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Intel RST RAID-1 plus SSD SRT possible?


Mr_Smartepants
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I'm going to be building a new system to replace my current desktop.

I am currently running a Gigabyte EX38-DS4 with a Q6600 and 8GB RAM. This will become the basis for my home server once the new desktop is up and running.

I am also currently running two 2TB Seagate drives in RAID-1 using the onboard controller with a 128 GB OCZ Agility3 SSD as boot drive.

 

I plan on building a system with a z77 based board (likely an Asrock z77 Extreme4) paired with an Intel i7 3770S and 16GB RAM.

 

My question is can I use the two 2TB drives in RAID-1 (I'll have to rebuild the array anyway when moving to the new controller) paired with the SSD using Intel's Smart Response Technology (SSD caching/limited to 60GB) or would I be better using the same setup I have now (SSD as boot, RAID-1 for files).

 

Some sites say that SRT can NOT be used with a RAID-1 array and others report success. I want the fastest system I can without sacrificing reliability. On this system, uptime is key. It seems to me that adding SRT to the mix is just one more thing that can go wrong.

 

I'm keen on hearing your thoughts or anything I may have missed.

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In all the things I tried with ISRT that was one I didn't try but I believe Paul did with a RAID 0 array. He has a write up on his gaming machine and he talked about it on a BYOB 70 podcast. In BYOB 66 Podcast Paul talks about RAID 0 Caching which may be more relevant to what you want to do (If you can Cach a RAID 0 I would think you could Cach a RAID 1 but I have no evidence supporting that.) I may have misunderstood his setu-up.

 

I wouldn't spend $ on hardware until after talking to Paul about his experience though.

 

Please let us know what you find out. Thanks!

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Thanks for the links. Interesting reads.

The other I read that has me turned off of SRT is that TRIM is disabled in SRT. Can anyone confirm that? Seems like a great way to kill an SSD.

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My understanding is that TRIM doesn't make much difference to SSD life; that it's mainly garbage collection; that wear levelling is the main feature that extends SSD life. The thing I have heard about TRIM is that it helps stop the eventual slowdown of the drive, but that many consider not to be that big of a deal.

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ikon is right. Wear leveling is at a deeper level in the code and has little to do with Trim. That said, you cache drive performance will slow by ~30% as you use it. Still a great option but figure that into the equation.

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Also, don't forget you can return the drive to brand new performance levels again by simply restoring the drive from a backup. Since you're a WHS user, that's makes it doubly easy to do every few months.

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Also, don't forget you can return the drive to brand new performance levels again by simply restoring the drive from a backup. Since you're a WHS user, that's makes it doubly easy to do every few months.

 

I think you mean by doing a secure erase, not a restore.

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Actually, I've heard that completely restoring an SSD from a backup image will rewrite all the files with zero fragmentation, which will restore the SSD to its original performance. If that's not correct, please let me know.

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That it may do but it doesn't refresh the cells it didn't write to. This is why trim and secure erase are so important.

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Actually, I've heard that completely restoring an SSD from a backup image will rewrite all the files with zero fragmentation, which will restore the SSD to its original performance. If that's not correct, please let me know.

 

Not sure that this is correct. Re-imaging the drive does not reset all the states of memory to unused as far as I know. For that you do need secure erase. That said, I think the whole RAID/SSD thing is not worth using if you have to go through all that. My thought is that you will chasing your tail if you try and keep trim level performance on your RAID. The choice should be that you either create a RAID and live with the 30% degradation (which is still ultra fast) which occurs almost right away, or forgo the RAID and get the largest and fastest SSD you can get and enjoy it. The though of having to secure erase, and restore every couple of months is not worth it and may even do more damage than it will help. Just my two cents.

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