Is an SSD RAID 0 worth it?

jarablue

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Would it be more practical to put just one 970 pro in my system and windows 10?

Or just [H] it up and get two in a raid 0 config?

Just if I had a bit of spare cash. What do you guys think?
 
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RAID 0 is for large/fast scratch disks only. Never use one for anything you want to keep.

If anything, you risk slowing down the OS because you've placed another layer in the works that will add complexity and latency. An OS or app is generally a lot of smaller library files and such, and the substantially decreased latency and access times of a SSD over a HDD are far more important than raw throughput. It's why when you see proper real-world tests SATA SSD scores aren't much different than those for NVMe.
 

dvsman

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For funsies? Sure. I have it on a few of my current builds. 5x 2.5" sata SSD in my HTPC and 2x m.2 NVME in my livingroom laptop (Razer 17).

Does it show pretty numbers when I benchmark? Yep.

Does it make any kind of real world difference? Nope.
 

kdh

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Personal preference. I would have the mother board controller do it for me because it's built for it, but your limiting factor will be the controller running it. Most(but not all) consumer based mother boards don't have the controllers to take full advantage of the ssds your rocking. If you are doing it in the LVM or the OS, you are stealing resources away from the OS to do it. I like using the onboard cards because its abstracted from the os, and the os just doesnt care about it. Everyone needs a hobby. If this one is yours, and you have some extra pennies kicking around? Do it. In my mind, what you will learn, the process, and the knowledge gained is worth the couple of bucks you'll spend on that ssd. Just keep a safety net. Get a 2TB spinner that you back your data up over to. If your raid0 array eats it, or you goof it.. You have a gold copy of your data. You could spend thousands in a class doing that stuff with a teacher teaching you. Or.. You spend a few hundred bucks and get the same thing. Good luck, and keep it fun. =)
 
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cjcox

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You can always consider multiple drives in RAID0 as "one drive" with regards to replace... so if RAID0 is your thing.... go for it.
 

sinisterDei

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Echoing the common sentiment here; you won't feel a performance difference.

That said, I have two 1TB SSDs in RAID 0. I'm doing it because I want the convenience of a single volume, though, not for any performance reason. And I just store games on them, so the additional potential hit to reliability isn't a concern.
 

OliverQueen

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I bought 2 x 256GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD drives with the intention of RAID-0 them, but found after doing so that there was no point in doing it as there was no difference in performance at all. Boot times were identical as were all real world usage. Benchmarks that I ran obviously showed that the RAID array was "quicker". A single NVME M.2 drive of the same total capacity of a multiple drive RAID array will outperform a SATA-6GB RAID-0 SSD setup.
 

topher989

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I have 3 enterprise Intel 480GB SSDs running in a RAID 0 on a hardware RAID card in my gaming machine. My games load at the same speed they did when I had the same SSDs configured for JBOD. The upside is now I have a single large partition and I don't have to worry about which disk to install on.

This setup was put together with spare parts I had laying around so it didn't cost me anything. If the RAID goes tit up then I'll only need to reinstall Windows and my games (game saves are backed up through Steam).

For buying new equipment, I'd just go with the largest SSD you can afford.
 

pendragon1

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I have 3 enterprise Intel 480GB SSDs running in a RAID 0 on a hardware RAID card in my gaming machine. My games load at the same speed they did when I had the same SSDs configured for JBOD. The upside is now I have a single large partition and I don't have to worry about which disk to install on.

This setup was put together with spare parts I had laying around so it didn't cost me anything. If the RAID goes tit up then I'll only need to reinstall Windows and my games (game saves are backed up through Steam).

For buying new equipment, I'd just go with the largest SSD you can afford.
been saving that first post for a while eh?! ;)


ps: i agree with everything stated in all above posts.
 

Nenu

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The above.
Also consider your cpu use while doing fast transfers will rocket unless you use a decent hardware raid controller.
 

sinisterDei

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The above.
Also consider your cpu use while doing fast transfers will rocket unless you use a decent hardware raid controller.
"rocket" is a bit hyperbolic. Just as a test, I started copying a big file (80 GB) from my NVMe SSD to my RAID0 of SATA SSDs. Here is what my CPU graph looked like at the time. The red line represents when I cancelled the transfer. The copy was non-negligible in terms of CPU use, but calling it a "rocket" is way overestimating the impact.

1582646000984.png
 

Nenu

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"rocket" is a bit hyperbolic. Just as a test, I started copying a big file (80 GB) from my NVMe SSD to my RAID0 of SATA SSDs. Here is what my CPU graph looked like at the time. The red line represents when I cancelled the transfer. The copy was non-negligible in terms of CPU use, but calling it a "rocket" is way overestimating the impact.

View attachment 225918
Thanks, its a whole lot better than expected.
Living in the past doesnt help.

What hardware is that with?
 

daglesj

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Thanks, its a whole lot better than expected.
Living in the past doesnt help.

What hardware is that with?

It's like reading all the websites that tell you "How to Optimise Windows and your PC for the best audio quality!"

They tell you to switch off absolutely everything of use in order to optimise performance of your PC so the audio does not get dragged down or disrupted. I remember these same articles back from like 1996 and in fact they are the same articles just reposted 25 years later.

Do you think switching off desktop animations will improve a 16 core Ryzen playing a 16bit 44khz audio stream? lol

Back when we had 66MHz single cores, 16MB of ram and two harddrives on the same IDE cable, yeah it helped but...

Sometimes we forget that stuff has moved on considerably.
 

sinisterDei

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Thanks, I am interested which motherboard to determine the RAID interface.
I have an ASRock B450 Pro4, but I'm not using the onboard RAID. Windows can be configured to handle RAID completely in software, regardless of motherboard or drive controller. It's 100% truly software RAID.
1582750029083.png
 

Dan_D

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Simple Answer:

No.

The more complex answer is, not really. While there are huge gains in performance in synthetic tests, SSD's are generally fast enough that telling an NVMe drive from a SATA one is hard enough. Dramatic performance increases are nice on paper, but they aren't something you'll notice. And the big kicker is that doing a RAID 0 with SSD's means that you have added another failure point to your system. Through RAID testing and benchmarking, I've managed to kill just about every SSD that's graced by test bench since the first SSD's came to market.

I don't think the drives fail more often because they are in a RAID configuration, but you have two failure points when using them as a boot volume or any other volume for that matter. This increases the chance for something to go wrong. I've been doing RAID 0 arrays since it first became a thing on the desktop and I can't tell you how many times I've had a drive shit the bed on me, forcing me to replace hardware or at least, re-install the OS at the worst possible times. I eventually stopped doing that after the sixth time or so that it bit me in the ass.

In other words, if you are a benchmark whore then an NVMe RAID 0 array might just be for you. But, chances are you won't notice the performance increase. Desktop workloads just don't benefit from that type of drive configuration. This has been proven time and time again over the years. The only reason I might do an NVMe RAID 0 array is if I had two or more smaller drives and wanted to make use of them, but found their capacity to be restrictive. I wouldn't want to use a 256GB NVMe drive for games, but I could live with 512GB. So, I might be willing to RAID those drives together for a continuous volume and deal with the added risk for something that's not really critical.
 

ochadd

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For fun? Do it up. For desktop and gaming use it doesn't make sense. Little or no tangible performance and you double the chance of failure. I've tried it on every SATA generation and it was benchmark fun but day to day delivered nothing. Haven't bothered with NVME since if doubling SATA doesn't deliver then NVME sure isn't going to.

Personally I keep barely resisting the urge for huge Ebay enterprise NVME drives. 6+ TB PCIe units and be done needing storage for a few years. I've got 2 games I can't play now since I'm out of space. Needing to get bored of Anthem to uninstall and move on.
 

sinisterDei

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That's because your 16 core behemoth cpu laughs at the rest of us peasants.
LOL. 8-core, 16-thread. But I take your point. That said, that's why I showed the individual logical cores - none of them in particular are loaded down during the transfer. I had the same setup on my 6700k and it was also just fine :) The 'math' for RAID 0 (and RAID 1) is super simple; if I was doing RAID 5 or 6 in software then you might expect some CPU-based performance limitations or system impact.
 

drescherjm

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if I was doing RAID 5 or 6 in software then you might expect some CPU-based performance limitations or system impact.
And that was only on windows, I think mainly due to the lack of a stripe cache. On linux the CPU usage for RAID5 or RAID6 has been minimal since the early 200Xs. I know I have had software raid arrays at work since the late 1990s.

With that said a used 8 port LSI SAS card can be had for about $50 now so its not much of an issue to get a raid card as it used to be.
 
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Wooshoo

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May 27, 2019
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I have never had the excess income to use a raid setup what is it for exactly?
 
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Even though its not good practice I do Raid 0 my two 500gb ssds. I do so mainly for the convenience of having a single 1tb location for game installs, and that's the only thing that gets stored on them. I do realize that I could just span the two disks into a single folder but fuck it, "muh speed" lol.
 

GotNoRice

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The only time I've used Raid-0 with SSDs is with lower capacity drives. In one case I got a bunch of older 40GB intel MLC SSDs. 40GB isn't really a useful capacity these days. I put 6 in raid-0 to make a single 240GB drive. Biggest concern would be, any one of them dies, the entire array fails, but the drives are pretty reliable and the computer wasn't being used for anything important.
 

UnknownSouljer

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I'll more or less just agree with whats been said.
At this point you're better off just going single fast NVME drive. There isn't much point in raiding NVME, you will likely so no difference between 2200~Mb/s read vs double that. Latency is built into a lot of hardware and a lot of software. Most of it won't take advantage of the speeds of a single drive, let alone multiple NVME's. The DiskMark benchmarke will make your e-peen grow, but it won't be tangible in day-to-day tasks outside of that bar-graph.
Unless you're needing RAID for your database buffer or you have a specific use-case that needs a lot of read/write (as an example 4800+ Mb/s 16-bit linear RAW video or other RAW codecs), you probably don't need it (even in that usage case of needing to process 16-bit video, you'd likely make a much lower bit-rate proxy and work from that and only do final render off the larger file. Unless you're some crazy wackidoo and you're good with flexing your new $40k+ Mac Pro). And to reiterate what at least what one other poster said: if you can't think of a reason why you need it, you probably don't need it.
Regular SATA SSD's you might see very MARGINAL benefit from. But likely not enough to warrant the extra headache and overhead. I wouldn't bother with SATA SSD Raid either unless it's a cache for a much larger array.
 
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kalston

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RAID-0 and NVME are only worth it for specific use cases (nothing wrong with getting a NVME to, for example, free up a SATA port or when the price is competitive, though)

It's like another poster said: if you have to ask, then the answer is no.
 
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