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SSD for x58, 1 or raid 0? Marvel 9128

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My motherboard is crippled with the marvell 9128 controller, I want to get a SSD but know its not worth hooking it up to the sata 3 port. My choice's are either


A: Get 1 SSD (Probably 120GB Corsair Force Series GT)


B: Get 2 SSD's in Raid 0 on the Intel Sata II ports (2 90GB Corsair Force Series GT's)


C: Get a expansion card and then what? (Haven't read to many success stories on this route)


If I get 2 SSD's and Raid 0 them in the Sata II ports will I be limited to around 500 read/write which is what you're supposed to get with a single SSD in a sata III port?


Btw gonna make it my boot drive, any help is greatly appreciated.

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Expansion cards are expensive, there are a few ~$175 but that is mother board price territory, so a choice. Cheap ones are no better than the Marvell, and most are the SAME dang Marvell chip... been there, done that. Tried an ASMedia card, still the same as Marvell.


DON'T buy a SATA II SSD, you'll regret that, the price difference, if any, is not worth it, even if used on a SATA II controller. Simply because by next year, everything will be SATA III, and Intel will FINALLY have more than two SATA III ports per chipset.


The ICH10R SATA II chips will max out at ~265MB/s read speed on a single SATA III SSD. I had two SATA III SSD on this SATA II controller, and got a sequential read speed of just under 530MB/s. I also tested one of those SATA III SSDs on my SATA III board, so I can tell you this: Two SATA III SSDs in RAID 0 on a SATA II controller, even smaller ones, will combine to give you higher write performance than a single SATA III SSD on a good SATA III interface. The benchmark scores (AS SSD, the least forgiving IMO) were higher with the RAID 0 pair, but that is mainly due to having write-back cache enabled.


The Marvell chipset will give higher sequential read speeds approaching ~400MBs, but its performance in other areas will be less than the Intel SATA II interface, with single SSDs. Faster sequential read performance is not as important as better performance in the other aspects, IMO. Just focusing on sequential speed does not tell the whole performance picture.


With single SSDs on a SATA II interface, performance will be less in some but not all areas compared to a SATA III interface, and the real world difference won't be huge, a few seconds booting, for example.

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Yes that is correct, for large sequential file read speeds. I could show some examples, but they aren't on Corsair SSDs, so I can't post them. One caveat, the AMD SATA III chipsets don't seem to be as fast as the Intel SATA III chipsets, and I'm not familiar with the AMD SATA III speeds.


The theoretical max speed of a SATA II port (3Gb/s) is 300MB/s, but due to overhead in the data transfer protocol (10 bits are transferred for each 8 bits of actual data), the real world maximum read or write speed of any drive on a SATA II port is just under 270MB/s.


SATA III (6Gb/s) SSDs are limited by the SATA II (3Gb/s) chipset transfer limit. In that case, the SSD literally waits for the SATA II chipset when large "streaming" file transfers are being done.


The usual analogy is a pipe, which is only a certain diameter, at a constant pressure. Only so much of a medium (fluid or data) can move through that pipe. A SATA III chipset has a "pipe" that allows twice as much data to flow through it, since the "pressure" or flow rate has increased to 6Gb/s. Usually the analogy has the pipe larger for a SATA III chipset, but the pipe (cable) has not changed, so I prefer to call it a pressure increase. A SATA III source cannot push more data through a SATA II chipset.


A two SSD RAID 0 setup has two pipes, one for each drive. All else being equal, twice as much data can move from the drive to the SATA chipset.


Unfortunately, all the different file size and I/O types are not doubled when using RAID 0, like the large file sequential read speed does. Also unfortunately, not all the data I/O is large sequential files, the single 4K file transfer read speed of a SSD is only ~25MB/s, which is 1/20 the sequential speed. (This is all true for HDDs too.) That barely increases in RAID 0, but any increase is welcome at that relatively low rate. But, a RAID 0 array will be able to perform many more multiple small file transfers than a single drive. A pair of high performance SATA III SSD in RAID 0 can surpass the SATA II data speed limit with multiple small file transfers, but that situation is rarely if ever seen in a PC in real world use.


Again I'm saying that SSDs in RAID 0 on a SATA II chipset can perform very well, and over all be better than a single SATA III SSD on a SATA III chipset.

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Ty for the help, I decided to go with 2 hyper x 3k 90GB that I'm gonna raid 0 on the intel sata II port, other choice was 2 M4's, hope the extra speed using the sandforce 2281 over m4's marvel ends up being the correct choice. (I looked at it as crucial = stability but slower, hyper x = faster speeds but rolling the dice on stability)


Btw omega, in raid 0 there is no TRIM but the SSD's come with garbage collection built in which basically does the same thing as TRIM when you are in raid 0, that's how I understand it at least.

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I'm thinking of doing this in a similar setup that I have but am concerned about TRIM (the lack thereof). Is that going to be an issue with a RAID0 SATA2 config for myself and the OP if we go this route?


The TRIM or lack of TRIM thing is independent of SATA II or SATA III, or whatever. As DeGecko said, a SSD will clean itself up with its built in garbage collection (GC) function in its firmware, but that is not as good or immediate as TRIM.


The main thing to help keep a RAID 0 array (Volume) of SSDs working well is to not use up all of the space. The GC function needs unused space to work with, and if none is available, it can't work well.


So how do we keep free space available? Two ways, one is just don't fill the Volume all the way up. Sounds easy, but we can forget. The second is, when you create your RAID 0 Volume, don't use all the space available. If you had two SSD that after formatting had 100GB each, instead of creating a 200GB Volume, make it say 185GB.


It turns out that most SSDs already have spare space set aside, but we don't know that, and we can't use that space ourselves. That's for a single SSDs GC work space. But the more space available, the better. The usual magic number of free space to have or set aside is 7% of the drives capacity. In my example of the two 100GB SSDs, 7% of 100GB is 7GB, so for two that is 14GB, and I just made it 15GB. The percentage is not critical, such as if you set aside 5% then the SSDs GC could not work, since there is space already set aside. Still, the more space you can spare, is supposed to be better. It doesn't matter is the spare space is set aside when creating the RAID Volume so you don't see it (you can actually get that back anytime you'd like) or just part of your total array Volume.


I have several SSD RAID 0 OS Volumes I use now, and they have not lost performance, but I have a lot of free space. To get more free space, turn off Windows Hibernation if you don't use it. From a cmd command line: powercfg -h off, to turn it off or on to turn it on, on by default. If you have a lot of memory, say over 4GB, with 8GB+ being better, turn off Pagefile, or move it to another drive. Pagefile by default is the same size as your RAM memory, if you have 16GB, you have a 16GB Pagefile by default on a SSD OS drive! I've turned of pagefile on all my PCs, all have 8GB+, I notice nothing. Or move it to your HDD, where it will likely sit there doing nothing. Really intended for cheap PCs with 1 or 2 GB of RAM, or a 32bit OS stuck with 4GB of memory.


If you are using an Intel board and IRST, Intel is supposed to have an update in their RAID software (IRST) some time in the future. Of course, that is going by a one line comment in a Readme file, and was a while ago. Intel is slow and steady, but their results are good, but don't hold your breath waiting for this.

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Hi all


Got the same X58 chipset as you Degecko

And on my motherboard sata3 is marvell 9128.


i got arond 400MB\s with this controller and it even worst in raid 0 only 425MB\s

At the time i ave test all marvell firmware and driver

With not mutch ove improvement.

This controller is crapy,from wath i understand

Its because it use a pcie 1x as interface.

This is mutch to slow for SATA3 SSD


Finally a buy a Highpiont 2720 sas\sata pcie 8x controller

For about 150$ it give you 8 sata3 port


At first time with 2 Force GT i got 975MB\s

I buy 1 more and get 1473MB\s

And now i a buy 1 more, so with 4 Force GT 120gb i get a impresive 1915MB\s with ATTO benchmarck


Hope this help

Sincerly yours

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