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  #1  
Old 05-07-2012, 01:53 PM
Omegaman007 Omegaman007 is offline
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Default Running out of space... Upgrade advice request

I have a PC comprised of i920 in a Gigabyte GA-X58-UD4P mobo and an ASUS U3S6 SATA3/USB 3.0 PCI x4 add-in card. The mobo has 4 Intel ICH10R controller ports +2 Gigabyte controller ports. The U3S6 has two SATA3 ports w/o RAID support controlled with a Marvell 88SE9123 controller. I have an 120GB Force 3 SSD connected to the U3S6 port 1. I have a bunch of HD's connected to the on-board controllers. Windows 7, some ciritical programs, and and Steam games are on the SSD.

My problem is is that I'm running out out of space on the SSD and I'm not sure what the best upgrade path would be. Steam is the big annoyance since it forces you to keep all the games on the same drive. I'm considering mirroring the SSD, buying another 120GB Force 3 SSD and putting them both in RAID0 on the onboard SATA2 Intel controller, then writing the mirror to that RAID0 drive. I would then have ~222GB of space, and I think that the performance over the ICH10R SATA2 would still be better since it would be RAID0. Does this sound correct? Would I still have TRIM support? (I read somewhere that TRIM would be available even in RAID0 on the Intel drives this year but not sure if this includes the Force 3). If not, what are the cons of not having TRIM?

Another alternative would be to add a second SSD to port 2 of the U3S6 (to keep the SSDs on a SATA3 controller), but I would still have to go through the hassle of moving the Steam games and running out of space again in the near future. I wouild also have the flexibility to purchase a different drive in this config. The Force GTs can be found cheaper than the Force 3's for some reason and I think that's supposed to be a better unit.

I'm trying to keep costs below ~$150.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 05-08-2012, 03:53 AM
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The Marvell chipset RAID has a bad reputation given what I have read. Check the ASUS forums for info on that. The Intel RAID have been perfect in my experience, I have two RAID 0 Volumes on the ICH10R with SSDs and they have been flawless.

Two SSDs in RAID 0 on the Intel chipset would up to double your performance in most areas, and double the capacity, that is correct.

That Gigabyte chipset in known to be slow, like barely 100MB/s, use if for HDDs only.

The GT SSDs are cheaper because they use cheaper NAND chips that are slower in some situations, not all situations, only in writing. Those NAND chips are not less reliable or bad, it's just like the difference between DDR 1333 and 1600 memory.

If it was me, I'd put the RAID 0 Volume on the ICH10R (you can do two, three, four..., SSDs on there, and add another later to the Volume with a few clicks) and be done.
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:57 AM
Omegaman007 Omegaman007 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parsec View Post
If it was me, I'd put the RAID 0 Volume on the ICH10R (you can do two, three, four..., SSDs on there, and add another later to the Volume with a few clicks) and be done.
OK, I was thinking along those lines and will do as soon as I find a good deal on another 120GB Force 3. Seems all the deals are on the higher capacity drives right now. Do you know if I'll be able to successfully image my current Windows 7 OS and restore the image onto the new RAID0 drive using Window 7's built-in imaging app or do I need to go to something aftermarket?

I've used it to backup my data but thankfully have never had to use the restore feature so I'm not sure how robust it is.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:23 PM
Omegaman007 Omegaman007 is offline
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Received the second SSD. Any advice on how to make the transition? Will my plan detailed above work or will I have problems with Windows restore?

Thanks!
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  #5  
Old 06-02-2012, 12:21 AM
Omegaman007 Omegaman007 is offline
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Default Windows restore worked but...

So since I wasn't getting any replies so I tried my luck with the built-in Windows 7 imaging feature and it appears to have worked. Windows 7 appears to be running OK on the RAID0 drive.

ATTO showed a nice improvement with the drives in RAID0 before any software was installed (see attached photos). After installing the OS (Windows 7 Pro x64) on the RAID0 drive, ATTO is showing a slow read on the 16mb file size (see 4th image). I tried running the benchmark a few times and its consistently there. Any ideas?

ps: The description of each configuration is in the screenshot.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1.jpg (124.5 KB, 195 views)
File Type: jpg 2.jpg (122.7 KB, 173 views)
File Type: jpg 3.jpg (124.9 KB, 219 views)
File Type: jpg 4.jpg (125.4 KB, 241 views)

Last edited by Omegaman007; 06-02-2012 at 12:33 AM.
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  #6  
Old 06-02-2012, 12:25 AM
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Actually it is 16 KB. The accuracy of the test for such small files is not very accurate because you cannot measure the transfer rate of such small data transfers at such a fast rate (because that transfer is happening on the orders of milliseconds). I wouldn't be concerned about it.
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  #7  
Old 06-03-2012, 12:15 PM
Omegaman007 Omegaman007 is offline
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Originally Posted by Synbios View Post
Actually it is 16 KB. The accuracy of the test for such small files is not very accurate because you cannot measure the transfer rate of such small data transfers at such a fast rate (because that transfer is happening on the orders of milliseconds). I wouldn't be concerned about it.
Thanks for the info and correction. I'll ignore but keep an eye on it once in a while. I didn't do a secure erase for the original SSD with the OS before recovering the image to the RAID0 drive. Thought this might be a problem because of that but all the other file sizes are pretty much in line with what I would expect.

Peace
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  #8  
Old 06-04-2012, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omegaman007 View Post
So since I wasn't getting any replies so I tried my luck with the built-in Windows 7 imaging feature and it appears to have worked. Windows 7 appears to be running OK on the RAID0 drive.

ATTO showed a nice improvement with the drives in RAID0 before any software was installed (see attached photos). After installing the OS (Windows 7 Pro x64) on the RAID0 drive, ATTO is showing a slow read on the 16mb file size (see 4th image). I tried running the benchmark a few times and its consistently there. Any ideas?

ps: The description of each configuration is in the screenshot.
Remind me never to raid mine, because my two seperate ssd's hit those benchmarks by themselves with win 7 ultimate 64bit and various software installed
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