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Experiencing slow read/write in Raid 0 (Force GT)


knaim

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Hello guys, I'm fairly new to the corsair forums, but not to the computer world! I'm actually very old school, however, I'm not perfect or know everything. I love computers and hardware when they are suppose to work right! (Just a little intro).

 

Anyway, I recently plugged in 2 x Force GT 120GB into my EVGA 780i motherboard, which only supports SATA II;I understand, in that case, I won't see blazing read/write speeds with seeing that it's SATA II (3.0GB/s), NOT SATA III (6.0GB/s), so I figured I'd run a few tests with a few utility software (crystaldisk, ATTO, HD Tune, AS SSD Benchmark) to see the difference from 1 x Force GT to 2 x in RAID 0 on SATA II (3.0GB/s) ports.

 

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a48/karim21/a03f6978.png

These tests were taken last night, right after all of the Windows updates and such.

 

With 1 x Force GT 120GB SSD running last week, on a SATA II port on my 780i and I was averaging 215MB/s or so, but nothing below 200MB/s, and write at about 191MB/s; Now, that seems pretty normal and good, doesn't it? Ok...From there, I figured heck, with RAID 0 I'd be getting almost double, but definitely better performance.

 

Now with 2 x Force GT 120GB SSD's on Raid 0, I'm averaging what you see in the picture above, and the scores are even lower with HD Tune. I don't rely on all utility software though. Sometimes I can feel the better performance, but with SSD drives, I would also like to see the numbers.

 

Am I missing something here? I was pretty smooth and to the point going through RAID 0 and reformatting. Aren't the scores suppose to be exceptionally higher when you're in RAID 0, or what? I might as well use 1 x SSD drive then. What's the point of spending more money on 2 SSD's when you won't see a positive marginal difference? I figured RAID 0 would show some exciting statistics, even on SATA II, but apparently not.

 

(After doing some research), I realized that the 780i board does not support AHCI; so therefore, I will lose the TRIM command, which means I will need to use a garbage collection utility (most drive makers should have one). In addition, I will not see the blazing speeds on a 780i board as the same drive would show for a AHCI enabled board. BUT, still, in the case of RAID 0, I should be seeing better numbers than the above, no?

 

:rofl:

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My motherboard uses the Marvell which has a spotty record from what I have read and experienced over the years. I am fairly happy with my current setup. I realize that due to the way this particular Marvell controller (88SE9182) is setup on the board (using a PCIEx2 lane) and its limits of 5GB/s give or take I am limitting the SSD's in raid.

 

Here is a screen shot from ATTO with a fresh install of Windows 7, latest updates and drivers as of this date.

 

http://www.photosbytom.com/misc/I7G1Sniper/2011-11-27_131042.jpg

 

In my opinion, you should be seeing better numbers if your SSD's are relatively new. And Garbage collection has kept up with its workload. Perhaps someone else will chime in shortly.

 

Best regards,

TAdams

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My motherboard uses the Marvell which has a spotty record from what I have read and experienced over the years. I am fairly happy with my current setup. I realize that due to the way this particular Marvell controller (88SE9182) is setup on the board (using a PCIEx2 lane) and its limits of 5GB/s give or take I am limitting the SSD's in raid.

 

Here is a screen shot from ATTO with a fresh install of Windows 7, latest updates and drivers as of this date.

 

http://www.photosbytom.com/misc/I7G1Sniper/2011-11-27_131042.jpg

 

In my opinion, you should be seeing better numbers if your SSD's are relatively new. And Garbage collection has kept up with its workload. Perhaps someone else will chime in shortly.

 

Best regards,

TAdams

 

Those are SATA 6.0GB/s numbers, correct?

 

Hopefully I can get some more inputs on this.

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They advertise it as 6GB/s, but it is limited to ~5GB/s. The X58 does not have native SATA III. To overcome this they implement the Marvell controller and place it on (if the material I have read is correct) a PCIex2 lane (5GB/s). While I would not call it SATA II, I would also not call it SATA III so to speak.

 

With a mobo or controller that has native 6GB/s SATA III you should see better than what I am getting (as posted in image) in a raid 0 array.

 

Best regards,

TAdams

 

 

Edit: Just to add, my SSD's came with firmware 1.3.3

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Well knaim, your poor RAID performance, average IDE performance, and no AHCI mode (more on this later) can be all be laid at the feet of the EVGA chipsets SATA interface. Your issues are not caused by your SSDs.

 

Since your board supports Intel CPUs, why oh why didn't they use the Intel SATA chipset! EVGA tried to enter that market apparently, but of course we know now that attempt crashed and burned. A bold move to make on Intel and AMD, only Marvell has put the tiniest blip on the screen, as an add-on chipset that nobody really loves.

 

First, I imagine you are using the EVGA RAID drivers, or something else? You did not mention anything about that. BTW, TRIM works in IDE mode, you do not need AHCI drivers to have TRIM. You must have Windows 7 for TRIM, at least in the MS world. AHCI provides Native Command Queuing, which is what helps make SSDs even faster.

 

Intel's RAID driver is also used as the AHCI driver, and even when the SATA mode is set to RAID with that driver, single drives that are not part of a RAID array will still receive the TRIM command. I doubt that the Intel RAID driver (IRST, or in the time frame of your board, Intel Matrix Storage Manager) would work with your chipset. I know nothing about the EVGA (?) RAID driver, so you hopefully have access to their documents and other information about it, that might answer some of your questions. You may have your stripe size not set appropriately, or your OS installation may not be aligned correctly on the SSDs. Does the AS SSD Benchmark screen show "OK" next to the offset/alignment number? It will also show what driver you are using.

 

Microsoft has it's AHCI driver, msahci, in Windows 7, but to load that you would need to have AHCI mode, although it might load in RAID mode, not sure about that. No, it's not a RAID driver. You might try this MS driver download page to find drivers for your board that might work better for you:

 

http://www.drivermanager.com/en/drivers.php?Brand=Microsoft&Logo=microsoft&gclid=CLzRtqP_3awCFQrHKgodIn3hpg

 

If the MS msahci driver would work with your chipset, you would see better regular SATA II performance. Regarding what other, if any, RAID drivers would work with your chipset, who knows?

 

If you really care about RAID performance, either replace your mother board while you can still get a socket 775 CPU board with an Intel ICH10R chipset, or get an add on RAID card, which will likely use the Marvell chipset, unless you spend big money. That same money could get you a Sandy Bridge CPU and board with a real SATA 6Gb/s interface, and Intel's well known and respected RAID driver.

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Well knaim, your poor RAID performance, average IDE performance, and no AHCI mode (more on this later) can be all be laid at the feet of the EVGA chipsets SATA interface. Your issues are not caused by your SSDs.

 

Since your board supports Intel CPUs, why oh why didn't they use the Intel SATA chipset! EVGA tried to enter that market apparently, but of course we know now that attempt crashed and burned. A bold move to make on Intel and AMD, only Marvell has put the tiniest blip on the screen, as an add-on chipset that nobody really loves.

 

First, I imagine you are using the EVGA RAID drivers, or something else? You did not mention anything about that. BTW, TRIM works in IDE mode, you do not need AHCI drivers to have TRIM. You must have Windows 7 for TRIM, at least in the MS world. AHCI provides Native Command Queuing, which is what helps make SSDs even faster.

 

Intel's RAID driver is also used as the AHCI driver, and even when the SATA mode is set to RAID with that driver, single drives that are not part of a RAID array will still receive the TRIM command. I doubt that the Intel RAID driver (IRST, or in the time frame of your board, Intel Matrix Storage Manager) would work with your chipset. I know nothing about the EVGA (?) RAID driver, so you hopefully have access to their documents and other information about it, that might answer some of your questions. You may have your stripe size not set appropriately, or your OS installation may not be aligned correctly on the SSDs. Does the AS SSD Benchmark screen show "OK" next to the offset/alignment number? It will also show what driver you are using.

 

Microsoft has it's AHCI driver, msahci, in Windows 7, but to load that you would need to have AHCI mode, although it might load in RAID mode, not sure about that. No, it's not a RAID driver. You might try this MS driver download page to find drivers for your board that might work better for you:

 

http://www.drivermanager.com/en/drivers.php?Brand=Microsoft&Logo=microsoft&gclid=CLzRtqP_3awCFQrHKgodIn3hpg

 

If the MS msahci driver would work with your chipset, you would see better regular SATA II performance. Regarding what other, if any, RAID drivers would work with your chipset, who knows?

 

If you really care about RAID performance, either replace your mother board while you can still get a socket 775 CPU board with an Intel ICH10R chipset, or get an add on RAID card, which will likely use the Marvell chipset, unless you spend big money. That same money could get you a Sandy Bridge CPU and board with a real SATA 6Gb/s interface, and Intel's well known and respected RAID driver.

 

Thank you for your time and reply.

 

As far a as I know, I WAS using EVGA Raid drivers. I also have TRIM working for me, so that's fine.

 

Right now I'm on 1 SSD drive, getting speeds in the 100's, ver similar to my VelociRaptor, but the access time is at 0.1 which makes me believe the SSD is good, regardless of the read/write speed.

 

In AS SSD, it shows:

 

pciide - BAD

1024 K - OK

 

Now what does that mean? Apparently, there is a problem here...

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You don't have a terrible problem, AS SSD is just telling you that you are not running in AHCI mode. Notice it is listed as PCIDE, or IDE mode, if you were using an AHCI driver, it would show "AHCI - OK". The good news is your OS alignment is fine, as shown by the "1024 K - OK" entry.

 

Which brings us back to your main issue, trying to run in AHCI mode. I checked the downloads for your board, the latest BIOS is from 2010, but the SATA drivers are dated 5/2011. We don't know where you are at regarding that. Is there any advice in your boards forums regarding your AHCI issue?

 

I don't have a quick fix for you, it will take some research and work to see if you can run in AHCI mode. I would suggest changing to RAID mode, but don't create a RAID array, just use your current single drive, and try the AS SSD Benchmark again, just starting it and see what the listings are regarding IDE or AHCI.

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Ok, so for some reason I come turn on my computer after I come home from work and there was no display...played around with a few things until I realized I had to take out my ram and switch them around...funny, I get a display after. (thank god it wasn't anything else, I was going to be tight!)

 

Anyway, I get on windows and I do a HD TUNE, and I get the scores I was waiting to see with 1 Force GT!

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a48/karim21/3de10c0f.png

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a48/karim21/29d242b5.png

 

Excellent. About time I find out what my problem was...it was my ram. (Corsair XMS2 DDR2 800). But, everything seems just fine now...I'm thinking of going back to RAID 0 now.

 

I'm just really happy right now that I got to find it there was something flimsy going on with my ram and nothing else.

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Well depending do your current system have even TRIM and do you gain any speed from RAID0.

 

Example even if i have AMDs "slow" RAID controller on my mobo i still gain ~2 the speed then with only one. So What that mean is that even with not any TRIM support, i have plenty of speed to lose, before i have those drivers as in "normal" speed.

But your RAID0 pics up there isnt so great :/

 

Anyways maybe next try with RAID0 you get better results(with ATTO!).

Just remeber.

* Use secure erasering for SSD to clean them, Do not format your drivers at any point.

-If you dont have win7 that can do install with out format, then do only "quick format".

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Well depending do your current system have even TRIM and do you gain any speed from RAID0.

 

Example even if i have AMDs "slow" RAID controller on my mobo i still gain ~2 the speed then with only one. So What that mean is that even with not any TRIM support, i have plenty of speed to lose, before i have those drivers as in "normal" speed.

But your RAID0 pics up there isnt so great :/

 

Anyways maybe next try with RAID0 you get better results(with ATTO!).

Just remeber.

* Use secure erasering for SSD to clean them, Do not format your drivers at any point.

-If you dont have win7 that can do install with out format, then do only "quick format".

 

To secure erase, my motherboard needs to support something, or no? I don't think I can secure erase, but what I can do is quick format it from my desktop.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by installing windows, can you just be a little more clear on that?

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oops sry i was thinking that you used your SSD on system OS drivers and if you are change from IDE to RAID an OS drive you need to clean it first thats why i say that.

 

And no Secure erasering dont need anything from your mb. Did you read those guides i linked on last post?

Edit: just SSD on RAID on it dont work as they need to be cleaned one by one.

Sry my english :(

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oops sry i was thinking that you used your SSD on system OS drivers and if you are change from IDE to RAID an OS drive you need to clean it first thats why i say that.

 

And no Secure erasering dont need anything from your mb. Did you read those guides i linked on last post?

Edit: just SSD on RAID on it dont work as they need to be cleaned one by one.

Sry my english :(

 

Okay, I just read that guide and will do that when I get home, which means that I would have to install windows again. When it comes to installing windows on SSD, what is the best way to go about it?

 

So, basically secure erase the SSD, and install windows, that's it?

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If you like your OS to be on RAID0.

1. Get your RAID drivers(folder version and not .exe) on memorystick or use cd that comes with your MB.

2. Secure eraser your SSDs one by one.

3. Make your RAID arrey.

4. Be sure your RAIS arrey is functional.

5. Boot from installation disc.

6. When your installation setup ask where to install your OS. Find your RAID arrey.

-if it dont show it in that screen, then install your RAID drivers(On Win7 button is at down left on same screen) and then select your SSD.

7. continue installing without Formating that driver.

8. Install newest Chipset, RAID,... drivers and test your system again.

 

If you dont like it to be on RAID then just leave RAID parts out. :laughing:

again sry my english:o: and have a good day :D:

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If you're installing Windows 7, connect your SSD to the first SATA port (0 or 1) and disconnect ALL of your other drives, except DVD drive of course. You can just remove the power connector from your other drives. Otherwise, Win 7 may decide which drive to install on, or it seems to put the MBR (Master Boot Record) on one drive, the rest of the OS on another.

 

I didn't mean to say you should not use RAID, just saying that TRIM will not get to any drives in a RAID array. If TRIM is important to you, just a FYI.

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What about without raid, just one drive?

If you dont like it to be RAID, then dont make RAID arrey and it end up on one SSD.

 

Before this thread, i belive that All RAIDs by mb controlled (fake raids if you ask Linux system builders) are AHCI controlled and so if you set your SATA mode in BIOS to RAID and dont make any RAID arrey, then you are besicly useing them as in AHCI mode.

 

If you're installing Windows 7, connect your SSD to the first SATA port (0 or 1) and disconnect ALL of your other drives, except DVD drive of course. You can just remove the power connector from your other drives. Otherwise, Win 7 may decide which drive to install on, or it seems to put the MBR (Master Boot Record) on one drive, the rest of the OS on another.

Never before i have heard this fail and i have 6 of 7 ports in use, but hey why not its only win. Anyway if only MBR get on other disc its easy to fix with installation DVD.

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Ok guys, actually, my ram was NOT the problem. I just found out that right after I installed the nForce SATA Controller update through windows, my speeds just went down the drain...but I got to uninstall it after, and my speed rocked to the top 200's.

 

http://www.picsend.net/images/824374awed.png

 

I guess this has to do with these nForce controllers, huh?

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The nForce controllers are long gone now, at least on boards made in the last few years. If you bought a used mother board made by the same manufacture you have now, you can just check the detailed specs and see what type of SATA interface it uses. Most other major board manufactures do not or did not use those chipsets at all, or for quite a while.

 

Also, the latest Intel based platforms (1156, 1155, and 2011 socket CPUs) no longer have separate "Northbridge" and "Southbridge" chipsets, the SATA interface was always on the Southbridge. Only one chip is now used, combining the functions of the two earlier chips, and some of the chips functions were moved to the CPU.

 

If you were considering buying another board for your CPU (socket 775), all of which will have the Northbridge and Southbridge architecture, look for boards that use the Intel ICH9R or ICH10R chips, which are the SATA interface chips. While they are "only" SATA 3Gb/s capable, they are the best performing chips of that type. Some of those boards will add a separate SATA6Gb/s interface via a Marvell chipset, which is not the greatest but is some improvement over SATA 3Gb/s. The only Intel based boards with their SATA 6Gb/s interface are Sandy Bridge CPU boards (1155 and 2011) that are not compatible with your CPU.

 

So check the SATA inteface on any board you consider, if it is nForce, pass it by.

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