New rig: SSD vs spinning RAID10: Please help.

tel1jag

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 29, 2002
Messages
136
Hello,

I am upgrading my rig, about 4 years old now, to a new setup. I haven't kept up well on the latest SSD improvements and worried about drives failing.

(for anyone interested in the details: Sabretooth x99, Intel I-7 5820k, NVidia GTX 970, Corsair 16GB (4 x 4GB) Vengeance LPX). It will probably be Windows 10 when available to me.


My questions for this forum is that I currently run 4- SATAIII 500GB drives in RAID10 and although I sacrifice some space, it's come in VERY handy as the original drives were Seagate that 3 out of the 4 crapped out (at different times) and I never lost a lick of data. Just some performance until I replaced each drive. Also, I occasionally do an image/snapshot to a Linux box (maybe once a month or every other month because I am paranoid.

In this new build, I'd like a usable 2TB or 3TB (vs the 1TB above) and I was going to do Western Digital Blacks. However, I could be swayed to SSDs but very nervous to drop RAID 10 for reliability purposes. Also, I've read about Intel SRT or putting the Windows swap file on SSD.

So, not that money's not a factor, but for purposes of both speed and reliability what is the current thinking of SSD performance vs. RAID 10 SATA-spinning drives? I am not opposed to higher spend if the solution is right.

Could I ask for some of the modern opinions on best way to set up?


Thank you kindly in advance,

Jeff
 

Valnar

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 3, 2001
Messages
3,831
I can't believe anyone would choose spinning drives over an SSD for the OS these days.

* Get an SSD based on MLC (not TLC) NAND, minimum 256GB or whatever you are comfortable with for your system drive/partition (assuming Windows, your C: drive). I have a preference for Marvell based controllers, and like slightly older ones with 20, 25 or 34nm based NAND. ymmv

* Get another SSD if you want your games just as fast. Make that D: , otherwise, use some fast hard drives, RAID 1 or 10 if you wish.

Backup your C: drive! If you are worried about data loss, RAID ain't gonna help. But if you are worried about uptime or data availability, don't be. A single SSD drive is more reliable than a couple of hard drives in RAID.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2012
Messages
25
Yeah, once you go SSD, you'll never go back to running an OS any other way.

The speed over spinning platters, RAIDed or NOT, is overwhelmingly faster in most cases and even more noticeable in day to day use.

You could also RAID a few SSDs in the same manner, it's just going to be a bit more expensive. Remember, they use SATA controllers like any other and Intel RST is getting better about TRIM and whatnot.

I've yet to have an SSD crap out on me since I first purchased one in 2010 (128GB), and there hasn't been a system I haven't built or recommended an SSD be at least the OS drive.

Look at a few benchmarks to get your bearings and for reliability, get an enterprise class or high quality drive from the likes of Intel, preferrably, or Samsung.

Good luck. :cool:
 

MarkL

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 19, 2010
Messages
202
Valnar - just wondering why you're suggesting MLC vs TLC? I thought endurance on recent devices (eg: 850 evo) was high enough now that it basically is not a factor unless you are doing things like video editing?
 

Valnar

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 3, 2001
Messages
3,831
Boiled down to physics, TLC (of the same NAND size) will never be as reliable or long lasting as MLC. Sure, there are tricks the controller companies can do to alleviate some of this problem in the real world, but not completely. This is why many higher-end drives are still MLC, including Enterprise class drives. If that wasn't empirically true, everybody would being using TLC now. There is no evidence to believe using TLC is to the benefit of the consumer. It is simply a cost cutting measure. Same with the move from SLC to MLC, as well as smaller NAND sizes. Money talks.

For most people it may not matter, but since a recommendation was asked, it was given!
 

Aesma

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
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1,854
I'm not paranoid but the problem I personally have with TLC is that the drives are barely cheaper, so there is no real benefit to reward the "risk" taken.

If you think you're paranoid with your RAID, think again.

I'd call someone paranoid if they had live backups, cold backups, online backups, all using parity schemes, on top the RAID. And of course did a lot of checksumming so that they know their data is actually the same.

I would like the comfort of RAID1 for my main rig, but I couldn't justify the expense compared to good backups (clones I can restore easily), considering I sport a 1TB SSD. My servers run RAID1 SSDs for the OS though, as small SSD are cheap.
 

tel1jag

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 29, 2002
Messages
136
Firstly, thank you all for the feedback thus far. OK. So SSD seems to be the overwhelming philosophy to go with.

I have found Windows to be a pain in putting games anywhere but C: (OS drive), are you all not finding that? It seems a pain with Steam and installing games to shove them elsewhere, they seem to be predestined for C:..

Again, I'd like to be at 2TB or greater (due to video and picture editing) for general storage. So, should I do 1TB for SSD for the OS and another 1-2TB in a spinning disk RAID 10?
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2012
Messages
25
I've been running games on another drive for years now.
It's tedious but the reward of not having all your available drive bandwidth being used by windows AND applications is pretty sweet.
It's not for everyone, however with the advent of applications like "Steam Mover" and the link which make link junctions happen, you can still install games on your "C" drive and then use a tool like that to move it elsewhere.
RAIDing SSDs I believe counteracts the whole seperation of OS and Scratch/Game drive.
For me, it's really more about economics.
(i.e. buying more than 2 SSDs for RAID versus just 2)

The optimal setup for most uses I've come across is

1x SSD 128GB or greater for Windows

1x SSD 256GB or greater for Games/Scratch

1x HDD 2TB or Greater for Torrents or whatever
(Paging file move optional, haven't really noticed that big of a threat leaving it on my SSD)

In your case, RAIDing the SSDs or HDDs would lessen your responsibility in keeping up with what app installs what to where, either way you'll be happy with noticeable speed increase to accompany your super sweet, forward looking build.

A suggestion if I may, AVOID the GTX 970 if you can! The memory bottleneck is annoying on almost all rigs that I have built and if your system is to be somewhat future proofed, save up for or ebay/craigslist a GTX 980 or better to make it a more sound purchase.

Hope I have been of assistance. :)
 

SomeGuy133

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 12, 2015
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3,447
Do what I am in the process of doing SSD and have to back up to a RAID 10 with incremental builds.

Pick an SSD of choice. I am going intel 750 most likely.
Build a RAID 0 or RAID 10 to store incremental builds of SSD along with regular DATA.

Scratch that: I guess my motherboard only allows 6 drives to be in RAID. The others 4 are on some other controller...RAID 0 it is :/
I was able to find 4x3 TB around the house so I think (still figuring this out) I will go with a RAID 10. I am buying 6 Toshiba 3 TB so pairing those with the other 4 will give me 10 drives to do a RAID 10. So my setup should be Intel 750 in PCIe with incremental builds using acronis true image going to my RAID 10 :)
 
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AlienTech

Limp Gawd
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Sep 30, 2004
Messages
286
Instead of buying 2 SSD's a single 500GB would make more sense.. 2TB or greater hard drive is pretty cheap. If you dont want to move things manually, using a JBOD HyperDuo controller would make sense where the first part of the partition is on the SSD where often used stuff gets moved to. I tried this by partitioning a small one to put only windows and the swap files etc while the rest is used as a normal large partition. For most uses 240GB should be enough with 64GB for the windows and temp files. You dont even need to do it like that since it would move the often used windows directories to the SSD anyway.. Just another idea.. The pagefile on SSD does make a big difference when you have a lot of windows open and you click on one that was paged to disk. It still takes a couple of seconds but would take much longer on a hard drive. HyperDuo works on a file level and not block level.. So entire file is moved to the SSD. Not as efficient as a block level cache but no space is wasted on the drives like using an SSD cache like intel srt.


http://www.cdrlabs.com/Reviews/star...controller-cards-with-hyperduo/All-Pages.html

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009LIPHNC/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_5?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
 

AlienTech

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
286
Firstly, thank you all for the feedback thus far. OK. So SSD seems to be the overwhelming philosophy to go with.

I have found Windows to be a pain in putting games anywhere but C: (OS drive), are you all not finding that? It seems a pain with Steam and installing games to shove them elsewhere, they seem to be predestined for C:..

Again, I'd like to be at 2TB or greater (due to video and picture editing) for general storage. So, should I do 1TB for SSD for the OS and another 1-2TB in a spinning disk RAID 10?

Windows now comes with commands that let you link drives, directories and files and make them show up anywhere. So files that need to be on drive C can reside on drive Z and with a command have them show up anywhere on drive C.. You can even create a drive using the commands so a particular directory will show up as drive letter.. Or have a single file show up in multiple directories as windows does.. the directory programData is a great example of windows doing it to make things compatable and easier with earlier versions of stuff. I had an infection and it causes a lot of problems and backing up so much stuff took a lot of space so I moved my browser and some other stuff to another drive and point them back to the original location. That way I can easily back up the stuff and if there is corruption I can restore just partial programs instead of the entire drive. Its much faster since program corrution is more common, I cant backup large drives everyday.. Incremental backups are a pain to restore. Just in case I can restore the entire drive with my stuff for daily use.. AOMEI backuper will compress and store it. It does take some work to set it up but after spending weeks restoring stuff, or fixing all the settings etc, after the inital work it was far easier to work with.



http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/linkshellextension.html#download
 

Trimlock

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
15,228
Firstly, thank you all for the feedback thus far. OK. So SSD seems to be the overwhelming philosophy to go with.

I have found Windows to be a pain in putting games anywhere but C: (OS drive), are you all not finding that? It seems a pain with Steam and installing games to shove them elsewhere, they seem to be predestined for C:..

Again, I'd like to be at 2TB or greater (due to video and picture editing) for general storage. So, should I do 1TB for SSD for the OS and another 1-2TB in a spinning disk RAID 10?

The only thing spinners have over SSD's is price/capacity. Get as big of a MLC drive as you can.

As for Windows and Gaming, its quite easy. From Vista to now it supports any directory and will keep a default path if you select it (same for steam, my games are on a shitty spinner). Or you can use storage spaces (Don't think this works with SSD/HDD mixtures) to make one fat, single drive.

I'd get a 2-3 TB spinner these days, they seem to be the price/performance/capacity winners these days. You can find bad ass 3TB's for $90 now.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...9396&cm_re=toshiba_3tb-_-22-149-396-_-Product
 

annilation

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
242
I would go

250GB SSD - Partition C & D drives (C: OS only)
2x 2-4TB drive in raid 1

Backup your SSD to your raid 1 large drive that also holds your data.
 

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
14,923
SSD for boot drive. You will never go back.

Large HDDs for storage and games paired with MaxVeloSSD (Professional edition) and an SSD for caching the HDD data.

About the 2nd or 3rd load of a game, it then starts loading just about as fast as it would off of a pure SSD setup.
 
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