Best add on controller for newest SSD's

gman

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I've got 2 Samsung 840 Pro's 128 gb in RAID0 on my MSI board. I have a Samsung 840 Pro 256 on the secondary SATA III controller (Asmedia). The Asmedia only benches the thing to around 340 seq. Is there any add on SATA III cards that would do better?
 

drescherjm

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I would avoid this route. Cheap SATA controllers will not get you better performance. Short of getting a $400+ LSI SAS + FastPath this is not a good option.

I have a Samsung 840 Pro 256 on the secondary SATA III controller (Asmedia).

For best application performance use the Intel SATA II ports (since you do not have any Intel SATA III ports left). Yes that will limit the max to SATA II speed which will hurt sequential benchmarks however it will actually improve random 4K reads and writes and IOPS which will actually improve your performance.


Edit: I think you should probably move the RAID to the SATA II ports and put the single SSD on the SATA III port.
 
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hiptoss

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Is there a 'real world' noticeable difference having an ssd on a sata2 vs sata3 port?
 

drescherjm

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That would depend on the application. Basically if the application does a lot of large (several hundred MB to several GB) sequential reads and writes then it could be noticeable if it does small reads and writes it will not be noticeable.
 
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UhClem

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Your secondary SATA3 controller is limited by the fact that it only has a single (x1) PCIe lane; hence that SSD tops out at ~350 MB/s. That limitation will also hold for any add-on card that is also x1-bound.

A possible solution, at reasonable cost, if you're willing to use one of your PCIe-x16 slots (your mobo only has x16's & x1's--no x4's), would be to research some newish add-on cards based on the Marvell 88SE92xx chip group (9220, 9230, 9235). They are PCIe-x2/SATA3. Cards using one will need a PCIe-x4 slot (or greater), but the cards can be had for US$40-60. They will/should get full SATA3 (~550) for a single (capable) drive and total bandwidth > 700.

I haven't needed one--I haven't used any--I can't recommend any. But if I did have a need/desire like yours, that's where I'd do some (more) research. Research does not mean believing manufacturer/vendor claims/specs--you need to track down a credible/competent hands-on test/review. Or buy one, test it yourself (with your components/OS), and return it if it flunks.

As for real-world significance, you don't need to be doing large sequential transfers to see/feel the benefit of exploiting a fast SSD (500+), versus rationalizing its use at SATA2/PCIe-x1 limits. The key element here is real-world. Most SSD benchmarks are a smoke-and-mirrors pissing contest. They'll use freshly erased SSDs and get 4k rates that are totally bogus; even the seq rates are inflated. Just a warning ...
 
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gman

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The Asmedia controller cannot be set to RAID.

Thanks for your input. It's still fast as hell anyway. I guess we'll just have to wait until Intel includes more SATAIII ports in future MBs.

Let me add too that I use this drive for all my games.
 

drescherjm

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Don't you have 4 other Intel SATA II ports?

I guess we'll just have to wait until Intel includes more SATAIII ports in future MBs.

You will have to purchase a new CPU for that since there will not be any new chipsets for lga1155.
 

hotcrandel

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I bought a LSI 9240-4i for my P55 chipset motherboard for the same reason.

In retrospect, I should have just bought a new motherboard / CPU.
 

drescherjm

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Sure, but they came back slower than the Asmedia.

Did you measure real world performace not large sequential reads/writes? I am talking about looking at the 4K numbers in CDM and ignoring the large sequential (since this is not that very useful for most applications). However I do admit the 512K may have some value but then again in a lot of desktop usages it is unlikely that a human could notice the difference. I am also not a fan of high queue depth numbers because single user desktop applications typically do not achive queue depths of 32 or above.
 
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Aesma

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An add-on card will have less than optimal response time results unless it has fastpath, which isn't available on cheap HBAs.

I have 12 SATA3 ports in my desktop but my Samsung 830 is on a SATA2 Intel port because that's the best one on an X58 platform.
 

drescherjm

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Is loading a game in 14 seconds instead of 20 seconds noticeable to you? It is to me.

What game(s) loads 6GB to 7GB of data to memory?
 
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UhClem

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Is there a 'real world' noticeable difference having an ssd on a sata2 vs sata3 port?
Is loading a game in 14 seconds instead of 20 seconds noticeable to you? It is to me.
Ahhh!! You make an excellent point ... (even if you didn't mean to :))
Listen up, gman (OP): For comparing the performance of the Intel SataII (on Z77 chipset) to the (secondary) Asmedia SataIII, it is foolish to waste your time with silly (synthetic) benchmarks. Why not use the best test in the (real) world?? -- YOUR APPLICATION (your favorite game!). All you need to do is move the game drive (840 Pro 256) between the two test ports (make sure to first do a "Safe Remove", and then, to be safe, remove the Sata Power--no need to reboot [the Safe Remove/PowerOff will clear the System/Drive caches (of the Pro 256), preserving validity of the A-B test comparison]

Re-connecting on the 2nd-test port, you should connect the SataData cable first, then the SataPower cable.

Pull up a Windows analog clock w/second-hand, and accurately time some representative test run of your chosen game. Something easily repeatable that will take 15-30 seconds should be good. (I don't have a clue on what to suggest here--the last real computer game I played was PDP-1 Spacewar[link] 45 years ago :) :) )

I would do 3 test runs on each port. Run #1 times are good because they are for a virgin test-bed (no pun intended); run #2 times should be a little lower, and also interesting, showing the benefits of System and Drive caching; run#3 times should be very close to #2s. Of course, the system itself should be otherwise idle during all testing.

And PLEASE report back with the results. I think all of us can learn something from this.

--UhClem "5 jobs--2 detached"
 

gman

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I found the Apricorn Velocity Micro x2 which is a Pcie (x2) card that your SSD fits in to. It needs an x2 Pcie x16 slot either at x2 or x4. I tried it on my MSI Z77 board and it works great. I have speeds of 503 and 485 for seq. which is much better than the Asmedia x106 383 and 335. I decided to get a board with a dedicated x16 that runs at x4 and is separate for the x16 vid card slot. Got to install now.
 

JoeComp

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I found the Apricorn Velocity Micro x2 which is a Pcie (x2) card that your SSD fits in to. It needs an x2 Pcie x16 slot either at x2 or x4. I tried it on my MSI Z77 board and it works great. I have speeds of 503 and 485 for seq.

How about posting an AS-SSD or ASU benchmark screenshot?
 

Old Hippie

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I have speeds of 503 and 485 for seq.
Sequental speeds aren't the problem but 4k & 4k-64Thrd are and that's where you'll use the drive most of the time.

You're wasting your time with any card under 500.00.......been there, done that.

This question gets asked over and over and the answer hasn't changed.
 

gman

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Well Old Hippie it seems to be better than the Asmedia on my board.
 

gman

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Old Hippie I'm beginning to see your point. Question though, if I can run an x4 add on card does that get me anything faster?
 

ND40oz

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Old Hippie I'm beginning to see your point. Question though, if I can run an x4 add on card does that get me anything faster?

You need at least an 8x PCIe slot and the cards cost more then a 3770k and motherboard combined. You need to be running X58 or X79 on the consumer side to really take advantage of them, otherwise you just don't have the PCIe lanes.
 

gman

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Well &^%$. That's why I've been here for as long as I have. You guys rock. I should have just listened in the first place. I guess we'll just have to wait until Intel includes 4 SATA III on board. Is that in the next design?
 
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