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SSD To RAID Or Not To RAID


krom
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I'm contemplating a new build and one of the items I'm considering is RAID'ing two smaller 30GB SSD's (RAID 0) for the sys drive or being happy with the performance of just the one larger SSD. This will be my new main system so performance will be one of my key decision making factors. Also if I do go with RAID 0 how hard will it be for me to do a restore from WHS if I have to? Finally I'm looking for some recommendation on SSD's in either configuration (two 30GB or one 60GB).

 

Thanks.

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RAID 0 is a great way to add parallel I/O operations to a disk. For spindle-based disks, the improvement is dramatic as each disk is limited by a single head moving between sectors on spinning platters. For SSDs, on the other hand, the performance is less noticeable. This is because larger SSDs add the same sort of parallel read/writes amongst banks of memory internal to the SSD (many larger SSDs are faster than smaller versions of the same model).

 

Also, for a main system, I try not to go below 100GB. This will give you the maximum benefit of an SSD by allowing you to install both the O/S and critical applications.

 

Given the loss of TRIM functions in a RAID setup, the recent drop in the price premium of larger SSDs and the general slower performance of smaller SSDs, I'd stick with a single, larger, SSD drive for now. I recently picked up an 160GB OCZ Vertex 2 for under $300; 120GB Agility 2s can be had for around $200 after rebate on NewEgg (same drive, less strict memory selection process). Even the Corsair Force series comes down in price every once in a while, and OEM Intel units can be had for a bargain if you're willing to Ebay...

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I'm contemplating a new build and one of the items I'm considering is RAID'ing two smaller 30GB SSD's (RAID 0) for the sys drive or being happy with the performance of just the one larger SSD. This will be my new main system so performance will be one of my key decision making factors. Also if I do go with RAID 0 how hard will it be for me to do a restore from WHS if I have to? Finally I'm looking for some recommendation on SSD's in either configuration (two 30GB or one 60GB).

 

Thanks.

 

 

That is what I am doing. Just waiting for the drives to arrive from newegg. I am going to use an icydock product so it will be a hardware raid. Given it is hardware raid, I don't beleive WHS will know it is two drives in raid.

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@mrossco Well that makes a lot of sense. I guess I'll consider going that route instead. Probably less head aches down the line too dealing with just one drive.

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I agree 100% with mrossco. The simplification of a one disk setup is the way to go. RAID on an SSD is only worth doing on 60 and larger drives and only if speed is of your greatest importance. Look for a sale on either a 90, 100, 120 drive and you will be far happier. You can use a single 60 if you are not installing a ton of apps on the SSD. I have several including my utility systems that runs off one 60 gig and I still have 15 gigs left over. It has a bunch of apps on it and is what I use for the podcast and all the recording audio/video that I do. It is also a test bed. You just have to follow the ground rules of getting the most out of your drive.

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