive for ease-of-use; the performance benefits of RAID-0 are mostly just a nice side-effect. So given all that, my knee-jerk reaction was to do RAID-0.  I don't care about the increased risk of data loss because I back this machine up nightly to a 3rd hard drive, AND it doesn't contain anything of real value.  (game saves mostly, but those also get sync'd to Steam cloud)  

 
Like most motherboards, mine supports RAID-0.  However, after beginning to look into setting that up I have some questions.  (this is where you guys come in!)
 
1.  Using my motherboard's built-in RAID support, is this really hardware RAID?  Or is it "fakeRAID" in that it's actually relying on the CPU to do the work?  (and more importantly, should I care??)
 
2.  I assume I'll have to blow away everything on my existing SSD (windows OS, files, etc) in order to switch to RAID-0 right? This isn't a dealbreaker since I could just restore from a backup after creating the array, but it'd be nice to not have to do that..
 
3.  How portable/proprietary is RAID-0?(using my motherboard)  In other words, if I decide to drop in a new motherboard next year, will it see my RAID-0 array and "just work", or will I have to wipe everytying and start over again? 
 
 
And now, here's the real curveball:  what about using Storage Spaces?  I know SS seemed to have a bad reputation around here when it was first introduced, but maybe it's gotten better performance-wise?  For my use-case, it sounds appealing in that it wouldn't require me to wipe the drive, AND it's not proprietary.  (well, it's tied to Windows but you know what I mean)
 
Thanks a TON for any advice on this!
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1.  Yes , it is fake RAID or most call it software RAID.  Unless you have a dedicated RAID Card, it's really not "RAID".

 

2.  Yes, backup and restore to a new install of the using the two drives.

 

3.  This setup will not be portable.  That's the nice thing about a dedicated RAID Card.

 

4.  Storage Spaces......ummmmm, NO,  Don't even go there.

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Thanks jmwills!  Curious about why I "...shouldn't go there..."  regarding storage spaces..   Purely because of performance or are there other reasons I should stay away?  

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Performance is horrible.  There are many other solutions that will do a better job albeit costing you a little ~$20.  I'm sure Drashna will chime in.

 

If you were to get a RAID card, you could kill two birds at once.  A RAID0 for the OS and another RAID for the Data.

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Well I wound up doing RAID-0 using my motherboard's "controller".  All worked fine and accomplished what I was hoping to accomplish.  The downside is if/when I change motherboards I'll need to do this process over again.  As an aside, I don't think Storage Spaces would have worked for me anyway since one of my SSD's has the boot partition on it, and I don't think SS will work with any boot partitions.  Thanks again jmwills.  

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Glad it worked out, although it has already been mentioned above that it is "Fake" RAID, but as I am sure your aware (this is being stated for anyone reading this who is new to the game) that RAID 0 is not even really a RAID (which stands for these days Redundant Array of Independent Disks, originally it was Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, at least I think that the way around they are) but the key point here is the word Redundant, which RAID 0 is not.

 

RAID 0, JBOD, Concatenation (OSX) are all essentially the same kind of tech (although some have more smarts than others), combining two or more disks of varying capacities to present the upper levels of the system with a single virtual storage device so they upper layers see a single disk not a bunch of small disks

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  • 2 months later...

Hi everyone, I'm new here in the forum, so I'll do my best...

 

Just to add more info about your questions,

 

1. It is a fake RAID, however, strip (RAID0) doesn’t use lot of CPU, I have something similar of what you have, 3570K on intel chipset Z77 with 2 SSDs RAID0, GTX970 and it is very fast.

 

2. I think it’s clear now..

 

3. Assuming that you build the RAID on Intel chipset (series 7 minimum) it is portable from one generation to the new one. I personally port a 4 HDDs RAID0, build originally on a MB with ICH7R, to an ICH9R, to my current rig. Also, will I was on the ICH9R, I had triple boot, XP, Windows 7 and Linux. Just to say that RAID0 build on XP, will be seen by Windows 7 and probably by Windows 8/10. But remember that it must be built on the Intel chipset.

 

One last thing, If you are building a RAID0 with SSDs, Trim commands will be transfer to the SSD if you have an intel chipset of series 7 minimum. Here is a very interesting article on the subject http://www.anandtech.com/show/6161/intel-brings-trim-to-raid0-ssd-arrays-on-7series-motherboards-we-test-it

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